Your calls are needed immediately to Stop S3105
- Stop State-Mandated Annual Medical Exams and Portfolios for
Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:
Your calls are needed immediately to stop S3105, a bill Senator
Loretta Weinberg filed last week, despite many calls asking her not
to. The bill treats every homeschool parent like a child abuser by
requiring them to file documentation of annual medical exams.
It would require parents to submit each child's name, birth date, and
homeschool instructor's name every year by August 1. A mandatory
portfolio would be due June 30. But what bureaucrats can require in a
child's portfolio is virtually unlimited.
The bill gives the State Board of Education dramatic new power over
homeschool families by empowering it to regulate homeschooling. The
Board could mandate exactly how all the bill's requirements would be
enforced. It could define homeschooling itself.
There is virtually no limit as to what the Board could require in the
annual medical exam. No issue--no matter how personal, sensitive,
unwelcome or intrusive--would be off limits.
Lawmakers who act against the will of the people can be removed from
office. But State Board of Education members are appointed, not
elected. New Jersey homeschool families would be virtually at their
This bill would turn New Jersey's current sensible legal framework
into a morass of regulations and burdensome red tape. With three
filings every year for 42,000 homeschooled children, overworked public
school staff would have yet more burdens added to their shoulders.
Taxpayers would pay the cost of filing, processing, checking,
responding to, and storing 120,000 sets of paperwork each year. Taxes
will inevitably go up to pay for it.
The media carried reports recently about the Division of Youth and
Family Services (DYFS) failing to protect an allegedly homeschooled
child in danger--with tragic results. S3105 wrongly punishes parents
for the failures of DYFS.
Please make three courteous phone calls by Thursday using the contact
1. Call Sen. Stephen Sweeney. He is the president of the New
Jersey Senate, and he controls its business.
2. Call Sen. Teresa Ruiz. She is the chair of the Senate Education
Committee, to which S3105 was referred.
3. If you are a constituent of the other four members of the
committee (Sens. Jim Whelan, Diane Allen, Thomas Kean and Shirley
Turner), call them. Use our legislative toolbox
to see if you are a constituent of one of those senators.
Your message can be as simple as "Please oppose S3105. Don't punish
homeschoolers and public school staff for the failures of DYFS."
Or you can frame your own message using information in this email,
including material in the "background" section below.
Sen. Stephen Sweeney:
(856) 251-9801 (West Deptford office)
(856) 455-1011 (Bridgeton office)
(856) 339-0808 (Salem office)
Sen. Teresa Ruiz:
Sen. Jim Whelan:
Sen. Diane Allen:
Sen. Thomas Kean:
Sen. Shirley Turner:
Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), Education Network of
Christian Homeschoolers of New Jersey (ENOCH), Catholic Homeschoolers
of New Jersey (CHNJ), and New Jersey Homeschool Association (NJHA),
and others, are united as a task force in opposing S3105.
To view the bill, go to http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=12962
DYFS had numerous contacts with the family of the abused girl who was
in the news this summer. A fresh report was called in just a few days
before she died. DYFS did virtually nothing about the report and
closed it. Fix DYFS. That's where the problem is.
Complicated rules always foster needless conflicts, and this would
become an everyday occurrence. After the state board adopts
regulations, local school systems would adopt their own requirements,
creating an additional layer of red tape.
New Jersey would overnight have one of the worst homeschool laws in
the nation. The New Jersey tax base and overall economy could suffer
as homeschool families avoid (or leave) the state.
The outstanding academic achievements of homeschool students has been
documented by many studies. Homeschoolers typically score 30
percentile points above others on standardized tests. Since
homeschoolers score the same in states with heavy regulation and
states with light regulation, adding new regulations is highly
unlikely to help academic performance (source: Dr. Brian Ray, "Home
Schooling Achievement," 1997).
Thank you for standing with us for freedom!
HSLDA Senior Counsel