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1/31/2008 4:43:23 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New Hampshire--Please Oppose Changes to State Homeschool Law

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 31, 2008

New Hampshire--Please Call and Attend Hearing
to Oppose Changes to State Homeschool Law

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

We need your help now to defeat a bill that would restrict homeschool
freedoms!

If passed, Senate Bill 337 would result in confusion and the potential
for further intrusion into New Hampshire homeschools by local and
state educational officials. The bill requires homeschooling parents
to notify their participating agency each year no later than August 1
and to select in advance the method of evaluation. It also adds
homeschooled students to the district's "daily membership in
residence" (for the purpose of calculating the amount of money that
goes into the state's Educational Trust Fund, which presumably
determines the amount of money distributed to the districts).

All three changes create unnecessary burdens and threaten
homeschooling freedom in New Hampshire.

Including homeschooled students in the "daily membership in residence"
will create a new reason for local educational authorities to track
homeschoolers in their districts. (New Hampshire's current homeschool
law was carefully written so that homeschooling families can avoid all
contact with government educational officials if they chose.)
Furthermore, the proposed legislation is confusing--it implies that
home education programs must be approved by the Department of
Education.

Second, a deadline (proposed in the bill as August 1) is not necessary
and could result in increased truancy prosecutions for homeschoolers
who inadvertently file late. The current law provides sufficient
direction for when a notice should be filed with the participating
agency.

Finally, many homeschooling parents select their form of assessment
later in the year and should have the freedom to do so without any
undue interference from the state. Homeschooling parents are
responsible for directing their children's education and are capable
of determining the appropriate form of assessment. The proposed
legislation unduly interferes with the parent's role and should be
rejected.

ACTION REQUESTED

Plan to attend the hearing with other New Hampshire homeschoolers and
leaders to oppose changes in the New Hampshire homeschool law. The
hearing is scheduled for February 5 at 8:45 a.m. in Senate Hearing
Room (S.H.) 103.

Please call the Senate Education Committee and your own senator, and,
in your own words, give them the following message:

"The current homeschool law in New Hampshire does not need fixing.
The current proposed changes infringe on my right as a parent to
direct the education of my children. There is no problem with the
current law, and these changes would create additional burdens and
unwanted intrusion into homeschooling families. Furthermore, the bill
would likely create confusion regarding whether the Department of
Education would have approval authority over homeschool programs.
Please oppose this bill, and vote it inexpedient to legislate."

For your senator's contact information, go to HSLDA's Legislative
Toolbox at http://capwiz.com/hslda/home/

The Senate Education Committee is as follows:

Sen. Iris W. Estabrook, Chair
(603)868-5524
iris.estabrook@leg.state.nh.us

Sen. Joseph A. Foster, Vice Chair
(603)891-0307
joseph.foster@leg.state.nh.us

Sen. Martha Fuller Clark
martha.fullerclark@leg.state.nh.us

Sen. Molly M. Kelly
(603)352-5605
molly.kelly@leg.state.nh.us

Sen. Peter E. Bragdon
(603)673-7135
peter.bragdon@leg.state.nh.us

Sen. Robert J. Letourneau
robert.letourneau@leg.state.nh.us


Thank you for your support!


Very truly yours,


Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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