9/16/20–UPDATE: I was just alerted to the fact that the CDE’s PSA online form is now “Down for Maintenance”, so they were apparently wrong when they said it would be up until September 30. At this point, it looks like, unless they get it up earlier, you will now have to wait until Oct 1 to file. This is the normal filing date, so this isn’t an issue. But if you have a school giving you a hard time withdrawing your child, show them the link and that it is currently down and your hands are tied, as you are currently unable to file!
I saw this posted on a Facebook group recently so I wanted to pass it along. This info is from CHN, one of the 2 main homeschool organizations for California and a trusted resource.
IMPORTANT UPDATED PRIVATE SCHOOL AFFIDAVIT (PSA) INFO FOR NEW FAMILIES EXITING PUBLIC SCHOOL:
Hello everyone, the awesome volunteers at the California Homeschool Network (CHN) have recently shared important info that their legal liaison has obtained directly from staff at the California Department of Education (CDE). This information applies to new homeschooling families who are exiting public school this year and planning to file a PSA (Private School Affidavit).
Some public schools have insisted that parents show proof of having filed a PSA before the school will grant them a withdrawal. This seems impossible for new homeschooling parents to do since the PSA filing window occurs between October 1 – October 15 of the school year, not right now. …Um, it’s only August, right?? Time does go by pretty fast, but we’re pretty sure it’s not October!
So, what are new homeschooling families who are trying to exit public schools supposed to do if they find themselves in this situation? How can they get out of a potentially confusing and frustrating stand-off with their public school district? Especially since they don’t want to be at odds with a school they may be hoping to return to next year, should things go back to normal. CHN endeavored to solve this problem. They contacted the CDE to get their help in finding a statewide solution for new homeschooling families exiting public schools.
The CDE told CHN to advise families who find themselves in this awkward predicament to:#1 — File a PSA for the previous school year (2019-2020) right now, in order to complete the withdrawal process from public school. This PSA is not valid for the current school year and is simply a way to satisfy a public school’s request to confirm a family’s PSA filing.#2 – Families will need to go back online and file a second PSA between October 1-15 to legally establish their private homeschool for the current school year (2020-2021).
Here is information about this PSA filing time-frame from the CDE’s PSA page ( https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ps/affidavit.asp )
“Affidavit Filing Period: The statutory filing period is October 1 through 15; however, the filing system remains open throughout the school year to accommodate new schools. The affidavit covers the reporting period of October 1 through September 30.”
The 2019-2020 PSA online form for the previous year will be kept up on the CDE’s website until September 30. 2020. You can find the PSA here: http://www3.cde.ca.gov/psa
This link is the same place you will go between Oct 1-15 when it’s time to file for the current school year. Please do visit CHN’s line-by-line PSA filing instructions before you file, to help guide you through the process: https://www.californiahomeschool.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Instructions-for-Filing-the-Affidavit.pdf
If you’re a little confused or uncertain what to make of this, please read on for more information…
Why is the CDE advising new families to file in this confusing way, twice in two months’ time? Why can’t they simply open up the PSA for the 2020-2021 school year a little early, or ask the school districts to accept a PSA from withdrawing families intending to homeschool between October 1-15, instead of right now? The CDE explained to CHN that the filing time of the PSA has been coded into the educational law of California. In order to open up the PSA filing time earlier, the CDE would need legislation allowing that change to occur. Which we all know wouldn’t just happen overnight. So, this suggestion is their workaround to that dilemma. It gives people a quick solution that will work for both them and the school district they are attempting to withdraw from.
The second part of this answer is that the CDE wrote an open letter to all California public school districts in June 2020, alerting them to the fact that due to the pandemic many new families would be choosing to homeschool privately; not through a charter or a district-run homeschool program. The CDE encouraged local school districts to inform these new homeschooling families of their legal obligation to file a PSA. They also explained to the schools how they can confirm a family has lawfully filed a PSA. This basically puts pressure on the public schools to validate and confirm a family’s PSA right now, in August, before a family can actually file the PSA because it’s not online until October. So, the CDE kind of created a problem and had to come up with some sort of a solution. It’s not the best solution, perhaps, but it isn’t difficult to execute, just a tad annoying to have to file the PSA twice in two month’s time. As far as we know, your PSA information is only used for CDE database purposes and not collected or stored in any other place.
You can find the CDE’s open letter to school districts here: https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ps/psacoenotice2020.asp
Please find more valuable information and updates from the California Homeschool Network here: https://www.californiahomeschool.net/
Please let us know if you have any questions or need any further clarification. We don’t have all the answers, but we are always happy to help you try and find them.
The Homeschool Concierge Team
I used the link for the 2019-20 PSA, and got a screen saying the CDE has taken down the page for maintenance and filing will resume Oct. 1! Have you heard of this development, and how families should proceed if they are filing for the first time?
So it looks like they are getting it ready for this school year’s filing now. Each year you have to file starting on Oct 1. They were telling people to file for the previous year only because some schools were demanding to see a copy of the affidavit before they would let them withdraw their children. Apparently the CDE had set up this scenario themselves by telling the schools that they must see these affidavits to ensure children were properly enrolled elsewhere. So this was a stopgap measure to get to the Oct 1 filing for this year. BUT, apparently we are now at the point where you can no longer file for last year.
I just confirmed that the site is indeed down for maintenance currently. So you will need to wait until Oct 1. This isn’t an issue, it’s what we have to do every year. The only way this would be an issue is if you are trying to withdraw a child and you have a school giving you a hard time. If this happens, just let them know the situation and that the site is down. You can even give them the link and show them.
All these issues will go away after Oct 1, because the filing system will be online and ready to file for the rest of the school year. So anyone withdrawing children at any time after Oct 1 will be able to file when they withdraw.