Meanwhile, in New York

March 11, 2008 @ 6:43 pm | Filed under:

Recently the NY State Board of Regents announced NY public school districts will no longer provide special services such as speech therapy or occupational therapy to homeschooled students. Mind you, New York’s private school students still qualify for these free public services, but the Board of Regents has decided to deny them to homeschooled children. Never mind that the reason some of these special-needs students are being homeschooled in the first place is because the public schools were unable to meet their academic needs in the classroom.

I just received notice that next Monday and Tuesday, the Board of Regents will revisit this issue at a meeting. Representatives of LEAH, a state homeschooling association, write:

This is our very best, and possibly only chance to make our case for reinstatement of these vital services. While there may not be a definitive resolution coming from this meeting alone, we have been told that the issue would be addressed so that at least the issue can continued to be discussed by them and the home school community. And while a straight forward reversal of the policy is probably not possible because of the legal basis of the ruling, this is our opportunity to get the Regents to start to act to make a new regulation correcting the legal discrepancy, or support a new State law to fix it.

For more information, visit the LEAH website.

Thanks, Andrea, for passing along the information.

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7 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. lori says:

    The spitefulness against homeschoolers by the public school establishment continues to amaze. It’s oozing out of their pores and they just don’t want to bother trying to hide it anymore. (Obviously, some in the public school arena aren’t like this, but it sure seems like the majority are.) I hope NY homeschoolers can get this policy reversed on the grounds that it discriminates.

  2. Melissa Wiley says:

    My experience with the public schools, both on the individual level (teachers I know) and the administrative (working with our local school district for speech and audiology services for my boy) has been resoundingly positive. And I have to say the current CA schools chief has earned my appreciation forever with the way he stepped up to bat for us yesterday!

    Where there is anti-hs sentiment, I think, is with the teachers’ unions, which have been consistent in their vocal objections to the idea of non-credentialed parents teaching their own children. But every single individual teacher I have spoken to respects our right to do what we’re doing and respects, too, the manner in which we’re doing it.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Unfortunately Ohio does not provide this either. We are really struggling right now with our decision for next year. My ds needs services and we can’t afford to pay for them. We have sent him to the special needs preschool for 3 years and had always planned to homeschool him starting in K. Now we don’t know what we should do. Insurance won’t pay for anything either. It is awful to be stuck in this position and I don’t think it is right.

  4. Rachel says:

    Well, darn. My homeschooled son gets speech therapy through the public schools here in NC, and we are planning to move back to NYC as soon as it’s financially feasible for us. I can’t imagine paying for private therapy, and I bet in NY the prices will be even more obscene than here.

  5. Christina Martin says:

    In Washington State, I’ve been surprised at the level of cooperation between public school and homeschool; I can only conclude that it is because 1) the laws about homeschooling, while not stringent at all, are specific, thus making it clear that homeschooling is a valid option, and 2) homeschoolers are allowed to take public school classes, and the schools then get paid for that attendance. This means that there is less of a feeling among public school powers that we are “robbing” them of funding.

    More specifically, in response to this story, my first reaction is that this NY law violates federal law. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in court; I do not think it will stand the scrutiny.

  6. Melissa Wiley says:

    I thought it violated federal law (IDEA) too. There is some explanation for why the Board of Regents does not think this decision DOES violate IDEA, but I haven’t gotten my head around it. At all.