Two Bills Become Law, Creating More Freedom for NH Home Educators
On June 18th HB 1571 became law without the governor's signature. This bill eliminates the requirement that home school parents submit an annual evaluation for their students, although parents must still obtain evaluations for each home educated child each and every year.
Most important, this bill eliminates the existing probation and termination procedures, along with grievance hearings and all those procedural mechanisms for shutting down a homeschool program!
Excerpt from the new law:
The parent shall maintain a copy of the evaluation. The results of the evaluation:
(a) May be used to demonstrate the child’s academic proficiency in order to participate in public school programs, and co-curricular activities which are defined as school district-sponsored and directed athletics, fine arts, and academic activities. Home educated students shall be subject to the same participation policy and eligibility conditions as apply to public school students.
(b) Shall not be used as a basis for termination of a home education program.
(c) Provides a basis for a constructive relationship between the parent and the evaluator, both working together in the best interest of the child.
Annual evaluations are still an inequitable nuisance, but at least termination procedures no longer hang over the heads of homeschoolers.
On June 13th the governor signed into law HB 545, which requires one-time notification for home educators so long as they don't move to another district.
Many thanks to our entire team of families and legislators, including Rep. JR Hoell, Rep. Laura Jones, Rep. Seth Cohn, Sen. Jim Forsythe and many others, who all worked together to make this possible. Their dedication to principle and teamwork makes liberty possible!
This effort was successful because there's a growing number of parents, who are willing to work together to fight for our freedom. Some just emailed their state senators and representatives from the convenience of their homes, and others made phone calls at the critical points in the legislative effort. A few made the trip to Concord for the public hearing; but only a small number. This was a New Hampshire based effort! There was no reliance on out-of-state lobbyists, registered or not.
Frankly, it was quite surprising at how straight forward the effort was this year. Building up a network of homeschoolers is what takes time and certainly everyone was (and is) welcome to join in as little or as much as they see fit.
There's lots more work to be done. But this year was a great year for homeschooling freedom in New Hampshire!