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Constitution and By-Laws

ARTICLE I
Name

The name of this organization shall be Northshore Home Educators Association, hereafter, referred to as NHEA.

ARTICLE II
Definition

NHEA was founded and organized by a group of Christian home educators who desire to support and serve one another in the task of educating and strengthening their families within their homes. NHEA is a non-profit Christian corporation dedicated to observing the Biblical commands of Deuteronomy 6:4-9, (Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shall talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house and on thy gates. KJV), Proverbs 22:6, (Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it. KJV) and Ephesians 6:4 (And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. KJV). We believe that every family has the God-given legal and constitutional right to home educate their children in the state of Louisiana, regardless of their philosophy of education or religious affiliation. NHEA shall strongly support the freedom given to each individual family to educate their children as the Lord leads them while meeting all state requirements for home educating families. NHEA is not intended to function as an institution to replace either the family or the church. NHEA shall encourage parents to voluntarily plan activities to enhance their family’s educational development. NHEA shall not be affiliated with any single denomination.

ARTICLE III
Statement of Purpose

NHEA is organized exclusively for the purpose of providing information, support, and services to Christian home educating families including but not limited to the following ways:

1. By distributing information regarding the political and legal climate of home education in the state of Louisiana and in our nation.
2. By encouraging home educating families to seek appropriate home school legal counsel.
3. By taking appropriate action as necessary to protect the future freedoms of home education in the state of Louisiana and in our nation.
4. By promoting the advantages of home education to the community.
5. By promoting high quality home education programs for the purpose of developing Christ-like character and assist in satisfying the spiritual, intellectual, physical, social, and emotional growth needs of our children.
6. By reviewing and disseminating home education materials and information considered vital to home educators, thus serving as a resource to parents desiring to educate their children in the home.
7. By maintaining a website.
8. By planning and conducting activities, field trips, outings, seminars, forums, workshops and other educational opportunities designed to provide information and training that will assist parents and others involved with or interested in home education.

ARTICLE IV
Statement of Faith

Section 1: Preface
Our Statement of Faith includes only those truths upon which all true Christians agree. It concerns the person and work of Jesus Christ (the Gospel) as revealed Scripture. It is the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3, Eph. 4:5), which distinguishes believers from non-believers. There are many other precious truths taught in the Bible over which godly men have differed in understanding. Therefore, this is not a statement of all that is important to believe, but of all that is essential to believe for Christian fellowship and unity (Rom. 15:7), and should not hinder the unity of Christian home educators.

Section 2: Statement
2.1 We believe that the Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe.
2.2 We believe that there is one God eternally existent in three persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
2.3 We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood on the cross, His bodily resurrection, His ascension, and His imminent bodily return in power and glory.
2.4 We believe that man was created in the image of God, but fell into sin and is therefore lost, and only those who put their faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God can be saved.
2.5 We believe that salvation is the free gift of God brought to the sinner by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ whose substitutionary death on the cross paid the penalty for man’s sin.
2.6 We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convict, indwell, guide, instruct, and empower the believer for godly living and service.
2.7 We believe in the spiritual unity of believers through our common faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that individual doctrinal differences which may exist, outside of the aforementioned (IV: 1-6), should not hinder the unity of Christian home educators.

ARTICLE V
Statement of Marriage and Sexuality

1. We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complimentary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen. 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological sex is rejection of the image of God. Biological sex means the condition of being male or female, which is determined by a person’s chromosomes, and is identified at birth by person’s anatomy.
2. We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning and that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Gen. 2:18-24)
3. We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of the marriage between a man and a woman. (1 Cor. 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4)
4. We believe that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography, prostitution, pedophilia, sodomy, or disagreement with one’s biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God. (Ex. 20:14; Lev. 18:7-23, 20:10-21; Deut. 5:18; Matt. 5:27-28; 15:18-20; Rom 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-13; 1 Thes. 4:3; Heb. 13:4; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 4:17-19; Col. 3:5)
5. We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of the NHEA and to provide a biblical role model to the organization members and the community, it is imperative that all persons volunteering and serving as leaders of NHEA should agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage and Sexuality and conduct themselves accordingly. (Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:14-16; 1 Thes. 5:22)
6. We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accordance with scripture. (Eph. 4:29-32)

ARTICLE VI
Statement of Family and Education

Section 1: Family
1.1 We believe that the family is the basic governmental, social, and spiritual unit created by God. In it, the child learns self-government, social relationships, and develops a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, according to John 3:5 and 16, Ephesians 6:1 and Colossians 3:20. The family also provides protection from over-extensive government and over stimulating social involvements.
1.2 We believe “family” to mean one male and one female parent, legally married, with one or more children (Genesis 1:26-28). We recognize single parents and foster children as “family” in accordance with James 1:27. We reject homosexual practice or homosexual marriages because it is contrary to Scripture and the intentions of God in creation (Romans 1:18-32), and we believe such relationships are destructive to children and the very idea of family. Further we reject transitory, co-habitational relationships as being equally in violation of God’s laws and incapable of providing long-term nurture and instruction needed by children and commanded by God (Proverbs 1:8-9, 2:1-11 Colossians 3:21; and Eph. 6:4). In view of this, no homosexual or merely cohabiting “parents” are eligible for membership in this organization.
1.3 We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. (Ps. 139)

