In Other Words
Texas Education Agency v. Leeper.
In 1985, several home school parents and home school curriculum providers brought a class action lawsuit against all school districts in Texas, challenging the construction of Texas’ compulsory attendance law, which states that a school-aged child in Texas is exempt from compulsory attendance if the child attends private school that includes in its course a study of good citizenship. Tex. Educ. Code § 25.086(a)(1). In 1994, the Texas Supreme Court held that a home school can be “private school” within the meaning of Section 25.086, as long as children are taught in bona fide manner from curriculum designed to meet basic education goals.
The question for districts is how to determine whether home-schooled children are being taught in a bona fide manner. The Texas Supreme Court held that the use of standardized tests could be considered in ascertaining whether a home school is being taught in bona fide manner, but the use of such tests cannot be the determining factor and the administration of such tests cannot be a prerequisite to being exempt from compulsory attendance. TEA provides that school districts that become aware of a student who is potentially being home schooled may request in writing a letter of assurance from the parents regarding their intention to home-school their child. The letter may require assurances that the home-school curriculum is designed to meet basic education goals including reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and a study of good citizenship. TEA, To the Administrator Addressed: Home Schools
, April 8, 2013.