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Letter Gives Erroneous Recruitment Advice
On October 19, 2006, the Maine Commissioner of Education sent a letter to private school administrators telling them they must give college and military recruiters access to their students’ contact information under some circumstances.
Home School Legal Defense Association believes the commissioner is in error, and we have requested a response from two officials in the commissioner’s office.
The error stems from an apparent misunderstanding of what a local educational agency is. The commissioner’s letter (Administrative Letter 11) is correct in saying that local educational agencies must give student information to college and military recruiters under some circumstances. However, the letter is wrong in asserting that private schools are local educational agencies and therefore subject to this requirement. Two federal statutes (20 U.S.C. 7713 and 7801) define local educational agency to include only public entities. (To read Administrative Letter 11, go to www.maine.gov/education).
Until HSLDA receives a definitive response from the commissioner of education’s office, we advise the administrators of non-approved private schools to disregard Administrative Letter 11.
— by Scott A. Woodruff