Changes to the Home Education Law from 2012
HB545 was the one time notification bill. It took effect on August 12, 2012. If you have been homeschooling and sending in a letter of notification in past years, you do not need to notify again. If you are homeschooling a new student, or have moved to a different district, you do need to notify. Do note that you need to keep your letter of acknowledgement from the school district or private school (and maybe an extra copy) in a safe place, since you will not be receiving a new letter each year.
HB1571 (passed without the governor's signature) removed the requirement to submit the annual evaluation to the “participating agency” and states that the results "(a) May be used to demonstrate the child’s academic proficiency in order to participate in public school programs.
(b) Shall not be used as a basis for termination of a home education program.
(c) Provides a basis for a constructive relationship between the parent and the evaluator, both working together in the best interest of the child." The text of the bill can be found here
HB545 requires only "one-time" notification for homeschooling. It also states that the Home Education Advisory Council will have an opportunity to review and comment on proposed rules, and it makes the three legislative members of the Council non-voting members. Half of the Council's voting membership is made up of homeschooling parents. You can read the text of the amended bill at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2012/HB0545.html.
Some families may still choose to send in an evaluation, and there is the possibility that some non-public schools will ask to have evaluations submitted to them.
What if Your Student Has Graduated Homeschool High School But Is Younger Than Age 18?
If your student has finished high school but is younger than 18, you must certify high school completion with the New Hampshire Department of Education. Send a letter to the Commissioner of Education at the Department of Education. No homeschooling notification or evaluation is required for students enrolled full-time in college (“an accredited post-secondary education program”). We have provided a sample letter.
The Home Education Advisory Council (HEAC) meets monthly to discuss homeschooling issues. Advising the NH Board of Education, the HEAC has members who are homeschoolers as well as representatives from the Department of Education, public school administrators, school board members, and a representative of private schools. If you want to be informed of homeschooling issues and lend support to our representatives, attend a meeting. The HEAC meets on the second Tuesday of the month, 3:30-5:00, room 15, Department of Education. If you have questions about the HEAC, please contact the Chair, Amy Gall, (603) 838-5081, firstname.lastname@example.org. Check http://www.education.nh.gov/instruction/school_improve/home_ed/heac.htm at the Department of Education website. Visitors are not allowed to participate in Council discussion unless given special permission.
Report from the Home Education Advisory Council
Prepared for New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition
October 28, 2013
After seven years of service on the Home Education Advisory Council, Abbey Lawrence has retired from the Council. Thank you, Abbey, for representing us all so well! At the September 10 meeting, Amy Gall was elected to serve as chairman, and Michael Compitello was elected to serve as vice-chairman.
Mary Mayo, from the DOE’s Office of Legislation, Laws, and Rules, discussed the text of the Initial Proposal for Ed.315 which was subsequently presented to the N.H. Board of Education on October 24. The initial Public Hearing on the Proposal will take place before the Board of Education on December 19 at 11:00 a.m. at Londergan Hall in Concord.
It was noted that an LSR was introduced to the New Hampshire House of Representatives relative to accountability requirements for home educated students. However, that LSR has since been withdrawn by the sponsor.
The Council continues to work on the issues of college admissions requirements for homeschool graduates based on a misunderstanding of federal financial aid law, and SAUs denying homeschoolers access to school dances.
The HEAC meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. at the DOE, from September through June. The next scheduled meeting will take place on November 12 in Room 12. This is a public meeting, and all are welcome to attend, although only Council members and invited guests participate in the discussions. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns you would like to see addressed, please feel free to contact me.