Dear WPA Members and Other Homeschoolers,
Please share this information with other homeschoolers.
Having read the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)'s most recent post http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/wi/201109160.asp, WPA continues to stand by its posts http://issues.homeschooling-wpa.org/filing-form-pi-1206/. Our position is based on our 27 years of experience in Wisconsin and our knowledge of Wisconsin homeschooling law (which we helped write) and the PI-1206 form. We have worked to ensure that the form requires the minimum information possible from homeschoolers. It does not require children's names, ages, Social Security numbers, etc. The result is a form that maximizes and protects Wisconsin homeschoolers' freedoms.
The bottom line is this: WPA encourages homeschoolers to file form PI-1206 online and not use HSLDA's paper form. Homeschoolers risk being charged with truancy if they file a paper form or if they begin homeschooling after the third Friday in September and do not file a form this year. They may be taken to court. If enough homeschoolers do this, legislation may be introduced that would increase state regulation of homeschooling. Homeschoolers working together through WPA have worked hard since 1984 to develop and get passed and then maintain one of the best homeschooling laws in the nation. It is working well for homeschoolers in Wisconsin. To us, homeschooling freedom means being able to educate our children according to our principles and beliefs. It saddens us to think that anyone would knowingly or unknowingly jeopardize this law. But we are determined and prepared to continue to work hard to maintain homeschooling freedoms in Wisconsin.
Thanks to the work done by homeschoolers working together through WPA, nothing has changed on form PI-1206 since 1984. The information homeschoolers provide on the online form is exactly the same as has been required for the past 27 years. During this time, it has not caused problems. WPA watches very carefully for requests or demands by the DPI for information that is new and/or exceeds the DPI's authority under the law. For example, in August 2010, the DPI's first proposed version of the new electronic form included two new pieces of information. It required homeschoolers to use an email address as our ID, and it requested our phone numbers. WPA convinced the DPI to accept an ID that was not an email address. (We explain on our Web site why it is important not to use an email address. http://homeschooling-wpa.org/getting-started/#file) WPA also convinced the DPI to completely remove its request for our phone numbers.
In addition, note that many government agencies now require filing online forms for tax purposes, etc. During a court case or a legislative battle, how many judges or legislators would think filing a form online was a problem?
Thank you for your continuing commitment to homeschooling freedoms.
The WPA Board