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New York

July 12, 2006

Senate Bill 3641A: Homeschool Freedom Bill

Author:
Sponsored by Senator George Winner

Summary:
New York homeschoolers have labored under the current homeschool regulations for almost 18 years. Currently New York is the one of the most regulated states when it comes to homeschooling. The Homeschool Freedom Bill was introduced with the intent to reduce the burden thousands of families must endure to teach their children at home.

While HSLDA supports the original bill as introduced, Senate Bill 3641A was amended on the floor of the Senate during the 2005 legislative session. HSLDA does not currently support these amendments.

One of the amendments to the bill would have eliminated the reduction in the composite score on a standardized achievement test from the 23rd percentile to the 33rd percentile which is what the regulations currently require. We had reduced the composite score to the 23rd percentile in the bill to permit a student to score in the entire "average" range on a standardized test.

The other main amendment would remove the option of having only one person conduct the alternative written narrative evaluation. While a parent could still conduct the alternative evaluation as part of a home instruction peer group review panel, at least two people would have had to participate in the evaluation, such as both parents. However, in families with only one parent they would have had to find another person to be part of their peer group review panel.

We are not going to give up on homeschool freedom for New York and will continue to press for legislation which will remove the burdens from homeschool families. We continue to work with Loving Education at Home (LEAH) to bring greater freedom to the homeschool regulations.

Status:

03/23/2005Referred to Senate Committee on Education.
05/17/20051st Report Cal.1087.
05/18/20052nd Report Cal.
05/23/2005Advanced to Third Reading.
06/15/2005Amended on floor.
06/22/2005Starred on Calendar. (Placed on inactive list)
06/24/2005Committed to Rules Committee.
06/24/2005Assembly adjourned and is at the call of the Majority Leader. (Likely closed for the rest of the year).

HSLDA's Position:
This bill is strongly supported. The current amendments are not supported.

Action Requested:
No action needed at this time.

Background:
Senate Bill 3641A would have made 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 an 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.

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.

 Other Resources

May-03-2005 — New York--Please Call Today During Homeschool Rally

Apr-22-2005 — New York--Homeschool Rally at the Capitol

Mar-28-2005 — New York--Calls Needed to Support the Homeschool Freedom Bill

New York State Senate >> Senators

Bill Text

Bill History