Logo New Hampshire Homeschooling Resources

To: New Hampshire State Board of Education
From: Elaine Rapp, Chair, Home Education Advisory Council
Date: December 15, 1998
Re: HEAC Annual Report

The Home Education Advisory Council was established under RSA 193-A in 1990. Enclosed is a list of the current members. We meet monthly from September through June at the Department of Education. Our home education contact at the department is Rachel Hopkins. She is assisted by Angie Lebel who is also the council's recording secretary.

Home education statistics for the 1998-99 school year to date are as follows: A total of 2977 students have been recorded as being in home education programs. The DOE is a participating agent for 52 students; nonpublic oversight includes 336 students and public school oversight includes 2559 students.

Rachel Hopkins reports to the council each month on home education questions and concerns she receives from both parents and school district personnel. Typical issues concern interpretation of rules and law and might relate to such things as: the 30-day time span between the letter of intent to home school and the submission of notification information to the participating agent, home-schooled students receiving school district services such as materials or an evaluator, the content of home education statistical information school districts must forward to the DOE, the number of subjects to be taught each year in a home education program, and the extent of incorporation of outside resources as part of a home education program.

During the past year, Internet access to the DOE and home education resources through the DOE has been greatly expanded. In addition, a new information packet available through the department on home education was developed. The packet now includes the following:
The Law: RSA 193-A Home Education (1990) Including Statement of Purpose
The Rules: NH Admin. Rules Ed 315 (10/960
RSA 193:1-a (1994) Dual Enrollment
List of Home Education Associations
List of Home Education Advisory Council Members
New Hampshire Homeschool Coalition Registration and Guidebook order forms
Intent to Home School form (optional)

Each year the council reviews upcoming proposed legislation which might impact home educated children. Last year several bills were closely watched. House Bill 1247 relative to a study committee to study dual enrollment was passed. The committee report indicates that no suggestions regarding new legislation will be made. Other examples of bills of concern to homeschoolers that became law were HB 459 (Chap. 257, 1997), changing current motor vehicle licensing procedures effective 1/1/98, and SB 331 (Chap. 189, 1998) eliminating work certificates for 16 and 17 year olds.

In other business, in the Fall of 1997 the council was issued three invitations to the Governor's Summit on Education. Those three invitations were passed along to the three home-schooling organizations currently represented on the council. Final rules were passed by Health and Human Services relative to immunization of home-schooled students to the satisfaction of homeschoolers in the Spring of 1998. The implications of the Claremont decision in December 1997 was the subject of a number of discussions.

In August 1998 the HEAC sponsored my attendance at the Franklin Pierce Law Center Education Institiute. This was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about general education issues, how the home education alternative is perceived by many eduators, and provide background information that will facilitate an understanding between homeschoolers and educators. I reported back to the council on the many issues addressed at the Institute and how certain issues might affect homeschoolers in particular. I hope that opportunities like this will continue to be offered to HEAC members.

Last year at the presentation of the council's annual report to the State Board, several state board members communicated their concerns regarding "quality standards" for home education and questioned whether the HEAC and homeschoolers felt the need to review those standards. I believe I made it quite clear to the board at the time that under RSA 193-A, homeschoolers believe they have more than met that standard, as a home education progoram must show educational progress under that program. However, I did take the board's concerns back to the HEAC for discussion. The consensus was, however, that the law meets and to many exceeds the state interest in education.

We welcome visits from any board members who would like to participate in our meetings or bring concerns and questions to the council. Please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions you may have regarding this report or home education in general.

List of HEAC Members
DOE Resource List

Document source: New Hampshire Department of Education, hardcopy.

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