Democrat assault on homeschoolers looming

Jan 13th, 2010 | By | Category: Signs of the Times (click on article name)

Democrat assault on homeschoolers looming

Vote pending on new demands for tests, reviews

Posted: January 11, 2010
10:10 pm Eastern

© 2010 WorldNetDaily

The homeschool community is reacting with alarm to plans for a vote in the New Hampshire legislature as early as this week that could create restrictive new testing and reporting requirements for homeschoolers in the state.

“Trying to sneak through massive changes in the New Hampshire homeschool law by manipulating the system is unacceptable. The Democratic leadership and the chairman of the education committee know that if they allowed an open process the overwhelming majority would vote [against the plan],” said Mike Donnelly, a staff attorney for the Home School Legal Defense Association.

The organization is the premiere group in the world working on behalf of homeschoolers. The proposal to create the new state requirements is being pushed by Democratic leaders in the legislature, even though its own task force recommended against such changes.

Democratic leaders are using a legislative maneuver to prepare to advance the piece, after a bipartisan legislative study committee voted 14-6 against forwarding the new homeschool law, House Bill 368.

Democratic Rep. Barbara Shaw, a retired teacher with 45 years experience, wrote the majority report, suggesting the plan is “inexpedient to legislate,” or should be rejected.

“After studying this issue for several years, I’ve gotten to know homeschoolers, the law, and how the system works, and I’m convinced that it is working fine – there are no changes needed,” she said.

“Some people have accused me of doing a 180 on homeschooling – and I would have to admit that’s true. But that’s because I’ve seen that homeschooling is working for children in our state and the current law is adequate,” she said.

HSLDA’s analysis said the Democrats are trying to move forward a whole new piece of legislation as an amendment to another proposal. It would allow, among other things, state officials to “terminate” a homeschooling program and report a child to the “appropriate resident district superintendent, who shall, if necessary, take appropriate action to ensure that compulsory attendance requirements are met.”

Republican Minority Leader Sherman Packard said his party supports no further changes in the state’s homeschooling law.

“We’ve always supported homeschoolers … Until the end of last week we weren’t aware that there was a problem with this legislation since the majority report was [to reject],” he said.

As WND reported, the issue previously was on the agenda but didn’t get a vote because of time constraints.

The plan would require new tests for every homeschool student, demand a portfolio review and submit test scores to the state Department of Education, which would be given “sweeping rule-making authority” for homeschoolers.

“This legislation is completely unnecessary,” said Donnelly. “The existing New Hampshire law works well, and in an era when homeschoolers are significantly out-performing their public school counterparts the last thing homeschoolers and taxpayers need is another bureaucracy wasting their time and money. We hope that enough legislators will see through the maneuver which is being used and vote to retain the existing homeschool law.”

The analysis by the HSLDA of the issue said the package of recommendations from Rep. Judith Day is “the most significant threat to New Hampshire homeschoolers” since 1990.

“These [plans] impose a needless burden on homeschoolers and shift authority to determine whether a child should be homeschooled from parents to others,” the analysis said. “Parents have a fundamental right under the United States Constitution to direct the upbringing and education of their children, and legislation like Rep. Day’s undermines this right by going against the presumption that parents act in the best interest of their children.”

Both parts of the plan, H.B. 367 and 368, “are unnecessary,” the analysis said, and would create additional burdens and costs and are “problematic in that it creates potentially unconstitutional vagueness which could result in needless litigation.”

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  1. Though this article doesn’t say it, but it seems a coincidence that just last year, a judge ordered a child to public school because she was too Christian in the very state of New Hampshire.

    http://www.finaltrump.com/2009/09/home-schooler-ordered-attend-public-school/

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  2. Obviously there must be too many free-thinkers out there in New Hampshire
    and Christian at that . whoa!!

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