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This bill treats every homeschool parent like a child abuser by requiring them to give their school system documentation of a medical exam every year for every homeschooled child.
It would also require parents to submit each child’s name, birth date, and homeschool instructor’s name every year by August 1. The bill says a mandatory portfolio is due June 30 and is “not limited” to the examples listed in the bill text (assessments, books used, worksheets, workbooks, and writing samples). What bureaucrats can require in a child’s portfolio is therefore virtually unlimited.
The bill gives the State Board of Education power to dictate all details of how these requirements would be enforced. Through regulations they adopt, state bureaucrats who are not held accountable through elections would have dramatic new power to control—and even define—homeschooling.
This bill would turn New Jersey’s current sensible legal framework into a morass of regulations and burdensome red tape. With three filings every year for each of the state’s approximately 42,000 homeschooled children, taxpayers would end up paying the cost of filing, processing, checking, responding to, and storing about 120,000 sets of paperwork each year. Taxes will inevitably go up to pay for it.
The media carried reports recently about the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) failing to protect an allegedly homeschooled child in danger—with tragic results. In effect, SB 1151 punishes parents for the failures of DYFS.
Your freedom to homeschool your children may be at stake. We urge the homeschool community to send a unified message of opposition to this bill.
01/30/214 Introduced and Referred to the Senate Education Committee.
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