Friday, October 24, 2008

GOOD NEWS In New Jersey for Homeschoolers

One of the benefits of the recent battle in NJ is that I have become familiar with some of the players who have been our co-laborers, working behind the scenes and on the front lines to secure and defend homeschooling freedom in our state.

Carolee Adams of Eagle Forum of New Jersey has been a tireless advocate and consensus builder in our state for homeschool freedom, and one of the things she spearheaded for this most recent fight was a Facebook group called "SAVE HOMESCHOOL FREEDOM IN NEW JERSEY."

Eagle Forum, and the other united members of the New Jersey Home School task force kept us informed of the status of A3123 through this group, and recommended particular UNITED actions.

This unity has paid off, as you will see in this message to our Facebook group today.

Carolee Adams sent a message to the members of SAVE HOME SCHOOL FREEDOM IN NEW JERSEY!

(no subject)

Dear Home Educators of New Jersey,

We now have the opportunity to share good news!

A little over three weeks ago, you first read about a new threat to New Jersey homeschooling freedoms in the form of Assembly Bill A3123. A task force consisting of Catholic Homeschoolers of New Jersey (CHNJ), Eagle Forum of New Jersey, Education Network of Christian Homeschoolers of NJ (ENOCH), Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), New Jersey Homeschool Association (NJHA), and the Unschoolers Network worked to unite all NJ homeschoolers by apprising you of the threat and recommending united and focused actions.

Due to our recent conversations with key legislators in the State of New Jersey, we believe all of our exemplary calls, personal conversations, and meetings with lawmakers regarding principled reasons to oppose A3123 have been respected. For now, and in the foreseeable future, there is little likelihood that A3123, or any amended part of it, will be introduced at a hearing in the Assembly Education Committee. Although the Bill has not been officially withdrawn, that is not unusual in the State of New Jersey. Countless bills die in Committee and are not re-introduced in a new term. And, many legislators will continue to stand with us to protect our freedom to home educate. Importantly, we will, as always, remain vigilant. Thus, no further contact with your legislators about A3123 is advised at this time.

With sincere appreciation, our 40-years of home school success in New Jersey continues unabated because of all of you who continue to home educate with extraordinary love, wisdom, and dedication; who are committed to defend your right to home educate with respect and fortitude; and who quickly unite as one voice for such a noble cause as proven in the last few weeks.

Congratulations! It has always been this parent’s joy and blessing to home educate; an honor to be part of the esteemed home school community; and a privilege to continue to support the freedom to home educate in New Jersey and in the USA with you!

Carolee Adams, State President
Eagle Forum of New Jersey

Addendum: Representative of many conversations with legislators and their staffs we enjoyed, I share one in particular. A chief of staff happily reported that she went home “chipper” the night before after taking many of your wonderful calls herself. (In fact, while we spoke at 5 pm, the phone was still ringing.) After working in legislative offices for over a decade, she expressed that she had never experienced such a high quality of calls with each of your! Then, she rendered this heartwarming compliment: “Because of the tenor of those calls, now I know why home education is so successful!”

Home educators of New Jersey – you rock!!!

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