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Superintendent Retracts Threat
At the beginning of the 2005-2006 school year, the Belt* family submitted their annual notification of intent to homeschool in compliance with New Hampshire law. As they had in previous years, the Belts chose the local public school superintendent as their participating agency.
This time, however, the superintendent replied with a letter acknowledging the establishment of the homeschool program but threatening that the homeschool would not be approved in subsequent years unless the children's test scores improved. The superintendent wrote, "If their [the children's] academic performance does not significantly improve, future requests to home school will not be granted."
New Hampshire requires that a homeschool family show that their child has made progress commensurate with his age and ability. This can be demonstrated by showing a composite test result at or above the 40th percentile from a nationally recognized standardized test. All of the children in the family had met this requirement-the children's scores were in the 42nd, 71st, and 75th percentile.
The Belts notified Home School Legal Defense Association about the school's unjustified threat. After HSLDA Attorney Scott Woodruff talked with the superintendent of the school, she acknowledged that her language had been too strong and did not accurately reflect the law, and she agreed not to make any more such threats.
— by Scott A. Woodruff
*Name changed to protect family's privacy.