Will County Regional Office of Education

A long time homeschool advocate spotted problems on the Will County Regional Office of Education website and posted it in comments here:

I see the Will County ROE is attempting to require more than is necessary out of homeschoolers. I was doing research for somebody else, and found it:

http://www.will.k12.il.us/HomeSchooling.html

Her web page basically infers that one is obligated to create an entire academic calendar FOR THE YEAR and share it with the ROE.

Will County ROE posts this directly below on their website, and much of it is inaccurate.  We hope that the Regional Superintendent, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, will be persuaded to fix the misleading statements on her ROE site:

The Regional Office of Education must ascertain that all children in the Will County region have the opportunity to attend school.  If you choose to create a Home School education, you are required by law to perform the following:

  1. Create a school calendar of 176 attendance days and a daily schedule of 5 hours or more.
  1. Create and maintain an educational program that is comparable to that of the public schools.  Subjects which must be taught in an Illinois home school are language arts, mathematics, biological/physical sciences, social science, fine arts, physical development and health.

Registration of your home school with the school district, the Regional Superintendent, or the State of Illinois is voluntary.  However, you may wish to notify your local school district and your Regional Superintendent of your intention to home school by filling in this form and providing one copy to your Regional Office of Education and one copy to the State of Illinois.  Otherwise, they may think that your child is truant.

Lori is right.  There is no requirement to fulfill 176 days with a plus 5 hour daily schedule.  Most homeschoolers spend much more time learning, but they are not mandated to track their time nor report it to anyone.

Registration is not required either, as the Will County ROE site notes.  It makes no sense that the school authorities created a form requiring over-compliance, unless they still want control of your children.  If your children have not ever attended public school, public school notification is not required.  If your children are leaving the public school to homeschool, a simple letter stating transfer from the public school to your private school/homeschool is completely adequate notification to prevent any truancy question.

This below is also on the Will County Regional Office site, and the quote mis-states the actual statute:

2. It is the responsibility of the Will County Regional Office of Education to help maintain school attendance.  The compulsory attendance laws of the State of Illinois hold the parent/guardian responsible for their child’s attendance in school.  The law states:  “Whoever has custody or control of any child between the ages of 7 and 17 years shall cause such child to attend school the entire time it is in session.”  (122/26-2).

Below is the true statute language, as posted on the IL General Assembly site.  The 122/26-2 [cited above] statute language does not pertain to the private school compulsory attendance exemption that Illinois homeschoolers have.  This is the relevant private school statute documentation:

(105 ILCS 5/26-1) (from Ch. 122, par. 26-1) Sec. 26-1. Compulsory school age-Exemptions. Whoever has custody or control of any child between the ages of 7 and 17 years (unless the child has already graduated from high school) shall cause such child to attend some public school in the district wherein the child resides the entire time it is in session during the regular school term, except as provided in Section 10-19.1, and during a required summer school program established under Section 10-22.33B; provided, that the following children shall not be required to attend the public schools:

1. Any child attending a private or a parochial school where children are taught the branches of education taught to children of corresponding age and grade in the public schools, and where the instruction of the child in the branches of education is in the English language;

The statute documentation directly above is what Illinois homeschoolers’ legal responsibility is to homeschool.

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