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6/6/2005 5:35:58 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New Hampshire--Calls Needed--Harmful Amendment added to Good Homeschool Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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New Hampshire--Calls Needed--Harmful Amendment added to Good
Homeschool Bill

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

The Senate Education Committee has added an unacceptable amendment to
House Bill 406, the bill written to remove the requirement that
homeschoolers submit detailed information about their curriculum each
year, including table of contents, scope and sequence, and book list
for all subjects.

This amendment will:

1) Force families to wait 30 days to homeschool;
2) Require families to get the commissioner of education's
"permission" to homeschool; and
3) Force first-time homeschool parents to submit the detailed
curriculum information from which all others would be exempt.

We need your help in removing this unacceptable amendment. The full
senate is scheduled to vote on the bill this Thursday, so our time for
action is very short.


ACTION REQUESTED

1. Please call all members of the Senate Education Committee, and
especially Chairman Bragdon, and ask them to restore the version of
the bill as passed by the house. Your message can be as simple as:
"Please restore the House version of HB 406. The House version is a
good bill that will eliminate unnecessary paperwork and restriction on
families who choose to homeschool."

2. Since the bill will probably come up for a vote in the full senate
on Thursday, please also call your own senator. Your message to your
senator who is not on the education committee can be as simple as:
"Please support HB 406 as passed by the house. It is a good bill that
will eliminate needless paperwork and restrictions on families who
choose to homeschool."

To find contact information for your senator, go to
http://capwiz.com/hslda/home/ . The members of the senate education
committee and their contact information are:

Sen. Peter Bragdon, Chairman
(603) 271-6933
(H) (603) 673-7135
peter.bragdon@leg.state.nh.us
or SenatorBragdon@Verizon.net

Sen. Carl Johnson, Vice Chairman
(603) 271-3041
(H) (603) 279-6492
carl.johnson@leg.state.nh.us
or carljean@worldpath.net

Sen. Richard Green
(603) 271-3080
(H) (603) 332-1567
richard.green@leg.state.nh.us

Joseph Foster
(603) 271-3569
(H) (603) 891-0307
joseph.foster@leg.state.nh.us

Theodore Gatsas
(603) 271-3081
(H) (603) 668-1233
t.gatsas@leg.state.nh.us

Iris Estabrook
(603) 271-2675
(H) (603) 868-5524
iris.estabrook@leg.state.nh.us


BACKGROUND INFORMATION

1. I traveled to Concord on April 26 to testify in favor of HB 406 in
the senate education committee hearing. Many homeschool leaders also
testified in support of it. One senator suggested amending the bill
so that only first time homeschool parents would be required to file
the detailed curriculum information. The committee subsequently voted
6-0 in favor of HB 406, with this amendment. The amendment had not,
however, been put in writing when the committee voted on it.

2. This weekend was the first time the actual text of the amendment
became available. Shockingly, the amendment not only requires first
time families to be subjected to the needless hassle of describing
their curriculum in detail, which we were not surprised to see, but
requires families to get the commissioner's "approval," and forbids
them from homeschooling until they have waited 30 days after filing
their notice.

3. We do not definitely know who inserted the "permission" and
"waiting period" requirements into the amendment text out of the
public eye. Some senate education committee members are as surprised
as we are to find the "permission" and "waiting period" language in
the bill. You may want to ask about this when you call Senator
Bragdon, the education committee chairman. It is possible that senate
rules were violated.

4. Families must not be forced to await the commissioner's "approval"
before they can homeschool. Home education is a right, not a
privilege. Being forced to wait for approval could harm the children.

5. Families must not be forced to wait 30 days. There is absolutely
no justification for this arbitrary waiting period. Some families
homeschool after their children have been traumatized by violence,
threats and intimidation, and even one more day in that unhealthy
environment would be totally unacceptable. Others have health reasons
for switching to homeschooling immediately. Officials might use the
30 day waiting period to try to coerce parents out of their decision
to homeschool, or launch a punitive investigation of the family or
child in hopes of scaring them out of their choice.

6. We have asked Senator Gatsas to introduce a floor amendment to
remove the most troublesome amendments added in the senate education
committee.


Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Scott A. Woodruff



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