Oppose Additional Regulations on Homeschooling Families in New Hampshire

LSR 2018-2329 is an ominous-sounding legislative service request (“LSR”) entitled “relative to educational evaluation of home schooled children.”  

An LSR is a precursor to a bill that will be written and then introduced when the legislature opens in January.  HSLDA has been informed that the intent of this bill is to impose additional government regulations on homeschooling families in New Hampshire.

The bill is sponsored by representatives Robert Theberge, Yvonne Thomas, Larry Laflamme, and Edith Tucker.  HSLDA opposes any further regulation of homeschooling in New Hampshire.

We are asking you to reach out to these legislators to express your view regarding additional regulation of homeschooling families in New Hampshire.  Some of you may remember the bitter battle from 2006 to 2010 over issues including increasing the compulsory school attendance age. At the time representatives Emma Rouse and Judith Day attempted to impose massive new controls on homeschooling.  

It looks like legislators are trying again. Although we do not know the language or specific motivation behind this new legislation, we believe that these legislators should hear from homeschoolers and be aware that any attempt to impose additional regulations will be vigorously opposed.

The current level of regulation in New Hampshire is more than sufficient to meet any possible state interests in education. Research has demonstrated that there is no correlation between academic achievement and regulations.  There is also no data to suggest that parents who homeschool are more likely to abuse or neglect their children – in fact there is data to suggest that the opposite is true.

With respect to evaluations, homeschool parents are required to provide for an annual evaluation of their children.  According to New Hampshire law, these evaluations must be retained for two years. 

The statutory purpose for these evaluations is “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.  The evaluations shall not be used as a basis for termination of a home education program, [and] provides a basis for a constructive relationship between the parent and the evaluator, both working together in the best interest of the child.”  NH RSA 193-A:6. 

Please contact these legislators and encourage them to avoid crafting legislation that would impose additional and burdensome regulations on homeschooling families.  You are welcome to edit the message.

We encourage you to respectfully tell them that homeschool regulations in New Hampshire are more than sufficient to address any state interest in education or other child-related matters. Homeschooling regulations have been stable for years, have proved to be workable, and there is no available data that suggests otherwise.   

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