NEW HAMPSHIRE HOMESCHOOLING COALITION CONSTITUTION
The most natural community is the family. Unlike other social entities, the family is not manmade. The family is fundamental and universal. No group is better able to nurture individuality and foster sociability than is the family.
We believe the state’s role is to preserve the integrity and support the sanctity of the family by recognizing the right of parents to raise their children in accordance with parental beliefs.
The New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition is formed solely to support homeschooling in New Hampshire. The reasons for homeschooling are personal and reflect diverse ideological, philosophical, and religious beliefs. The methods used in homeschooling are diverse as well and are based on personal conviction. The New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition supports all reasons for and methods of homeschooling.
The New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition is structured to provide democratic and pluralistic participation. Membership in the homeschooling group is open to any individual.
The membership shall be divided into geographic regions for the purpose of electing a representative from each region’s membership. Representatives shall be elected for one year. A representative may be removed by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Board of Representatives. A representative may also be removed by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Representative’s constituency. A Representative’s constituency may request a vote to remove a Representative by furnishing a petition to the Board of Representatives signed by two-thirds of that Representative’s constituency. In the case of a vote to remove a Representative, a special election shall be held. The Board of Representatives shall provide for ballots to be mailed to Member Families in the district in question.
The Representatives shall elect a Coordinator, who may not be a representative, for a one-year term. The Representatives shall also elect a Secretary, Newsletter Editor, Webmaster, and a Treasurer for a one-year term. Said officers must each be a Member in good standing.
The votes of Members shall be secret and anonymous. The votes of Representatives in their Representative capacity shall be open and acknowledged.
All meetings of the homeschooling group shall be open to the public. The Coordinator shall conduct meetings according to Robert’s Rules of order.
An amendment to the constitution may be proposed to the membership by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Representatives at any regularly scheduled meeting, provided the proposal shall have been presented in writing to each member of the board at least ten days prior to the meeting. The amendment shall be adopted if approved by a three-fourths vote of the membership.
ARTICLE I. PURPOSE
Section I. The New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition shall provide information about and support for homeschooling through such means as a newsletter, web site, publications, workshops, and regularly scheduled meetings. The meetings provide a forum for Members to discuss and exchange information about homeschooling. The New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition’s purpose is not to take a position on legislation, regulations, or other policies relating to homeschooling.
ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. The Coalition shall have one membership class, the only requirements of membership being agreement on the part of the Member Family to support the right of parents to educate their children at home in accordance with the unique set of principles and ideals guiding the individual homeschooling family, and the contribution to the Coalition of the annual membership fee established by the Board of Representatives.
Section 2. Member Families are entitled to vote, to hold office, to receive notices of meetings, and to receive all publications of the Coalition.
Section 3. Dues shall be fixed annually by the Board of Representatives not later than October 15 of each year.
Section 4. Statements of dues payable shall be sent annually to each Member Family in January. Any initial membership dues paid after July 1 shall be for an amount one-half the annual dues. Members whose dues are not paid within two months of such notification shall be suspended from Membership in the Coalition.
ARTICLE III. NONMEMBER ASSOCIATES
Section 1. Homeschoolers and other homeschooling advocates who wish to be part of the Coalition information network, but who do not wish to be considered Members of the Coalition or to have voting privileges in the Coalition may, in consideration of a fee set by the Board of Representatives, receive the Coalition newsletter and all other publications and communications of the Coalition.
ARTICLE IV. VOTING
Section 1. Each Member Family shall have one vote.
Section 2. When voting is called for, each Member Family shall receive by mail one ballot, all ballots being identical, except that each ballot shall indicate to the voter the voter’s district. In the event of an inconclusive election result, the voting procedure shall be repeated with an accompanying written explanation.
ARTICLE V. ORGANIZATION
Section 1. The activities of the Coalition shall be conducted in Districts, these Districts being established by grouping New Hampshire School Administrative Units (SAUs) as outlined below.
Section 2. From each District a representative shall be elected to serve on the Board of Representatives of the Coalition.
Section 3. The fiscal year of the Coalition shall be February 1 through January 31.
