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Expert Q&A

If a child is homeschooled, does he or she still qualify for special services through the public school?

The following is an excerpt from an article by LD OnLine’s legal expert, Matt Cohen:

“The rules relating to eligibility for services for children who are electively being given home schooling by their parents vary from state to state. You will need to check with your state’s regulations to determine your child’s entitlement to related services while in homebound education. If your state does allow for related services while your child is in homebound education, it is incumbent on the school to offer the services and develop or schedule a program for them to be provided. However, this will require further investigation of your state’s regulations or procedures.

Unfortunately, however, in some states, homebound education is treated as the equivalent of voluntary private school placement. Under the federal regulations, school districts have very limited obligations for children who are voluntarily placed in private schools. In brief, school districts are obligated to provide a small fraction of their funding to the total population of children who are voluntarily placed in private school, but have no obligation to the specific child and complete discretion as to how those funds are used. As such, if your child is regarded as being a voluntary private placement, the school may not have any explicit obligation to your child. It would be wise for you to investigate the nature of the relationship and responsibility of the public school to home school students to assess what your rights and options are. You should seek out consultation from a knowledgeable special education attorney in your area in order to get assistance with this question.”

Contact your local school and get an answer from them. Find out what sorts of home-school partnerships, if any, are available for you and your child. The following articles talk about already existing partnerships located around the country and include information about homeschooling children with learning disabilities:

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