Friday, February 11, 2011


HSLDA appears to continue to fight for their own interests and keep New Hampshire Homeschoolers oppressed by promoting tyrannical homeschooling Bills. Frankly, I am tired of it, what fool buys a membership to HSLDA when it is HSLDA's backing of tyrannical laws that encourages membership into HSLDA in the first place. HSLDA has never put forth a Bill that would let New Hampshire Homeschoolers practice their Constitutional and Natural rights to educate their children as they see fit and in peace. The likelihood of HSLDA interrupting my school year 100%, the likelihood of NH DCYF interrupting my school year .0002. I suggest New Hampshire families boycott HSLDA and CHeNH until they put forth a full homeschooling freedom Bill.

Quote of the Day - "That all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights."

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Testimony for HB 595

The following is the testimony I gave to the House Education Committee regarding HB-595. Frankly, I do not think this legislation goes far enough but it is a step in the correct direction.

Quote of the Day - "A recent MORI poll, commissioned by the Campaign for Learning, found that 90% of adults were favourably inclined towards further learning for themselves.....The bad news is that 75% said they were unhappy and alienated in the school environment and that, therefore, they preferred to learn at home, in the local library, at their workplace - anywhere other than a school-type setting." - Meighan

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Good afternoon, Chairman Balboni and Honorable members of the House Education Committee,

I am writing today to ask you to vote ITL on HB-301 and OTP on HB-595. I would like to see complete homeschooling freedom in New Hampshire because in a free society, the sole purpose of the State is to protect our freedoms. That's all. Nothing more.

Any parent willing to lift the education burden from fellow taxpayers should not be regulated by the State. Parents in 24 states have this right; Live Free Or Die parents should have it as well. I am asking you to pass HB 595 which will move us closer to freedom and away from the current laws that declare parents to be guilty until proven innocent.

There are approximately 200,000 public students statewide. According to the fall 2010 NECAP results 23% of our students in grades 3-8 and 11 failed to demonstrate proficiency in reading, 34% failed to demonstrate proficiency in mathematics and 45% of our students failed to demonstrate proficiency in writing. There are only about 5,000 homeschoolers in New Hampshire; far more public school students fail to achieve proficiency in basic academics than homeschool students. Taxpayers spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually, yet tens of thousands of students fail to read at grade appropriate level. Frankly, I do not understand the need of some legislators to focus on homeschooling's safely controlled campfire, while public school Rome is burning to the ground.

My children are my responsibility. I have decided that my children shall not be a burden on the rest of society by educating them at home. I have chosen that they not suffer as part of a failing educational system. If I wanted to provide my children a substandard education I would send them to my local public school which has failed to meet Annual Yearly Progress for its seventh year.

I am tired of having to fight for my constitutional right to instruct my children as I see fit. I am tired of fighting organizations that benefit from horrific homeschooling laws designed to fatten their pocketbooks. Frankly, I am tired of the witch hunt against homeschoolers and the nanny state homeschooling laws.

Today this fundamental question comes before to the legislature: Shall the state control parental instruction, or shall parents invoke their historical prerogative to instruct in freedom. Please OTP HB 595.

Best Regards,

Catherine Peschke

"Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives."
Ronald Reagan

"Education of all children, from the moment they can leave their mother's care, in national establishments at national cost." Friedrich Engels, 1847 in the draft of the Manifesto called, "Principles of Communism"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jim's Testimony for HB - 545

The following is Jim's testimony for HB - 545. If New Hampshire is going to get homeschooling freedom we must abolish the HEAC which serves the interest of the DOE and not homeschoolers.

Quote of the Day - "Homeschooling and public schooling are as opposite as two sides of a coin. In a homeschooling environment, the teacher need not be certified, but the child MUST learn. In a public school environment, the teacher MUST be certified, but the child need NOT learn." - Gene Royer

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Good morning,

I am here today to urge this committee to abolish the HEAC by voting OTP on HB545. As a Homeschooling parent and Croydon School Board member, I offer my perspective on how the HEAC's activities are a disservice to homeschoolers, the legislature, and the public at large.

In support of the call to eliminate the HEAC, I offer two fundamental conjectures: 1) The HEAC serves no useful purpose, and 2) The HEAC actively operates against the interests of the very homeschoolers it purports to represent.

In theory, the HEAC provides collective representation for a group of citizens who do not benefit from, dare I say eschew, collectivism itself. To understand why this is irrevocably problematic, contrast this to the model of a public school board.

Communities elect school boards to apply collective representation to the operation of public schools. This model is necessary because public schools operate in a collective manner. Classrooms, schedules, and policies within public schools require a high degree of consistency. This necessitates compromises among the public stakeholders. The school board's job is to listen to the public and align school operation as best as they can, knowing they cannot please everybody.

Homeschooling is fundamentally different because it operates in an individual, not collective fashion. Indeed this very independence and lack of conformity draws many of us to choose homeschooling. Individuality means I may teach my child chemistry when someone else's child learns to draw, and another parent's child leans to write. Thousands of microscopic classrooms have no need for alignment, and thus have no need to develop consensus. When granted their inherent rights, parents have no use for a committee to represent their individual homeschooling preferences. The HEAC thus serves no useful purpose.

Every representative body runs the risk that members will fail to promote the will of their constituents. A common driving force is the motive of self-preservation. HEAC has repeatedly demonstrated this tendency. As homeschoolers across the state call for expanded freedom, such freedom makes the HEAC unnecessary to even the most obstinate observer.

