Earlier today, Governor Sununu signed HB 1663, the home education freedom bill!
Prime sponsor, Representative Erica Layon said,
“HB 1663 makes clear that all students need to show progress each year that is appropriate to their age, ability and/or disability which is huge for families teaching students with special learning needs at home.
It makes it clear that a student’s portfolio belongs to the parents.
It makes it clearer who you notify and when.
It makes clear that a parent can provide, coordinate or direct the education which is important for families that don't have a full time at home parent.
And it requires school districts without a policy for equal access to adopt a policy by September 2nd. This equal access is to come to less than a half day of classes or co-curriculars like band or sports. It is already the law, but the third of districts without a written policy was creating headaches and confusion for everyone.
This impacts only the traditional unfunded "193-A" homeschoolers who pay property taxes and ask for nothing more than respect in return.”
The Senate passed the version as amended by the House and appeared on both chambers’ consent calendars with bi-partisan support. Most of it goes into effect immediately; districts will have 90 days to adopt an Equal Access policy.
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