I. Name - The name of this organization shall be Bradley County Home Educators, herein referred to as BCHE.
II. Overview/Purpose - Bradley County Home Educators is a Christian organization and is governed by Christian principles; however, it is open to everyone who home schools regardless of religion or race as long as they can respect the policies, principles and Statement of Faith set forth in these by-laws.
III. Mission Statement/Goals
BCHE is a homeschool support group committed to helping homeschool families find joy in their homeschooling journey. We provide support by:
- Encouraging families to learn about homeschooling and explore it as a choice for their family. (easy access to information)
- Equipping homeschooling families with information and resources. (well-informed)
- Edifying homeschooling families through encouragement and fellowship. (affirmed)
- Providing activities, which will strengthen the community of homeschooling families. (connected)
IV. Statement of Faith
- The Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
- God has existed from all eternity in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14). Jesus Christ, born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:34-35), was God who came in human flesh being fully God and fully man except without sin (John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:14-17.) Man is by nature sinful and is inherently in need of salvation (Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; Romans 10:9-13).
- Christ bore our sins in His body on the cross so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 3:18; Isaiah 53:5; 1 John 2:2 ). He rose bodily from the dead (Matthew 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-20; Luke 24:1-53; John 20:1–21:25) .
- Salvation is offered as a gift, free to the sinner. This gift must be responded to in faith, trusting in the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9; Galations 3:21; II Timothy 1:9).
- Children are a heritage from the Lord entrusted to parents to train up in righteousness for His glory (Psalm 127:3-5).
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7
*Note: Anyone serving in a position of leadership on the steering team or in any position teaching our children in our co-op is required to sign our Statement of Faith.
A. Membership - Qualifications for membership are as follows:
- Membership is open to all those homeschooling or interested in homeschooling.
- Potential families currently homeschooling must be homeschooling according to and in compliance with Tennessee state law. This would not apply to those not currently homeschooling school age children or families interested in learning more about homeschooling.
- Membership is acquired by submitting a signed application (physical copy or online), signing the waiver of liability, and paying the appropriate membership dues.
- Potential families shall acknowledge, by signing/submitting the application, that they understand the Statement of Faith constitutes the governing principles of BCHE and they agree to respect them.
- In accordance with its Statement of Faith and the authority of Scripture, BCHE leadership reserves the right to revoke or terminate membership of any member who does not follow or respect the spirit of our governing principles. The Steering Team, by majority vote, has the final decision in revoking or terminating membership.
- Membership dues are required on a yearly basis, according to the fiscal year. BCHE's fiscal year begins August 1st and ends July 31st. Dues may be graduated according to members' level of service and volunteer efforts in the previous fiscal year.
- Members are strongly encouraged to serve in at least one activity. As an incentive for fulfilling service tasks, members dues may be reduced according to services provided. The refund for the duties performed the current year will be given at the end of the membership year.
- Waiver of membership dues, based on financial hardship, will be confidentially considered on an individual basis. Any waiver is granted for a one-year term and will be reconsidered in the following year if the hardship continues and is made known to a Board member currently holding office.
- Members must not distribute any member names, addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and other personal information out of respect for the privacy of member families.
- Service Task leaders must be approved by the Steering Team. Co-op teachers must be approved by the Co-op committee and the Steering Team. The Steering Team has the final authority in choosing leadership and teaching positions.
Benefits of membership include, but are not limited to:
- Exclusive BCHE members only co-op, field trips, social events, educational opportunities, teen activities, extracurricular activities, clubs, book sales, testing, mom’s night out, homeschool resources, password protected website access, membership directory, and a BCHE membership card.
B. Leadership - the leadership of BCHE shall be known collectively to the membership as the Steering Team.
Requirements for leadership:
- Must have been actively homeschooling at least three (3) years.
- Must have been an active participating member of BCHE for at least one (1) year.
- Must sign and agree to the Statement of Faith and must profess by credible testimony of faith in Jesus Christ (Born Again Christian).
