The Home School Court Report
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September / October 2003

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State official intimidates families

Crichton Comer is the official "Homeschool Consultant" at the Kentucky Department of Education. On June 5, 2003, he spoke to potential homeschoolers at the Boone County Library in Union, Kentucky. Comer repeatedly described home education as a "temporary" solution for some families and made inaccurate and troubling statements as a result.

Comer told the Boone County audience, "Colleges don't accept homeschool students." This is false. Home School Legal Defense Association maintains a list of colleges and universities ranked by the "homeschool friendliness" of their admissions policies. (See All of these institutions submitted their admissions policies for posting on HSLDA's list: 568 of the currently listed institutions accept homeschoolers; two do not.

Comer called homeschool diplomas a "worthless piece of paper." Thanks to recent letters from the United States Department of Education, however, a homeschooler can "self-certify" the completion of his program. This means that a homeschool diploma makes a student eligible for federal financial aid.

Comer also stated, "Parents cannot school their children as well as the public school can," since homeschoolers do not have the same resources that public schools do. What Comer does not realize is that homeschoolers are not trying to duplicate the public schools' budgets; they are simply trying to exceed their results. Until this official learns more about homeschooling, his public speaking about home education may cause unnecessary distress for current Kentucky homeschoolers and unacceptable intimidation for families who are considering homeschooling.

Scott W. Somerville