Section 2: Education
2.1 We believe that the ultimate responsibility for the education of children belongs to parents (Deuteronomy 4:9, 6:1-25, and 4:1-4). Thus, we believe this is an inalienable right given by God which the State cannot create, destroy, or alter. Parents may allow another to teach some of the cognitive information that children need to know, but all education must be under the ultimate control and supervision of the parents.
2.2 We believe that all education is religious in nature since one’s view of the world and life is inevitably involved in teaching (Proverbs 2:1-8 and 3:1-2, with 6:20-23; and Matthew 28:18-20). Every discipline of knowledge, whether it be a subject such as mathematics, science, or history will have its final reference point a theistic or, in the alternative, a humanistic view of reality (Colossians 1:15- 20 and 2:8-15), and that there is no neutral academic discipline. We believe that the religions of Secular Humanism and Christianity are mutually exclusive.

ARTICLE VII
Membership

Section 1: Specifications
Membership is open to all home educating families who agree to and abide by the statement of faith, statement of marriage and sexuality, statement of family and education, statement of purpose and bylaws of this organization.

Section 2: Benefits of membership
2.1 Support meetings for parents. 2.2 Home educators’ website. 2.3 Updated information provided by the NHEA email chain. 2.4 An opportunity to participate in all NHEA activities. 2.5 Membership of CHEF. 2.6 Reduced membership cost to Home School Legal Defense.

Section 3: Application for Membership
By submitting an application for membership in the organization, members agree to abide by all standards and policies of the organization as established by the Board of Directors. This application shall be submitted on an annual basis reaffirming their commitment to Articles IV, V and VI of this constitution. The amount of the dues will be identified on the membership application. There will be no prorated dues for either late applications or resignations.

Section 4: Expectations
It is expected that all members will support NHEA with their annual dues and in the work of the organization to ensure that its purpose is met which includes the following:
4.1 Exercise diligence in teaching their children in a responsible way.
4.2 Meet all Louisiana state requirements regarding home education.
4.3 Serve other members by assisting with at least one NHEA activity each year.
4.4 Maintain high standards of conduct and etiquette for themselves and their children when representing NHEA.

Section 5: Revocation of Membership
If and when any member is found to be in confessional or ethical non-compliance with the statement of faith, statement of marriage and sexuality, statement of family and education, statement of purpose or bylaws of this organization, the Board must follow “The Matthew 18 Principle” (Matt 18:15-17, the principle of reconciliation). If the matter remains unresolved the said member shall be dropped from membership. This is to be done by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE VIII
GOVERNMENT

Section 1: Governing Authority
1.1 The governing body of this organization shall be known as its Board of Directors and it shall have plenary powers to do all things necessary and proper to operate and control this organization. This board shall consist of seven (7) members: Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Activity Director, Member At Large, and Academic Events Director. Each member shall consist of a husband and wife team which constitutes one (1) board vote.
1.2 Because NHEA is not affiliated with any single local church body or denomination, the NHEA board shall be representative of at least two different local church bodies and denominations.
1.3 The NHEA board shall consist of members who represent each age group (i.e. elementary school families, middle school families, and high school families). The board shall also be representative of both relatively new and experienced home schooling families.

Section 2: Quorum
Four-sevenths (4/7) of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum.

Section 3: Board Decisions
The act of majority vote of the Board members present at a meeting shall be the act of the Board, except as otherwise noted in these bylaws. Votes ending in a tie will be deemed as having failed.

Section 4: Constitution and/or Bylaw Changes
Six-sevenths (6/7) of the Board of Directors shall be required for the purpose of amending the Constitution and/or Bylaws. Votes ending in a tie will be deemed as having failed.

Section 5: Informal Action by the Board
Any action normally taken at meetings of the Board of Directors may be taken without a meeting if a consent in writing setting forth the action to be taken is signed by all of the Board members.

Section 6: Compensation
Members of the Board shall not receive any compensation or stated salaries for services on this board.

Section 7: Meetings of the Board of Directors
The Board of Directors shall meet at least quarterly (4 times) during the year.

Section 8: Special Meetings
Special meetings can be held at the discretion of the Chairman or when called by a majority of the Board of Directors with a proposed agenda.

ARTICLE IX
Board Members

Section 1: Board Members
Board members shall be confirmed by the current Board of Directors by a majority vote.

