Kansas
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Kansas

September 14, 2005

Form Trumps Substance in Kansas

A member family recently asked their local public school to provide special education services for their child. When they submitted the request, they explained that they were homeschooling.

The school rejected their request, saying that homeschoolers are not entitled to special education services. The family called us for assistance.

We explained to the family that Kansas statutes - and a few stubborn Kansas officials - do not acknowledge the existence of anything called a "home school" thereby staunchly ignoring the fact that thousands of Kansans homeschool their children. They do, however, acknowledge the existence of private schools. Under federal law, students in private schools are entitled to access to certain special education services.

We advised the family to submit their request again, but since they had previously filed the required private school notice, we suggested that this time they tell the official that their child is enrolled in a private school, without referring to "home school" at all.

The family followed our advice. The school promptly accepted their request for special services.