DISTRICT 1 (Portsmouth area)
SAU 5 Oyster River Cooperative (Durham, Lee, Madbury)
16 Exeter (Brentwood, E. Kingston, Kensington, Newfields, Stratham)
17 Sanborn Regional (Kingston, Newton)
21 Hampton (Hampton Falls, North Hampton, South Hampton, Seabrook, Winnacunnet Coop)
50 Rye, Greenland, Newcastle, Newington
DISTRICT 2 (Monadnock area)
SAU 1 Contoocook Valley (Antrim, Bennington, Dublin, Francestown, Greenfield, Hancock, Peterborough, Sharon, Temple)
29 Keene, Chesterfield, Harrisville, Marlboro, Marlow, Nelson, Westmoreland
38 Monadnock Regional (Fitzwilliam, Gilsum, Richmond, Roxbury, Sullivan, Surry, Swanzey, Troy), Hinsdale, Winchester
47 Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative
60 Fall Mountain Regional (Acworth, Alstead, Charlestown, Langdon, Walpole)
DISTRICT 3 (Littleton/Hanover area)
SAU 23 Haverhill Cooperative (Haverhill, Woodsville), Bath, Benton, Piermont, Warren
35 Littleton, Bethlehem, Lafayette Regional (Easton, Franconia, Sugar Hill), Landaff, Lisbon Regional (Lisbon, Lyman), Profile Coop
68 Lincoln-Woodstock Coop
78 Rivendell Interstate (Orford, Fairlee, VT, Vershire, VT)
DISTRICT 4 (Rochester area)
SAU 11 Dover
44 Northwood, Nottingham, Strafford, Coe-Brown Northwood Academy* (Barnstead, Barrington, Deerfield, Northwood, Nottingham, Strafford)
51 Barnstead, Pittsfield
56 Somersworth, Rollingsford
61 Farmington, Middleton
64 Milton, Wakefield
DISTRICT 5 (Sunapee area)
SAU 6 Claremont, Cornish, Unity
43 Newport, Croydon, Goshen-Lempster Coop, Sunapee
62 Mascoma Valley Regional (Canaan, Dorchester, Enfield, Grafton, Orange)
65 Kearsarge Regional (Bradford, Newbury, New London, Springfield, Sutton, Warner, Wilmot)
70 Hanover-Dresden (Hanover, Norwich, VT)
DISTRICT 6 (Derry/Salem area)
SAU 10 Derry Coop, Pinkerton Academy* (Derry, Hampstead, Chester)
28 Pelham, Windham
55 Timberlane Regional (Atkinson, Danville, Plaistow, Sandown, Hampstead)
DISTRICT 7 (Nashua area)
SAU 26 Merrimack
39 Amherst, Mont Vernon
41 Brookline, Hollis
63 Wilton, Lyndeborough, Mascenic Regional (Greenville, Mason, New Ipswich)
DISTRICT 8 (Carroll County)
SAU 9 Conway, Albany, Bartlett, Chatham, Eaton, Jackson, Hart’s Location
13 Tamworth, Madison, Freedom
49 Governor Wentworth Regional (Brookfield, Effingham, New Durham, Ossipee, Tuftonboro, Wolfeboro)
DISTRICT 9 (Concord area)
SAU 8 Concord
24 Henniker, John Stark Regional (Stoddard, Weare)
34 Hillsboro, Deering, Washington, Windsor
46 Merrimack Valley Regional (Boscawen, London, Penacook, Salisbury, Webster), Andover
53 Pembroke, Allenstown, Chichester, Deerfield, Epsom
80 Shaker Regional (Belmont, Canterbury)
DISTRICT 10 (Manchester area)
SAU 14 Epping, Chester, Fremont
15 Hooksett, Auburn, Candia
19 Goffstown, Dunbarton, New Boston
DISTRICT 11 (Laconia area)
SAU 2 Interlakes Coop (Center Harbor, Meredith, Sandwich), Ashland
4 Newfound Area (Alexandria, Bridgewater, Bristol, Danbury, Groton, Hebron, New Hampton)
18 Franklin, Hill
48 Ellsworth, Waterville Valley, Pemi-Baker Coop (Ashland, Campton, Holderness, Plymouth, Rumney, Thornton, Wentworth)
59 Winnisquam Regional (Northfield, Sanbornton, Tilton)
DISTRICT 12 (Berlin/Colebrook area)
SAU 3 Berlin
7 Colebrook (Clarksville, Columbia, Pittsburg, Stewartstown)
20 Gorham-Dummer, Errol, Milan, Randolph, Shelburne
36 White Mountains Regional (Carroll, Dalton, Jefferson, Lancaster, Whitefield)
58 Northumberland, Stark, Stratford
*Coe-Brown Academy and Pinkerton Academy enroll only high-school students
ARTICLE VI. MEETINGS
Section 1. Meetings of the Board of Representatives shall be held quarterly. Meetings shall be open to the public. Members shall be notified of the time and place of each meeting in the newsletter and on the web site. Attendance by five Representatives shall constitute a quorum.
