What To Do When School Officials Contact You: An Update

Summary: As homeschoolers we may be contacted by local school officials for a variety of reasons listed below. It is up to us to see that our responses are appropriate and do not cause problems for us or other homeschoolers. Here is information to help you deal effectively with school officials. Also included is a copy of a letter WPA is sending to all public school district administrators. Please keep these to refer to when a school official contacts you. (Note: Many homeschoolers keep their WPA newsletters in a file folder or three ring binder for easy reference.)

As homeschoolers, we need to know what our rights and responsibilities we have under Wisconsin law. We cannot count on school officials to know what they should do or to act in our best interests, especially since our interests sometimes conflict with theirs. To maintain our homeschooling freedoms, we need to ensure that school officials do not exceed the authority they have under the law or act in other ways that undermine our freedoms. However, we homeschoolers often know more about homeschooling laws and regulations than public school officials do. That's not surprising. We've had more experience with homeschooling than they have, and we have stronger reasons to care what laws and regulations say and how they are enforced. Therefore, we often need to educate officials.

As recent newsletters have shown, public school district administrators (also called superintendents) have increasingly been acting in ways that are detrimental to our interests. (For specific examples, see Newsletters #60, p. 11; #61, p. 10, p. 16; #62, p. 3; #63, p. 14; # 64, p. 11, p. 12.) Therefore, WPA sent a letter to all administrators in August, explaining Wisconsin's homeschooling law and how it works. See p. 4 of this newsletter.

Here are suggestions for ways homeschoolers can effectively deal with public school officials in each of the following situations:

Conclusion: Remember that homeschooling is a grassroots movement and WPA is a grassroots organization. If we are going to maintain our freedoms in spite of goals and schemes of the educational establishment, we each need to take responsibility for knowing what our rights and responsibilities are and acting in ways that maintain them when school officials make moves or offers that would undermine our freedoms.