I’ll bet lots of parents have this question, however the Miami-Dade county website provides incorrect and misleading information.
Just as FL State statute 1002.41 states, the parent must notify the county in writing that they are going to begin a home education program with their child.
The letter must contain the following:
- the child’s full name
- the child’s date of birth
- the child’s address
- the date you plan to begin, or have begun, homeschooling your child
So, what is on the Miami-Dade website that is confusing and incorrect?
Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ website says that you must fill out their form #FM-4705 to register your child to homeschool. Although this may be convenient for the county, it cannot be required by the county. A simple letter is sufficient enough, and the county must accept it.
Furthermore, what is more alarming is that on the very bottom of the form it states that the parent must submit the form in person at the county office. For many parents, this is very inconvenient and potentially intimidating. The county CANNOT require you to appear in person to register your child with a copy of a birth certificate, or any extra information that is not necessary.
Here is the web page on the Miami-Dade Public Schools site where parents are informed about homeschooling in Miami-Dade county:
Since the website says that you can email the letter of intent directly to Amanda Pavon (firstname.lastname@example.org) – this seems to be the best method. You should receive a confirmation of registration from her via email or post. If you receive a letter or email requesting that you must come in person to fill out forms and to bring your child’s birth certificate, then we suggest you reply that the law does not require that and that you expect to receive an email from her confirming your child’s registration.
The best part about emailing the letter of intent – and all other communication with the county – is that you will have a record of it with a recorded time and date. In the event that the county makes a mistake you will be able to resend anything and prove that the letter of intent (and evaluations, letter of termination, etc.) was sent.
The FL State law regarding homeschooling is very specific and to protect our rights as parent-educators it is very important that we not allow the individual counties to overrun our rights with excessive and unnecessary forms and paperwork. They expect us to abide by the law and we should hold them accountable to the same.