9/1/2007 - September 2007 SLI Newsletter
This month we focus our attention on education issues. As we reported in our July 2007 newsletter, we provided assistance on important changes to the Alabama Administrative Code concerning the provision of educational services to children with special needs. This month, our Educational Update outlines in detail what transpired and the very positive outcome. We are grateful for the cooperation of Dr. Joe Morton, Executive Director of the State Department of Education, and for other employees of the department.
With the beginning of school each year, unique questions arise concerning the operation of church schools, home schools, and parents and students' rights in public schools. This year, one recurring question deals with whether church and home schools must turn in their annual attendance report each year, or whether having turned in the report at an earlier date, it remains good for the length of time the child is enrolled, regardless of how long. The applicable law is Section 16-28-7, 1975 Code of Alabama, which says:
"At the end of the fifth day from the opening of the public school . . . each public school, private school . . . but not church school, shall report . . . the names and addresses of all children . . . enrolled in such schools . . . . The enrollment . . . of a child in a church school shall be filed . . . by the parent . . . ."
This Section clearly implies the attendance report is made by the fifth day of each school year. The exclusion in the first sentence of the church school removes any requirement that the church school file the report, thereby avoiding state regulation. Instead, the parent of the church school child must file the report. The exemption is not from the time period, but who is to report.
The purpose of this law is to determine where children of school age are enrolled. This provides information for public officials to determine who may be truant. An annual report is not an onerous requirement and we recommend our church and home schools not take issue with it. The rule may not be uniformly enforced in every school district and some school districts may not require annual reports. If you have a problem, let us know.
We received many favorable comments about our August newsletter and Educational Update, which dealt with several pro-life issues. We are glad so many of you are still very interested in the abortion issue and are committed to many types of activities which oppose abortion. Thank you for your enduring commitment.
We are grateful for those who generously supported our efforts through the difficult summer months. With your return from vacations, please remember us with as generous a gift as possible. Remember, your gifts are tax deductible.
With personal regards, I am,
Yours very truly,
A. Eric Johnston
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