A History of Homeschooling in New Jersey

Early homeschoolers homeschooled under the state’s compulsory attendance statute exemption for those receiving “equivalent instruction elsewhere.”

In 1997, then-Education Commissioner Klagholz issued guidelines stating that parents should submit an outline of their curriculum to local school boards, who would determine whether it was academically equivalent to a public school curriculum. These guidelines were heavily protested by HSLDA and like-minded groups, including Education Network of Christian Home Educators, Traditions of Roman Catholic Homes (TORCH), New Jersey Home School Association, and Unschoolers Network. HSLDA and the other groups “participated in intense negotiations with New Jersey state and local school officials”, which led to the guidelines being changed.

In 2004, the New Jersey legislature attempted to pass a law requiring certain testing and medical examinations of home-schooled children, triggered after the discovery of four adopted children who had been starved. The bill was designed to ensure that children were seen by teachers (for testing) and doctors (for medical checkups) at least once a year. This law was successfully opposed by the HSLDA.

After the 2011 death of a homeschooled child, State Senator Loretta Weinberg and Assemblywomen Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Annette Quijano have introduced bills requiring yearly medical examination and portfolios of student work for homeschooled students and providing that children under supervision of DYFS may not be homeschooled. HSLDA opposes these bills.

For more state histories, see Histories of Homeschooling.

Click here for more on homeschooling in New Jersey.

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