Section 2: Board of Directors Qualifications
All board members must meet the following qualifications:
2.1 Must have a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ as demonstrated in his or her personal testimony and evidenced in his or her daily life.
2.2 Be an active, responsible member of NHEA for at least one (1) year; must have home educated for a minimum of one year, meeting the NHEA membership requirements; must be home educating during their board tenure.
2.3 Sign a statement that they agree with all parts of the Constitution and By-laws of this organization and Christian Home Educators Fellowship of Louisiana (CHEF)

Section 3: Duties of the Board of Directors
3.1 Chairman: Shall be responsibility for the overall functioning of the organization, preside over all meetings of Board of Directors, assign members to committees, shall be an ex officio member of all committees, and oversee the work done by any individuals or organizations whose services are contracted by this organization.
3.2 Vice-Chairman: Shall execute functions of the Chairman when said officer is unable to carry out a given responsibility and such duties as shall be assigned by the Chairman.
3.3 Secretary: Shall record all business conducted at board or general meetings, submit such records to the Chairman, and prepare and maintain the minutes of the meeting in writing.
3.4 Treasurer: Shall be responsible for maintaining financial records of this organization, maintaining a list of members, payment of bills of the organization not exceeding budget authorization, procurement of necessary equipment and supplies, providing regular financial reports, preparing annual budget, and managing regulatory documents.
3.5 Activity Director: Shall be responsible for coordinating with members and committees in planning and conducting NHEA activities, coordinating the dates of activities sponsored by the organization, and holds the primary responsibility for NHEA calendar.
3.6 Member at Large: Shall be responsible for coordinating with members and committees in planning and conducting all NHEA moms’ events and overseeing volunteers planning NHEA moms’ events.
3.7 Academic Events Director: Shall be responsible for coordinating with members and committees in planning and conducting all academic events and coordinating the dates of academic events sponsored by the organization.

Section 4: Term of Office
4.1 The term of office shall be up to two (2) years in duration, from June 1 to May 31, with one term limitation in one office.
4.2 Service on the board shall further be limited to a total of six (6) consecutive years of active service in any position. After six years of consecutive service, board members must sit out a minimum of two (2) full years before serving another term.

Section 5: Vacancy
A vacancy in any board position because of death, resignation, relocation, or removal may be filled by the Board of Directors for the unexpired portion of the term.
5.1 Any member of the Board of Directors who is unable to fulfill their duties may resign by submitting a written letter of resignation to the Chairman.
5.2 Any board member may be removed from office when such board member is found to be in confessional or ethical non-compliance with the statement of faith, statement of marriage and sexuality, statement of family and education, statement of purpose or bylaws of this organization. The Board of Directors must follow “The Matthew 18 Principle” (Matt 18:15-17, the principle of reconciliation). If the matter remains unresolved, the said board member shall be removed from office by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE X
Director and Officer Indemnification

The corporation shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless any and all of its officers, members of the Board of Directors, or former officers or members, or any person who may have served at its request or by its election as a member or office of the corporation, in connection with the defense or settlement of any action, suit or proceeding in which they, or any of them, are made parties, or a party, by reason of being or having been members or officers of the corporation, except in relation to matters as to which any such member or officer or former director or officer or person shall be adjudged in such action, suit or proceeding to be liable for willful misconduct in the performance of duty and to such matters as shall be settled by agreement predicted on the existence of such liability. The indemnification provided hereby shall not be deemed exclusive of any other right to which anyone seeking indemnification hereunder may be entitled under any by-law, agreement, or otherwise, both as to action in his official capacity and as to action in another capacity while holding such office. The corporation may purchase 8 of 8 and maintain insurance on the behalf of any member, officer, agent, employee or former member or officer or other person, against any liability asserted against them and incurred by him to the extent that the corporation would have the power to indemnify him against such liability under the provisions of this Article and the law of the state.

ARTICLE XI
Budget and Dues Structure

Section 1: Adoption of Budget and Dues
The outgoing board shall establish the budget for the next year before the end of their term on May 31st. Once the membership revenue for the current year has been established (after the late fee deadline has passed) the budget shall be reviewed and updated, if necessary, to take into account actual membership funds available.

Section 2: Determination of Annual Dues
Dues will be based on the operating expenses such as the cost of the website, and dues to maintain membership in the state CHEF organization.

Section 3: Fiscal Year
The membership and fiscal year shall be from June 1 to May 31 of each calendar year Section 4: Collection of Dues Dues will be paid by NHEA member families directly to the treasurer.

ARTICLE XII
Dissolution

Upon the recommendation of the Board of Directors and a majority vote of the membership present at a special meeting for the purpose of dissolution, this organization may be dissolved and its activities closed. A notice of special meeting for dissolution must be distributed to all current members 30 days prior to the meeting date.