Tuesday, October 07, 2008

NEW JERSEY - Calls Needed IMMEDIATELY to Block Restrictive Homeschool Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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New Jersey--Calls Needed Immediately
to Block Restrictive Homeschool Bill

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Now is the time to speak with one voice and tell New Jersey lawmakers that the homeschool restriction bill, A. 3123, must be stopped.

This bill would rob you of your freedom, tangle you in red tape, and let bureaucrats force you to stop homeschooling. Bureaucrats could mandate subjects and control course content. The bill demands that you keep mountains of records and interferes with your medical privacy.

New Jersey residents have already paid enough for expensive public school disappointments. A. 3123 will increase taxes yet again for New Jersey families because more bureaucrats will need to be hired and paid to enforce it. Also, millions of dollars in added taxes will be necessary, if even only a small percentage of homeschoolers put their children in public school rather than endure the crushing new weight of paperwork and the threats of school superintendents. And state revenues will be lost if homeschool families avoid living in New Jersey.

ACTION REQUESTED

1. If either bill sponsor, Sheila Oliver (District 34, East Orange, Clifton, Glen Ridge, Montclair, West Patterson) or Harvey Smith (District 31, Bayonne City, Jersey City) is your assembly person, call them and courteously ask them to withdraw this bill. Your message can be as simple as, "Please withdraw A. 3123. We don't need our taxes raised to pay for something as pointless as regulation that helps no one. Studies show that children in states with high homeschool regulation do no better than those in states with low homeschool regulation."

2. Call all the members of the assembly Education Committee (listed
below) and courteously convey your message. It can be as simple as, "Please stop A. 3123, the homeschool restriction bill. I don't want my taxes raised to pay for something as pointless as regulation that helps no one. Studies show that heavier homeschool regulation does not help children. The law already requires that homeschooled children get instruction equivalent to public school instruction. That is enough." Keep calling until you get through.

3. While telephone calls and personal visits have the most impact, e-mails, faxes and letters can also have an effect.

4. Contact other homeschool families and ask them to help.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Sponsors

Sheila Oliver
15-33 Halsted Street
Suite 202
East Orange, NJ 07018
Phone: (973) 395-1166
Fax: (973) 395-1724
aswoliver@njleg.org

L. Harvey Smith
485-7 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.
Jersey City, NJ 07304-2305
Phone: (201) 536-7851
Fax: (201) 536-7854
asmsmith@njleg.org

Education Committee

Joseph Cryan, Chair
985 Stuyvesant Ave.
Union, NJ 07083
Phone: (908) 624-0880
asmcryan@njleg.org
Fax: (908) 624-0587 (Note: fax machine not working right now)

Joan Voss, Vice-Chair
520 Main Street
Fort Lee, NJ 07024
Phone: (201) 346-6400
Fax: (201) 346-5385 (Note: home line)
aswvoss@njleg.org

Patrick Diegnan
908 Oak Tree Ave.
Unit P
South Plainfield, NJ 07080
Phone: (908) 757-1677
Fax: (908) 757-6841
asmdiegnan@njleg.org

Amy Handlin
890 Main St.
Belford, NJ 07718
Phone: (732) 787-1170
Fax: (732) 787-0356
aswhandlin@njleg.org

Mila Jasey
15 Village Plaza
Suite 1B
South Orange, NJ 07079
Phone: (973) 762-1886
Fax: (973) 762-6118
aswjasey@njleg.org

Joseph Malone
311 Farnsworth Avenue
Bordentown, NJ 08505
Phone: (609) 298-6250
Fax: (609) 298-6359
asmmalone@njleg.org

Paul Moriarty
129 Johnson Road
Suite 1
Turnersville, NJ 08012
Phone: (856) 232-6700
Fax: (856) 401-3076
asmmoriarty@njleg.org

Nellie Pou
100 Hamilton Plaza
Suite 1403-05
Paterson, NJ 07505
Phone: (973) 247-1555
Fax: (973) 247-1550
aswpou@njleg.org

Ruben Ramos
70 Hudson St.
7th Floor
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Phone: (201) 714-4960
Fax: (201) 714-4963
asmramos@njleg.org

Scott Rumana
155 Route 46 West
Suite 108
Wayne, NJ 07470
Phone: (973) 237-1362
Fax: (973) 237-1364
asmrumana@njleg.org

Joseph Vas
276 Hobart St.
Perth Amboy, NJ 08861
Phone: (732) 324-5955
Fax: (732) 324-1879
asmvas@njleg.org

David Wolfe
852 Highway 70
Brick, NJ 08724
Phone: (732) 840-9028
Fax: (732) 840-9757
asmwolfe@njleg.org

BACKGROUND

Here is a summary of what A. 3123 would do:

1. Give the superintendent and school board power to force a family to stop homeschooling if they believe the child is not getting an "appropriate education." This means whatever the superintendent and school board say it means because it is not defined. A bureaucrat would have power make a life or death decision over your homeschool program.

2. Give the Commissioner of Education power to mandate courses and
course content ("objectives"). Families would no longer be free to
decide what to teach.

3. Require parents to list objectives in every mandatory subject. Any family whose list does not satisfy the superintendent will be in trouble.

4. Require parents to send a notarized letter and register every homeschooled child annually.

5. Require parents to prove that the children have received all medical services and immunizations the law requires.

6. Require parents to certify that adults in the home have not committed certain crimes.

7. Require that parents provide 180 days of instruction and turn in these records annually (and also as often as the superintendent requests, if he has "reason to believe" the student is not getting "an appropriate education"):
> list of reading materials
> writing samples
> worksheets
> workbooks
> creative materials
> standardized testing in grades 3, 5 and 8 (with parents being
prohibited from administering the test)
> an annual evaluation by a person other than the parent, after an
interview and review of materials. The evaluator must certify the student is receiving an "appropriate education". The evaluator must be a: (a) licensed psychologist, or (b) certified school psychologist, or (c) New Jersey public or private school teacher, or (d) New Jersey public or private school administrator.

The organizations of the New Jersey homeschool task force are united in opposing this bill: HSLDA, Catholic Homeschoolers of New Jersey (Kevin Kiernan), Eagle Forum of New Jersey (Carolee Adams), Education Network Of Christian Homeschoolers of New Jersey (Mark August), New Jersey Homeschool Association (Nan McVicker), and Unschoolers Network (Nancy Plent).

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely yours,

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney


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The HSLDA E-lert Service is a service of:

Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, Virginia 20134
Phone: (540) 338-5600
Fax: (540) 338-2733
Email: info@hslda.org
Web: http://www.hslda.org

2 comments:

  1. This is obviously a sop to the teachers unions; they despise anything which chips away at their hegemony over our children.

    I'll join your fight and write Assemblywoman Jacey since she's the rep for my district.

    I hope you're able to defeat this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much for your support, Chris. If we all work together on this, we can prevail!

    ReplyDelete