From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
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Date:
From:
Subject:

1/18/2002 4:34:11 PM
Scott A. Woodruff, Esq., Staff Attorney of HSLDA
New Hampshire--H.B. 1408 - New Truancy Law Proposed

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 18, 2002

Dear New Hampshire Members and Friends,

Kathleen N. Taylor (D-District 11, Strafford County) has introduced
House Bill (H.B.) 1408, which threatens to give every city and town
broad new power to enact its own truancy law and its own regulations,
while providing no accountability to the state. It invites abuse of
home school families, and threatens to sweep more families into the
social services system.

ACTION REQUESTED
There are two action Items:

1. Starting immediately, please call members of the House Education
Committee (phone numbers below), and express your opposition. You may
say something as simple as, "Please vote against H.B. 1408. It gives
cities and towns powers that are too broad and carry no
accountability."

2. The House Education Committee will hold a hearing on H.B. 1408
Tuesday, January 22, at 1:00 p.m. in room 206 of the Legislative
Office Building in Concord. Please attend the hearing to show you
oppose this bill. Lawmakers are tremendously influenced when they see
large groups of people willing to attend a hearing to oppose a bill.
It is an opportunity to make democracy work.

HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE:

Warren C. Henderson, Chairman (603) 772-4285
Brien L. Ward, Vice Chairman (603) 444-6945
Bruce L. Dearborn, Clerk (603) 431-7299
Gordon B. Flint, Sr. (603) 863-2773
Perley E. Davis (603) 237-4202
John R. M. Alger (603) 786-9562
Russel N. Cox (603) 436-0406
P. Judith Sullivan (603) 356-7872
Sharon M. Carson (603) 437-2887
J.D. Colcord (603) 456-3735
Charles E. Sova (603) 523-4578
Steven J. Winter (603) 763-9743
Stephen R. L. Heureux (603) 668-2708
Charles B. Yeaton (603) 736-9087
Clair A. Snyder (603) 742-4777
Claudette R. Jean (603) 883-3824
Iris W. Estabrook (603) 868-5524
John M. White (603) 624-0974
Claire D. Clarke (603) 796-2268
Debra A. Naro (603) 536-3789

ANALYSIS
Current law allows school districts to make "bylaws" concerning
truants, and to compel them to attend school. H.B. 1408 takes this
power away from individual school districts, but gives every city and
town power to make its own unique ordinances regarding truancy. We
assume that towns and cities will take full advantage of the new
powers this bill would give them.

Part of the bill states that violation of such an ordinance would not
mean a child was "in need of services" or a "delinquent." Violation
could, however, be the basis of a charge of child neglect against the
parents.

This bill gives authority to towns to adopt ordinances regarding "any
pupil enrolled in school." Some towns may understand that this
language gives them no power over home school families. Others who
think home schooling is their biggest "truancy" problem may feel it
gives them a "blank check" to harass home school families.

HSLDA'S REASONS FOR OPPOSING HOUSE BILL 1408

1. Towns and cities may use this newfound power to unnecessarily
"crack down" on home schooling families.

2. With every town and city passing its own unique ordinances, and
with no accountability to the state, there would be an atmosphere of
confusion under such a law.

3. It will result in a crazy quilt of laws. Families accustomed to
the demands of state law would be bewildered as they move from one
town to another and find a different set of demands they must
satisfy.

4. Violation of a town's truancy ordinance, however quirky or trivial
it might be, could result in parents being charged with child
neglect.

Thank you for your calls and for attending the upcoming hearing on
Tuesday-for standing with us for family and freedom.

Sincerely yours,

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.

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