Tidbits & Trivia
The first open heart surgery and the first bone marrow transplant in the United States were done at the University of Minnesota.
New Form & New Questions
Minnesota Department of Children, Families & Learning has devised a new home school reporting form for the 19992000 school year, but Home School Legal Defense Association members have expressed concern regarding several new information requests on the form:
- Qualifications of secondary instructor;
- Test administration; and
- List of supplementary exams in areas not covered by standardized testing.
Since the law does not mandate any particular form, HSLDA recommends that our Minnesota members continue using the form devised by Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators (MACHE). We believe that their form is in compliance with the state reporting requirements.
Informed home schoolers know that there is no requirement to provide instructor qualification information regarding secondary teachers. Also, while the statute does require the concurrence of the superintendent regarding test administration, many families have not made a final determination as to which test will be used at the time of notification. Nor is there any requirement to provide information regarding evaluation in subject areas not covered by standardized testing.
Any member family encountering difficulties with a school district over use of this form should not hesitate to contact HSLDAs legal department.
Commissioner Supports Home Educators
On a more encouraging note, a member family from Detroit Lake received a letter from the Commissioner of Education, Dr. Christine Jax. The member family had written to their senator regarding a bill introduced last session which would have allowed home school parents to provide part of drivers education. Senator Rod Grams (R-MN) referred the contact to Dr. Jax, who responded to the member family as follows:
Unless this bill requires funding that is not in Governor Jesse Venturas budget, it will have our support. This department, under my leadership, will continue to do everything that is possible and practical to help parents who choose to teach their children at home. I believe that parents are the first, the best, and the most important educators for their children. Home schooling is a vital link in Minnesotas wide range of educational options. While home schooling is not a choice that every parent can make, I support those parents who do make that choice as fully as every other parent who takes an active role in the education of his or her children.
The state commissioners statement is very encouraging and due to the outstanding representation of the home school movement by Minnesota families and the leadership of MACHE.