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8/31/2005 9:47:51 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
IDEA--Final Effort to Secure Favorable Regulations

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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IDEA--Final Effort to Secure Favorable Regulations


Dear HSLDA members and friends:


Homeschoolers are succeeding in the battle to improve the regulations
within the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. If you have
not voiced your approval, we urge you to act now! The deadline to
submit your comments in support of the proposed IDEA regulations is
September 6, 2005.

In the draft regulations, proposed in June, language was included in
the preamble which would make sure that parents of private and
homeschooled children are given the ultimate authority in determining
whether their special needs child will be given an Initial Evaluation
by the local public school official. This change would clarify that
schools will not lose their government funds if they do not evaluate a
child whose parents refuse consent.

However, the regulations are not yet final, and we want to be sure
that the homeschool voice is clearly heard by the department of
education. If you have not yet done so, please submit comments asking
that section 300.300 paragraph (a)(3), as currently interpreted by the
present preamble language, be kept as the final regulations. For more
details on how to write your comment please visit:
http://hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=2427 or
http://hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=2428

Email your comments to IDEAcomments@ed.gov (you must include
"IDEA-Part B" in the subject line) and any letters should be addressed
to:

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


BACKGROUND:

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 a Local Education Authority 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 are now on the verge of making this favorable change. If you have
not yet submitted a comment, please act today.

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


Sincerely,

Caleb Kershner
HSLDA Manager, Federal Policy and Research



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We're thankful for the support HSLDA membership provides us. We'd
never homeschool without them. We highly recommend HSLDA to all
homeschoolers. - North Tonawanda, NY

I cannot imagine our homeschool journey without HSLDA's strong
leadership, protection, and guidance. God bless HSLDA!
- Alta Loma, California

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1940

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Home School Legal Defense Association
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