Public School Services Available to Homeschoolers

This subject is important to all of us who homeschool kids who the public school would deem as “special needs”. Elissa Wahl of NV Homeschool shared this great bit of wisdom with several yahoo groups that we are both on. It is great information and I wanted to help spread the word!

As homeschoolers, we do give up our rights to a FAPE (free appropriate public education) however our children DO have the right to be evaluated through Child Find and then a subsequent IEP (or IFSP) is written.

EACH, please hear me, EACH homeschooled/private schooled child (federally, homeschoolers and private schoolers are lumped together) that is evaluated and found to need services, gets more $ sent to the coffers for special ed services for that group! Regardless of whether you USE the services, the money is sent.

So, yes, I do think it is beneficial for our children with special needs to be evaluated through the Child Find Services ESPECIALLY if you think now or ever you might use a service! If you don’t, at least more money will be spent for someone else’s kid!

That being said, here in Clark County, we are actually pretty lucky (compared to some of the other districts). Their stance is that services provided to our kids are IEP driven. This is NOT a requirement! They COULD choose to use all this money set aside for our kids on a small % of kids, instead they dole it out and then CONTINUE with services even after the money is spent.

Now, if your child needs like 4 hours of some specialized therapy/day they are likely to ask, wouldnt he be better served in our setting, than transported back and forth etc etc. However, for basics like speech, occupational, physical therapies they are widely available.

So..the process is…you call Child Find ( 799-7463.) they generally call over to your local public school and let them know about you, then the appropriate personnel call you to start setting up appointments for evals. Evaluation is done through the provider, not through CHild Find. From the time you sign assent to start the evaluation they have 45 school days to finish. It is sometimes a rather lengthy process. We started in Dec and finally got services in March.

During the IEP process the parent is involved, and when its all said and done, can take a portion of whats offered, or all of it. You are responsible for the transportation of your child, but otherwise, there is no fee.

Oh, and, this seems scary, but its ok…once you go to start your services, you do have to register your child in that school. This is a special registration, with an E4 code..meaning homeschooled, receiving services. It DOES NOT supercede your homeschool standing. But, your child is considered a student there also, part time for funding purposes. That means you also have to do what they do to enroll..bring in proofs of address, maybe birth certificate, and immunization records or religious exemption. Also, dont forget (like I did) to re-register at the beginning of every school year!

So, hope this helps….I want everyone to be informed..services are not our RIGHTS persay but funding is allowed for it and it can happen without much fuss!

If you go to start this procedure and run into any problems, let me know..I have contacts in various levels of CCSD in the student support services dept and we’ll get it straightened out!