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Arizona

October 16, 2001
Mr. & Mrs. MacIntyre v. Scottsdale Public Schools
Home schooled children denied special education services

Filed: January 26, 2001.

Nature of Case: While Mr. and Mrs. MacIntyre's visually impaired children were partially enrolled in Scottsdale Public Schools, the school district provided special education services. However, now that the children are 100 percent home educated, the district is denying those services. The children qualify for orientation and mobility training, Braille reading and writing training, and special equipment. Such training and specialized equipment is available to students in traditional private schools.

When this Home School Legal Defense Association member family requested a due process hearing, the district refused-claiming that home-educated students are not entitled to any services. The district's decision is based upon a May 2000 Arizona Attorney General's opinion concluding that home school students are ineligible for services under both federal and state law, in spite of the state law mandate that services be available to "all handicapped children in the district."

On January 26, 2001, HSLDA filed a civil rights complaint on behalf of the MacIntyres to challenge the Scottsdale Schools' decision to deny services based upon this opinion, which we believed to be contrary to law. However, in May of 2001, the Arizona Legislature amended the special education statute to provide home school students with the same services as private school students, both funded with federal money only. We are now convinced that it was not the intention of the Legislature to include home school students in the "all handicapped children in the district" language and we took steps to gracefully extricate ourselves from the litigation.

Status: On January 24, 2001, HSLDA filed a civil rights complaint on behalf of the MacIntyres to challenge the Scottsdale Schools' decision to deny services based upon this opinion, which we believe to be contrary to law.

Last Updated: October 16, 2001.