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6/26/2003 4:20:03 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Maryland--Board Adopts New Homeschool Regulations

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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June 26, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

On June 24, the Maryland Board of Education adopted changes to the
homeschool regulations. Items 1 through 4 below are changes that
apply to all homeschoolers:

1. It is even clearer than before that the Notice of Consent for a
child only needs to be filed once--not every year. If you previously
filed a Notice of Consent for your child, you do not EVER need to
file a new or "updated" one.

2. Every year after filing the Notice of Consent, the family must
communicate with either their supervising church umbrella or the
local superintendent as to whether the child will continue in a home
instruction program. This can be done in person, by a phone call or
letter, or any other method. Some form of written verification is
preferable so you can document compliance.

3. If parents who are operating under county supervision decide to
switch to operating under a church umbrella, they must notify the
local superintendent.

4. If parents who are operating under a church umbrella decide to
switch and operate under a different church umbrella or under the
supervision of the local superintendent, the parents must notify
their current church umbrella.

In addition, items a. and b. below are changes that apply if you are
involved in a church umbrella.

a. Each year the church umbrella must tell the local superintendent
the names of the homeschool students whose instruction will start,
continue, or be discontinued, under its supervision;

b. The church umbrella must notify the local superintendent if its
instructional supervision for a homeschooled student ceases during
the year.

To read the full text of the changes, go to our website at:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=939 (PDF File).

During this period of transition, we must be especially vigilant to
protect our freedom. Regulation F of COMAR 13A.10.01.01 prohibits
local school systems from imposing requirements on homeschoolers
other than those in the regulations. Regulation .01.B requires that
the notice of consent be on a form prescribed by the state.

Some local school systems violate these regulations by imposing
requirements outside the regulations. Others violate the regulations
by requiring families to use a consent form the county developed on
its own, rather than the prescribed state form. Some homeschoolers
do not understand their rights and succumb to pressure and
intimidation from officials.

This hurts us all in the long run. It encourages officials to take
advantage of people who do not know better or who find it hard to say
"no" to an official.

Other homeschoolers know their rights and refuse to give in to
unlawful demands. This annoys county officials, but they always back
down because they know that what they are doing violates the
regulations.

If you are not confident what your rights are, take a few moments and
read the up-to-date regulations for yourself on our website at:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=939 (PDF File). Our revised
summary of Maryland law will be available soon.

If you believe an official may be violating the regulations, please
contact us right away. We are here to help you as you do your part.
Thank you for being part of the team that is ready to do what it
takes to protect homeschool freedom in Maryland.

Very truly yours,

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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