Assembly Bill 5054: Makes Homeschoolers File with District

New Jersey
New Jersey

Last Updated: June 30, 2017
Assembly Bill 5054: Makes Homeschoolers File with District
Assemblywoman Angela McKnight

This bill requires parents to file a letter with their school district every year for every homeschooled child.

HSLDA's Position:

This bill raises costs for families by forcing them into the pointless busy work of filing an annual notice. Families who forget or are late could face criminal prosecution or even the possibility of a judge taking jurisdiction of their children.

The bill would not help children. A number of states now require that parents file some type of document. There is no evidence whatsoever that homeschooled children in those states benefit in any way from that mandate. Statistics show that children in states with high levels of red tape do no better than children in states with low levels of red tape.

The bill will raise costs for school systems, and ultimately taxpayers. Schools will need to spend staff hours processing thousands of pointless forms. They will need to find a way to store those pointless forms. They will need to develop a way to remind parents who forget. This diversion of resources will either result in higher taxes to cover the additional personnel and equipment expense, or in a reduced level of service to children enrolled in public school. And this is in exchange for no benefit to the children.

The bill uses the term “home-schooled”, but it does not define the term. A judge would therefore have power to “fill in the blank” and define it when a case arises. Definitions are a tool of control. He who controls the definition automatically controls what is defined. This bill empowers a judge to control homeschooling by empowering a judge to define it. Alternatively, the New Jersey Department of Education could administratively define “home-schooled.” This would result in the Department controlling home schooling by controlling its definition. Finally, a future legislature could create a definition of “home-schooled”, thus placing the freedom to homeschool on the butcher block in Princeton.

Action Requested:
None at this time

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