Religious freedom law used to challenge home-schooling requirements

PITTSBURGH- Pennsylvania’s home-schooling regulations are among the most stringent in the nation, requiring detailed record-keeping and reports to local school superintendents.

Maryalice Newborn — who home-schools her five children — says, “God is in our math, God is in our science, God is in our history. Yet we have to submit to a government agent for approval.”

The Newborns and another couple — Thomas and Babette Hankin — have filed lawsuits challenging the home-school reporting requirements under Pennsylvania’s Religious Freedom Protection Act.

The act allows people to challenge any laws they believe impose “substantial burdens upon the free exercise of religion without compelling justification.”

The Hankins, who have seven children, believe that God gives parents rather than the state the responsibility for children’s education.

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