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Notice to Connecticut Homeschool Parents 01/27/09
As you know, in last year’s legislative session, NHELD asked Connecticut parents to assist in attempts to have the legislature adopt a proposal introduced by Rep. Arthur O’Neill that would have codified the rights of parents to withdraw their children from public school. As you also know, certain legislators, led by Senator Thomas Gaffey, attempted to change the language in that bill to impose more regulation on parents who homeschool. Fortunately, the changed bill was not adopted.
NHELD decided that this legislative session we would not ask Rep. O’Neill to propose the withdrawal bill again on the basis that the timing was not quite right just now. However, for reasons that are as yet unknown, Rep. O’Neill took it upon himself to propose the bill once again. The bill is House Bill 5761, entitled, “An Act Concerning Withdrawal from School.” The stated purpose of the bill is “To allow parents to home school their children and to require the board of education to respect their decision.” (http://www.cga.ct.gov/2009/TOB/H/2009HB-05761-R00-HB.htm)
The text of the proposed bill is:
AN ACT CONCERNING WITHDRAWAL FROM SCHOOL.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
That subsection (a) of section 10-220 of the general statutes be amended to provide, when a parent or guardian of a child provides by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the principal of the school that the child attends or to the superintendent of the local or regional board of education, written notice originated by and signed by the parent or guardian of a child stating that the parent or guardian is withdrawing the child from enrollment in a public school and will provide instruction for the child as required pursuant to section 10-184 of the general statutes, the principal of the school that the child attends or the local or regional board of education shall accept such notice and shall deem the child withdrawn from enrollment in the public school immediately upon receipt of such notice.
Statement of Purpose:
While NHELD did not request the legislature to adopt this bill this session, it does now exist as a proposed bill. It has been referred to the Education Committee for further action. A proposed bill is a first draft of a bill. As can be seen from the last legislative session, the language of proposed bills may be changed as it proceeds through the Committee process and on to the floor of the House and Senate.
Just as last session, the current chairmen of the Education Committee are: Senator Thomas Gaffey and Rep. Andrew Fleischmann. The membership of the entire committee can be found at: http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/MemberList.asp?comm_code=ED&doc_type=
It is essential to engage in communication with not only the members of the Education Committee, but also with your own local Representatives and Senators.
As we gather more information, NHELD, of course, will provide that to you.
If you have any further questions about this bill, you may contact Deborah Stevenson at email@example.com or call 860-354-3590.