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12/6/2011 12:37:47 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New Jersey: House Bill Increases Legislative Threat

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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New Jersey: House Bill Increases Legislative Threat

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Your calls are needed to stop a new threat that has arisen to your
right to homeschool in New Jersey: A4372, filed by Assemblywoman
Valerie Huttle. It is identical to Sen. Loretta Weinberg's S3105.

The bill treats every homeschool parent like a suspected child abuser
by requiring them to file documentation of annual medical exams by
September 1. It requires parents to submit each child's name, birth
date, and homeschool instructor's name every year by August 1. A
mandatory portfolio would be due June 30. Bureaucrats would have
virtually unlimited power over what families must include in the
portfolio.

Huttle's bill gives the State Board of Education dramatic new power
over homeschool families. The board's regulations could mandate
exactly how all the bill's requirements would be enforced, including
what medical information must be submitted. The board could define
homeschooling itself.

This bill would turn New Jersey's current sensible legal framework for
homeschooling into a morass of regulations and burdensome red tape.
With three filings sent to the local public school every year for
42,000 homeschooled children, overworked public school staff would
have yet more burdens added to their shoulders.

With identical bills now filed in both houses of the legislature, the
situation is more serious. If both bills should pass in their own
respective chambers, no vote in the other chamber would be needed for
the bills to become law.

Action Requested

Please make five phone calls by Friday using the contact information
below. Remember to be courteous.

1. Call both your members of the General Assembly. Use this link to
find their phone numbers:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13041

2. Call Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver at (973) 395-1166. She is the
speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly and controls its business.

3. Call Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan at (908) 757-1677. He is the
chairman of the Assembly Education Committee, where A4372 has been
referred.

4. Call Assemblywoman Joan Voss at (201) 346-6400. She is the vice
chair of the education committee.

The representatives may not be familiar with the bill yet, so give a
short word of explanation when you call. Your message can be as
simple as:

"A bill was filed and referred to the education committee, A4372, that
would turn New Jersey's sensible legal framework for homeschooling
into a complicated morass of regulations and red tape. Don't add new
burdens to school staff, taxpayers, and parents. The current
homeschool law is working. Please oppose A4372."

Or you can frame your own message using information in this email.

Background

Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), Education Network of
Christian Homeschoolers of New Jersey (ENOCH), Catholic Homeschoolers
of New Jersey (CHNJ), and New Jersey Homeschool Association (NJHA),
and others, are united as a task force in opposing S3105 and A4372.

You can view the bill online: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13042
Complicated rules always foster needless conflicts, and if the new
bill is enacted, this would become an everyday occurrence. After the
state board adopts regulations, local school systems would adopt their
own requirements, creating an additional layer of red tape.

New Jersey would overnight have one of the worst homeschool laws in
the nation. The New Jersey tax base and overall economy could suffer
as homeschool families avoid (or leave) the state.

The outstanding academic achievements of homeschool students has been
documented by many studies. Homeschoolers typically score 30
percentile points above others on standardized tests. Since
homeschoolers score the same in states with heavy regulation and
states with light regulation, adding new regulations is highly
unlikely to help academic performance (source: Dr. Brian Ray, "Home
Schooling Achievement," 1997).

The bill appears to be an effort to shift the blame for DYFS failing
to protect endangered children to homeschoolers. DYFS needs to be
fixed. The current New Jersey homeschool law is working.

The New Jersey Senate and General Assembly have their own procedural
rules that usually result in a moderately paced legislative process.
However, each house has the power to suspend its own rules and act
with astonishing speed. We need to be especially diligent now because
it is possible that Huttle and Weinberg are looking for an opportunity
to rush their bills through as we near the end of the legislative
session.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Sincerely yours,

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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-> Can you call your attorney at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning?

Our members can get in touch with their attorney even after
business hours, when they have a legal emergency. Wouldn't you
like this level of service?

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1100

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