The Home School Court Report
No. 6

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Under No Obligation to Consult

Homeschool parents who have filed a private school affidavit may receive a letter from the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) inviting them to attend an informational meeting regarding the special education services available to private schools. In most instances, these services, with limited federal funding, fall short of the level of services available to public school students.

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Improved Education Act (IDIEA), the public school has a mandate to contact and consult with private schools regarding special education services. Private schools have no obligation to consult with the public school and may decline the services. However, there seems to be confusion on the part of some public schools which are insisting that they have an obligation to consult with a representative from the private school.

Home School Legal Defense Association has intervened to protect our members in several of these instances. We pointed out to the public school that while they have a mandate to inform private schools of the special education services available to their students, private schools have no such mandate and may decline to attend the meeting or consultation.

If you receive a letter from your local SELPA advising of a meeting or wanting to set an appointment for a "consultation," be aware that you are free to decline. If the public school official persists, please contact our legal department for assistance.

— by J. Michael Smith