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THE A-to-Z of Homeschooling
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New Mexico Home School Laws

New Mexico homeschool law and information

New Mexico homeschooling laws and requirements to homeschool in New Mexico. New Mexico homeschooling laws. Ways to homeschool legally within New Mexico.

Compulsory attendance – under 17 years of age.

Parental Qualifications – High School Diploma or equivalent

Testing – Annual Achievement Testing NO LONGER required as of July 1, 2001.

Record Keeping – Maintain records of disease immunization. These NO LONGER need to be furnished to district personnel, just kept at home. You NO LONGER are required to keep attendence records.

*This is not intended to be legal advice and is distributed for information purposes only. Check for updates at your public library or online. The Home School Operators Procedures Manual is from the New Mexico State Department of Education site.

Home School Operators Procedures
Manual

Revised May 2008.

Introduction

Home School Requirements, Section 22-1-2.1., NMSA, 1978

Compulsory School Attendance; Responsibility, Sec. 22-12-2., NMSA, 1978

Enforcement of School Attendance, Section 22-12-2., NMSA, 1978

Immunization Regulation, Section 24-5-1 through 24-5-6., NMSA, 1978

Introduction

In 1985, amendments to Chapter 22 of New Mexico Statutes Annotated, (NMSA), 1978, provided a framework in which the right of parents to home school their children was recognized. On July, 1994, Senate Bill 202a, as enacted by the Legislature, and signed by Governor Bruce King, became effective. The Bill amended the definition of home school in Section 22-1-2 V, NMSA 1978, to read, “the operation by a parent, legal guardian or other person having custody of a school-age person who instructs a home study program that provides a basic academic educational program, including, but not limited, to reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies and science.” The Bill also removed the requirement that a home school operator possess a baccalaureate degree or a waiver of the baccalaureate degree requirement by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The law was changed to require that a home school operator possess a high school diploma or its equivalent. The bill also amended the definition of private school to read, “a school offering (on-site) programs of instruction not under the control, supervision or management of a local school board, exclusive of home instruction offered by the parent, legal guardian or one having custody of the student.”

The purpose of the Procedures Manual for Home School Operators in New Mexico is to provide parents, legal guardians, and local school district officials direction for implementing the 1994 legislation. Comments and/or questions specific to this document should be referred to the Management Support and Intervention Unit (MSIU) at the New Mexico State Department of Education (NMSDE), 300 Don Gaspar, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501. The telephone number for MSIU is (505) 827-6582. Comments and/or questions specific to assessment and evaluation of home school students should be referred to the Assessment and Evaluation Unit at (505) 827-6524.

Section 22-1-2.1. Home School Requirements

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:

Any person operating or intending to operate a home school shall:

A. notify the Secretary of Education of the establishment of a home school within thirty days of its establishment, and notify the Secretary of Education on or before April 1, of each subsequent year of operation;

B. maintain records of student disease immunization;


C. provide instruction by a person possessing at least a high school diploma or its equivalent in basic academic educational program, including reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies and science.

Section 22-12-2. Compulsory School Attendance; Responsibility

A. Any qualified student and any person who because of his age is eligible to become a qualified student as defined by the Public School Finance Act until attaining the age of majority shall attend a public school, a private school, a home school or a state institution. A person shall be excused from this requirement if:

(1) the person is specifically exempted by law from the provisions of this section;

(2) the person has graduated from a high school;

(3) the person is at least seventeen years of age and has been excused by the local school board or its authorized representative upon a finding that the person will be employed in a gainful trade or occupation or engaged in an alternative form of education sufficient for the person’s educational needs and the parent, guardian or other person having custody and control consents; or

(4) with consent of the parent [guardian or person having custody and control] of the person to be excused, the person is excused from the provisions of this section by the superintendent of schools of the school district in which the person is a resident and the person is under eight years of age.

