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Back to February Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 217 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS FEBRUARY 2004

Homeschoolers Flex Muscle
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TRENTON, NJ -- Homeschoolers in New Jersey scored a big victory on January 12, the final day of last years legislative session, when the state legislature adjourned without taking up what was called the Anti-Homeschooling Act. Introduced by Assemblywoman Loretta Weinberg, the bill would have required homeschoolers to be tested annually, and to submit to annual physical exams (even though this is not required of public school students). In addition, the bill would have given the State Board of Education unprecedented regulatory authority over homeschoolers.

Assemblywoman Weinberg appeared to be using some notorious examples of abuse of children investigated by the Division of Youth and Family Services as a smokescreen to win passage for her bill. Those cases, however, revealed the incompetence of the state agency, not any problem with homeschooling.

A diverse group of homeschool leaders from Catholic, Christian and homeschool groups mobilized some 300 homeschoolers and parents such as Carolee Adams of Montvale. They traveled to Trenton and lined the halls of the capitol to stop the bill. They held a news conference at which leaders presented many of the favorable facts and statistics showing the academic achievement of homeschooled students. Equipped with pictures of their own representatives, the homeschoolers were able to identify and speak to them directly about the academic and social value of homeschooling.

For most homeschoolers, this was their first experience in lobbying and they scored total success.


 
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