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House Bill 406: Deletes Certain Requirements for Homeschool Notification
Representative Marshall Quandt
On Monday, March 13, the most significant changes made to New Hampshire's homeschool law in years were finalized.
Proving once again that homeschool freedom is a bipartisan issue, Democratic Governor John Lynch signed House Bill 406 after its approval by the Republican-majority House and Senate. The changes go into effect May 12, 2006.
The new law makes the following notable improvements:
- The annual homeschool notice is simplified by the removal of the following six requirements for homeschool parents:
- List subjects to be taught;
- Describe the subjects to be taught;
- List the name of any correspondence school to be used;
- List the name of any commercial curriculum provider;
- Provide a table of contents for each subject;
- Provide a scope and sequence for each subject.
- The commissioner of education's duty to "acknowledge in writing that the parent shall be permitted" to homeschool the child is removed, making it clear that parents do not need permission to educate their own children. The commissioner must acknowledge receipt of a homeschool notice within 14 days, rather than the former 21 days.
- The commissioner of education's authority to require a family to attend a hearing to determine whether they are in compliance with the law has been removed. (The family's right to request a hearing if the commissioner determines the child has not made adequate progress after a year of probation is unchanged.
- The definition of "homeschool" is simplified by the removal of the requirement that it consist of "planned and supervised instructional and related educational activities." This means the commissioner no longer has authority to scrutinize a family's planning and supervision.
By reducing the administrative load for both parents and officials, this bill allows all to focus on more worthwhile tasks.
An achievement of this magnitude can only be accomplished by the combined efforts of many people. Expressing thanks to all to whom it is truly due would greatly lengthen this communication, so an abbreviated thanks is offered here.
We thank Governor John Lynch for signing the bill and not bowing to the demands of entrenched educational interests. We thank the many members of the House and Senate who voted "yes" on the bill and rebuffed efforts to water it down. Senator Peter Bragdon and Representative Timothy Easson provided crucial support. We thank the many families who made trips to the capitol and phone calls to their senators and representatives. We thank the Christian Home Educators of New Hampshire and their leadership. Finally, we thank Representative Marshall Lee Quandt, Representative Matthew J. Quandt, Dawn Lincoln and Don Gorman for initiating H.B. 406.
And above all, we thank our Father in heaven, without whom no good thing can be achieved.
|1/26/2005||H Introduced and referred to House Education Committee|
|3/16/2005||H Committee Hearing at 1:00 PM in Room 207–PASSED as amended|
|3/31/2005||Introduced and Referred to The Education Committee|
|4/26/2005||Senate Education Committee Hearing, Passed with an amendment|
|6/02/2005||Committee Report; Ought to Pass with Amendment|
|6/9/2005||On the Senate Floor: Rereferred to committee|
|1/10/2006||Senate Committee on Education: Ought to pass with Amendment|
|1/18/2006||Passed without amendment|
|3/13/2006||Governor signed bill|
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