Scoma v. Chicago Board of Education (1974)

Scoma v. Chicago Board of Education

391 F. Supp. 452 (N.D. Ill. 1974)

Link to court case

You will hear of this case in some conversations of homeschooling law in Illinois. As such, here is a brief description:

The Scoma family, after being contacted repeatedly by their school district after the transfer of their children to their private (home) school, filed a complaint that said they felt "the Illinois Compulsory Attendance Act, Ill.Rev.Stat. ch. 122, § § 26-1 to 26-11, is unconstitutional" in regards to them. In effect, they were challenging the compulsory attendance law that had been granted homeschools in People v. Levisen, 404 Ill. 574, 578, 90 N.E.2d 213, 215 (1950).

The court agreed with People v. Levisen, reaffirmed the homechoolers must comply with the compulsory attendance law as stated in article 26.1 of IL educational law, and emphasized that the burden of proof rests with the parents to "establish that the plan of home instruction which they are providing to their children meets the state requirements." In fact, they found Levisen to be 'reasonable and constitutional.'

The court did not add or take away any requirements. They simply reaffirmed what we already had.

Some regional superintendents have interpreted this case to mean, however, that they have the right to investigate if a family is under compliance with or without cause. While only the courts can interpret law, we do not feel this is a correct interpretation.

Please visit What To Do if a Truant Officer Comes to Your Door for more information.