Bylaws and Constitution
Revised to include all amendments as of January 2011.
- The name of this organization shall be the “The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers,” or VaHomeschoolers, a not-for-profit organization.
The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers is established for the following reasons:
- To provide a statewide homeschool organization open to all individuals and families.
- To provide an organization that takes no position on religion, partisan politics, and non-homeschooling issues and that requires no religious test as a condition for membership or service.
- To help safeguard the rights of parents to educate their children.
- To provide a forum which brings together homeschool families for sharing mutual homeschooling interests.
- To promote home education as a viable educational option by supplying an accurate portrayal of homeschooling that includes positive representation of homeschoolers’ diversity of philosophies, theologies, and methodologies.
- To support its members in various ways including advising individuals and organizations on strategies for changing local and state homeschool policies and practices and to direct pursuit of such changes.
- To represent homeschool interests to government at all levels including legislators, county officials, local and state school boards, departments of education, and public education officials.
- To represent homeschool interests to the public, including news media, civic organizations, and public education advocacy groups.
- To provide news and information of value to home educators including that pertaining to conventions and other events, laws, policies, regulations, and education resources employing a variety of media including print and electronic publications, a website, special mailings, phone, correspondence, and addresses at workshops, seminars, local, regional, state, national and international gatherings.
- To support home educators by providing referrals to local organizations, special interest, and other groups related to home education.
- In furtherance of the objectives described in Article II, but not in limitation thereof, the Organization shall have the power to collect and disseminate statistics and other information, to conduct investigations and to hold such property as is necessary to effectuate its purposes and to serve on national, state, regional and local committees where home education needs representation.
- Membership is open to individuals, families, local and other home education organizations, businesses, and other interested parties.
- No statement of faith is required.
- Membership dues shall be set by the Board of Directors.
- Membership shall consist of those whose dues have been paid or waived by Board action.
- Each member shall have one vote in such affairs of the Organization that are put before the members for vote.
- Membership benefits include VaHomeschoolers publications and additional benefits as determined by the Board.
- The fiscal year of this Organization shall coincide with that requiring reporting to the Secretary of the Commonwealth for lobbyist purposes.
- A summary financial report shall be produced annually.
- Full accounting shall be available to members on request.
- Financial records and reports shall be audited by the Finance Committee.
- This organization shall be governed by a board of not less than five nor more than nine directors.
- Directors shall be members of VaHomeschoolers.
- Directors shall have homeschooled for at least one year.
- Directors shall be supportive of VaHomeschoolers’ inclusive stance and shall support VaHomeschoolers’ purposes.
- Directors are accountable to the members of VaHomeschoolers.
- Directors shall be residents of Virginia.
- Board of directors shall be elected by the membership by mail ballot.
- Elections shall be held bi-annually at minimum.
- Directors’ terms shall be two years.
- Directors may run for re-election.
- Vacancies between elections shall be filled by appointment by the current board.
- Elections and appointments shall be announced to the membership.
- Biographical information shall be submitted by candidates for dissemination to the membership prior to an election.
Powers and Duties
- The Board of Directors shall direct and administer the business and policies of the Organization, including but not limited to electing the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer, appointing lobbyists, editors and committee members, and assigning responsibilities and providing guidance thereto.
- A majority of directors may cause any question to be submitted to the general membership to be decided by vote.
- The Board of Directors shall confer with the members and shall formulate and establish the policies and positions of the Organization.
- Each director will accept members’ questions, suggestions, observations, complaints and advice on any home education matter.
- Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at least quarterly and are open to all members.
- A simple majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum thereof and a simple majority of the board members in attendance in all meetings shall in the presence of a quorum decide its action.
- The Board in absence of a quorum shall adjourn until a later date, continue the meeting on another date, recess until a quorum is attained, or take other measures to assemble a quorum.
- Meetings shall be conducted by Robert’s Rule of Order.
- The order of business will be determined by the President for board meetings and committee chairs for committee meetings and shall include reading of previous meeting minutes, committee reports, unfinished business, new business, issues requested by board members and adjournment.
Removal of Directors, Committee Members, and Staff
- Any director may be removed from his/her position on the Board for cause by unanimous consent of the other Directors.
- Any committee member or staff person may be removed from his/her position for cause by majority consent of the Board.
