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Declaration of Participation Forms...What's a Homeschooler To Do?

Legal Brief

[12]Tj Schmidt, HSLDA Staff Attorney

Over the next couple of months many homeschool families in Kentucky will receive
a letter and several forms from their local school district that they will be
requested to fill out. These forms are commonly referred to as the “Declaration
of Participation” forms. They are named this because of the Declaration of
Participation Report that each district must submit to the Commonwealth in order
to comply with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

The reason homeschool families receive these forms, as many of you know, is that
under Kentucky law homeschoolers are classified as private schools.. Federal law
requires that each district notify local private schools of certain programs
that they may be eligible for.

Homeschool families typically will receive two sets of forms. One form is for
Title III programs which cover limited English proficiency and immigrant student
population. The other form is for Title IIA and IID, Title IV and IDEA-B. This
form covers various federal training programs for teachers, enhanced education
through technology, safe and drug free schools, as well as special education
services (IDEA-B).

While these forms ask homeschoolers whether they want to participate in these
programs, receiving them does not mean you are eligible for any of these
programs. With the exception of a few unique situations, generally most
homeschoolers will only be eligible for special education services.

Many times we will receive contact from member families who receive a stern
letter from their district demanding that they must complete and return these
forms. While the district is required to send these forms to homeschoolers, you
are not required to complete and return these forms. If you want to participate
in a particular program, or just want to return them to the district, you can
fill them out. Otherwise you can put the forms aside.

It is always a good idea to read everything you receive from your local district
before tossing it. If you have any question about material you receive from your
district, and you are a member of HSLDA, you can always contact our legal
department for assistance.


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