52. Encouraging Homeschoolers to File Form PI-1206 Online in Accordance With the Law (5/12)

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Whereas Wisconsin has a very reasonable homeschooling law that has worked well for homeschoolers for 28 years; and

Whereas this law is something Wisconsin homeschoolers working through Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA) have worked hard to achieve and maintain; and

Whereas the educational establishment continues to look for reasons to further regulate homeschooling in Wisconsin; and

Whereas when the freedom to homeschool has been tested in courts and legislatures, homeschoolers in nearly all other states have not achieved the homeschooling freedoms we currently have in Wisconsin; and

Whereas when homeschool attorneys have gone to court and argued that homeschoolers should not be unnecessarily regulated by the government, the attorneys have consistently lost their cases, resulting in court decisions stating that the government has the power and authority to require review and approval of curriculum, standardized testing, periodic reports, etc.; and

Whereas state legislatures have passed laws that include many of the regulatory requirements that the courts have said were constitutional; and

Whereas such laws significantly restrict homeschooling freedoms and would not be welcomed in Wisconsin; and

Whereas state legislatures almost never reduce the requirements for review and approval of curriculum, testing, and periodic progress reporting; and

Whereas online PI-1206 forms were introduced during the summer of 2010 and at that time, WPA was successful in getting the DPI not to use email addresses as user IDs and not to ask for homeschoolers’ telephone numbers and was therefore able to get the DPI’s online version of form PI-1206 to require the same information as the paper form that had been used since 1984; and

Whereas it is illegal to homeschool without filing form PI-1206 “on forms provided by the department [DPI]” (WI Statute 115.30 [3]); and

Whereas numerous government agencies are increasingly requiring citizens to file forms, reports, tax payments, etc. online, a practice that has been authorized by federal and state law; and

Whereas all other homeschooling organizations in Wisconsin that WPA is aware of , including many support groups and the Wisconsin Christian Home Educators Association (WICHEA), advised their members last fall to file the form online; and

Whereas a national homeschooling organization, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), has written and posted on its website that Wisconsin homeschoolers can use a different form that HSLDA makes available to its members rather than the DPI form PI-1206 to comply with Wisconsin’s homeschooling law; and

Whereas forms provided by HSLDA are not authorized by Wisconsin law and are rejected by the DPI, which means that families who file HSLDA’s version of form PI-1206 and then proceed to homeschool without filing the DPI’s online form are homeschooling illegally; and

Whereas children in such families are therefore truant and the truancy could become the basis for court cases and/or legislation that very likely would result in further regulation of all Wisconsin homeschoolers; and

Whereas despite attempts by WPA as well as WICHEA and HSLDA members to communicate to the President of HSLDA and to an HSLDA attorney with responsibilities for Wisconsin that HSLDA’s position on filing form PI-1206 is wrong and a danger to homeschooling freedoms in Wisconsin, and despite the fact that WPA has also written and posted this information in its newsletters and on its website, as of May 3, 2012, the HSLDA website persists in offering their illegal way of filing their version of form PI-1206 and thereby misinforming homeschoolers and increasing the chances of a court case or Wisconsin homeschooling legislation brought by opponents or critics of homeschooling who are looking for such an opportunity;

Be it resolved by members of Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA) that WPA will continue to inform homeschoolers of the importance of filing form PI-1206 each year and reasons why it is important to do so online.

Be it further resolved that WPA will continue to inform homeschoolers of the importance of not following the suggestion on the HSLDA website that they file the HSLDA version of the form but rather filing the DPI PI-1206 form online. 5/2012

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