The Home School Court Report
No. 4

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A Small State with a Big Law

When it comes to homeschooling, Vermont parents face a high degree of government involvement because of the centralized nature of this tiny state’s home education statutes. In comparison to other states, Vermont places a heavier burden on those who want to homeschool, particularly those with special needs children.

All new homeschooling parents in the Green Mountain State must certify-usually by means of an independent professional evaluation-that their children do not have special needs. In practice, families with special needs children have a much more difficult time getting approval for their home education plans, despite research demonstrating that special needs children thrive on high degrees of individual attention with customized academic plans in a caring, nurturing environment. For most children, no other educational approach can deliver all of these elements as well as homeschooling.

It is unfortunate that state bureaucrats make it so difficult for Vermont parents to give their children an individualized, loving educational program at home. But Home School Legal Defense Association is here to help all Vermont parents. If you have any questions about homeschooling in the Green Mountain State or are concerned about beginning your homeschooling program because you have a special needs child, please contact us-we'll be happy to help you get started on the right foot.

In other Vermont news, the state legislature, before it closed for the year, moved toward funding a statewide pre-kindergarten program by passing House Bill 534. HSLDA opposes this type of legislation generally because it can lay the foundation for mandatory and universal preschool legislation accompanied by a lowering of the compulsory attendance age. Studies show that the best place for children during their earliest and most developmental years is at home. While we recognize this is not possible for all children, the state should encourage families to keep their children home during these important years.

— by Michael P. Donnelly