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Student Evaluated for Special Needs After HSLDA Intervenes

by Scott Woodruff • August 3, 2018

A homeschooling mother in New Jersey wished to evaluate her young son for special needs as he was exhibiting signs of learning challenges. Because public schools are required to provide an evaluation, she wrote a letter to the local public school requesting one.

In a flagrant violation of state and federal law, a school official flatly refused to evaluate the child, or even meet with the mother to consider her request. Fortunately, the mother was a member of Home School Legal Defense Association, so she called for help.

I wrote a letter requesting that the district begin following the law, which requires public schools to identify, locate, and evaluate children ages 3-22 who have disabilities that adversely affect educational performance. (Of course, homeschool families who do not wish to participate in such evaluations are under no obligation to do so.)

After getting no response from repeated attempts to contact the official, I finally reached the official’s supervisor. The supervisor was quite friendly and explained that the official no longer worked with the district. She offered to look at my letter and get in touch with the family. A few days later, the supervisor emailed our member, offering to schedule an evaluation.

Our efforts helped hold the school district accountable to the law and our member’s little boy received the evaluation he needed to pursue a bright educational future.

Scott Woodruff

Senior Counsel

Scott is a seasoned attorney and homeschool advocate with decades of involvement in homeschool legal issues and cases. Read more.

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