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Due to space constraints, Doc’s Digest did not appear in the January/February 2010 issue. Doc’s Digest will resume publication on a new rotating schedule beginning in the March/April issue.
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Fort Dodge Demands Special Needs Hearings

On July 1, 2009, the Fort Dodge school superintendent sent a letter to local homeschooling families stating, “If your child is currently identified as a child requiring special education, a hearing must be held with the IEP team prior to being approved for competent private instruction [homeschooling].”

After receiving a copy of the letter from an alert member, Home School Legal Defense Association Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff wrote the superintendent, explaining that approval by the school system is no longer necessary before homeschooling a child with identified special needs. Woodruff asked the superintendent to send out a letter of correction.

Formerly, if a child had been identified as requiring special education, the family needed the approval of the area education agency in order to homeschool the child. But under recent changes to regulations, approval is only needed if the parents want the child to be evaluated (or reevaluated) for special education services or programs (Iowa Administrative Code § 281-31.10).

The superintendent reviewed Woodruff’s letter and subsequently sent out an appropriate letter of correction.

— by Scott A. Woodruff