From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
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Date:
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12/1/2010 11:49:35 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Maine: Special Education Services Difficulties

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Maine: Special Education Services Difficulties

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

This year HSLDA has seen an unusual number of homeschool families who
have been denied access to special education services. Although Maine
statute 20-A section 5021.3 seems to clearly give homeschool families
access, many public school districts are denying access based on a
recently enacted regulation that exploits a weakness in the statute.

HSLDA and Home Educators of Maine (HOME) are exploring the possibility
of having a bill introduced in the legislature that would insert
stronger language into the statute and restore homeschoolers' access
to special education services.

In the meantime, families have a number of options.

Maine has a procedure parents can use when they believe their child's
access to special education services has been wrongly denied. We have
posted this document on the Maine section of our website at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=9753 . It is available to both
members and non-members. HSLDA will assist any member family that
wishes to file a complaint.

For technical reasons, families who homeschool via the non-approved
private school (NAPS) option may be in a better position to
successfully pursue a complaint than families who homeschool under the
notice of intent option. If you filed a notice of intent to
homeschool and your request for special services has been denied, you
may want to consider switching to the NAPS option and submitting your
request again. You should first confirm that the NAPS is in full
compliance with the voluntary "Guidelines for Equivalent Instruction
in Non-Approved Private Schools." If denied again, you should decide
if you want to initiate the compliant procedure.

HSLDA is not considering litigation on the issue of access to special
education services because of the current weakness of the statute. If
any family wishes to retain their own lawyer, HSLDA will be happy to
work very closely with him or her.

Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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