Legislature Improves Homeschool Law
May 7, 2012
With the signature of Governor Nathan Deal on House Bill 39 on May 1, 2012, Georgia enacted significant improvements to its homeschool law. Effective with the 2012–2013 school year, parents will no longer have to submit monthly attendance records to their local public school superintendent. Instead, the records will be submitted only once a year to the Georgia Department of Education. Additionally, the initial and annual declaration of intent to conduct a home study program will be filed with the department of education instead of the local superintendent.
Submission of monthly attendance records has always been a thorn in the flesh of homeschoolers in Georgia. Problems with parents missing the end-of-month deadline by a few days or misplaced records by school officials often led to inappropriate action by the school district. School districts routinely reported families to social services for educational neglect or threatened truancy charges against family members. They also initiated action to bring about the revocation of the driver’s license of students by reporting excessive absences to the department of driver services. Annual reporting at the end of the school year should bring an end to these excessive and unwarranted enforcement actions.
Filing the declaration of intent with the department of education removes the local school district from the administrative process of beginning and continuing a home study program. HSLDA's experience has been that the less involvement homeschoolers have with the local school district, the fewer legal problems they have.