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No. 2

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Cosmetology License Denied to Homeschool Grad

Homeschool graduate Emily Bayer (name changed to protect privacy) had her hopes of practicing cosmetology temporarily dashed when, after she was successfully accepted into cosmetology school, her application for an apprentice license was denied by the New Hampshire Board of Barbering, Cosmetology, and Esthetics. Even though Emily’s family had fully complied with New Hampshire homeschool law, the board was requesting additional documentation of her high school education that did not align with the state’s homeschooling requirements.

Home School Legal Defense Association Staff Attorney Michael Donnelly spoke with the board’s executive director on Emily’s behalf to explain the discriminatory nature of the licensing requirements. Donnelly then facilitated the filing of more appropriate information, which, along with a letter from HSLDA, persuaded the board to issue Emily her apprentice license.

Meticulous compliance with state law is not always sufficient to ward off discrimination against homeschooling at the postsecondary level. However, significant progress has been made in ending this discrimination, and HSLDA is committed to defending the rights of homeschool graduates when they do encounter threats.

—by Michael P. Donnelly

Bevy of Bills Affect Homeschooling

HSLDA Staff Attorney Michael Donnelly traveled to New Hampshire on January 25, 2012, to testify in favor of House Bill 1571, sponsored by Representative J. R. Hoell. On February 2, the bill passed the education committee unanimously. If voted into law, H.B. 1571 would dramatically improve New Hampshire’s regulatory climate for homeschoolers. Together with H.B. 545 (currently in the Senate Education Committee), the bill would make New Hampshire a one-time notification jurisdiction requiring that homeschoolers conduct annual assessments but not that those assessments be sent to participating agencies. H.B. 545 also provides stronger protections for homeschoolers by giving the Home Education Advisory Council veto authority over rules proposed by the state board.

In addition to these two bills, HSLDA is actively following 11 other bills that would have some effect on homeschooling families. Rep. Laura Jones’ driver education bill would permit parents to oversee driver education programs for their children. H.B. 1440 would create a pilot program for parent-directed driver education using an approved online course. This concept has proved effective and safe in several other states. H.B. 1607 and Senate Bill 372 would establish a first-of-its-kind tax credit scholarship opportunity benefiting home educators: businesses would receive tax credits when they donate to scholarship-granting organizations, which in turn would be permitted to grant scholarships to homeschooled students.

As HSLDA continues to track legislation that will improve the homeschool climate in the Granite State, we are grateful for the ongoing readiness of our members and friends to act in support of these bills.

—by Michael P. Donnelly