The most destructive element of the HEAC is its ability to provide political cover to lawmakers hostile to the interests of homeschoolers. I have witnessed this on several occasions. When the HEAC or a subset offers support to hostile legislation, they allow homeschool opponents to deny their opposition to homeschooling freedom.

Sunshine is the best disinfectant. In this way, the HEAC is the shadow behind which homeschool opponents hide. HEAC becomes the enemy to those it claims to serve.

Please restore transparency legitimate self-representation to homeschoolers by eliminating the HEAC.

Jim Peschke

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Screwtape and Karl Marx

Screwtape would be so proud of the Department of Education and HSLDA. Karl Marx would be so proud of the HEAC and groups like the CHENH, yep just useful idiots in my book.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

No to HB 301, Yes to HB 595

HB 542 appears to be the only Bill that will give homeschoolers complete homeschooling freedom however, HB 542 appears to be stuck in Committee. I hope that Representative JR Hoell, a homeschooling parent will get HB 542 out of committee. At this point HB 301 supported by HSLDA is a big threat to homeschooling freedom as the article from the Union Leader states below, "House Bill 301 also would repeal the home education law and make it a violation under child welfare laws for parents to "purposely" fail to provide an education for their children."

Homeschooling parents need to come out in full force to the State House to speak out against HB 301 and in support of HB 545.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Education bills could create tax quandary puzzle
New Hampshire Sunday News Staff

Several bills aimed at supporting parental choice in education, if all were to pass, could create a financial incentive for some parents to keep their kids home to learn, one sponsor acknowledged last week.

House Bill 340 would require communities to grant property tax abatements of up to $3,500 for each taxpayer's child not enrolled in the public schools.

There's some confusion about whether the proposed tax abatement would apply to home-schooling parents. Rep. Carol Vita, R-Middleton, the prime sponsor, said that wasn't her intent.

Her idea was to give parents who pay to send their children to a school out of their district -- private, parochial, charter or even another public school -- the tax break. "This is only if you want to send your child out of the school district," she said.
But Sen. James Forsythe, R-Strafford, the sole Senate sponsor of the measure, said it "would also apply to home-schoolers as well."

"The intent is if you're not using a public school system, and spending money on private school or home school, this would allow you to get a tax break," said Forsythe, who said his wife previously home-schooled their two children for seven years.

"I think respecting parental choice is what this bill's all about. And empowering them to have more choices for their kids' education."

The tax abatement proposal comes at a time when home-school advocates are pushing for less state regulation. The House Education Committee on Tuesday will hear three bills related to home education:

House Bill 595 would repeal the state home education law and assert "the natural right of parents to determine and direct the instruction of their children."

House Bill 301 also would repeal the home education law and make it a violation under child welfare laws for parents to "purposely" fail to provide an education for their children.

And House Bill 545 would repeal the state Department of Education's rule-making authority for home education.

Forsythe, who also co-sponsored HB 595, said he does have some concerns about unintended consequences should all the measures pass.

"The only problem with that is it might set up an incentive for some folks to keep their kids at home to get the tax break but not actually school them," he said.

Daniel Kimble is president of Christian Home Educators of New Hampshire, which represents more than 100 families in the state. His six children, ages 2 to 17, are home-schooled.

He said his organization is looking for less regulation.

"You go back to the beginning of the founding of our country, and it's always been the parents' rights, the parents' responsibility, to educate their children," he said. "Required schooling, it's a modern phenomenon ... and it's ended up causing problems for home-schoolers and for those that want to go back to traditional ways of schooling."

Kimble said he supports repeal of the home-schooling law and likes the idea of a tax abatement for families like his. He doesn't believe it would create an incentive for parents to keep their kids home.

"I see it as a benefit that somebody who wanted to home-school their children but felt they didn't have enough money to be able to buy curriculum, you're now getting (money) ... back," he said.

Rep. Lucien Vita, Carol Vita's husband and a co-sponsor of HB 340, said the bill might have to be amended so it does not include home-schoolers. "The purpose of this bill is to stop people having to pay twice for something you only get once," he said.

Some have other concerns about the proposed abatement.

Greg Moore, House policy director, said Republican leadership supports the home-education bills, but has not taken a position on HB 340.

There is some concern, he said, that "because it requires the municipalities to offer tax abatements, it may well violate Article 28A of the (state) constitution." That prohibits adopting unfunded mandates that pass on costs to local communities, he explained.

Rep. Betsy Patten, R-Moultonborough, a member of the Municipal and County Government Committee that will hear the tax abatement bill, said she shares those concerns. And she said it also might open the door for other taxpayers who don't have children in the schools to demand abatements as well.

Passing a tax abatement or exemption for one group of taxpayers, Patten said, "just shifts it to everybody else in the community."

"You have to realize the consequences of it are that everybody else has to pick up that $3,500," Patten said. "And that's some amount on everybody's tax bill."

Judy Silva is deputy director for legal services and government affairs at the New Hampshire Municipal Association. She said the association would have "some real problems" with HB 340 as written.

Silva explained towns can collect an extra 5 percent on the municipal portion of property taxes, called an overlay, that is used to cover abatements. But she said HB 340 calls for the proposed abatements to come out of the education portion of the property tax bill, where no overlay exists.

Silva also said the proposal could raise equity issues, with other taxpayers claiming they are entitled to abatements if they don't use their municipality's schools, fire departments or landfills.

And she agreed with Patten that other taxpayers would have to pay more if the abatements were mandatory. "Since what is collected in taxes is based on what the budgeted amount is, it needs to be made up," she said.