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October 20, 2004

Senate Bill 2060: Favorable Revisions to Homeschool Law

See also: Assembly Bill 4598

Author:
Senator Kuhl

Summary:
Senate Bill 2060, the Senate version of the Homeschool Freedom Bill, has passed the Senate unanimously! Please visit the Assembly version of the bill at http://www.hslda.org/Legislation/State/ny/2003/NYAB4598/default.asp

Status:

02/19/2003Introduced in the Senate, and was sent to the Senate Education Committee.
05/02/2003The Senate voted 62-0 in favor of Senate Bill 2060
 The Assembly version (AB 4598) of this bill failed to pass in 2003, so it was returned to the Senate. Senate Bill 2060 passed the entire Senate again on April 21, 2004.

Requested Action:
While the New York legislature is officially at the call of the speaker, the general legislative session is over and it is unlikely that the Assembly version of 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:
Senate Bill 2060 and Assembly Bill 4598 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.

As a lawyer who has spent the past 12 years at HSLDA assisting our member families in New York, I can say from first-hand experience that passage of Senate Bill 2060 and Assembly Bill 4598 will virtually eliminate all of the legal problems for homeschooling families in your state. 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

6/10/2004 — New York--Only a Few Weeks Left--Call Now to Pass Homeschool Freedom Bill!

2/23/2004 — Please Call Now to Help Pass Homeschool Freedom Bills!

6/30/2003 — Homeschool Freedom Bill Carried Over to Next Year

6/4/2003 — Homeschool Freedom Bill Passes Senate; Calls Needed to Assembly

5/19/2003 — Homeschool Freedom Bill Stalled in Committee

4/28/2003 — Homeschool Rally Tomorrow!

4/17/2003 — Homeschool Freedom Bill Passes Senate Committee, More Calls Needed

2/27/2003 - New York--Favorable Revisions to Homeschool Law

Assembly Bill 4598--Favorable Revisions to Homeschool Law

Bill Text

Bill History