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Homeschool Families Show Up in Force to Oppose Homeschool Oversight Bill

Jason Moon for NHPR

Dozens of parents, and their children, came to the State House Thursday to oppose a bill that would increase oversight for homeschoolers.

The bill would require that homeschooled students have their annual assessments reviewed by either state officials or nonpublic school principals.

Sponsors of the bill say it’s a way to make sure homeschooled children aren’t being neglected.

But opponents of the bill, who showed up by the dozens for a public hearing on Thursday, argued it’s an overreach of government.

Melissa Theberge, a homeschool parent of three, spoke before lawmakers on Thursday.

"Your assumption should always be that parents are working in the best interests of their children. We really deserve far more respect and trust than this bill offers."

Dan Itse, Republican Representative from Fremont, also spoke in opposition to the bill.

“People who are home-educating are doing it because they don’t want to be involved with the government. And for the government to say 'but you have to anyway,’ that’s a problem, especially when our form of government puts the first onus on parents.”

No members of the public spoke in favor of the bill.

Jason Moon is a senior reporter and producer on the Document team. He has created longform narrative podcast series on topics ranging from unsolved murders, to presidential elections, to secret lists of police officers.

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