Smoky Valley Home Educators, Inc. By-laws
Amended and approved by the membership
Initial approval: April 28, 2003
Revised: May 19, 2014, April 25, 2016 and June 4, 2021
Article I – Name
The name of the organization shall be Smoky Valley Home Educators, Inc. (SVHE).
Article II – Definition and purpose
SVHE is organized for the purpose of encouraging each other in our choice of providing a Christ-centered education for our children at home through Christian fellowship and moral support. We, as parents, have joined together to promote stronger families, raise Godly children to stand against the world’s standards and provide quality education for our children through the mutual encouragement of friendship, planned activities, and individualized home
school programs. We Christian parents believe that we have a Biblical responsibility to do so according to the inspired Word of God in the scriptures as written: Deut. 6: 6-7, Prov. 2:6, 2Tim. 3:16-17, Eph .6:1-4, Isa .54:13, 2 Tim .2:15, Josh. 24:15, 1Cor. 15:33. SVHE is a volunteer organization and does not seek to represent, or speak for, all home educators in the Salina/north central Kansas area. SVHE is not a governing or certifying body for home educators. SVHE is not a church nor is this organization meant to replace the ministry of the local church to the home education family. SVHE advocates private home
education, i.e., parents who take full responsibility for the education of their children without government assistance.
Article III – Type of Organization
SVHE shall not have any capital stock and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. It shall have the right to collect dues and perform any other activities incidental to carrying out the purposes of SVHE.
Article IV – Statement of faith
1. The Bible to be the inspired, infallible, divinely preserved Word of God, the supreme and final authority for all faith and life.
2. That there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
3. 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.
4. 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 can be saved.
5. That salvation is the free gift of God brought to the sinner by grace and received by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose substitutionary death on the cross paid the penalty for man’s sin.
6. That the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convict mankind; indwell, guide, instruct, and empower the believer for godly living and service.
7. 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 – Meetings for purpose of conducting business:
1. SVHE conducts quarterly business meetings as determined by the Advisory Council in advance of each school year. A “duly-called meeting” of the membership for purposes of conducting business shall be defined as any of these regularly-scheduled quarterly business meetings. This does not preclude the Advisory Council from conducting business which is in their purview at other times and when all of the 5 Advisory Council members are present (this also does not preclude the use of teleconferencing or similar for Advisory Council meetings if necessary to achieve the 5 member present rule.)
2. A special meeting may be called by the President with the consent of the majority of the Advisory Council and which is announced via social media, special mailing, phone tree or email to the membership at least two (2) weeks prior to such meeting. In addition, a special meeting may also be called by at least 10% of SVHE Voting members, including at least one member of the Advisory Council, of SVHE at large, providing the 2-week notice is given according to the above rules. This would not require the consent of the President nor Advisory council.
3. Business shall not be conducted at any meetings not called according to the above rules.
4. Quorum: Business may be conducted at any duly-called meeting when at least 10% of SVHE voting members, including at least one Advisory Council Member, are present.
Article VI – Officers
1. The officers of SVHE shall consist of a President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary and CHECK Representative. Officers shall not receive any salaries for services as an officer. However, nothing herein stated shall preclude any officer from being reimbursed for expenses incurred while fulfilling these duties; i.e. travel-related expenses, phone calls, copying expenses, postage, etc.
A. Must sign the statement attached signifying that they agree with all parts of SVHE’s Statement of Faith and Statement of Purpose.
B. Must have privately home educated his or her child(ren) for at least two consecutive years by the time their term of office begins.
C. Must regularly be involved in a local fellowship or church (including a home church) or actively seeking a new church home.
D. Must have been a member of SVHE for one year by the time their term of office begins.
2. Election, term of office, responsibilities and other criteria:
A. President: Must be male, must have been active in different areas of the SVHE group and have followed through consistently with their SVHE commitments, able to pray in front of the group, be able to organize meetings and conduct such, be able to oversee committees and individuals in various activities in fulfilling SVHE’s mission and goals. The President’s term of office is two years, with a maximum of one re-election to a second consecutive two year term. He then may hold another office or no office for at least one year, after which he may again serve as President.
B. Vice President: Criteria are the same as for President. The Vice President will preside at any meeting the President is unable to attend. Term of office is one year. Vice President may then run for any office, including the Vice Presidency again. Nominations and election are same as for the President.
