Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rep. Casey's misrepresentation of the truth

Are these two statements are the same? That's what Rep. Kimberley Casey argued today while chairing the sub-committee on HB 1580.

1.) The first statement is the "purpose statement" introduced into chapter law, not statute law, in 1990 along with NH Home Education Law, RSA 193-A. It reads as follows:
279:2 Statement of Purpose. The general court recognizes, in the enactment of RSA 193-A as inserted by section 3 of this act, that it is the primary right and obligation of a parent to choose the appropriate educational alternative for a child under his care and supervision, as provided by law. One such alternative allows a parent to elect to educate a child at home as an alternative to attendance at a public or private school, in accordance with RSA 193-A. The general court further recognizes that home education is more individualized than instruction normally provided in the classroom setting.
2.) The second statement is from House Bill 1580:
I. It is the natural, fundamental right of parents to determine and direct the education of their children.
The first statement allows parents a very narrow and limited choice of educational alternatives -- specifically, only those defined in statute. The second statement is much broader; it recognizes that it is a parent's right to instruct his child without any restriction. These statements are not the same.

Why would Rep. Casey deliberately mislead the sub-committee members to believe that these two statements were the same? So she could convince them that HB 1580 was unnecessary. "We already have that statement in the law," she argued.