Below is a Utah Legal Homeschooling Affidavit for you to fill out. You will need to look up secretary and school names, and school addresses, for the school district and for the school(s) your child or children currently attend or would attend next (if moving up from elementary to junior high or from junior high to high school). You will need to put down all of the names of your kids whom you will be educating yourself.
This is a legal notification to let your child’s school, the school district and state of Utah know that you will be educating your own children. Should you choose to enroll in a school district program of any kind, such as free speech therapy or Head Start, your child will need to be enrolled in the district for you to do that. When they ask you to fill out all the forms and give them immunization records, you are officially registering your child in a school district program. I believe this may nullify the whole official homeschool thing, but I am not sure of that at all (you go ahead and ask if you need to). Should you choose to enroll your child in an online or charter school after sending an affidavit in, that will nullify the affidavit for that child, so you would need to fill this out again to legally homeschool after enrolling in one of those (which, officially, is a Utah school). If you move to a new county/ school district (not a new home), you need to fill it out again for the new county/ school district.
You do not need to tell the district your child’s age, birthdate or grade level. The new SB 39 (signed into law by Governor Gary Herbert on April 1, 2014) says should you enroll your child in a Utah school again, you get to decide whether to have your child assessed by the school. You also get to decide which grade level your child will be placed into. (The schools used to have the power to just assess and decide for you. They no longer have that power.)
When you are finished filling the form out without signing it, get your legal photo identification (such as a drivers’ license) and take the form to a notary public. Some libraries, banks, postal services and the like, will have them available to the public. One time, we used the library (which only has a notary public when that employee is working there). Another time, we went to Wells Fargo Bank, which seems to always have one whenever the bank is open. You will explain to the notary that you need a notary. They will invite you to sit down and sign it in front of them. They will ask to see your identification. They will have a ledger to fill out. (I signed the ledger because I had not signed the document in front of the notary and she needed to see me sign it.) The notary will sign and will stamp your affidavit with a notary public seal. The purpose of this is so that someone else cannot take your child out of public school on your behalf, pretending they are you.
After this, you can either take in or mail in your affidavit to your school district office. I think taking it in is better because then you can ask and make sure to get your certificate of exemption before leaving the district offices. (You may never get one if you mail it in.)
SB39 does not require that you teach certain prescribed subjects or a certain number of days in a year. You, the parents or guardians, and your child get to decide how your child is educated and in what. (Before SB 39 became the law, homeschool affidavits said that you had to teach math, language arts, social studies, science, health, and so forth. It also said you had to teach 180 full school days in a year.)
You may be wondering why Utah allows this. Before this law was passed, many of us called in or wrote in to our school board. Some homeschool moms even showed up at school board meetings and spoke up about homeschooling, how great it is, how well-educated our kids are, with valid statistics. I wrote them and the governor E-mails. In my E-mails, I had video footage of my five-year-old doing Montessori pink reading with 3-D objects, in front of our Christmas tree. I hope that helped!
Many school teachers spoke up against the law, saying this would give the homeschooling parents or guardians zero responsibilities and give the state of Utah many uneducated kids. They testified that they had students coming into the classrooms after having homeschooled, and said that they were behind. I do not believe they presented numbers or statistics.
I believe that because so many homeschool moms stood up and defended homeschooling and convinced the school board members and governor that what we do is statistically better than what the public schools do; That our kids attend college in just as great (or greater) numbers; That there are an overwhelming number of parents who educate their children very well in homeschooling; That this pushed them to vote for the Senate Bill by Aaron Osmond in 2014. It was a big success!
News stories on television started popping up soon after that. For a short time, some public school teachers and community members were angry that the homeschoolers could legally do this. Most of the citizens had never known that homeschooling was legal, so even knowing that was new to them. I am sure many who homeschool now are doing so even though in 2014 when the news stories showed up on their televisions and on Facebook, they were very upset that homeschooling people had received more liberties.
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