Houston County of Tennessee Says Homeschoolers Should Register
At the beginning of the fall semester of the current school year, Home School Legal Defense Association came to the aid of a member family who had been instructed to register their children with the local education agency (LEA). In a letter to homeschooling parents, the Houston County Board of Education had instructed them that such registration was necessary even though the family was homeschooling through enrollment in a church-related school.
Under current Tennessee law as it was enacted in 2011, homeschoolers are not required to "register" with the LEA under any circumstance. Parents are only required to notify the director of the LEA when the homeschool is being conducted through the LEA and the student is not enrolled in a church-related school. Parents homeschooling their children through a church-related school do not have to have any contact with public school officials.
HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black responded to the letter by the public school official and recited the law to him. Black also informed him that the information on the Tennessee Department of Education's website regarding registration of homeschool students with their LEA is inaccurate, despite the fact that changes in the law were made by the Tennessee General Assembly over two years ago. This HSLDA correspondence with the Houston County Board of Education resolved the member family's difficulty.