The Home School Court Report
No. 3

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Public Education Department Scoffs at Law

New Mexico law requires homeschool families to provide "written notification" to the secretary of education on or before April 1 of each year. The public education department has unilaterally decided that "written" notification means "online" notification, and wrote homeschool families to say that "Hard copies of the form will no longer be accepted."

Although the department saves time and money when homeschool families notify online, it cannot force families to submit their forms solely over the web. All a family has to do to satisfy New Mexico law is send a registered letter, return receipt requested, to the department and keep an original copy of the notice. If the department refuses to accept the family's notification, the department-not the family-is breaking the law.

Home School Legal Defense Association is working with the Christian Association of Parent Educators of New Mexico and individual families to resolve this issue. We have no fundamental objection to online notification (as long as the site is secure and does not jeopardize family privacy), but will not bow to arbitrary and unenforceable demands by the department.

— by Scott W. Somerville