C. Treasurer: Nominations for and election of Treasurer are the same as President and Vice President, except the Treasurer may be male or female. Treasurer’s position is for one year, with unlimited number of re-elections. The responsibilities include: Receive financial reports from the Activity Group Treasurers, receive dues and assessments, including receipts from SVHE functions, that are to be deposited into a financial institution protected by the Federal Depositors Insurance Corporation, pay bills when submitted and properly approved (Disbursement of funds is under the guidance of the Advisory Council and/or votes of the membership. In general, the Treasurer may disburse any budgeted amount or amounts up to $349 if this appears to be in accordance with previously-established budget or appears to be reasonable.), give a financial report to the Membership at each duly-called meeting, assist in preparing annual budget to be presented for approval by the Membership, see that all required tax documents are timely filed including but not limited to Form 990 Return of Organization exempt from Income Tax (or Form 990-N if Gross Receipts are less than $50,000) and Form NP NotFor-Profit Corporation Annual Report.
D. Secretary: Nomination and election is the same as the other officers. The Secretary may be male or female. Secretary’s position is for one year, with
unlimited number of re-elections. Responsibilities include: Take minutes of each duly-called SVHE meeting and Advisory Council Meeting and provide copies to the other members of the Advisory Council. A copy of both meetings minutes (Advisory Council and general SVHE meetings) will also be provided to the website administrator for posting on the SVHE website. A copy of each meeting’s minutes will also be brought to the monthly business meetings for review as needed. Should there be items from the Advisory Council meetings of a personal, negative or disciplinary nature, these will not be publicized on the website nor be distributed to the group at large. (These topics are appropriately dealt with in “Executive Session” during the meetings and are thus not available to the general membership).
E. CHECK representative: The immediate past president shall serve a two-year term as CHECK Representative. In the event he does not wish to or is unable to serve in this capacity, another person shall be nominated and elected in the same manner as the other Officers of SVHE. Responsibilities include attending the statewide CHECK meetings, representing the interests of SVHE at the state level and communicating to the SVHE membership activities occurring on the state level. In the event the CHECK Representative is unable to attend a CHECK meeting, another officer of the group or a member of SVHE chosen by the Advisory Council may attend.
F. Timing of nominations and elections: Nominations for the five Advisory Council members (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and CHECK
Representative) are made by written or verbal means from any current SVHE member and turned in to any current Advisory Council member by April 15 of each year. The Advisory Council will review the slate and confirm both the agreement on the part of the person to serve in this capacity if elected as well as making certain the stated qualifications have been met. Voting on the ballot of officers will then take place in May of each year. This does not negate the previously-stated terms of office (e.g. President serves for two years) which will be taken into account and observed. A simple majority of SVHE members present and voting is required to elect each of the officers.
Article VII – By-laws
1. Modification: Written notice will be given by posting on the SVHE website, by e-mail, or by special mailing to members at least one month prior to the said meeting where voting will take place.
2. Quorum: By-Law revisions may only be voted on at any duly-called meeting when a minimum of 20% SVHE voting members, including at least one Advisory Council member, are present. A 2/3 majority of SVHE members present and voting at a meeting is required to implement these By-laws and for modification thereof.
Article VIII – Advisory Council
1. Membership: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, CHECK Representative.
2. Open meetings: The Advisory Council meetings will be open to the membership of SVHE, unless a sensitive or personal issue is to be discussed. This will be determined by the Advisory Council.
3. All 5 members of the Advisory Council must be present or by e-mail/teleconference to take action or to have a meeting.
4. Confidentiality of meeting content: When sensitive or personal issues are discussed at the Advisory Council, no member may reveal that information to anyone else.
5. Minutes: Minutes shall be kept of each Advisory Council meeting by the Secretary of SVHE or a designee. The minutes shall be open to the membership, except for executive session minutes.
6. Voting: A simple majority vote will determine routine action motions.
7. Meeting frequency: As needed. Meetings may be called by the President or Vice-President.
8. Duties of the Advisory Council include but are not limited to the following:
A. Determine dues for the subsequent year
B. Approve non-budgeted expenditures of $350 – $500 or any expenditure for which the Treasurer has a question. For non-budgeted expenditures of greater than $500, a majority of the members of SVHE present at any meeting are required to approve.
C. Develop policies for proposal and make decisions as needed for the improvement or efficient operation of SVHE. If a policy or question impacts
SVHE membership in a significant or potentially controversial manner, it is expected that the issue will be brought before the entire membership of
SVHE for approval. The primary role of the Advisory Council is
I. proposing policies for voting on by the membership as a whole and
II. Making decisions which are necessary on an emergent or urgent basis or to answer a question raised by a member of SVHE.
D. Activity Groups under SVHE may have separate Activity Group Treasurers and bank accounts. Activity Group Treasurer’s will be bound by the same guidelines as the Treasurer as it relates to bank account management, including receipts and disbursements. Each Group will give a financial report and following year’s budget to the Treasurer no later than April 15th of each year. It is the responsibility of each Activities Leader to make reports to the Advisory Council as needed, but specifically when activities affect the SVHE membership.
