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2/27/2013 11:40:33 AM
Scott Woodruff--HSLDA
Maine--Update: College Classes, Special Ed, NAPS-RAPPS Subjects Change

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Maine--Update: College Classes, Special Education,
NAPS-RAPPS Subjects Change and Access Change

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

HSLDA and Homeschoolers of Maine (HOME) collaborated to present a bill
to the legislature, LD 61, which would restore the rights of
homeschool families to access to special education services and
low-cost college classes.

LOW COST COLLEGE CLASSES

The portion of the bill restoring access to low-cost college classes
was approved unanimously in legislative committee on February 20 and
will move toward votes on the floors of both houses. Your calls were
very helpful!

SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES

Unfortunately, the committee would not accept the part of the bill
related to special education services, so that part was removed. But
there is a readily available alternate route for access to special
education services.

A family who has been in a "home instruction program" can switch to a
non-approved private school. Private school students have access to
special education services. Many such schools are set up so that the
private school instruction is delivered by the parents in their
respective homes. All the best things about homeschooling continue.

So if you are a homeschooler who needs access to special education
services, consider enrolling in a non-approved private school that is
friendly toward parent-delivered instruction. And of course those
families are eligible for membership in HSLDA.

SWITCH FROM "NAPS" TO "RAPPS"

It's also time for a switch in "lingo." We have used the phrase
"non-approved private school" for decades. However, the Department of
Education recently tweaked the "guidelines," and now calls them
"recognized for attendance purposes" private schools. This is not
inconsistent with applicable law, so HSLDA will start using the new
lingo and will refer to these schools as "RAPPS", Recognized for
Attendance Purposes Private Schools.

NEW SUBJECTS FOR RAPPS

In "tweaking" the guidelines, the Department also added two new
subjects to the list of required subjects for RAPPS: health education
and fine arts. This is not inconsistent with current law. If you are
the administrator of a RAPPS, your next annual letter should confirm
that your school will provide instruction in those subjects, as well
as the others.

IMPROVING ACCESS FOR RAPPS STUDENTS

HSLDA and HOME have been tracking another important bill, LD 92. As
originally filed, it would have taken away the ability of RAPPS
students to request to participate in public school cocurricular,
extracurricular and interscholastic activities. HSLDA and HOME asked
the sponsor to amend the bill to fix that problem, which she gladly
did.

Under current law (Maine Statute 20-A sec.5021-A), a RAPPS student can
obtain access only if the public school principal approves--and he can
disapprove for any reason. Under LD 92 as amended, the principal must
allow the RAPPS student to participate if there is room in the program
and the other applicable requirements are met.

On the other hand, access is only available under LD 92 if the
student's own RAPPS does not offer the particular program in which the
student is interested. But most of the RAPPS that are friendly to
parent-delivered instruction are quite small and offer few
extracurricular, etc. programs. We believe the net effect of LD 92
will be to boost RAPPS students' access in the great majority of
situations.

Our position is neutral on the bill, but we believe it would be an
overall improvement. LD 92 was voted "ought to pass" by the committee
on February 25.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.,
Senior Counsel,
Home School Legal Defense Association

P.S. We greatly value you and your support--it is a privilege to serve
you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you
consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support
for our work enables us to defend individual families and protect
homeschooling freedom for all. Join now:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17377

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-> "I saved my entire membership fee with one discount"

"When I called Liberty to find out what kind of discount we could
get, they told us we would 10% off our car insurance and 5% off
our homeowner's insurance. What we will save is more than double
what it costs to join HSLDA. With one child getting his driver's
license this year, the savings will be a real blessing!"

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1108

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