Homeschool In New York: Parents Probed For 'Educational Neglect' But HSLDA Sues City For 'Systematic Mistreatment'

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald December 07, 04:00 am
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The Department of Education (DOE) has launched a probe on parents who homeschool in New York. The government unit has been reporting families to the Child Protective Services (CPS) because the homeschooled children apparently have no paperwork and thus, they are considered truants.

But the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has filed a lawsuit against the city on behalf of homeschooling families. The agency said that homeschoolers have submitted the necessary papers but New York City's bureaucratic system has resulted in filing delays. Hence, the homeschoolers are not yet in the database.

New York Post reports that two dozen families have been sent DOE notices citing their children's absences in their school district. One homeschooling parent, Tanya Acevedo, was visited by reps from the CPS to investigate if there was indeed "educational neglect."

The mom said that she sent the homeschool papers by mail, which the DOE might have overlooked or lost. Thus, she sought the help of the HSLDA to work out her case with the CPS.

"Even though Tanya notified both the central office and the school before she began homeschooling, the school could not flip the switch in the attendance database to turn off her son's 'absences,'" HSLDA litigator James Mason said, according to Christian News Wire. Up to now, the New York office has yet to coordinate their records but more families have apparently come forward to the HSLDA. They are concerned that the DOE has been reporting them to the CPS.

Only one New York office consolidates homeschooling records coming from hundreds of school districts, according to an HSLDA report. This office lacks the funds and the staff to oversee its operations and there is still no efficient system.

The lawsuit is also asking the city to uphold the directives outlined in the state law regarding homeschool regulations. If the system isn't fixed, then this injustice and mistreatment against families who homeschool in New York will continue. A spokesperson from the city's office told New York Post that it will be reviewing the case and the complaints.

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