Tomorrow, March 16, 2011, the New Hampshire Supreme Court will issue its opinion in the New Hampshre homeschooling case. The case of Martin Kurowski and Brenda Voydatch has grabbed national headlines and sparked much debate about the right to home-school. In this matter, a divorced mother and father could not agree on whether their daughter should be home-schooled by the mother, and so a trial was held and a judge issued an order requiring the child to attend public school. The mother appealed, arguing, among other issues, that she has a consitutional right to home school her child.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in this matter on January 6, 2011. The justices asked some hard questions and made some interesting points, including:
- On the issue of a constitutional right to home-school, Justice Lynn asked the mother’s attorney: The cases you cite were state v. parent, but in this case the state has been forced to settle a dispute between to parents, is there not a difference?
- Justice Dalianis questioned whether the Court needed to decide the constitutional issue of home schooling if the court decides that the trial court’s order was a modification subject to the Muchmore standard.
- Justice Duggan asked the mother’s attorney how schooling is a religious right. Further, "if there is no constitutional right to home-school, do you lose?"
- Justice Conboy distinguished residential and decision making responsibility, and questioned whether the modification standard applies when the court has to settle a decision making dispute. She asked, "if the parents have joint decision making and they do not agree, then what happens?"