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Author Topic: Homeschool bill amended  (Read 3898 times)


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Homeschool bill amended
« on: June 04, 2005, 04:06:04 pm »

HB406 was amended and no longer is favorable to homeshoolers.

Date: Sat, 04 Jun 2005 06:51:56 -0400
From: Chris Hamilton <>
To: nhhr-l <>
Subject: NHHR-L: HB406 as amended

A report on HB406 was filed by the Senate Education Committee on June 2,
2005. The recommendation is Ought to Pass with Amendment. I have put a
copy of the amendment at:

Here are the changes I see:

1.   It leaves intact in 193-A:4 the requirement to have "planned and
supervised instructional and related educational activities, including a

2.   It leaves intact the requirement in 193-A:5 that the commissioner
of education inform a parent of his/her rights when there is a dispute
between a participating agency and a parent.

    * I don't think the authors of either the original bill or the
      amendment understand that this is what the language accomplishes.
      I think they both believe that it requires acknowledgement from
      the commissioner before a program can start.

3.   Notification must now take place 30 days before the start of a
program or before the start of school.

    * No more withdrawing a child from school and starting a home
      education program that same day.
    * The fate of the current 30 day grace period to file the curriculum
      portion of the letter of intent is unclear (to me).

4.   It now permits a parent who has previously received permission from
the commissioner to initiate a program to continue that program without
specifying a curriculum at the time of notification.

    * Homeschoolers did not have to get permission before, only
      acknowledgement that the program met the requirements of the law.
      Permission came from the legislature, not the DOE.
    * It only permits parents to avoid specifying the curriculum if that
      one-time permission comes directly from the commissioner (i.e. the
      DOE). Is the DOE really prepared to handle the onslaught of
      programs it will be receiving shortly? It could mean all 4,000
      programs in the state get sent to Angie LeBel next fall for that
      permission. She is currently having difficulty handling 200.
    * As it is written, it could be interpreted either that permission
      could be required only for the first time for the child, or for
      the first time for each child. I have heard both interpretations
      already from people who were present at the executive session
      where the amendment was discussed.
    * In effect, this amendment creates two tracks for home educators
      (and I don't know if that's what the authors intended or not):
         1. File once with the DOE, get your permission, and avoid
            specifying a curriculum in future years, or
         2. continue filing each year with a participating agency,
            specifying a curriculum each time.

5.   It leaves intact "RSA 193-A:7 Home Education; Hearing; Notice and
Procedure",  and the references to it in "RSA 193-A:6 Home Education;
Records" and "RSA 193-A:8 Home Education; Order; Appeals". This leaves
in law the right of a parent to have a hearing if there is a dispute at
the time of notification, which is entirely appropriate, since some
parents will still be specifying curriculum at the time of notification.

Chris Hamilton
Beaver Lodge Homeschool
Porc -- The Other, Other White Meat


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Re: Homeschool bill amended
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2005, 04:45:57 pm »

If it's had a poison pill attached, then it's better to kill it off than let it pass.

It's one thing to settle for "less than we want, but better than we have". This, as ammended, wouldn't be better; just "different".



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Re: Homeschool bill amended
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2005, 07:24:28 pm »

If this passes the Senate as amended, the amendment could be taken out in conference committee. The time to kill the bill would really be after the conference report goes to the floor, assuming it contains the bad amendment. Even then, the bill does seem to loosen the restrictions slightly by offering homeschoolers one other option. Ideally, of course, the amendment will be rejected either by the full Senate or by the conference committee. That this amendment is a "poison pill" designed to kill the bill completely (presumably out of fear that the full Senate would pass the unamended bill) is a possibility, especially if it really does create an administrative nightmare. In that case there is a good chance the Senate would reject the amendment if someone points this out. "Poison pill" legislative strategies rarely work, because there is always a possible majority coalition that could defeat them.
"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism


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Re: Homeschool bill amended
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2005, 01:52:23 am »

The 'poison pill' was badly crafted in the first place, since they _removed_ all of the benefits (all poison, no pill).

This will be fought, rest assured.  HB406 is not dead yet.


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Re: Homeschool bill amended
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2005, 09:33:41 am »

just a quick followup to this thread, since I did say it wasn't dead yet

The amendment was killed (long story), and it's back in the Senate Committee, to be approved in January.
We expect we'll give a little bit to make it happen, but it'll pass in substantially the form the House passed it.

Dave Mincin

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Re: Homeschool bill amended
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2005, 10:24:04 am »

On a more positive note.  Do believe we have a fair chance of getting HB406 our of committee with no amendments.
Long story in a nutschell is someone tried hose us, but the folks caught it just in time.
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