Now that HB 1663, the home ed freedom bill, is law, school boards have 90 days from June 2, 2022 to adopt an Equal Access policy. They must have a policy that allows resident homeschoolers to participate in curricular and co-curricular programs offered at district schools, if space is available, on the same basis as full-time students.
In preparation for HB 1663, GSHE researched home education policies of 100 of NH's districts across the state -- it is often Policy IHBG for many districts and can be found on their websites -- and found roughly 1/3 didn't have a policy, roughly 1/3 had one that was inconsistent with state law, and 1/3 were consistent with NH's compulsory attendance, home education, and Equal Access statutes.
With the passage of HB 1663, all districts must implement an Equal Access policy in keeping with RSA 193:1-c no later than August 31, 2022. This may present a challenge as some districts do not meet over the summer and they are required to publicly read a proposed policy three times before adopting it.
Back in December 2020, we worked with the School District Governance Association (SDGA) to develop a template policy.
We want to encourage all homeschoolers and those who care about home education freedom to be watchful of their local school boards over the summer, keep an eye on their meeting agendas to be sure an accurate Equal Access is adopted within the required time period.
If your local school board has not addressed this issue yet, kindly reach out to them so they know about this new law and feel free to share the sample SDGA policy with them to guide their decisions.
If your district is not in compliance by early September, please reach out to GSHE so we can help inform them and let the DOE know.