Home School Court Report
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January / February 2005

State Legislation Summary—2004
2004 art contest

Our Judges

Winners of the three categories
PHC beats Oxford in debate
GenJ: Into the land

What are Generation Joshua & HSLDA PAC?

Sodrel: One very tight race . . .

Davis: In a dead heat

From the heart

2004 in review

From the director

Impact of the fund

Mission statement of HSF
Across the states
Active cases
Members only
About campus
President's page


On the other hand: a Contrario Sensu

HSLDA social services contact policy/A plethora of forms

HSLDA legal inquiries

Prayer & Praise




AL · CA · CO · FL · GA · IA · KY · MI · MS · MO · NV · NJ · NM · NY · ND · OH · OK · OR · PA · RI · TX · UT · VT · VA · WA · WI


Attacks on special education

The Vermont Supreme Court says that Vermont does not have an "approval" law, but that is hard to tell from recent actions by the state department of education. Under state law, homeschoolers are required to submit to the commissioner of education a "written enrollment notice" for each child that must include certain information required by law. In response, the department must acknowledge that the enrollment notice is complete, ask for any missing information, or order a hearing by an independent hearing officer. During the 2003–04 school year, Home School Legal Defense Association had to defend more member families from hearings in Vermont than in any other state in the union.

Two scenarios made up the majority of these cases. Families educating children with special needs were far more likely to be called up for hearings than other families, and parents who turned in portfolios as their annual assessment were much more likely to be challenged than those who relied on standardized testing or a review by a teacher. Overall, homeschoolers who do not understand their options are the ones getting into serious trouble; those who know the law and choose the most appropriate option for compliance usually have no problems. We therefore urge families to contact HSLDA before submitting a portfolio as an annual assessment, especially if they have a child with special needs.

— by Scott W. Somerville