The good news is you don’t have to wait! You can withdraw your child from Public School at any time of the year. However, the withdrawal must be official in order to avoid truancy charges.
What is An Official Withdrawal?
Each state in the U.S. has an Attendance Law. Attendance laws require children to attend school at a certain age and for a specific amount of days per year. If your child is already enrolled in a public school then they are under the legal responsibility of that school. This means that the school can legally charge you for truancy if you keep your child away from school for a longer period of time than is allowed in excused absences.
Officially withdrawing your child to homeschool is different than an excused absence. Officially withdrawing your child is transferring the legal responsibility of your child’s education from the public school to you; the parent or legal guardian. The school that your child is enrolled in will need a written statement from you that this transfer is happening. This written statement will be kept on record for as long as your child is of legal attendance age. As long as the school has this written statement of official withdrawal and acceptance of responsibility, then they will not consider your child absent from school.
When Can I Withdraw My Child?
As I mentioned above, you can withdraw your child at any time of the year. You do not have to wait! The school may not like your decision to withdraw your child mid-year or mid-semester, but there is no law that says you have to wait until a specific time of year. As long as you follow your state’s homeschool law concerning Notification, there is no legal restriction on when to officially withdrawal your child in order to homeschool.
Use An Official Withdrawal Letter
Check your homeschool law page for a specific withdrawal letter for your state. If your state does not have a specific withdrawal letter you can use this generic Student Withdrawal Letter or you can contact your child’s school and ask if they have their own withdrawal letter you can fill out.
What If I Have Problems With The School?
Be aware that the school may overstep its legal bounds. It is important for you to know what your rights are as a parent. For example you do not need to do any of the following, no matter how insistent the school may be;
- Explain your decision to withdraw
- Submit your child to testing
- Attend conferences or meetings by the school
- Allow inspections of your curriculum or home
- Wait until the end of a semester or school year to withdraw your child
If you have submitted your official withdrawal letter, and if necessary your notification to homeschool, and the school is still giving you grief, then contact Home School Legal Defense Association. They are a team of lawyers who work to defend homeschool families across the United States. For a small fee of $10/month they will take care of all of your legal battles and provide you with personal support. I highly recommend them and their services.