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2/25/2005 5:11:19 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Urgent Action Needed to Help Shape IDEA Special Needs Regulations

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 25, 2005

Urgent Action Needed to Help Shape IDEA Special Needs Regulations

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

For the past six years, HSLDA has confronted a growing problem with
the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Local
Education Agencies (LEA) believe they are required to pursue an
initial evaluation of a non-public school special needs child even
when the parent(s) object to an evaluation. Ironically, homeschool
families are still pursued even when they are ineligible for services.

In December of 2003, Congress passed a new IDEA law, which was more
favorable to the interests of parents. Now the regulations are being
written. The U.S. Department of Education is accepting written public
comments for the first winter round of hearings until February 28,
2005. Each comment is categorized by the Department and taken into
consideration when the regulations are written. Those areas receiving
more comments will attract greater attention from the regulators.
Therefore, we urge you to submit comments before Monday, February 28
using either our automatic email feature below or by composing your
own comments and submitting them by mail or email.

Action Requested:

Please send a message to the Office of Special Education and
Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education
encouraging them to clarify that under the new IDEA law, when a parent
indicates that they will refuse both consent for evaluation and
consent for services that nothing in IDEA requires that an LEA
continue to pursue an evaluation.

Please use the following link to send an email message using our
automated system.


http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=2139


If you would like send your own comments without using our automated
feature, please send your comments to:

comments@ed.gov

or

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Potomac Center Plaza, Room 5126
Washington, D.C. 20202-2641

Background:

As a result of an unfortunate interpretation of IDEA, many homeschool
and private school families have been locked in a legal battle over
whether or not the public school may conduct an initial evaluation of
the child without a parent's consent. Ironically, most homeschoolers
are not even eligible to receive services under IDEA and yet the LEA's
still insist on an evaluation. HSLDA is currently litigating a case
with the Missouri Department of Education over this issue.

To read more about difficulties HSLDA and homeschool families have
confronted under the IDEA law, see the following:

"Hearing Officer Rules Homeschooler Must Submit to Special Needs
Evaluation
http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/hslda/200303/200303271.asp

For Liberty,


Caleb Kershner
Manager of Federal Policy & Research



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-> There may be a shortage of the flu vaccine, but there's no
shortage of legal protection for homeschoolers.

HSLDA is 80,000 families standing together for the right of each
family to teach their children at home. You don't have to stand
alone against those who think homeschoolers should be regulated
and controlled. Joining a team of home educators who will stick
with you may be just what the doctor ordered for your
homeschool . . . and your peace of mind.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1934

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Home School Legal Defense Association
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