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No. 5

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Granite State Expands Attendance Age

After a battle spanning several years, the New Hampshire legislature finally passed a bill increasing the compulsory attendance age—the bill will almost certainly be signed by Governor John Lynch. Since the law will not take effect until July 1, 2009, the bill still must endure two legislative sessions where it could be modified or even repealed.

The amended version of S.B. 18 that finally passed would have a mixed impact on homeschoolers (the original legislation was worse). While S.B. 18 provides New Hampshire homeschoolers the ability to determine when a child has completed his high school education, regardless of age, it also has the effect of subjecting families whose children do not complete their high school education by age 16, to two more years of reporting. Furthermore, the bill’s requirement that families notify the New Hampshire Department of Education when their child has completed high school, is untested.

Home School Legal Defense Association will update our New Hampshire web page to reflect the addition of this law. We will continue to monitor any rulemaking process associated with this new law and will work actively with state leaders to influence the rules for the benefit of homeschoolers. It has been a difficult year in New Hampshire and we appreciate all your family does to maintain homeschooling freedoms.

— by Michael P. Donnelly