HSLDA feels that the DPI has let Wisconsin Homeschoolers down by not changing their new online form.
Mailing Address, Gender, and School District are all being asked this year on the form.
With the paper version you can scratch out the “illegal” requests for information. With the online form, you have little choice but to answer. The electronic system won’t allow you to continue without filling in gender and school district.
While the DPI will allow you to request a paper form, you have to request it in writing — which if you haven’t done, you are out of time to do so now. You are in luck if you are an HSLDA member and want to send a paper form. HSLDA has modified last year’s DPI form so it can be used this year. Go to the “members only” section of the HSLDA website, download and print the modified form, and submit it as usual.
DPI has capitulated and you should be able to enter a PO Box for a mailing address on the online form.
The forms are due by October 15, whether submitted by mail or online.
Why does this information matter to the DPI?
Wisconsin requires that public schools record enrollment on the third Friday in September. These “third Friday” numbers then are used to calculate state aid and the amount each district can levy under state revenue caps.
The total student population in the region showed a modest rise of 76 this fall, from 35,998 to 36,074. Source: LaCrosse Tribune
So, how are homeschoolers numbers of interest?
Well, that just might be a whole other kettle of fish…
Previous posts regarding this topic:
Here’s the new part.
The Wisconsin DPI has been asking for gender and school district on the paper form for years. It is not legally required for homeschools to provide that information. Therefore, individuals could in the past merely not answer that portion and still be in accordance with completing the paper form.
While in the past, the DPI asked – and probably received the information on gender and school district, they have now raised the standard by requiring the answer.
How that will impact future home education law is an interesting idea over which each of us may be concerned.
One final thought.
You did remember when you filled out your form that email addresses are not required and that you can choose ungraded for the grade levels, right?