Proposed Rules and Regulations for Alabama Homeschoolers on Hold Print

The Alabama State Department of Education drafted a document, "Rules and Regulations for Private Schools and Church Schools in Alabama" on July 9 and discussed it at a meeting on July 11 with representatives of nonpublic schools. Fortunately, the State Superintendent has put the matter "on hold." Attorneys at Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) were promptly notified, and they responded in an open letter on their e-lert service to all members in Alabama.

Below is the text of the e-lert dated July 29, 2003.

Many of you have contacted us about the proposed “Rules and Regulations for Private Schools and Church Schools in Alabama” dated July 9, 2013. The Alabama State Department of Education drafted this document and discussed it at a meeting on July 11 with representatives of nonpublic schools.

If this document were adopted and implemented, the State Department of Education would begin to regulate church schools for the first time in state history. Among other things, church schools would be required to apply for a “Certificate of Exemption” and pay a $500 fee every three years in order to maintain their exempt status. Further, in order to comply with the compulsory attendance law, a student receiving home instruction through a church school covering would be required to enroll in a school that held a Certificate of Exemption issued by the State Department of Education.

After we obtained a copy of the proposed rules and regulations last Friday, I prepared a letter to the State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Thomas R. Bice, stating our objections to them and our intent to defend our member families from this overreach of governmental authority. However, before my letter went out, we were notified that Dr. Bice was backing off from his effort to regulate church schools through implementation of the rules and regulations. In a memo issued Friday, Dr. Bice stated that he had made this decision after meeting with the governor. But this matter is not over. What is clear from Dr. Bice’s memo is that the State Department of Education intends to review existing statutory law and make recommended changes to the legislature for 2014. You may read Dr. Bice’s memo online.

This is certainly a time for home educators to come together and support the state homeschool organization, CHEF of Alabama. To learn more about it and join, visit their website. We have been working closely with our friends at CHEF of Alabama since its founding in 1988. The homeschool community in Alabama must be strong and organized to turn back the state’s efforts to regulate church schools.

We will keep you advised of any further efforts of the State Department of Education to restrict your homeschooling freedoms. In the meantime, we encourage you to contact your state representative and state senator and express your opposition to any change in current law.
Very truly yours,
Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

P.S. We greatly value you and your support—it is a privilege to serve you. Thank you for all you do for freedom! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all.