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8/3/2004 9:30:01 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Illinois--New Mental Health Law: Potential Risk to Homeschoolers

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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August 3, 2004


Illinois--New Mental Health Law: Potential Risk to Homeschoolers


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Recently HB 2900 was passed by the Illinois legislature and signed by
the Governor. The bill consolidates mental health programs and
treatments in the state of Illinois. The bill will not affect
homeschool families, however. The only requirement is that there needs
to be "uniform protocols for implementing screening and assessment of
children prior to any admission to an in-patient hospital for
psychiatric services." Therefore this new law does not require
children to automatically obtain a mental health assessment. It only
requires children who are in families who are seeking medical help for
their child's mental health problems.

However, children who are in public schools may still feel the impact
of this new law because it will require the Illinois State Board of
Education to "develop and implement a plan to incorporate social and
emotional development standards as part of the Illinois Learning
Standards for the purpose of enhancing and measuring children's school
readiness and ability to achieve academic success." We believe, at
HSLDA, that this only applies to children who will be attending or are
attending public school pre-school programs. This is not applicable to
private schools, according to the language of HB 2900.

Nonetheless, we will be watching carefully the implementation of this
bill to ensure that there is no attempt to go beyond the new law and
mandate that all children follow these "social and emotional
developmental standards." We believe that the lesson from this bill
is, once again, that sending children to public school will open your
family to these types of problems and limit your parental rights and
controls over the training of your children.


Sincerely,

Chris Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel



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