Form goes beyond law
Vermont law, Title 16 Vermont Statutes Annotated §166b(a)(4), requires that if a child has not
previously been enrolled in a public school or a home study program in Vermont, the first enrollment notice must include "independent professional evidence on whether the child is handicapped." The Vermont Department of Education has developed a form captioned, Vermont Department of Education Home Study Program Independent Professional Evidence Reporting Form (also known simply as "Form B") for families to use in giving this notice. Form B, however, calls for a considerable amount of information not required under law, including:Child's date of birth;
Screening method used;
Indicating if child is "at risk" or "in need of further evaluation";
Indicating if child needs evaluation to determine eligibilty for special education services;
Indicating if the screening professional is a doctor and a resident of Vermont
None of these factors are required by law. There are many different schools of thought as to what constitutes a "handicap" and there are many kinds of professionals, regardless of state of residence, who receive training that would qualify them to determine whether there is evidence of a handicap.
Our website contains a simple form Vermont home schooling families can give their professional for use in supplying the notice required under law. The Vermont Department of Education has made numerous statements as to what must be contained in a "professional evidence" statement, but the form on our website contains all that is legally necessary. (Go to: http://members.hslda.org/state/vt/default.asp) Please pass this information on to any new home school families you know.
- Scott A. Woodruff