There are four education pathways in NH to fulfill the compulsory attendance law, RSA 193:1. It applies to children who are six years old as of September 30th of the current school year to age 18. Kindergarten is optional.

  1. public education (local district or charter),
  2. private education,
  3. home education, or
  4. the Education Freedom Account (EFA) program, new as of summer 2021.

One pathway may resemble one of the others, depending on the family. For example, a public school student may have credits from a Learn Everywhere approved provider or participate in an Extended Learning Opportunity (ELO) program, but that does not make the child a homeschooler or an EFA student. Likewise, a private school may allow a student to participate in a program somewhere else such as for dual-enrollment or a program outside their curriculum, but that child is still enrolled in that private school. Many public schools used the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS) as their remote option, but that didn't change students' enrollment status. A homeschooled student might take classes at their local public school or VLACS, but that does not make that child a public school or charter school student. For EFA students, they may be enrolled at a private school or the family may direct the child's learning at home, but they are still EFA (contracted) students.

The distinctions are not always clear, and some options give families flexibility within one of the four fundamental pathways, but they are registered as only one of those pathways and that is what determines their standing for compulsory education attendance. This video may also explain the four education pathways to satisfy NH's compulsory attendance requirements.

 

NH Education Pathways

 public educationprivate educationhome educationEducation Freedom Accounts (EFA)
subtypesdistrict and charteredsecular and religiousn/aapproved uses
statuteRSA 193-EseveralRSA 193-ARSA 194-F
rulesEd 300Ed 400Ed 315Ed 324
primary funding sourcesfederal, state, and localfamiliesfamiliesstate
student eligibilitygrades K to 12determined by the governance bodyage 6 to 18grades K to 12 and income thresholds
standardsfederal and statedetermined by the governance bodyfamiliescontract
curriculumlocaldetermined by the governance bodyfamiliesstate, managing organization, and contract
academic reportingstate and localfamiliesfamiliesstate and managing organization
notification frequencyannualannualone timeannual

 

Home education that is governed by RSA 193-A is often confused and conflated with the Education Freedom Account (EFA) program that is found in RSA 194-F because at-home use may closely resemble the day-to-day learning for the child. However, there are key differences.

Home Education Compared to Education Freedom Account Program

 Home EducationEducation Freedom Account (EFA)
governing statuteRSA 193-ARSA 194-F
state education rulesEd 315Ed 324
subtypesn/aapproved uses from approved vendors
initiation of programimmediately whenever the family chooses4 to 6 weeks until contract is signed, prorated funding based on registration deadlines
notification frequencyone-time when beginning a programannually
age rangewhen the child is 6 years old or older by 9/30 of the current school year to age 18grades K to 12
eligibilityall NH familiesincome threshold
records/portfolioyes, consisting of reading list and work samples, kept a minimum of 2 yearsno
annual assessment deadlinewhen the family chooses, results remain private and property of the familyJuly 15 of each year, financial penalties for late submissions
assessment submitted to a government authoritynoyes, the managing organization
graduationself-certifiedunknown, not in statute or rules
resourcesany the family choosesapproved uses from approved vendors
standardschosen by the familydetermined by contract
primary fundingthe familystate
privacyfamily can choose not to interact with any government agencychild's information in a state database and given a SASID
participation in Equal Access, RSA 193:1-cyesno
withdrawal optionsany education pathway in the statestatute specifies public school only
legal support from HSLDA as membersyesno

 

GSHE believes families are fully empowered and capable of making decisions for their own families and determining what is best for their children. We strive to give people facts, not opinions, to help them make informed decisions.