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October 24, 2003

Home Education Threatened in the Netherlands

In order for a family to homeschool in the Netherlands, the family must get an exemption from school registration for deeply held religious or philosophical reasons. This exemption is very difficult to achieve and is not available once a child begins attending public school.

The Dutch Constitution states: "all persons shall be free to provide education..." In spite of this "freedom," the Dutch Minister of Education, Maria van der Hoeven, has stated that "homeschooling is not a right of parents."

Accordingly, the Minister of Education is meeting with the Education Committee of the Second Chamber, the Dutch House of Representatives on October 30, 2003 in order to discuss the regulation of homeschoolers. In a press release (posted at ), the minister has stated that homeschool children do not attend school, that it is unknown whether they receive education, and no supervision exists on the education these children receive. The Minister would like to restrict homeschooling so that parents will only be allowed this educational choice if they agree to supervision and inspection by educational authorities.

The Dutch homeschoolers are asking homeschoolers around the world to help them lobby the Minister of Education and the Committee members in order to convince them that homeschooling works.

HSLDA is sending out an email alert to its members, encouraging them to call the Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C. and to email Minister van der Hoeven. Families are encouraged to explain how homeschooling worked for them and to encourage the Dutch to legalize homeschooling so that this option may be pursued with complete freedom.

You can view this email at:

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Urgent Alert--The Netherlands Needs Your Help Immediately To Legalize Home Schooling Oct-24-2003