Home Schooling: Dual Enrollment

Home Schooling: Dual Enrollment

September 15, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


Many times when a family’s
made the decision to home school their child or their
children, they may find themselves in a situation where
what they’re really looking for from their school
district is something called a dual enrollment, which is really
not specific just to children who are being
home schooled. And in essence, it’s where a
family wants to have their child receive some of the
services or benefits of the school district without
having their child attend the public schools. And so a good example might be
extracurricular activities, or it might be a foreign language
or something like that. Now, that typically involves
something called dual enrollment. And this doesn’t, as I said,
just come up for kids who are being home schooled. It may be that you have a
child who’s attending a private school that doesn’t
offer foreign language. And the parent says, I want my
child to come and take French at the public school because
he can’t get French at the private school. And so I would say whether
your child is being home schooled is or is not entitled
to a dual enrollment is again one of those maybe situations. First of all, many school
districts, local school districts, so not just at the
state level, but local school districts have a dual enrollment
policy on the books that’s been passed by the
Board of Education. What’s important is that your
child is being who has a disability that has rights that
individuals who don’t have disabilities may or
may not have, not to be discriminated against based
on their disability, OK? That child cannot be treated
differently under that dual enrollment policy just because
they don’t want to handle a child who has a disability
in this situation. So if the dual enrollment policy
permits somebody to go to the public schools and take
French, even if they’re enrolled in a private school, in
the district, and you want your child who is being home
schooled to go and take French, and they say, well,
then we’d have to do this, that, and the other thing
and provide some special instruction and all that. And we just don’t want to do
it for people who have disabilities, unless they have
the same rule for all children who are being home schooled, and
even then it’s a question mark and arguable that they
couldn’t do it, they can’t just discriminate against your
child because he or she has a disability. So they have to apply it even. So in practical terms, what that
might mean, and correct me if I’m wrong, where you could
be home schooling your child and depending on the
policy that your town has, you may be able to opt in to some
of the special education services even if you are home
schooling your child. Am I right or wrong about that? Maybe. Well, that’s where it
gets complicated. You might be able. So the answer is yes. You might be able to. It depends on the facts. It depends on the policy. It depends on whether they’re
applying the policy. And you and I have
seen this a lot. There may be a policy
on the books. But between you and me, there’s
50 or 60 families who are being exempted from that
policy and being permitted to join the football
team, or being permitted to do other things. Well, they can’t have a policy
on the books that they’re applying only to some people. That’s not permitted. So what’s good for the goose has
to be good for the gander. Yeah, so ultimately what
I would say is it really does depend. But start by looking at the
dual enrollment policy. See if there is one. Many school districts frown on
dual enrollment for a lot of decent reasons. And the next question is, is
the service or benefit that you’re looking for from the
school district a special education service or a regular
education service? If it’s a regular education
service that’s generally permitted to be provided if
you’re dually enrolled in a private school and they’re just
discriminating against you because you have a
disability, probably that’s not permitted. [INTERPOSING VOICES] If it’s a special education
service, again, there are some cases that permit a family to
get special education services only, or related services like
speech and occupational therapy only, from their
school district. I’m not aware of
a lot of them. But there are some cases out
there that talk about that where a home school child who
has a disability was permitted to receive some services from
their school district because the analysis spread out from
just the issue of special education into discriminatory
issues, religious issues, et cetera. So there may be a way to attack
it to get the service depending on what the case
law is in your circuit. And I think that’s particularly
important to discuss in this narrow issue
that we’re discussing. And that is children who have
special needs or a disability and the consideration
of home schooling. Because if you’re considering
home schooling and your child has a disability, those special
education services or the related services may be
very important to you. Right, exactly. And the school may not be able
to deny you those services if that benefit is available to
other families and to other people who do not have
disabilities. It’s again very complex. And one little fact in your case
could dramatically change the outcome. But ultimately, we want you to
be aware that there may be a way to get those services. But it’s going to depend
on a lot of factors. And I would say my first call in
a situation would be to my state Department of Education.