Originally Sent: 9/17/2015

From the HSLDA e-lert service…
Home School Legal Defense Association

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HSAP Families and the Reading Screening

Homeschooling in Iowa.

We will fully support our members.

Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff answers questions and assists members with legal issues in your state. He and his wife homeschooled their children.

Dear HSLDA Members,

In my last e-lert, I suggested that families enrolled in a Home School Assistance Program should check on the HSAP rules set by the sponsoring school to see if they must submit to a reading screening and remedial actions. I would like to offer some additional guidance to HSAP families.

Your school district may not have any rules of its own for your HSAP. That’s perfectly fine. If so, then the rules that apply are simply the rules that already exist under state law and regulations. There is no statute or regulation that says HSAP students must submit to the reading screening and remediation.

If a school district wants to create a rule that its HSAP students must submit to the screening, etc., there is a specific way they must do that. The board must formally adopt the rule at a board meeting.

If a school system representative tells you that your child “must” submit to the screening or be expelled from the program, and you don’t want your child screened, you have two options. You could work with him or her yourself, or you could ask me to get involved. I would be happy to talk to the representative.

If I talk to the representative, the first question I’m probably going to ask him is: “When did the school board create the rule that HSAP students must be screened?” I expect he will say, “It’s not a board rule. The state told us to do it.” My next question will be: “What state regulation requires you do this?” I expect he will say: “It’s not a regulation, we just got this letter from the state saying we had to do it.” My response will be something like: “Regulations are the law. Letters that come from the Department of Education are not the law. Since there is no law requiring HSAP students to be screened, you will be acting outside the law if you move forward against HSAP families.”

HSLDA is here to help. We will fully support our members who participate in HSAPs as the reading screening issue moves forward.

Sincerely yours,

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

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