Bulletin #21 Update of IDEA legislation.- HR1350 01/15/2004

 

Did you know: One section of HR2732/SB1562, designed to amend the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), to allow parents of homeschoolers to refuse evaluations for their special needs children, appears to have been rendered unnecessary due to the language in the bill re-authorizing IDEA, H.R. 1350.

 

There are 4 versions of Bill Number H.R.1350 for the 108th Congress

1 . Improving Education Results for Children With Disabilities Act of 2003 (Introduced in House)[H.R.1350.IH]
2 . Improving Education Results for Children With Disabilities Act of 2003 (Reported in House)[H.R.1350.RH]
3 . Improving Education Results for Children With Disabilities Act of 2003 (Referred to Senate Committee after being Received from House)[H.R.1350.RFS]
4 . Improving Education Results for Children With Disabilities Act of 2003 (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House)[H.R.1350.EH]

 

That bill was received in the Senate in May of last year, and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Its Senate counterpart, S.1248, was prepared for action on the Senate floor in November of last year and was placed on the legislative calendar for action. The section of HR 1350 contains language specifically requiring parental consent for evaluation of special needs children, and does so in a way that makes it unnecessary to refer at all to "home school". That section reads:

"H.R. 1350, Sec. 614(a)(1)(D) PARENTAL CONSENT-

`(i) IN GENERAL-

`(I) CONSENT FOR INITIAL EVALUATION- The agency proposing to conduct an initial evaluation to determine if the child qualifies as a child with a disability as defined in section 602(3) shall obtain informed consent from the parent of such child before conducting the evaluation. Parental consent for evaluation shall not be construed as consent for placement for receipt of special education and related services.

`(II) CONSENT FOR SERVICES- An agency that is responsible for making a free appropriate public education available to a child with a disability under this part shall seek to obtain informed consent from the parent of such child before providing special education and related services to the child.

`(ii) ABSENCE OF CONSENT-

`(I) FOR INITIAL EVALUATION- If the parent of such child does not provide consent for an initial evaluation under clause (i)(I), or the parent fails to respond to a request to provide the consent, the local educational agency may pursue the initial evaluation of the child through the procedures described in section 615, except to the extent inconsistent with State law relating to such parental consent.

`(II) FOR SERVICES- If the parent of such child does not provide consent for services under clause (i)(II), or the parent fails to respond to a request to provide the consent, the local educational agency shall not provide special education and related services to the child through the procedures described in section 615.

`(III) EFFECT ON AGENCY OBLIGATIONS- In any case for which there is an absence of consent for an initial evaluation under subclause (I), or for which there is an absence of consent for services under subclause (II)--

`(aa) the local educational agency shall not be required to convene an IEP meeting or develop an IEP under this section for the child; and

`(bb) the local educational agency shall not be considered to be in violation of any requirement under this part (including the requirement to make available a free appropriate public education to the child) with respect to the lack of an initial evaluation of the child, an IEP meeting with respect to the child, or the development of an IEP under this section for the child."

 

Additionally this bill includes language for defining elementary and secondary education. Homeschoolers are not included in those definitions.

`(5) ELEMENTARY SCHOOL- The term `elementary school' means a nonprofit institutional day or residential school that provides elementary education, as determined under State law.

`(24) SECONDARY SCHOOL- The term `secondary school' means a nonprofit institutional day or residential school that provides secondary education, as determined under State law, except that it does not include any education beyond grade 12.

 

We recommend that anyone interested will read the text of this bill in its entirety for a complete understanding. The bill is available at http://thomas.loc.gov/.

 

Attorney Deborah Stevenson - Executive Director of National Home Education Legal Defense. www.nheld.com or email : info@nheld.com

Judy Aron - Director of Research, NHELD imjfaron@sbcglobal.net