From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


6/29/2005 6:57:59 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Comments Needed Now To Support Draft IDEA Regulations

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
Comments Needed Now To Support Draft IDEA Regulations

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Under the current regulations, Local Education Agencies (LEAs) believe
that 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. During the past six years, LEAs have regularly overstepped
their bounds, but over the next 10 days we have a rare opportunity to
permanently stop the abuse by LEA's.

The Department of Education has released new regulations governing the
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and your letters
and emails of support are needed in order to convince the Department
that homeschoolers desire the right to refuse initial evaluations.

Action Requested:

Please submit your comments in support of the recently proposed
regulations via email or letter. In a series of meetings across the
country, the Department of Education is looking to hear from you about
these new regulations. Unfortunately, a great deal of opposition will
arise against these proposed regulations. We have already heard that
Senator Edward Kennedy (MA) is upset about the protections given to
private and homeschooled students. It is imperative that we act in a
unified voice in favor of the preamble to the regulations in order to
thwart efforts of those who desire to see this language removed from
the final version. The more letters and comments the Department
receives, the louder our voice will be heard.

Please contact the Department of Education immediately and urge them
to keep the proposed regulations currently under consideration. You
only need to send a paragraph or two supporting the regulation's
preamble which protects parental rights and prohibits unwanted
government intrusion by barring the school from conducting initial
evaluations of private and homeschooled students without the parent's
permission. Two samples can be found below. However, please use your
own words as much as possible.

Separate letters will be much more persuasive to the regulators. If
you are a parent of a special needs child, be sure to include this
fact in your comments.

The Department's email is (you must include
"IDEA-Part B" in the subject line) and any letters should be addressed

Troy R. Justesen
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Potomac Center Plaza, Room 5126
Washington, DC 20202-2641

Sample letter to Troy R. Justesen -
Sample statement from the Nevada Homeschool Network -

Be sure to submit your comments before July 8, 2005.


As a result of the unfortunate interpretation of IDEA, many homeschool
and private school families have been harassed by school districts.
Consequently, HSLDA has 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 school still
insists on an evaluation. HSLDA is currently litigating a case with
the Missouri Department of Education over this issue.

In December of 2004, HSLDA worked with Congress to pass a new IDEA
law, which was more favorable to the interests of parents. In February
2005 the U.S. Department of Education took initial written public
comments on the recently passed law. HSLDA issued an e-lert and many
of you responded by submitting written comments, urging the Department
to clarify that the state is not required to pursue an evaluation of a
child who is not in public school and not receiving IDEA services.

Your comments were heard. The first draft of the IDEA regulations
clarifies the law to protect private and homeschool students. They
specifically prohibit an LEA or agency from pursuing an evaluation of
any homeschool or private school student not receiving public
education services without parental consent.

However, there will likely be a great deal of opposition to these
provisions by professional educators and others. It is imperative that
we work together to push back against all opposition to the right of
parents to be free from government evaluations of their children.

We have one opportunity to make this favorable change, so please act

If you have any questions, please contact Caleb Kershner, HSLDA's
Manager of Federal Policy and Research at 540-338-8661 or


Caleb Kershner
HSLDA Manager, Federal Policy and Research

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teaching your children, while monitoring your state's legislature.
Through electronic legislative services, HSLDA is monitoring state
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