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a contrario sensu

My Favorite Teacher
My favorite teacher not only teaches me language, math, science, and history, but also about love, kindness, and caring. She teaches me about life and what is right and wrong. I appreciate my teacher because she decided to home school me. In case you haven’t guessed, my teacher is my mom.

Laura Rowan
age 10
Parlin, NJ
New Jersey

New Task Force on Home Schooling

On October 28, a meeting with a top state department of education official brought an important development for New Jersey home schoolers.

Two board members from the Education Network of Christian Homeschoolers of New Jersey, Inc. (ENOCH)—John Carrasquilo and David Pannasch—along with Home School Legal Defense Association attorney Scott Woodruff met with Gloria Hancock, director of the Office of Education Support Systems and Interagency Initiatives, New Jersey Department of Education, to discuss the need for changes in the department’s advice to local school districts regarding home schooling.

The department’s April 1997 document Home Schooling in New Jersey (sometimes called “the Klagholtz Guidelines”) has proven to be highly controversial, and, unfortunately, home schoolers were totally excluded from the process of developing that document.

Hancock agreed that changes needed to be made and stated that the department was already considering a revision. Carrasquilo, Pannasch and Woodruff asked that a task force be appointed to draft legally correct advice for the department to give local school districts and that 50 percent of the members of the task force be representatives of the home school community. Hancock agreed to this request.

During the Klagholtz administration, many home school leaders tried to speak to department representatives about issues created by the April 1997 advice, but each attempt was either rebuffed or ignored. Commissioner David Hespe and his administration are to be commended for welcoming home schoolers into the process of drafting new and accurate advice for local school districts.

This is truly a breakthrough for New Jersey home schoolers. Much work remains to be done, but we are optimistic that, with God’s help, the task force will produce a document significantly improving New Jersey’s home school atmosphere. Your prayers would be coveted.