Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000, Purcellville, VA 20134
|For Immediate Release||Contact: Ian Slatter|
|March 5, 2007||(540) 338-8663|
HOMESCHOOLERS FREED FROM
SPECIAL NEEDS EVALUATIONS
Purcellville, Va.—After a lengthy legal battle, a New York homeschool family finally won a decisive ruling from a federal judge over the interpretation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). “Common sense prevailed,” said Jim Mason, HSLDA’s Litigation Counsel. “This emphatic ruling clarifies that if you refuse services from the government your child cannot be forced to have a special needs evaluation,” he added.
In 2004, the homeschool family decided to homeschool their special needs son and had him privately evaluated at their own expense, choosing to waive any right for a FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) for their son. The school district, however, insisted that it must evaluate the child, whether the family agreed or not. Ironically, even if the family was approved to receive government services, the school district agreed that the family could then reject those services.
HSLDA filed a civil lawsuit in federal court on behalf of the family on June 14, 2006. In the meantime, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) promulgated new, unambiguous IDEA regulations, which said that school districts may not compel homeschoolers to submit their children to evaluations.
Hopefully this ruling will end the trauma experienced by many homeschool families who were being forced by the government to subject their children to intrusive and needless evaluations.
“This is a victory for parent’s rights,” said Mason.
Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a 24-year-old, 80,000 member non-profit organization and the preeminent national association advocating the legal right of parents to homeschool their children.