Have you been contacted by your school district regarding your notification to homeschool? You are not alone. Many homeschoolers receive contacts from school officials requesting that only the state form be used.
School superintendents and designees continue to erroneously demand use of the state's online or paper form as a means of homeschool notification. Maine law does not require use of a particular form as long as the required information is included in the notification. For further verification of this, please visit the Maine Department of Education's "Home Instruction Frequently Asked Questions" page and refer to number 4 (https://www.maine.gov/doe/schools/schoolops/homeinstruction/faq).
Once you have submitted the required information, your job is done! No other communication is necessary. Since the lawful process is one of notification, not registration or approval, officials have no authority to place letters of intent in “pending status,” accept or reject them, or return them.
Please read more about why you should not use state forms, why to file only locally, and some common misconceptions: https://www.homeschoolersofmaine.org/the-law/letters-of-intent/using-doe-forms/.
If you choose to use a form, use a HOME or HSLDA form, and notify as you always have in the past. You will have fully complied with the law by filing the traditional way. Remember to send them by certified mail and keep copies of your mail receipts and forms in a safe place. If you are new to homeschooling and the notification process, read more here: https://www.homeschoolersofmaine.org/the-law/steps-to-comply/.
Many school districts are insisting that they need more information, so that they can enter it all into the state's portal. The law does not require the Department of Education or your local superintendent to file and keep your information or enter it into their portal once they receive it. You are simply required to NOTIFY and submit assessment results, if applicable. That's it.
Any communication with officials should be in writing. If you receive a phone call, request that they contact you by email instead. Save all communications. If you are an HSLDA member, send these communications to them.
The Maine Department of Education's overreach, the compulsory school attendance law change to age 6, COVID 19 and mandatory vaccinations are all issues that are currently presenting challenges to families with school-aged children. A current HSLDA membership is highly recommended during these uncertain times. You will want to have good counsel and protection, if it becomes necessary.
You can join HOME at any level to take advantage of our HSLDA group discount membership. Find out more here: https://www.homeschoolersofmaine.org/join/become-part-of-the-mission/. HOME's HSLDA group discount number is 291046 and our group name is Homeschoolers of Maine. Find HSLDA membership info here: https://www.homeschoolersofmaine.org/the-law/letters-of-intent/using-doe-forms/.
Thank you for standing firm with HOME for freedom!