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New Hampshire

November 24, 2008

Senate Bill 337: Modifications to Home Education Law

Sponsors:
Senators Iris Estabrook (D), Joseph Foster (D), and Martha Fuller Clark (D), and Representatives Emma Rous (D) and J. Timothy Dunn (D)

Summary:
Senate Bill 337 increases filing requirements for homeschooling families. The requirements include the following:

  1. Submission of a curriculum description to the participating agency prior to the first year of a homeschooling program, and;
  2. The following deadline for submission of notification paperwork: within 30 days of the anniversary of commencement of the home education program or by the first day of school in the local school district.

During the May 6 executive session, the Rous amendment was rejected by a vote of 13 to 5, with many representatives commenting that “homeschooling is not broken, let’s stop trying to fix it.” The Carson amendment was then discussed and adopted by a vote of 13 to 5. After even more deliberation, the Education Committee voted 9 to 8 that S.B. 337 Ought to Pass with Amendment (OTP/A).

Representative

Dunn (D)
Yeaton (D)
Jean (D)
Clark (D)
Casey (D)
Shaw, B. (D)
Merrick (D)
Shaw, K. (D)
Day (D)
O'Neil (D)
Reever (D)
Carson (R)
Ingbretson (R)
Hess (R)
Remick (R)
Stiles (R)
McRae (R)
Crane (R)
Price (R)
Rous (D)

Rous Amendment

Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
NV
No
No
No
No
No
No
NV
No
No
No
No
No
Yes

Carson Amendment

Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
NV
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
NV
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes

OTP as Amended

Yes
Yes
No
NV*
Yes
Yes
NV
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
No
Yes
No
No
NV
Yes

*NV = Not voting/absent

There are two proposed amendments.

Carson/Hill Amendment

Representative Sharon Carson, Rock 3 (R) and Representative James O’Neil, Hills 3 (D) have introduced a bi-partisan amendment to add legislators to the Home Education Advisory Council (HEAC) and to create a commission to study home education in New Hampshire to see if additional legislation is warranted. The amendment is expected to also contain a provision to require New Hampshire homeschoolers starting a homeschool program notify their participating agency within five days of commencing the program and then re-notify annually by the first day of school in their resident school district.

Rous Amendment

Bill sponsor and committee Chair Representative Emma Rous has submitted an amendment that requires New Hampshire homeschoolers to notify within five days of commencing a homeschool program and then submit curriculum information within 30 days. Her amendment also introduces new language that could be interpreted as requiring homeschoolers to actually meet with their participating agency. While the Rouse Amendment also includes language that appears to exempt homeschoolers from having to potentially meet with school officials or to even provide subsequent notification if their assessments meet or exceed the requirements in the law, this new language requires more consideration and scrutiny than time allows for in the remaining days of the session. By changing the law to add this language, there will be confusion on the part of participating agencies regarding their duties and obligations. The amendment include clarifying language stating that school officials do not have a role in “approving or rejecting” homeschool plans and that parents should have as much flexibility as possible in implementing homeschool plans. The amendment also includes appointing legislators to the HEAC. All of this new language, however interesting, is unnecessary, since the current law is operating successfully and introduces too much change that has not been properly considered.

Status:

1/2/2008(Senate) Introduced and Referred to Education Committee
1/29/2008(Senate) Hearing, February 5, Room 103, State House, 8:45 a.m.
2/5/2008(Senate) Amended by Senator Estabrook and Referred to Finance Committee
3/5/2008(Senate) Amended in Education Committee Executive Session and recommended by a vote of 4-2 “ought to pass” to the full Senate
3/6/2008(Senate) Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment for March 13
3/13/2008(Senate) Passed Senate with Amendment, Roll Call Vote 14-10
3/19/2008(House) Introduced and Referred to Education Committee
4/2/2008(House) Public Hearing, 10:30 a.m., LOB 207
4/15/2008(House) Continued Public Hearing, 10 a.m., TBD possibly Representative’s Hall
4/28/2008(House) Subcommittee Work Session 10 a.m. LB 207
4/30/2008(House) Subcommittee Work Session 11 a.m. LB 207
5/6/2008(House) Executive Session 10 a.m. LOB 207
5/6/2008(House) Majority Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment
5/14/2008(House) Passed House with Carson Amendment, Roll Call Vote 188-168
5/14/2008(House) Ought to Pass with Amendment
5/21/2008(Senate) Sen. Estabrook Moved to Concur with House Amendment
6/4/2008(House) Enrolled Bill Amendment No. 2134 Adopted
6/5/2008(Senate) Enrolled Bill Amendment No. 2134 Adopted
6/5/2008(Senate) Enrolled
6/20/2008(House) Enrolled
7/8/2008Signed by the Governor

HSLDA's Position:
Oppose.

Action Requested:
None at this time.

 Other Resources

Talking Points: SB 337—A Solution to a Non-Existent Problem (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

E-lert—January 31, 2008— New Hampshire: Please Call and Attend Hearing to Oppose Changes to State Homeschool Law

E-lert—February 21, 2008— New Hampshire: More Calls Needed TODAY to Oppose Changes to State Homeschool Law

E-lert—March 4, 2008— New Hampshire: Calls Needed TODAY to Oppose Changes to State Homeschool Law

E-lert—March 6, 2008— New Hampshire: S.B. 337 Going to Full Senate Improved but Still a Threat

E-lert—March 10, 2008— New Hampshire: More Calls Needed to Oppose Changes to State Homeschool Law

E-lert—March 10, 2008— New Hampshire: Correction on More Calls Needed to Oppose Changes to Homeschool Law

E-lert—March 18, 2008— New Hampshire: S.B. 337 Passed Senate, Calls Needed to Stop Bill in the House

E-lert—March 27, 2008— New Hampshire: Action Needed to Oppose Changes to State Homeschool Law

E-lert—April 1, 2008— New Hampshire: Need Your Attendance at Hearing to Stop Restrictive Homeschool Bill!

E-lert—April 3, 2008— New Hampshire: Homeschool Hearing Continued Because You Showed Up!

E-lert—April 14, 2008— Attend Tomorrow's Public Hearing to Preserve Homeschool Freedom!

E-lert—April 17, 2008— Your Presence Made a Difference for Homeschool Freedom!

E-lert—April 25, 2008— Update on Senate Bill 337

E-lert—April 29, 2008— Update on Senate Bill 337

E-lert—May 2, 2008— ACTION STILL Needed to Defeat Harmful Homeschool Legislation

E-lert—May 8, 2008— More Calls Needed to Stop Restrictive Homeschool Bill

E-lert—May 12, 2008—New Hampshire: Your Presence Needed at Rally to Protest Restrictive Homeschool Bill

E-lert—May 15, 2008—New Hampshire: S.B. 337 Passed House with Carson Amendment, 188 to 168

HSLDA Staff Attorney Mike Donnelly’s Testimony Before The House Education Committee

Text of Eastabrook Amendment to S.B. 337 ( requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Bill Text