Concord Connections — Representative’s Response to Homeschool Parent

Many home educating parents are concerned about House Bill 1263 that would reinstate the annual reporting of year-end evaluations to Participating Agencies. A homeschooling parent contacted representatives on the House Education Committee, and she received a reply from Rep. Mary Heath. She shared the email with School Choice for NH.

Legislator’s Response to Homeschool Bill

A bill hostile to homeschool freedoms, House Bill 1263, is expected early in the 2018 NH legislative session. It is sponsored by Representatives Robert Theberge, Yvonne Thomas, Larry Laflamme, and Edith Tucker and seeks to reinstate the pre-2012 evaluation requirements.

The proposed bill would require home educating families to submit their year-end assessments to their local SAU superintendent, a private school that serves as their Participating Agency, or the state Department of Education. The results could no longer be kept private by the family. It also restores the Participating Agency’s authority to place a home education program on probation if a child does not meet the performance standards — a composite score at or above the 40th percentile on a standardized test or “progress commensurate with age and ability” on a teacher evaluation. If a child does not meet these expectations a second consecutive year, the program is terminated and the child must enroll in a public, charter, or private school the following school year. This is a much higher standard and severe consequence than our public schools face.

Several sources have informed us that the bill was initiated by Berlin School District Superintendent, Corinne E. Cascadden. Per a recent Union Leader article, Rep. Tucker said that “Dr. Cascadden has some very grave doubts about whether half of Berlin’s home-schooled students are getting educated. Half get a really fine education, she believes.”

Many homeschool families are upset about this proposed change and have already contacted the bill’s sponsors and members of the House Education Committee. Below is the response of one House Education Committee member to a homeschooling parent re HB 1263Rep. Mary Heath is a multi-term Representative serving from Manchester (Hillsborough 14) and a former Deputy Commissioner of the NH Department of Education. Printed with permission.


Read the full article along with Rep. Heath's reply at School Choice for NH.