E. All financial records will be reviewed yearly by a person chosen to do so by the Advisory Council with a report given to the Advisory Council. It shall be the policy of SVHE that group funds not be disbursed for political, spiritual or other special interest groups outside of SVHE. This does not preclude individual SVHE members from donating however they wish. In addition it does not preclude collecting a special offering from members as they wish to give and donating in the name of SVHE if agreed upon by the membership or Advisory Council.
Article IX – Membership
1. Categories of membership:
A. Active Member: Definition – An active member shall be defined as a single person (if no
spouse) or as a married couple who has paid dues for the current year, who is actively
home-educating their child, who recognizes the purpose and statement of faith (Articles II
and IV above) and will not promote anything which will counter these. Examples of these
include, but are not limited to, atheism, evolution, vulgar language, homosexuality,
bisexuality, alcohol use, cults, occult activities or pornography. Payment of membership
fee indicates agreement with these by-laws.
B. Supporting Member: Definition –A supporting member shall be defined as a single person
(if no spouse) or as a married couple who has paid dues for the current year, who has
an interest in home education by virtue of having home educated in the past,
or is considering home educating their children in the future.
2. Acceptance for membership: An individual or couple is accepted for membership upon their
payment of dues for the current year. Payment of dues indicates that the member recognizes the
purpose and Statement of Faith and will abide by the By-laws of SVHE. A member may or
may not fully agree with the Statement of Faith.
3. Voting rights of members: Each member (single if no spouse or married couple) is entitled to
one (1) vote in all matters. In the event a member cannot be present to vote at a duly-called
meeting, said member may cast a vote in absentia by submitting this in writing to any member of
the Advisory Council prior to or by the time the vote is taken. Except as otherwise noted in these
By-laws, all matters brought to a vote shall be decided by a majority vote of the members present
at a duly-called meeting.
4. Responsibilities of members: Members of SVHE must meet the Kansas statutes and Attorney
General’s opinions as they relate to home education (which is commonly accepted to be private
non-accredited school in the Kansas Statute). However, an individual or family may appeal to the
Advisory Council if they have concerns relating to matters of conscience. This includes but is not
limited to the following: Registration with the State Board of Education, meet for a time
substantially equivalent to the time public school is in session, etc.
Members may not give out any other member’s names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail
addresses or other identifying information without that individual family’s specific
permission, agreement and knowledge of the purpose.
Article X – Misc.
1. Accountability of members:
A. Purpose: To ensure compliance with guidelines for membership, to ensure
harmonious interpersonal relationships and avoid strife and divisions among the
B. Method: When there is a complaint or concern that a member or group is not
abiding by the guidelines for membership, the person issuing the complaint must
have approached the other person they have their complaint with first. If the issue
cannot be resolved by the individuals or if there is adequate reason to pursue the
issue, a minimum of two Advisory Council members (plus anyone else appropriate
if needed) will approach the member/group/family in question to obtain their
perspective and to offer help from the members of SVHE. If the issue is not
resolved, the Advisory Council may give an appropriate warning. If the issue
continues to be unresolved, the issue will again be discussed at the Advisory
Council. At that point, a decision can be made, including the option of expelling
the member from SVHE (unanimous decision at Advisory Council is required
for this action). The member/group/family in question has the right to appeal to
the membership of SVHE as a whole in a regular or specially-called meeting if they
so desire. A 2/3 majority of the membership attending the meeting will be required
to overturn the Advisory Council decision.
C. If a member is removed from membership in SVHE, a refund of the year’s annual
dues shall be made.
A. Defined: A “leader” of an SVHE group for purposes of these By-laws is defined as the primary leader or the person who is in charge of or otherwise is commonly perceived to be a leader of one or more children involved in any activity in the name of Smoky Valley Home Educators. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: teachers in the SVHE Co-op, coaches, music directors, field trip leaders, etc.
B. Requirements of leadership: A leader of SVHE activities must be one of the following: 1. A member of SVHE or 2. A person directly sponsored by a named member of SVHE. In this case the leader does not need to be a member of SVHE, although the parent sponsor must be.
C. A member who is a leader of an SVHE group must agree with these By-laws including the Statement of Faith.
D. Accountability of leader: A non-member leader of an SVHE activity is encouraged to agree with the SVHE By-laws and in particular the statement of faith. However, responsibility for the actions, beliefs and positions of an SVHE leader is the responsibility of the parent-member sponsor and specifically not of SVHE nor the Advisory Council. It is the responsibility of parents to choose which activities, if any, their children should be involved in. The leader of an SVHE activity is specifically not an employee of SVHE nor the Advisory Council.
E. Compensation of leaders: It is anticipated that both member and non-member leaders of groups may or may not receive compensation from parents or
participants for their services. Prior to providing services, any compensation amount should be discussed and agreed to by all parties concerned. It is
specifically noted that SVHE is not an employer.