From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
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From:
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2/6/2003 2:45:26 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New Mexico--Department of Education Seeks Information Not Required by Law

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 6, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

As many of you remember, the Christian Association of Parent
Educators of New Mexico (CAPE-NM) worked hard last spring to come to
an agreement with the New Mexico Department of Education regarding
the state's homeschool policies. The state Department of Education
has a "homeschool database" which includes the name and birth date of
each homeschooled child, even though state law no longer requires
parents to send in this information. Dr. Michael Kaplan, Director of
the Alternative Education Unit, has taken the position that failure
to include student name and date of birth information will result in
the rejection of the notice of intent form.

For more background information on this matter visit our web site at:

www.hslda.org/courtreport/v18n3/v18n3nm.asp

AND

www.hslda.org/courtreport/v18n5/v18n5nm.asp

Last fall, several HSLDA member families received letters from the
Department of Education, warning them that they would be reported to
their local school district for truancy enforcement unless they
provided additional information. HSLDA was able to help these
families and no district actually prosecuted any HSLDA members. Now,
the Department has begun to send out new notices to a larger group of
families. The Department's letter states, "Failure to return this
information will result in our notification to the school district
that you are NOT in compliance with the Compulsory School Attendance
Act."

To date, HSLDA has been able to explain to each local school district
that the Department has no authority to reject a notice of intent
that provides all the information required by law. Since state law
does not require parents to provide the student name or date of
birth, we are happy to help local school districts understand that a
valid notice of intent does not need student name or date of birth
information. If you have received a letter from the Department of
Education, or know someone else who has, please contact us at
legale@hslda.org.

It only takes one bad precedent to harm all homeschoolers, but by
working hard and working together, homeschoolers can preserve the
blessings of liberty.

Very truly yours,

Scott W. Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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