Connecticut Board Recommends Homeschooled Special Needs Children Be MonitoredHARTFORD, Conn. – Homeschooling organizations continue to express opposition to plans by the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission to monitor certain homeschoolers to prevent future acts of violence such as occurred in 2012 during the notorious Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. As previously reported, lawmakers in Connecticut proposed a bill in 2013 that would have mandated mental health assessments for both public school and homeschooled children. The bill, which was likely in response to the massacre, faced opposition from homeschool supporters and ultimately died in committee. But discussion over the matter continued as some believe that the incident could have been better prevented should there have been sufficient mental health assistance for gunman Adam Lanza. Recently, the Commission submitted a new proposal requesting that homeschool children with behavioral health problems be “identified and evaluated.” “Although Connecticut in particular imposes very few regulatory requirements on parents who choose to homeschool their children, and parents‘ rights to do so enjoy legal protection, the Commission finds that some homeschooled children with serious social, emotional and behavioral health difficulties may be cut off from needed services if their parents or guardians lack the resources, knowledge or motivation to provide support for healthy development in these areas,” its report reads. “Therefore the commission recommends that each board of education in Connecticut ensure that all children with disabilities—including children with significant emotional, social and/or behavioral difficulties—who are in need of special education and related services in order to make adequate progress be identified and evaluated in accordance with the (Individuals With Disabilities Education Act) IDEA,” the commission outlines. The report further recommends that homeschooled children with disabilities have an individual education program (IEP), which would need to be approved by the special education director of the area education agency. Regular reporting would also be required. “Connecticut should therefore require that a parent providing homeschooling to a child with identified emotional, social and/or behavioral difficulties of a significant nature sufficient to require special education and related services file with the local superintendent on a regular basis (at least annually) progress reports prepared by an individualized education program team selected by the parent,” the commission proposed. “The state should also consider requiring that a parent‘s obligations under [the law] encompass approval of the individualized education plan and adequate progress as documented in these reports.” More