- Must agree to attend and contribute to all Steering/Board/Business meetings.
- Must agree to attend membership meetings to be accessible to membership and provide support for both the leadership team and general membership.
- The leadership team strives to maintain quality of leadership, the vision of the group, and harmony among the leaders. BCHE Leaders will serve as a positive Christian example to other homeschoolers and the community, and lead with a servant’s heart.
- There will be no term limits for the Board (Steering Team). A position will become available by resignation, death, or removal.
- Board (Steering Team) members must not hold a leadership position within another homeschool support group.
- The Board (Steering Team) shall consist of at least nine (9) named voting members and at-large members as deemed necessary by President and Vice-President:
- President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Enrichment Co-Op Director, High School Co-Op Director, Communications Coordinator, Member Services Coordinator, Social Events Coordinator, At-large chair (as needed/appointed).
- The Board (Steering Team) is self-perpetuating; it elects and replaces its own members without approval or vote from the membership at large.
- Board (Steering team) members select their replacements in coordination with the entire board by fervently praying and seeking God’s will. The team must be in unanimous agreement with the replacement selection. A board member may be removed by majority vote of the board.
- President: The President, or in his absence or by his directive the Vice-President or other Team Member designated by the President, shall preside over all Board meetings of the organization and call special meetings as needed. He/She shall, in general, perform all the duties incident to the office of President and such other duties as may occur from time to time.
- Vice-President: The Vice-President shall assist the President in the overall management of the organization. In the absence of the President or in event of his death, inability or refusal to act, the Vice-President shall perform all the duties of the President, and when so acting, shall have all the powers of and be subject to all the restrictions upon the President. He shall, in general, perform all the duties incident to the office of Vice-President and such other duties as may occur from time to time. Specific duties include, but are not limited to; representing BCHE as spokesperson at community meetings or discussions about home school organizations, if the President is unable to attend. Vice-President presides over member meetings: introduces guest speakers, starts special activities, shares on relevant topics, leads/facilitates group discussions.
- Secretary: The Secretary shall keep complete records of BCHE business meetings, handle all official correspondence, and be custodian of all official records except as shall be required of the Treasurer. At the completion of the term of office, the Secretary shall hand over to the succeeding Secretary all official books and records. Complete records: Minutes of all meetings, indicating the time and place of holding such meetings, whether regular or special, how called, the notice given, and the names of those present and the proceedings thereof.
- Treasurer: The Treasurer shall have charge and custody of, and be responsible for, all funds and securities of BCHE and deposit all such funds in the name of BCHE in a timely manner. The treasurer shall receive, and give receipt for, monies due and payable to the association from any source whatsoever. The treasurer shall maintain adequate and correct books and records of account, including accounts of its properties and business transactions and accounts of its assets, liabilities, receipts, disbursements, and gains and losses. The Treasurer shall submit an annual budget to be approved by the Steering Team. At the completion of term of office, Treasurer shall hand over to the succeeding Treasurer all financial papers, records and funds. The Treasurer is responsible for financial reporting to state and federal government when due each year, and for renewing liabilty insurance each year.
- Enrichment Co-Op Director: Enrichment Co-Op Director shall have all administrative powers over the co-op portion of BCHE. The Co-Op Director shall be accountable to the Board (Steering Team) for any and all co-op policies that would potentially affect BCHE membership as a whole.
- High School Co-Op Director: High School Co-Op Director shall have all administrative powers over the high school co-op portion of BCHE. The High School Co-Op Director shall be accountable to the Board (Steering Team) for any and all co-op policies that would potentially affect BCHE membership as a whole.
- Communications Coordinator: Communications Coordinator shall be in charge of administrating the Homeschool-Life website as well as managing the e-mail list and all other communications needed by the organization. The Communications Coordinator will be expected to work closely with the Secretary, Member Services Coordinator, Special Events Coordinator and Co-Op Coordinator to effectively cover all events and opportunities in a timely manner.
