This is an update on House Bill 1650, the bill regarding educational neglect. The House Child and Family Law Committee will continue the public hearing on Tuesday, February 13 and has an executive session scheduled for the following week, Tuesday, February 20th starting at 11am. It is reprinted from School Choice for NH with permission.
Level the Playing Field for Homeschoolers
February 8, 2018
The House Children and Family Law Committee recently held a public hearing on HB 1650, a bill that removes education-only investigations from the purview of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to the responsibility of the state Department of Education and local SAUs like other concerns regarding compulsory attendance.
We testified in support of the bill and share our testimony below. All members of the general public had an opportunity to speak at the original time, but the hearing was recessed to allow DCYF and CPS to testify. The hearing will continue on Tuesday, February 13th at approximately 3:45pm and we plan to attend. The committee will vote on the bill Tuesday, February 20th at 11:00am when they will decide to support (Ought to Pass) or oppose (Inexpedient to Legislate) the bill, amend it, or send it to study. The committee can be reached at CFL@leg.state.nh.us. Read more about HB 1650 at Homeschooling Is Not Neglect.
My name is Michelle Levell and I am the Director of School Choice for NH, an all-volunteer coalition of concerned citizens, families, and leaders that advocates for educational options in the Granite State. I submit this testimony in support of HB 1650, removing education as a criteria of child neglect.
Homeschooling is neither abuse nor neglect and should not be investigated as such. DCYF has more critical cases that need their resources.
HB 1650 is a simple bill that removes education as a component of neglect and responsibility of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Under current rules, educational neglect essentially targets home-educating families. Under RSA 169-C, who else could be charged with educational neglect? Would a family with a child enrolled in a public or private school be investigated? Likely not. Right now, homeschooling families need to prove the quality of their educational program to a state agency that is not equipped or trained for this purpose. More disturbing, homeschooling families can be targeted by antagonists and busybodies through anonymous DCYF allegations.
Read more at Level the Playing Field for Homeschoolers.