'Live Free or Die' State Frees Up Homeschoolers

In a double victory for homeschool freedom, two changes to New Hampshire homeschool law took effect last week. These changes reduce unnecessary paperwork and make homeschooling less burdensome in the Granite State.

House Bill 545 provides for one-time notification and was introduced by Representative David Bates along with House Bill 1571 which removes the requirement for parents to submit annual assessments to participating agencies. HB 1571 was introduced by Representative J.R. Hoell.

"HSLDA applauds the legislature of New Hampshire for recognizing that homeschoolers don't need to be micro-managed. Research shows that homeschoolers are conscientious and that they academically outperform their private and public school counterparts. This legislation is due recognition of these facts," said Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) president J. Michael Smith.

"Together these bills represent years of effort on the part of legislators, homeschooling families and state homeschool organizations," he continued. "HSLDA is grateful for our members and friends who took time to work in support of these bills."

Now home-educating families will submit notification of a homeschool program only when they first begin homeschooling a child, stop homeschooling or change participating agencies. Families who have already notified for previous years do not need to re-notify in this coming year unless one of these exceptions applies.

"[This bill] allows for one-time notification if you are going to homeschool," said Representative Ralph Boehm, vice-chairman of the New Hampshire House Education Committee. "It also prevents school districts from making policies that are inconsistent or more restrictive than the home education statute."

Representative J.R. Hoell, sponsor of HB 1571 and a member of the education committee, said he strongly fees that the homeschool community deserves more support from the legislature.

"These bills are part of recognizing that N.H. homeschooling parents educate their own children at their own expense, saving the state money," he said. "The results that they have compiled are impressive and I feel that we have more work to do to recognize their efforts.

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