Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » CA ALERT: R-4 UNDER ATTACK IN SANTA CLARA

    Filed at 5:22 pm under by dcobranchi

    CA parents who want to home educate completely independently of the government schools routinely file an R-4 exemption for private schools. From what I understand, filing has been mostly a formality. Until now:

    Dear Editor,

    The following is a response to a recent column regarding home schooling:

    Interestingly, there is no exemption in the California Education Code for “home schools.” In other words, education code does not recognize the term “home school” and therefore does not exempt students from compulsory attendance if they are, in layperson’s terms, being home schooled.

    However, many home schooling parents consider their homes to be “private schools” and have submitted private school affidavits to the state superintendent of public instruction. The filing of a private school affidavit does not mean that the state superintendent of public instruction has evaluated, recognized, approved, or endorsed any private school (Ed. Code 33190). The exemption from California’s compulsory education for private school students is only valid after the verification by the attendance supervisor, or other person designated by the board of education (Ed. Code 48222). In the Gilroy Unified School District that person is the district attendance officer.

    The steps below should be followed by GUSD parents wanting to request an exemption from compulsory attendance for their minor child:

    1. Complete the private school affidavit form on line by going to the California Department of Education Web site. Submission of the affidavit does not authorize a parent to exempt their child from compulsory education. Any exemption must be granted by the GUSD. (Parents may call the Attendance Improvement Office at 848-7137 for additional information.)

    2. Arrange for an appointment with the GUSD attendance officer by calling 848-7137 to request an exemption.

    3. If the request for exemption is approved, the district attendance officer will authorize the child’s school of attendance to disenroll the child.

    4. If the request for exemption cannot be approved, the parent will be scheduled for a hearing before the school attendance review board for a final decision.

    5. If an exemption is granted by the SARB, the child’s school of attendance will be directed to honor the parent’s request to drop the child from its rolls.

    6. If the SARB rules that the child would not be receiving an adequate education, as prescribed by law, the exemption will not be granted and the child will be expected to continue in his/her current placement or placement in an alternative public or private day school.

    7. If the parent does not abide by the ruling of the SARB and withdraws the minor from school, the child will be considered truant and truancy procedures, including a referral to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, will be imposed.

    8. Parents who are currently home schooling their children but have not received authorization from GUSD for an exemption, are subject to review and should contact the school attendance improvement office prior to or during but no later than the annual state filing period for private schools between Oct. 1 and 15 each year.

    Frank Valadez, GUSD attendance officer

    This is only one officer in one county. Not panic time but something to watch.


    Comment by
    Mary McCarthy
    May 27th, 2005
    at 7:53 pm

    Am I to understand from this that the public school system’s attendance officer now has jurisdiction over the private schools in CA if they are located in his district? I wonder what the Catholic and Montessori schools think of that?


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    May 27th, 2005
    at 9:05 pm

    I don’t know that he has the authority– only that he’s claiming it.

    Comment by
    Dee Dee
    May 28th, 2005
    at 12:24 am

    When checking Ann Zeise’s site, I found the following info (and it was quite disheartening): The CDE took information saying that homeschooling was illegal off their website in 2003. The bad news is that the power to declare a student in a private school truant lies with the local school district.


    Comment by
    May 28th, 2005
    at 12:25 am

    This is creative editing by this school district. The referenced section states that a private school must file the R4 and then lists what they must do to comply. Nowhere in California law is authority given to a local school district to say boo about a private school.

    This is an end run around the law with the hopes that homeschoolers won’t know what the law actually says.

    Comment by
    May 28th, 2005
    at 8:33 am

    I agree with Lynda’s interpretation. Ed. Code 48222 only requires that the district’s appointed person VERIFY that the ‘private’ school has filed the R-4 in accordance to Ed. Code 33190.

    The part about the state not having “evaluated, recognized, approved, or endorsed any private school” does not confer the authority of ‘approval’ to the districts, it’s simply a CYA move on the part of the state.

    Thanks for the heads up, Daryl. I’m sure my mother will be bringing a clipping of this one (since she’s in Gilroy) when she comes for a visit next week.