Homebound Instruction: STOPPING HOME BOUND PROGRAMS

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Becky:  Can a school district completely do away with a home bound program altogether. I support children with severe disabilities and very high medical needs and the district wants to do away with the home bound program and have them come to the schools. One child is on oxygen 24/7 as well a monitors for heart rate and O2 levels and requires suctioning of her throat hourly – sometimes more often. In the past she has gotten therapies and some educational services in her home because to transport her and her machines is a time consuming process but the district wants to stop this.

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Jill G.

Becky –

As Chuck states, school districts are required to offer a continuum of placement options to meet the needs of qualified students with disabilities, and home-bound instruction is one such option. What placement is appropriate for an individual child can ONLY be determined only by his/her IEP Team.

The district eliminating home-bound as a placement offering is akin to them saying all special education students must now be served in a separate classroom or only in the general education environment – meaning it is a unilateral decision and that is expressly prohibited under IDEA.

I agree with Chuck that involving your state Department of Education is a good idea. In some states, they will intervene without the need to file an official complaint.

That may be a good route to take if you want swift action (I have no doubt the state will put a stop to this), and/or if you want to remain anonymous. If this is not an option, you may just need to file a complaint through your state’s IDEA complaint system.

Do know that ANY person can file a complaint on behalf of one or more students, but the ability of the state to follow up with you will be very limited without the permission of the impacted student(s) parents.

Your local parent center can walk you though the state complaint process and any alternatives that may exist in your state (http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/).

Chuck

IDEA rules on least restrictive environment says that schools must provide a continuum of alternative placements. Home instruction is one of the placements listed. If the district is not open to changing this decision, a complaint to the state education agency is an option.