Home School Court Report
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May / June 2005

Nourishing your special needs child

What Does HSLDA consider a special need?

HSLDA cares about special needs families

The Special Needs Fund

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Helpful Resources
20-year tribute

Homeschool leader comments

Doc’s Digest
From the heart

Opportunities abound

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HSF Mission Statement

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Across the states
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Patrick Henry College dominates moot courts
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On the other hand: a contrario sensu

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HSLDA social services contact policy/A plethora of forms

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Homeschool bill introduced

Introduced by Representative Pat Fleagle on February 14, 2005, House Bill 505 would significantly improve Pennsylvania's homeschool law, which is one of the most restrictive in the nation. This legislation would remove the requirement that home education programs be evaluated by public school superintendents to determine whether students are receiving an appropriate education. Current law not only requires parents to obtain an evaluation of their program by persons with qualifications prescribed by statute, it also requires local superintendents to conduct virtually the same evaluation. Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation requiring homeschool students to undergo this double evaluation. Pennsylvania homeschoolers contend that one evaluation conducted by a person with the state-prescribed qualifications is more than sufficient to determine whether a student is progressing satisfactorily. HB 505 would require parents to submit to the local superintendent only the evaluator's certification that an appropriate education is occurring. The superintendent would have to accept this certification without further inquiry.

Other parts of the bill would ensure that an administrative procedure is followed if there is a question about a parent's compliance with the homeschool law. In some cases, parents are being threatened with truancy charges for simply failing to provide some information in the affidavit that is filed with the local superintendent at the beginning of the home education program.

Homeschooling families in Pennsylvania are urged to contact their state representatives and senators and ask them to support this legislation.

—by Dewitt T. Black