In 2012, the State of New Hampshire passed a measure that eased the state’s intervention into the operations of homeschooling families by reducing the number of filings parents would have to submit in order to get state approval for their efforts to educate their children. This move, according to Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), reduced the amount of notices homeschooling parents would have to submit from 3 to just 1 and has produced no negative problems since becoming law.
Now, about five years after the 2012 measure was passed, state lawmakers are eyeing up a plan to roll back the efforts to ease state intervention by requiring third-party oversight of homeschooling operations.
The attack on the 2012 measure was spearheaded by one lawmaker’s demonization of homeschooling as “child abuse” and claims that homeschool is failing some children.
Besides “child abuse,” homeschooling there also has been condemned with comments like, “Half the kids are failing to learn,” and “it’s a floodgate for dropouts,” HSLDA reported.
“Recent comments like these reveal antagonism toward homeschool among certain factions in the New Hampshire legislature, explaining why we appear headed toward a legislative battle over homeschool freedoms,” the group revealed Friday.
It said reports are that three lawmakers are preparing plans to “roll back improvements,” and discussion already has begun.
“Witnesses tell us that in an executive session on a controversial bill relating to banning ‘conversion therapy’ for children experiencing gender confusion, senior Democratic lawmaker Marjorie Porter categorically compared homeschooling to child abuse,” the HSLDA said.
According to sources present at the executive session in the New Hampshire House of Representatives Committee on Health and Human Services on October 26, many people were shocked to hear the legislator’s comments, especially in that context.
“Others told HSLDA that Rep. William Marsh, a Republican member of the committee whose four oldest children graduated from the family’s homeschool and went on to top-tier colleges, and whose youngest is homeschooling through high school, told Rep. Porter that he considered her comments equating homeschooling with child abuse as a personal affront. He subsequently received a public apology from Rep. Porter, who is assistant minority floor leader in the House,” an HSLDA report said.
The push to interject third-party oversight into family education operations is being nudged by Rep. Robert Theberge, R-Berlin and Berlin School District Supt. Corinne Cascadden, who has, according to Democrat Edith Tucker, “very grave doubts about whether half of Berlin’s homeschooled students are getting educated.”
“She (Cascadden) believes that there are some 45 youngsters who are not enrolled in public or private or church schools, whose parents do not make any effort to educate them at all,” Representative Tucker told a local newspaper in an email. “Not only are these neglected youngsters not getting the education they deserve, but they are also missing out on free and reduced breakfast and lunches and other social services.”
Michelle Levell, director of the private nonprofit School Choice for New Hampshire, has shot back at Tucker by citing a lack of evidence on the part of Cascadden’s statement and says the new law “is a solution in search of a problem.”
Cascadden told a homeschooling parent that she, as superintendent, wants access to information required to determine a “child’s welfare,” reports WND.
The current homeschooling debacle playing out in New Hampshire sheds light on the nanny state mentality many people who enter public office carry with them. The 2012 rollbacks in state intervention only increased the amount of freedom parents have to educate their children in the manner they see fit. The reversal now being considered will force parents to follow state mandatory guidelines to satisfy the third-party wedge, therefore affecting the way education is carried out.
This brings up the question of who has the right to determine the proper oversight of a child’s homeschool education. Is it the parents or the state?
Although those who push the nanny state line of only looking out for the child’s welfare seems like a loving effort on the surface, it is against the rights of the parents to be the sole decision maker for their child. Parents who wish to separate the state from their child’s education do so in order to implement what they believe is the most effective way to set their child on a path to success. Once the state steps in to maintain what the bureaucrats believe is the proper way to educate a child, there is a conflict of interests and a diminishing of basic rights at hand.
The nanny state mentality is what has led to the erosion of civil liberties in the United States over the past couple decades. The more we desire the state intervene in our personal life, the less responsibility we carry for ourselves and the large the burden of government grows.
Parents who wish to educate their children in the manner they see fit should be praised for their desire to impose the beliefs they hold dear and the knowledge they see as important on their child.