Notifying the school district is quickly approaching! Here is an explanation from Home School Legal Defense in regards to notifying the school district. Please read carefully since the law changed in 2014.
Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,
We have received numerous inquiries related to a recent homeschool law change in Ohio. Although you are not required to send your notice of intent over the summer we know many do, since, while there is no deadline for notification, we generally suggest that the notification be submitted by the start of school in your district.
Ohio homeschool law (Revised Code Section 3321.04) formerly required homeschool families to notify the “city or exempted village school district or the educational service center.” However, the law has been amended to read that the notification should be sent to the “superintendent of the school district in which the child resides.”
This means that homeschool families who previously notified their educational service centers or county superintendent must now notify their local school district’s superintendent instead. Please ensure you are sending your notification and assessments to the correct address for this coming year.
If you need help with filling out the Home Education Notification Form, please see my post called Filling Out the Notification Form.
This is not legal advice. I am not a lawyer, nor do I play the part of a lawyer in any capacity. 🙂 If in doubt or you have a legal question, contact Home School Legal Defense.
Lisa, I’m glad you’re discussing this topic because I’m a little confused. According the Hamilton County Educational Service Center (where I’ve turned in my notification forms for years), we are still supposed to submit to them because they are working with the school districts. The form on their website indicates clearly that forms are to be turned in to the HCESC:
1. Parents electing to provide home education need to complete the attached
form and submit required information as directed in the form.
2. Completed forms will be mailed thru U.S. Mail or e-mail to the Hamilton
County Educational Service Center for review.
3. The status of the notification will be made by HCESC within fourteen
calendar days of receipt of the application. The parents and local
superintendent will be notified of the determination in writing.
It then lists the gentleman at HCESC to whom the forms are to be mailed. So what’s the deal? Are we supposed to submit directly to the superintendent, or to the Ham County Educational Service Center operating on behalf of the district?
Hey, Kerry. I am glad you asked! I am asking Mary Pritchard to respond here if she is able. I’ll contact her via phone if I she can’t write something for us here.Thanks so much for posting this information.
Kerry is asking all the right questions!
The reality is you may be fine just sending your notification to the person HCESC recommends, BUT
I believe you should contact who you are legally responsible to contact to avoid any confusion..
That person would be the superintendent of the district where your child would enroll if he was attending public school. Over the years we have begun sending it to the person that the superintendent has delegated their responsibility to, but technically, we are required to notify the superintendent who has been given authority to excuse.
Last year, I received word from the Ohio ESC Association telling me that my superintendent was no longer responsible to issue excuses from compulsory education. HB 59 seems to remove the county superintendent (ESC superintendent) as the official with the responsibility to issue excuses. (See page 1361, HB 59 at http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/BillText130/130_HB_59_EN_N.pdf)
With this information, many of the districts have been busy preparing for the coming school year. Here in Butler County, we (at the ESC) have contracted to handle the notifications for of many our local school district. We will process the notification and then forward an excuse to the local superintendent for their signature. We will handle the notifications for many, but NOT all!!
I expect some home educators from the districts who have not contracted us with will notify us like they have for years, and we will forward it to the correct superintendent.
On the other hand, I bet some folks who have always notified their city district will notify their city district, but we will have the notifications forwarded to us because, well, we now have a contract to handle the paperwork for them.
Can you see how confusing it gets?? That is the main reason I recommend you notify the person you are legally responsible to notify.
I am not sure if Hamilton County ESC has contracts with some of their local schools. ( I know Warren County does.) Your post seems to imply that HCESC has made arrangements with their locals, but I would want the local superintendent’s signature on my excuse- not the county superintendent.
If I found myself in a position where I was being ask by a judge who I notified, I would want it to be the person who was legally responsible for issuing the excuse. I would want a return receipt as proof that I notified. The 14 days would have started ticking upon their receipt of the notification, and there would be no confusion about whether it was really sent!
Let the schools deal with ‘their system’ of following their legal responsibilities and let us follow the law for notifying who we should notify. Even if no one means any harm, stuff has a way of happening!
Certified Mama & President, BCESC
Please tell me everyone is cautious about random forms that may ask for information we are not required to provide!
Thanks, Mary. I appreciate you commenting and helping with the process of sending notification paperwork.
Thank you for asking this Kerry, and you for answering Mary. It is great to have this information all in one place.