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The battle of the forms
Volume 40, Program 2
9/10/2002
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Are there still battles to fight when home schooling is legal in all fifty states? Chairman Michael Farris discusses one pending case today on Home School Heartbeat.

    Mike Farris:

    HSLDA is currently litigating a case in Vermont we've dubbed "the Battle of the Forms." Parents in Vermont are required by law to provide a professional opinion that a child who has not previously been enrolled in a public or home study program has no handicaps. If they do, they have to outline a minimum course of study suitable for such a child. An HSLDA member family was denied enrollment in a course of home study because the Vermont Department of Education official did not accept the independent professional evidence they supplied.

    Though the parents had the child assessed by a certified teacher, the department wanted the teacher to fill out their particular form. There was a catch. The department's form required information not required by state law.

    HSLDA contends that the Vermont legislature did not give individual bureaucrats this type of discretionary power.

    State officials eventually admitted that parents are not required by the statute to fill out the department's particular form. However, they still demanded the right to make a subjective judgment about whether they agreed with the professional evidence. The real issue is do parents have to have screening done as the statutes demands or do they have to please a subjective bureaucrat.

    A victory in this case will set an important precedent, insuring your right to home school is not hindered by an over-eager bureaucrat. I'm Mike Farris.

Can you home school your children? That and other questions are answered in a great resource--Home Schooling: Start Here. It's available to you absolutely free when you contact us at the Home School Legal Defense Association. Check us out online at homeschoolheartbeat.com. That's homeschoolheartbeat.com.


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