B. A person subject to the provisions of the Compulsory School Attendance Law shall attend school for at least the length of time of the school year that is established in the school district in which the person is a resident.

C. Any parent [guardian or person having custody and control] of a person subject to the provisions of the Compulsory School Attendance Law is responsible for the school attendance of that person.

D. Each local school board and each governing authority of a private school shall enforce the provisions of the Compulsory School Attendance Law for students enrolled in their respective schools.”

Section 22-12-7. Enforcement of Attendance Law; Penalty

A. Each local school board and each governing authority of a private school shall initiate the enforcement of the provisions of the Compulsory School Attendance Law [Sections 22-12-1 to 22-12-7, NMSA, 1978] for students enrolled in their respective schools.

B. To initiate enforcement of the provisions of the Compulsory School Attendance Law, a local school board or governing authority of a private school or its authorized representatives shall give written notice by certified mail to or by personal service on the parent, legal guardian or custodian of a student subject to and in noncompliance with the provisions of the Compulsory School Attendance Law.

C. If violations of the provisions of the Compulsory School Attendance Law continue after written notice as provided in Subsection B of this section has occurred, the student shall be reported to the probation services office of the judicial district where the student resides for an investigation as to whether the student shall be considered to be a neglected child or a child in need of supervision and thus subject to the provisions of the Children’s Code.

D. If after review by the juvenile probation office of the Children’s Court Division or by the district judge of the Children’s Court Division where the student resides, a determination and finding is made that the nonattendance by the student may have been caused by the parent, guardian or custodian having custody of the student then the matter will be referred by the juvenile probation office or by the Children’s Court Division of the district court to the district attorney’s office, or any law enforcement agency having jurisdiction for appropriate investigation and filing of charges allowed under the Compulsory School Attendance Law.

E. A parent, guardian or one having custody of the student who, after receiving written notice as provided in Subsection B of this section and after the matter has been reviewed in accordance with Subsection D of this section, knowingly allows the student to continue to violate the Compulsory School Attendance Law shall be guilty of a petty misdemeanor. Upon the first onviction, a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) or more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) may be imposed, or the parent, guardian or one having custody of the student may be ordered to perform community service. If violations of the Compulsory School Attendance Law continue, upon the second and subsequent convictions, the parent, guardian or one having custody of the student who knowingly allows the student to continue to violate the Compulsory School Attendance Law shall be guilty of a petty misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) or incarceration for a period not to exceed six months, or both.

Section 24-5-1. Immunization Regulations

The Public Health Division of the Department of Health shall, after consultation with the State Board of Education, promulgate rules and regulations governing the immunization against diseases deemed to be dangerous to the public health, to be required of children attending public, private, home or parochial schools in the state. The immunizations required and the manner and frequency of their administration shall conform to recommendations of the advisory committee on immunization practices of the United States department of Health and Human Services and the American academy of pediatrics. The public health division shall supervise and secure the enforcement of the required immunization program.

Immunization forms, including the Certificate of Religious/Conscientious Objection to Immunization form, can be obtained from the local school district, and/or the New Mexico Department of Health, Public Health Division, 1190 St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502. The telephone number is (505) 827-2366. While specific forms in this manual are not required, any alternative form or statement that is utilized must comply with the requirements set forth in Section 24-5-3, NMSA, 1978, and Department of Health regulations 7-5-3, NMAC (“Religious Exemption from School Immunization”) and 7.5.2, NMAC (“Immunization Requirement”).


Procedures Manual for Home School Operators in New Mexico
~revised May 2008. Before you begin filling out the online form, please look over the manual so you understand the steps that you will need to take.

Online Notification Form
Notify the Secretary of Education within thirty (30) days of the home school’s establishment and by April 1st of each subsequent year of operation for renewal. You may do this by completing the Online Notification Form each year.


Written Notification Form
WORD document will automatically download the form when you click on this link. Print out, fill out, and mail in registered mail is safest.

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