From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
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4/24/2003 4:22:39 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Missouri--School District Wants to Count Homeschoolers With Disabilities

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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April 24, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Some homeschool families in Missouri's West Plains area have received
a letter from Linda McAdams, the West Plains R-7 Director of Special
Services, asking for help in identifying children with disabilities
who are not in public school.

The letter dated April 21, 2003, says, "If you are aware of a
child... who has a disability or suspect that a child... has a
disability... please contact the district if this child is not
currently attending the public school." The letter asks the recipient
to submit the name of the child, name and address of the parent, date
of birth and age of the child, and the child's actual or suspected
disability. The letter states that the district "is required by law
to conduct this census by May 1...."

When I contacted Ms. McAdams, she said she understood that the
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) required
school systems to conduct a census of handicapped children twice a
year, in December and May. I contacted two representatives of DESE
and reviewed their website, however, and found that only a single
census in December is required.

When I explained this to her, and after her own independent
confirmation, she promptly agreed to either stop the spring census
altogether or clearly indicate that it is not required by state law
She also agreed, to send a letter of clarification to families who
received the April 21 letter explaining that no state law required
the school system to conduct the May census. We appreciate her
willingness to set things straight.

Citizens are under no obligation to cooperate with efforts such as
this to gather private information about other citizens. We recommend
that families who receive a letter such as this to simply disregard
it. Privacy is precious in a world of ever-growing government
databases, and should be protected as fully as possible.

We encourage HSLDA members in Missouri to contact us if they receive
any similar requests from their school district.

Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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