Earlier today, the NH senate passed HB 1663 to greatly expand home education freedom!
Because it is the same version as previously passed by the House, it will go straight to the Governor where we expect it will be signed into law without any difficulties.
HB 1663 moves home education forward in several ways:
- Requires all districts to adopt an Equal Access policy.
- Simplifies termination to mirror the initial notification language.
- Removes language that could imply home-ed programs need approval by Participating Agencies.
- Removes inconsistencies regarding who to notify and when.
- Removes unequitable academic achievement requirements.
- Adds explicit protection for home-educated children with special education differences.
- Explicitly states the portfolio remains the private property of the family.
Unfunded homeschoolers are not asking for funding, services, favors, or special treatment. We simply want parity with other educational pathways, privacy, clarity in applicable law, and protection for our children with learning challenges.
This is the biggest home ed freedom bill in 10 years and will benefit thousands of NH children for years to come.
We are grateful for the massive support this bill received from the homeschool community, education freedom fighters, members of the NH House and Senate, and so many others who value home education.
HB 1663 received a near-unanimous Ought to Pass with Amendment (OTP/A) vote of 18 to 1 out of the House Education Committee to position it favorably for the full House vote that followed.
Read about the House Education Committee public hearing for HB 1663 here. The article includes a link to the video recording and testimony submitted on behalf of GSHE.
Homeschoolers were well represented at the Senate Education Committee’s public hearing; it is available on the committee’s YouTube channel starting at 1:05:20 of the video. In the committee’s executive session, the senators gave it unanimous support, 5 to 0, to put it on the consent calendar. The video of their exec session is available here starting at 1:31:50.
GSHE conducted research efforts to support requiring Equal Access policies in all districts and show the need to remove the inequitable academic requirements of home educated students.
GSHE is a registered 501c4, all-volunteer home education support group. This allows us to take a position on legislation that impacts our community and accept donations.
By Michelle Levell