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Wisconsin Homeschool Law & Support Groups

Homeschool Law

The following is provided for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.

Home-Based Private Education Program
Homeschooling site at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Special Education Laws and Rules

From Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction: Questions and DPI Responses Relating to Home-Based Private Educational Programs (DOC File)
"The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) does not require public school districts to provide individualized special education and related services to children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private schools. However, the IDEA does require public school districts to provide services to children with disabilities in private schools as a class. Because the statutory definition of private schools does not include home-based private educational programs, school districts are not required to provide for the similar participation of home-schooled children. However, neither federal nor state law prohibits districts from providing special education and related services to children with disabilities enrolled in home-based private educational programs. Therefore, school districts may provide any special education and related services to these children that they deem appropriate. If a public school district chooses to provide these services, the costs are not aided by DPI under federal or state categorical aids. Public school districts are required to identify and evaluate all children in the district who may have a disability. If found to have a disability, the district must offer a placement that would provide the child a free appropriate public education. Generally, this placement means the child would be enrolled in a public school. If the parents of a child in a home-based private educational program suspect that their child may have a disability, they can refer the child for an evaluation at the public school. The district, then, will perform a publicly funded evaluation of the child and, if found to be a child with a disability, offer the child a placement to meet the child’s educational needs."

My reading of this indicates that it is going to be very difficult to get sped services for a homeschooled child. The FAQ says that school districts may choose to provide services, but that such services will not qualify for either state or federal funding through DPI.

My sense (from reading the FAQ) is that homeschool parents will be pressured to place their children in school to access services.

Relevant Court Rulings and Position Papers

I have no information at this time. Please feel free to contact me if you are aware of information I should include here.

Homeschool Support Groups

Unschooling Families
A homeschool support group for families in East Central Wisconsin interested in self- directed and/or interest-initiated learning.

The Wisconsin Parents Association
The Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA) is an inclusive state-wide grassroots organization that was founded in 1984 to secure a reasonable homeschooling law. That accomplished, homeschoolers have worked through WPA to provide accurate information about homeschooling to interested families, the general public and the Wisconsin Legislature; counter numerous challenges to Wisconsin's homeschooling law; maintain homeschooling rights and freedoms and ensure that homeschoolers can choose an education consistent with their principles and beliefs.

Homeschool Resources

Wisconsin Homeschooling
A guide to legal resources, homeschool events, support groups and more.

Getting Started
Tips and resources for getting started with homeschooling.

Legal Issues
Special legal issues facing parents homeschooling children with disabilities.

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