Section 2. Decisions taken at meetings of the Board of Representatives shall be made by taking a vote of the Representatives. A simple majority vote shall pass a motion except as otherwise prescribed by Robert’s Rules of Order or by other provisions of the New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition’s Constitution or By-Laws. The Coordinator shall be entitled to vote only in the event that a tie-breaking vote is necessary. The Secretary and Treasurer shall not vote except where these officials also serve as Representatives.
Section 3. A special meeting shall be called by the Coordinator at the written request of at least three Representatives. Notice in writing shall be provided to each Representative at least seven days in advance of the meeting. The purpose of the meeting shall be stated in the notice and only such business as is stated in the notice shall be transacted at such meeting. In all other respects a special meeting shall be conducted in accordance with the Constitution and By-Laws.
ARTICLE VII. DUTIES OF THE REPRESENTATIVES
Section 1. Each Representative shall provide support and information to those interested in homeschooling in the representative’s district. Each Representative must be a member in good standing.
Section 2. Jointly the Board of Representatives shall oversee publication of the news of the Coalition and any other publication of the Coalition; establish dues; oversee expenditures; vote on proposed action presented by Coalition committees; and treat such matters as shall come before the Board.
Section 3. The Board of Representatives shall elect the Secretary, Treasurer, Coordinator, and other officers as it deems necessary at its June meeting. The Board may elect an officer to fill a vacancy at any regularly scheduled or special meeting. The Board of Representatives, by affirmative vote of two-thirds of the membership of the Board, may suspend or expel an Officer or a Representative for cause.
Section 4. In the case of a vacancy in the office of a Representative, a special election shall be held. The Board of Representatives shall provide for ballots to be mailed to Member Families in the district in question.
ARTICLE VIII. DUTIES OF THE OFFICERS
Section 1. Each Officer must be a member in good standing.
Section 2. The Coordinator
Section 2.1. The Coordinator shall be responsible for oversight of arrangements for and conduct of meetings of the Board of Representatives. The Coordinator shall be familiar with Robert’s Rules of Order and shall apply these rules to the meetings of the Board. In the event that the Coordinator shall be unable to attend a meeting of the Board of Representatives, an Alternate Coordinator shall be selected for the purpose of chairing the meeting in question.
Section 2.2. The Coordinator shall be available to the public-at-large and to the news media for information and public relations purposes. The Coordinator shall refer persons inquiring about homeschooling from a particular geographic region to the representative of that region.
Section 3. The Secretary
Section 3.1. The Secretary shall keep minutes of the meetings of the Board of Representatives; attend to all official correspondence at the direction of the Board of Representatives; maintain a record of each committee, its chairman, members, policy statement, and reports; and shall perform such other duties as are usually incident to the position. In the event that the Secretary shall be unable to attend a meeting of the Board of Representatives, an Alternate Secretary shall be selected for the purpose of keeping minutes of the meeting in question.
Section 4. The Treasurer
Section 4.1 The Treasurer shall receive all monies due to the Coalition and pay all bills of the Coalition. The Treasurer shall be authorized to make individual expenditures up to $100 without prior approval by the Board of Representatives. The Treasurer shall keep accurate records of the finances of the Coalition and shall be prepared to present such records at the quarterly meetings to the Board of Representatives. The Treasurer shall prepare an annual report of the finances of the Coalition and shall present this report to the Board of Representatives at the March meeting of the Board. The report will be published annually in March in the newsletter.
