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House Bill 595 repeals New Hampshire’s homeschool law as written in Revised Statutes Annotated ("RSA") section 193-A. The bill replaces “homeschooling” in New Hampshire law with “parent-directed” education. Under this bill, parents would be responsible to determine and direct their children’s education.
Key provisions of the amended version of HB 595 include the following:
- Parents may choose to provide notification to a participating agency, in which case the participating agency would be required to provide written acknowledgment of the notification within 14 days of receipt.
- Parents "may consider the recommended subjects of the legislature."
- Records or information maintained by the participating agency shall not be released without parental consent.
- “[E]ducation as required by law” is eliminated from RSA 169-c.
- "If there is probable cause to believe that a parent involved in a parent-directed instruction program has failed to instruct" a child, a local jurisdiction may perform an investigation to determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed against the parent.
- A parent who is found to have failed to instruct a child beyond a reasonable doubt may be found guilty of a civil violation.
- Parents prosecuted for a violation retain the "presumption of innocence" and would receive all the “Constitutional provisions for due process and a fair trial."
- A parent who is found to have failed to instruct his or her child in 3 separate court proceedings, may be required to enroll his or her child in a public or nonpublic school, as determined by the the parent.
- The bill protects parents from being compelled to “submit evidence to prove his or her innocence,” noting that the state shall not presume the parent guilty “based on the parent's failure to submit such evidence.”
- The bill explicitly proscribes the state from removing the child from parental custody because of a finding of educational neglect and creates “original jurisdiction” with the superior court of the parent's residential county.
Although this bill, as amended, has positive aspects, HSLDA considers HB 301 to be the best bill for New Hampshire homeschoolers.
1/24/2011 (House) Introduced and referred to Education Committee
2/08/2011 (House) Public Hearing: February 8, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. in Representative's Hall
2/08/2011 (House) A subcommittee has been given two weeks to study the different home school bills and prepare one bill to recommend to the floor.
2/09/2011 (House) Subcommittee Work Session: February 15, 2011, at 8:00 a.m. in Legislative Office Building (LOB) 207
2/09/2011 (House) Subcommittee Work Session: February 17, 2011, at 8:00 a.m. in Legislative Office Building (LOB) 207
2/10/2011 (House) Executive Session: February 24, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. in LOB 207
2/24/2011 (House) Retained by the Education Committee
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Listen to Mike Donnelly’s testimony on HB595 >> (time stamp at 3:57:22)