- The President shall preside at all meetings of the Organization and have general supervision of its affairs,
- shall serve as chair of the Board,
- shall appoint with the approval of the Board all committees, and
- shall convene with approval of the Board, at least quarterly and when in his/her opinion the affairs of the Organization demand, a meeting or when two or more board members or ten percent of the membership request a meeting.
- The Vice-President shall have all the powers and perform the regular duties of the President during his/her absence.
- The Secretary shall keep and report board meeting minutes in writing,
- shall notify board members of upcoming meetings,
- shall keep permanent record of the board actions and committee reports, and
- shall conduct such communications and correspondence as determined by the Board.
- The Treasurer shall receive all dues, contributions and other income and shall pay all bills of the Organization,
- shall make financial reports at board meetings,
- shall prepare other required financial reports on behalf of the Organization including but not limited to the lobbyist disclosure reports,
- shall submit annual organization financial statements, and
- shall work with the Finance Committee to propose operating budgets.
- The appointments of all committees and their chairpersons shall be made by the President with majority consent of the Board, which may re-define their duties from time to time.
- Committee members shall be members of VaHomeschoolers, shall be supportive of VaHomeschoolers’ inclusive stance and shall support VaHomeschoolers’ purposes.
- Such committee appointees shall serve for one year.
- Committees are accountable to the Board of Directors and shall report to the Board at each board meeting.
- All committees, with the guidance of the President, will set and monitor short term and long range goals.
- The Membership Committee shall work to maintain and increase membership for the Organization, and
- shall assess the needs and interests of the membership and make recommendations to the Board for improvement of member services.
- The Publication Committee shall publish and disseminate to members a bi-monthly publication with information about homeschool legislation, Organization activities, and other news and views concerning home education, and
- shall develop print informational materials as needed by the Organization.
Government Affairs Committee
- The Government Affairs Committee shall be chaired by a VaHomeschoolers registered lobbyist,
- shall coordinate and implement legislative, legal and governmental initiatives for the Organization,
- shall recommend resolutions, draft legislation and governmental issues requiring VaHomeschoolers’ attention to the Board of Directors,
- shall represent VaHomeschoolers, homeschoolers, and home education in general in legislative and governmental affairs as directed by the Board, and
- shall provide resources on current home education legislation, governmental and related issues to the membership and the general public.
- The Finance Committee shall be chaired by a Board member other than the Treasurer,
- shall oversee programs for the solicitation of funds,
- shall develop VaHomeschoolers budgets with the assistance of the Treasurer, and
- shall audit the records and reports of the Treasurer.
Public Relations Committee
- The Public Relations Committee shall develop and maintain resources and programs to educate and inform home educators and the general public,
- shall support positive interaction with media, governmental officials and the general public, and
- shall encourage an accurate, positive and diverse portrayal of homeschooling.
- The Events Committee shall develop and organize conferences, seminars and other outreach opportunities for homeschoolers to meet and share information.
Online Communication Committee
- The Online Communication Committee shall maintain a website to facilitate outreach and education, and
- shall develop online communication strategies as needed, utilizing tools including but not limited to email, blogs and social media.
- Other committees may be established when deemed advisable by the President.
- VaHomeschoolers communication content shall comply with the stated purpose of the Organization. Editorial guidance for print and electronic communication shall be provided by the Board as appropriate.
- Upon dissolution of VaHomeschoolers, the Directors shall, after making provision for the payment of all the liabilities of the Organization, dispose of all the assets in such a manner as to benefit one or more homeschool organizations. The choice of the organization(s) shall be left to the discretion of the Directors at the time of dissolution.
- This constitution and bylaws may be amended by ballot by a majority affirmative vote of the voting membership.
- The Board of Directors shall consider any amendment proposed by a member or director.
- Any amendment recommended by a two-thirds majority of the Board of Directors shall be presented to the general membership for vote.
- Proposed amendments shall be conveyed to the members with ballot.
- The Board of Directors may, by unanimous vote, make grammatical or punctuation changes that do not affect policy or meaning.
This information is provided as a courtesy of The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers. It is not intended as legal advice. For legal advice, contact a licensed attorney.
VaHomeschoolers is a non-profit public charity with 501(c)(3) status; your donation is tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.