Section 4.2. In the event that the Treasurer shall be unable to attend a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Representatives, an Alternate Treasurer shall be selected for the purpose of presenting financial records at regularly scheduled meetings of the Board of Representatives.
Section 5. Appointed Officers
Section 5.1. A News Correspondent or Newsletter Editor shall be appointed by the Board of Representatives to a term of one year. The duties of this office shall be to make arrangements for the publication of the news of the Coalition and of its Members, and of such other materials as may foster the purposes of the Coalition.
Section 5.2. A Webmaster shall be appointed by the Board of Representatives to a term of one year. The duties of this office shall be to oversee the publication and maintenance of the various components of the web site. This will include, but may not be limited to, responding to inquiries to the web site regarding homeschooling, and forwarding inquiries to the appropriate board member or Members.
ARTICLE IX. DUTIES OF COMMITTEES
Section 1. The Board of Representatives shall, as necessary, establish committees. Each committee shall elect a chairman, who must be a Member in good standing, to conduct meetings and report in writing to the Board of Representatives on committee action. Committee meetings shall be open and, unless otherwise provided for in the Coalition By-Laws or committee policy statement, committee meetings shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order.
Section 2. Within 90 days after a committee is formed the committee chairman shall submit in writing a proposed policy statement that defines the purpose of the committee and the scope of its power to the Board of Representatives, which shall approve or amend the proposed policy statement.
Section 3. The Board of Representatives shall notify its membership through the Coalition newsletter when it has elected to form a committee and shall publish the committee’s policy statement once it is adopted.
Section 4. The Board of Representatives may dissolve a committee by majority vote.
ARTICLE X. REMUNERATION AND REIMBURSEMENT
Section 1. No official or other Member of the Coalition shall receive a salary for services provided to the Coalition.
Section 2. The Coalition shall reimburse all persons authorized by the Board of Representatives to make expenditures in carrying out the official business of the Coalition, when such expenditures are itemized and properly submitted.
ARTICLE XI. DISTRIBUTION OF THE ASSETS OF DISSOLUTION
Section 1. Upon the dissolution of the New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition, the Board of Representatives shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all of the liabilities of the Corporation, dispose of all of the assets of the Corporation in such manner or to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for purposes similar to those of the New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition.
ARTICLE XII. AMENDMENTS
Section 1. These By-Laws may be amended by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of the Board of Representatives at any regularly scheduled meeting of the Board, provided the proposed amendment shall have been presented in writing to each member of the Board at least ten days prior to the meeting. Amendments are subject to ratification by the membership at the earliest possible date.
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE
NEW HAMPSHIRE HOMESCHOOLING COALITION
CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
The New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition came into existence in 1989. It began as a simple effort to inform as many New Hampshire homeschoolers as could be reached of the fact that new legislation was pending that would affect all homeschoolers. That legislation had been drafted at the request of the New Hampshire School Administrators and was sponsored by then State Senator George Disnard. When homeschoolers expressed their dismay with the original wording and implications of the proposal, Senator Disnard agreed to work closely with homeschoolers around the state to produce a law that homeschoolers could support. Our current homeschooling law, RSA 193-A, and the formation of the Home Education Advisory Council were the result of that effort. Hundreds of New Hampshire homeschoolers were kept informed all during the legislative process in early 1990 by the fledgling New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition, with the support of the state’s Catholic and Christian homeschooling groups as well.
The documents that comprise this booklet were developed during the period from June of 1989 through May of 1990. The drafting process involved about a score of active participants who reviewed the documents at various stages of their development, with much of the actual language being written by Janina Lamb, Cindy Hopkins, and Mary Faiella. The valuable assistance of George D’Orazio, Elaine Rapp, and Barbara Parshley is also gratefully acknowledged.
The New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition Constitution and By-Laws were presented to all those who had become members of the group, along with the organization’s first slate of candidates for the Board of Representatives, in May/June of 1990. About half of the group’s members responded to the balloting, and they overwhelmingly approved the documents. Amendments were made and approved by the members in 1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, and 2005.
The New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition seeks to serve all homeschoolers in our state. These documents define its purpose and guide its work.