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October 20, 2004

Assembly Bill 4598: Favorable Revisions to Homeschool Law

See also: Senate Bill 2060

Author:
Introduced by Members of Assembly Harvey Weisenberg, Nancy Calhoun, Gary Finch, Brian Kolb, Daniel O'Connell, and Bob Oaks.
Multi-Sponsored by — Acampora, Bacalles, Colton, Errigo, Gordon, Koon, Lafayette, Sidikman, Tedisco, Thiele, Warner, Wirth

Summary:
The Senate version, Senate Bill 2060 has already passed the Senate unanimously and is waiting for Assembly Bill 4598 to pass the Assembly. The bill would then move to the governor's office for his signature.

Over a thousand homeschoolers attended the LEAH rally in Albany and lobbied the Assembly. Calls and letters have been steadily trickling in to the Assembly.

The Assembly Education Committee Chairman Steven Sanders and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver are the two legislators who are holding up this bill.

With your continued commitment to these bills along with thousands of other homeschooling families across the state, AB 4598 can be passed with God's help. If these bills do not pass this year, we remain committed to continue this fight for greater freedom in New York.

The Homeschool Freedom bill is needed to provide homeschooling families in New York the freedom to devote more time to teaching their children at home rather than spending it filling out unnecessary paperwork. If passed, this legislation would eliminate over 75% of the present restrictions governing home instruction programs in New York and bring it more into line with the homeschool freedom experienced in other states.

This bill was re-introduced on January 7, 2004, and is currently in the Education Committee.

Status:

1/7/2004Re-introduced and is currently in the Education Committee

HSLDA's Position:
This bill should be supported.

Action Requested:
While the New York legislature is officially at the call of the speaker, the general legislative session is over and it is unlikely that this bill will pass this year. No more calls are necessary at this time.

Please continue to pray for the Legislature and for the Homeschool Freedom bill. Pray that God would give us favor and grant homeschooling families greater freedom in New York.

Reasons We Support This Legislation:
Assembly Bill 4598 and Senate Bill 2060 would make the following changes in the current law:

- eliminate the requirement of an Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP);

- eliminate the requirement of quarterly reports;

- eliminate required subjects at all grade levels;

- permit the alternative method of evaluation (instead of standardized testing) every year;

- permit parents who wish to test their children to choose any nationally-normed standardized achievement test, in addition to a State Education Department test or another approved test;

- eliminate the requirement that the local superintendent consent to the person who administers a standardized achievement test or who conducts the alternative method of evaluation;

- lower the minimum standardized test score from above the 33rd percentile to above the 23rd percentile; and

- eliminate the provision for home visits while a home instruction program is on probation.

Background:

If this legislation is enacted into law, it will not only relieve parents and public school officials of time-consuming administrative tasks, it will significantly increase the freedom of home educators in New York to direct the education of their children. New York has the potential through this legislation to go from the state with the most restrictive homeschool law in the nation to a state with one of the most favorable laws for home educators.

While all of us would prefer a law completely exempting students receiving home instruction from the compulsory attendance requirements, it is not politically feasible at this time. HSLDA's goal continues to be the repeal of all compulsory attendance laws, but in the meantime we will support efforts to make laws incrementally better for homeschoolers. We believe this legislation would make great strides toward our ultimate goal, so we wholeheartedly support these bills and ask that you do so as well.

 Other Resources

Aug-02-2004 — Please Call Again on Homeschool Freedom Bill!

Jun-29-2004 — Deadline Extended for Homeschool Freedom Bill

Jun-22-2004 — Final Push For Homeschool Freedom--Session is Ending!

Jun-15-2004 — Only a Few Days Left--Call Now to Pass Homeschool Freedom Bill!

Jun-10-2004 — Only a Few Weeks Left--Call Now to Pass Homeschool Freedom Bill!

Jun-30-2003 — Homeschool Freedom Bill Carried Over to Next Year

Jun-16-2003 — 3 Days Left to Call on Homeschool Freedom Bill

Jun-04-2003 — Homeschool Freedom Bill Passes Senate; Calls Needed to Assembly

May-19-2003 — Homeschool Freedom Bill Stalled in Committee

Apr-28-2003 — Homeschool Rally Tomorrow!

Apr-30-2003 — Homeschool Freedom Bill Passes Senate Committee, More Calls Needed

Mar-21-2003 — Calls Urgently Needed on Homeschool Freedom Bill

Feb-27-2003 — Favorable Revisions to Homeschool Law

Bill Text

Bill History