- Member Services Coordinator: Member Services Coordinator shall administrate, develop and head up all leader/helper teams designated for and activities which serve the members all year long (clubs, park days, field trips, graduations, etc.)
- Social Events Coordinator: Social Events Coordinator shall administrate leader/helper teams charged with events and parties that happen once a year. (e.g.: MS/HS Socials, Back to School Bash, Family Picnic, Holiday Parties, etc.)
- At-Large: Members at large will serve with no specific duties assigned. They will be asked to assist in any position necessary; they will be asked to volunteer for unassigned responsibilities as they arise.
Leadership Conflict of Interest Policy
- No member of the BCHE Board (Steering Team) shall derive any personal profit or gain, directly or indirectly, by reason of his or her participation in BCHE. Each individual shall disclose to the Board (Steering Team) any personal interest which he or she may have in any matter pending before the organization and shall refrain from participation in any decision on such matter.
Board (Steering Team):
- Board (Steering team) Business meetings shall be called quarterly or when otherwise deemed necessary by the President and Vice-President for the purpose of discussing old and new business pertinent to the business of BCHE. There will also be an annual summer planning retreat for planning the upcoming year. Members of the Board (Steering Team) may miss only one of these regularly scheduled meetings.
- Dates and times for Member Meetings will be determined each year by the Board (Steering Team). These meetings will open to all members and will seek to provide educational, academic, spiritual and emotional encouragement for families.
- The annual dues cover, but are not limited to, website costs, postage, copies, paper products, party/events supplies, new member packet, facility rent, special speakers/ entertainment, and miscellaneous expenses. Amount of dues and the coverage is set by the BCHE Board (Steering Team). BCHE will maintain a deposit account with an insured financial institution. Treasurer, plus at least two other board members will be recognized signers for checking account. Regular reviews will be conducted on all accounts.
- The BCHE Board (Steering Team) are volunteers, and do not receive any type of compensation for their services. The Board may be advanced or reimbursed their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
- BCHE Members will be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of a pre-approved BCHE Function. Upon receipt of a reimbursement form and the appropriate receipts, the Treasurer may authorize a disbursement.
- At the summer planning retreat, BCHE Steering Team members will annually submit a proposed budget for the areas they are responsible for. Approval will be passed by a majority (60%) vote of the Board (Steering Team).
VI. Code of Conduct/Decorum
Our main concerns for homeschool events are:
- SAFETY of the children
- RESPECT for the property of others
- REPUTATION of our group and homeschooling in our community
Therefore, a high standard of behavior must be maintained as a testimony to others. Profane language, ethnic or racial slurs, off-color jokes, etc. will not be tolerated from any BCHE member. Please refer to our policies and procedures for a more detailed list of our expectations and behavior guidelines.
Grievance policy: Any member who has a question, problem, or concern about the management of BCHE is encouraged to bring his/her concern to the BCHE Board (Steering Team). Members are encouraged to avoid gossip and grumbling, but to instead bring the problem to someone who can help – the BCHE Leadership. We strive to promote unity within the group through words and conduct. If a situation or problem arises within the group, refer to Matthew 18:15- 17.
VII. Amendments of Bylaws
Proposed amendments to these Bylaws may be submitted in writing to the BCHE Board (Steering Team) by any active BCHE member. Proposals will be considered by BCHE leadership and adopted as new amendments if approved by a majority vote of the BCHE Board (Steering Team).
Upon dissolution of this organization, our remaining assets will be used exclusively for the purpose of the continuation of home education. The Board (Steering Team), at the time of dissolution will, by simple majority vote determine the homeschool organization to which the remaining assets will be given.
Revised~Steering Team Meeting~9/2/2010
Revised~Steering Team Retreat~7/16/2011
Revised~Steering Team Meeting~7/23/2016
Revised~Steering Team Meeting~7/15/2021
Revised- Steering Team Meeting-7/31/2023