Home School Court Report
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May / June 2003

A season to encourage

Burnt toast & sticky cards

A letter to my parents

The spiritual power of a mother
National Center hosts 2003 Summit
Farris addresses social workers

Along the way

Homeschool litigation: preparing the way
Freedom Watch

What's ahead in 2003?
From the heart
Across the states
Active Cases
Members only
About Campus
President's page

Good judges make good decisions


Prayer & Praise

a contrario sensu (on the other hand)

HSLDA legal contacts for November/December 2002



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SDE responds

Many of you have received letters from Dr. Michael Kaplan at the New Mexico Department of Education (SDE) notifying you that your homeschool registration form has not been accepted because it lacked the date of birth for your children. Those of you who received these letters have already been threatened with legal proceedings to enforce the state's compulsory school attendance act.

Thanks to the hard work of homeschool leaders and the courage of homeschoolers across the state, the SDE has finally admitted that Dr. Kaplan's demands exceed the law. Because of this, Home School Legal Defense Association is changing our notice of intent form on our website.*

On February 25, 2003, two homeschool parents met with department of education staff to discuss the problems with the notification procedures. Although the meeting began with some tension, Steven Sanchez, the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Learning Technologies at SDE, was very helpful. Department staff admitted that the law does not require birth dates on a notification of intent form and recognized that homeschoolers do have legitimate privacy concerns. SDE officials were surprised to discover how intimidating their form letters seemed to a homeschooling mother who is concerned about prosecution, and they promised to rewrite these documents.

As this newsletter goes to press, HSLDA plans to discuss this matter further with state leaders and may even meet with SDE officials at the Christian Association of Parent Educators New Mexico convention April 24-26, 2003. We will keep New Mexico members informed of further developments.

Scott W. Somerville

* See "A Plethora of Forms"