Registration Forms, Statements of Assurance and other infringements

I can’t understand  why there isn’t outrage in the Illinois homeschool community about these calls for registration forms, statements of assurance, et al.  I can remember a time when homeschoolers united against bullies like Regional Superintendent Bruce Dennison in his district of Bureau, Henry and Stark Counties.  I can also remember when hearing rooms across the state were filled with homeschoolers fighting proposed statutes to take away our freedoms several years ago. 

But I can’t remember a time recently when homeschoolers felt the gumption to say ‘this shouldn’t happen across our state and won’t happen if we can help it’.  On the Illinois Homeschool Freedom Watch List earlier this year, it was related that a family in the ROE 12 (Clay County,Crawford County,Jasper County,Lawrence County,Richland County) were called into the Truancy Review Board twice.  They went the first time as they’d just pulled their child out of school and refused the second.  The family asked for support from the Illinois homeschool community and received it.

ROE 12 was calling in homeschoolers every year for review; sometimes four times a year. They likely still are.  I’d love to hear that my  assumption is wrong. 

In  ROE 12, homeschoolers were called before the County Truancy Review Board (without provocation) to discuss academic progress.  This committee consisted of the Chief Truant Officer, principal, police officer and others.

Along the same lines, Regional Superintendent Clemens of the Lee/Ogle ROE was calling for homeschool registration via a press release in at least two different newspapers.  Here’s the scoop on that in the Illinois Review:

Homeschool registration is helpful for whom?

(updateThe Lee/Ogle Regional Office of Education has 88 homeschooled kids registered.  How do I know that?  It’s listed in their 2006 annual report.  Amy Clemens’ media blitz seems to be effective in that area.)

These are the Illinois Regional Offices of Education who blatantly have calls for registration or statements of assurance on their website without contention.  But there are others like ROE 12 who don’t have the incriminating evidence on the site, but are demanding reviews ‘behind the scenes’:

Chicago Public Schools

CPS Policy on Home Schooling

Letter to Parents and the Statement of Assurance Form

Illinois Learning Standards (ILS)

Boone-Winnebago Region

Home Schooling Registration Forms

Information on Parent-Taught Home Instruction is available from the Regional Office of Education. This information outlines the rights and responsibilities of a parent under Illinois law. Illinois court decisions have established that a parent may teach his/her own child/children in their home provided that the child’s educational program satisfies the requirements as set forth in the Illinois School Code.

Lake County

Home Schooling

The Illinois School Code and Case Law permit home schooling as an option for parents who wish to do so.  The law requires that the child who is home schooled receives an education at least equivalent to the public school program, the instruction is in the English language and that it includes an adequate course of instruction in the prescribed branches of learning, ie: language arts, biological and physical sciences, math, social sciences, fine arts, health and physical development.

In order to satisfy statutory requirements, it is the home educator’s responsibility to provide an organized educational program for the child while utilizing appropriate materials and teaching methods.  You can download a list of resources where information may be obtained regarding instructional materials and support.  The Regional Office of Education provides this information as a service to those interested in home schooling their children.  This is not an endorsement of these organizations or of their publications.

Though you are not required to do so, if you do choose to home school your child/children we ask that you consider registering with our office.  You can select to download the registration form below or you may contact our office to have the form mailed to you. 

Clinton, Marion and Washington Counties

How do I register my home school with the school district, the Regional Superintendent, or the State of Illinois?

The Regional Superintendent of Schools and the States Attorneys request that parents of children officially notify the Regional Office of Education in writing that their child or children are being home schooled. This notification will preclude investigation of truancy and possible charges being brought against parents for truancy. An application is available to print from this webpage so that you may submit the form to the Regional Office of Education. You may also wish to notify your local school district of your intention to home school. Otherwise, they may think that your child is truant.

update The above doesn’t show up except for the direct link above that seems to still be there standing alone. ROE 13 now has this for their "homeschool" information.  "Home Schooling Information"  That would be a direct link to the IL State Board of Ed site.  Not particularly friendly as it still has the Homeschool Form encased in their site.  Who needs all that ‘help’ from people who have no clue about homeschooling anyway?

St Clair County

Q: What do I have to do to start homeschooling?

A: Register with the state.
Fill out a registration form and return to your Regional Office of Education.
This form will be forwarded to the Illinois State Board of Education and the local school district to inform them that you will be homeschooling your child. The registration form is voluntary, but serves as proof if you would ever need to account for your child not being enrolled in a public or parochial school.

Will County Regional Office of Education

The Will County Regional Office of Education sends packets to those interested in home schooling which includes a cover letter, Statement of Assurance, ISBE’s Non-Public Registration Enrollment and Staff Report, and Resource List for Private Home Schools. Those choosing to home school are requested to compete these forms. However, to do so is not required.

Update:  Promising news is that Will County’s ROE replaced the above with this.  Much better.

They are only following the lead of the Illinois State Board of Education policy:

Home School Registration FormLooking at the stars

The above is my compiled list, but I haven’t checked them all.  Is anyone/any group doing that?  Are any homeschoolers combating these problems in their area?  Do they need help?  Are we putting out little fires here and there while a volcano simmers underneath? Are we not bothering to put out anything because it’s not in our back yard? 



Registration Forms, Statements of Assurance and other infringements — 5 Comments

  1. *sigh* I had not heard about any of this. No, we certainly don’t send in any “voluntary” registration. Don’t you love the implied threat there? The registration form is voluntary, but serves as proof if you would ever need to account for your child not being enrolled in a public or parochial school. Am I allowed to say “fascist bastards” on your site? :}

  2. Lol…works for me. Guess that’s why it went in my spamarama first. I was happy to dig it out.

    Yeah…we aren’t in TX, are we? Homeschoolers fight daytime curfews as a whole in TX….
    This one from the lee/ogle supt clarifying the benefits of registration: “In addition, the regional office sends information to registered home-schooled students inviting them to participate in a home-school spelling bee every February. This allows the student to participate in the regional spelling bee.”
    Now what would we do if we didn’t have the spelling bee information?! As if homeschoolers haven’t figured out how to get their own spelling bee information. But no, our lives will revolve around the February? spelling bee bonanza that the ROE so kindly tossed out to us. oh, brother.

    The Madison County situation is very ugly. There are homeschoolers down there who are being reviewed every year, sometimes 4 times a year. Without much more than a peep outside that homeschooling hellhole, and that was from an awesome homeschooler who said no more.

  3. Yep, they dangle the carrot and remind us of the stick. Gah. I will never understand, though, why so many of these things remain HOMESCHOOLING issues. I don’t get why ALL parents aren’t concerned when the government starts harassing parents who haven’t committed any crime. Liberty is not a homeschooling issue.

  4. Recently on a home school discussion group a question was asked about state requirements for home school. The answers agitated me. Numerous comments said, “We only have to do such and such…” It almost seemed like the state was doing them a favor by making the requirements easy.

  5. I’ve heard that a lot for other states, Renae. I’m starting to see that in Illinois too. Compulsory attendance age raised to 17…no biggie, “doesn’t affect homeschoolers”. Daytime curfew push….just carry something around that says you homeschool when homeschooled child is stopped by the police.

    “We only have to do….” something.
    I always think that if homeschoolers or families have to do something, then there will never be an “only…”. There isn’t freedom to educate our children at home.
    If there are requirements, it’s not ever easy from a bureaucrat.
    “Freedom is not free”
    I think KathyJo has it right too. “Liberty is not a homeschooling issue.”

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