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2/7/2011 4:46:15 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New Hampshire: Clearing up the Confusion about HB 301

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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New Hampshire: Clearing up the Confusion about HB 301

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

I hope that you will join me in Concord tomorrow to support HB 301 at
12:30 in Representative's Hall.

It has come to our attention that many of you may have received
information describing HB 301 as "unconstitutional," "criminalizing
homeschoolers" and "retaining the current regulatory structure," among
other criticisms. We felt it important to encourage you to read the
bills for yourself as well as HSLDA's memo that addresses these and
other points.

Here are some key points to help address some of the confusion:

HB 301 does not retain the current regulatory structure; it eliminates
it. HB 301 repeals the DOE's regulatory authority while HB 595
explicitly retains it. The bill's sponsor has explicitly recognized
that HB 595 will allow the DOE to make rules. Today, homeschoolers
are protected from arbitrary rulemaking by the Home Education Advisory
Council ("HEAC") which is eliminated under both HB 301 and 595.
However, without the HEAC, homeschoolers would be at the mercy of the
DOE and the State Board of Education. Just last year we had to deal
with this rulemaking process and a rogue proposal submitted by the
DOE--under HB 595 we'd have to do it again under much less favorable
circumstances.

HB 301 does not criminalize homeschoolers. Although the original
language of the bill did mistakenly include such language, the new
amended version (available at our website) expected to be introduced
to the committee tomorrow only allows for a violation. Under RSA
625:9-10, a violation is "not a crime," and a person convicted of a
violation can be fined only after due process protections including a
fair trial with a presumption of innocence, a burden on the state of
proving the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, strong rules of
evidence, and other protections of an open court.

HB 301 does not require homeschoolers to "seek approval" to
homeschool. HB 301's one-time notification is not a "request for
approval"--it is a required administrative courtesy. HSLDA has found
that homeschoolers in states with no-notice laws like Texas, New
Jersey, Illinois, Indiana and others have a slightly higher risk of
unwanted intrusions from government officials. It has been our
experience and that of homeschoolers in states like Arizona and
Nevada, who have recently transformed their laws from annual notice
and assessment to one-time notice and no assessment, like HB 301, that
a simple one-time notice can help reduce the incidence of such
unwanted encounters.

HB 301 does not require an "affirmative defense" that presumes
homeschoolers are "guilty until proven innocent." Affirmative
defenses are raised only at a trial. In the unlikely event that a
homeschooler ever were accused of violating the law, after the state
presented its case a homeschooler would be able to present the
"affirmative defense" contained in HB 301. HB 301 also includes
specific defenses that homeschoolers may raise at early stages in a
trial to defend themselves if, in the unlikely event, they are ever
accused of violating the law. In 20 years HSLDA is not aware of a
single homeschooling program that has ever been terminated by the
state.


ACTION REQUESTED

Please bring your family to Concord to support HB 301. The bill will
be heard in Representative's Hall in the Capitol Building on Tuesday,
February 8 at 1:00 p.m. Please plan to arrive by 12:30 to allow time
to find parking, to sign the support sheets at the back of the hall
and find seating. I will be in attendance and I hope to be able to
greet many of you! If you would like to testify, you will need to
sign one of the pink cards. While it is not necessary that you
testify, you are encouraged to do so to make points in support of the
legislation. You may also bring written testimony for the committee.
It is anticipated that there may be some who will oppose HB 301 in
favor of HB 595. To learn about these bills go to
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10215 .

For tips on testifying before the New Hampshire Legislature we
recommend you visit this link courtesy of the New Hampshire Liberty
Alliance at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10216 .

Standing with you,

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> Is customer service an art or a science?

For us, good customer service is both an art and a science
-it should appeal to our members and be effective. Consider what
our members say about us:

The freedom HSLDA allows me to have as I homeschool is wonderful!
They handle the law and I get to dedicate the time to my daughter.
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HSLDA members since 1993, our membership is just as important to
us as our children's curriculum. Thank you HSLDA for all you do on
our behalf! - West Valley, NY

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1941

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