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Date:
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12/9/2009 3:46:27 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New Mexico: Help Ensure Good Outcome to Proposed PED Rule, Act Now!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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New Mexico: Help Ensure Good Outcome to Proposed PED Rule, Act Now!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

At the request of the governor of New Mexico, new rules are being
proposed by the Public Education Department (PED) to require all
minors who apply for drivers' permits to certify their academic
proficiency and attendance in school. These new rules will impact home
educators as well.

The Christian Association of Parent Educators (CAPE-NM) and HSLDA have
been closely following these rules and working together. Overall, the
proposed rules are favorable to home education parents. Under the
draft being considered, home education parents will be able to certify
both the academic proficiency and attendance of their children in
school, as they should be.

However, there are a few minor suggestions that HSLDA has made to the
PED to prevent any potential misunderstandings. It is also important
PED officials realize that homeschoolers are paying attention and
expect these favorable rules to pass.

We would like those who can to attend the upcoming hearing on these
proposed rules on Monday, December 14, 2009 at the Jerry Apodaca
Education Building in Santa Fe. The hearing will be from 10 a.m. to
noon. Those unable to attend can inform the PED of their opinions on
these rules by submitting written comments by 5 p.m., December 14.
Please take a few minutes to submit comments or make plans to attend
the hearing. Your involvement is important!

REQUESTED ACTION:

1) If you live locally, please come to the hearing on December 14,
2009, at 10 a.m. The hearing will be held at Mabry Hall in the Jerry
Apodaca Education Building at 300 Don Gaspar Avenue in Santa Fe, NM.
The building is located on the corner of Don Gaspar and De Vargas,
across from the Capitol North Building. Off-street parking via parking
meters can be found around the building.

2) Please submit written comments regarding these proposed rules. You
may submit something like the following in your own words:

"As home educating parents, we have heard about the proposed 6.30.11
NMAC rule for minors to apply for instruction permits from the Motor
Vehicle Division. We believe the definition of a 'home school' program
should be changed to reflect current state law under N.M.S.A. 1978,
22-1-2. We also would like the final rule to clearly allow parents to
be able to certify whether or not their child has demonstrated the
academic proficiency and school attendance necessary in order to apply
for an instruction permit. Thank you for your efforts in these areas.

Sincerely,
[name]"

Public comments can be submitted to:

Mr. Willie Brown
Office of General Counsel
Public Education Department
Jerry Apodaca Education Building
300 Don Gaspar Avenue
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Via email: Willie.Brown1@state.nm.us

Via fax: (505) 827-6681

If you could also send a copy of your comments to CAPE-NM at
info@cape-nm.org it would be greatly appreciated.

3) Last but not least, pray for the hearing and those involved. While
this hearing and the proposed rules do not affect your rights to teach
your children at home, they do impact the ability of your child (and
others) to obtain a driver's permit. This situation also provides an
opportunity for the home education community to interact with the PED
in a favorable way that could have lasting impact.

BACKGROUND:

The governor of New Mexico originally initiated these new requirements
for drivers' permits. When the Motor Vehicle Division designed the new
rules for the permits, they did not provide a way for home educators
to certify the academic proficiency and attendance requirements.
Instead, the PED was given authority to implement rules to address
this issue.

As a result, the proposed rules, 6.30.11 NMAC, were drafted. CAPE-NM
and HSLDA have worked together to ensure that home educators are
enabled to provide this verification instead of requiring them to go
through the local public school.

HSLDA has written a letter to the PED on behalf of our members to urge
them to pass the proposed rules, along with a few minor suggestions to
keep the rules consistent with New Mexico state law as it relates to
home educators. Under the proposed rules, the definition of a "home
school" varies slightly from that in N.M. Stat. Ann. sec. 22-1-2. Our
letter corrects this and one other area to better protect home
educators in New Mexico law. While the current language is fine, the
changes will make it a little better.

Please feel free to forward this to any friends who might be
interested. If you are not yet a member, you can become a part of
HSLDA and help support homeschooling freedom in New Mexico and around
the globe. Visit http://www.hslda.org/join/apply.asp to join today.
Thanks for your efforts for home education freedom!

Sincerely,

Thomas J. (Tj) Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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