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January / February 2004

Can Judicial Tyranny Be Stopped?

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The difference made by "little things"

Impact of the Widows Curriculum Scholarship Fund

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TOPS scholarships blocked

Most Home School Legal Defense Association member families in Louisiana have heard about the state department of education's resistance to the use of our Home Study Program form. Although Louisiana law specifically identifies the information that must be provided to the department of education in order to operate a home study program, the department insists on additional information not required by law. When parents use HSLDA's form, which provides only the legally mandated information, the department routinely refuses to acknowledge the home study program.

Even so, this has not resulted in any serious legal problems, since each family that uses HSLDA's form has clearly complied with Louisiana law.

However, the department's refusal to recognize these home study programs as valid has caused problems for a number of homeschool students in the 11th or 12th grade who want to apply for Louisiana's Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) scholarship. The TOPS scholarship is available to homeschooled students only if they are in an approved home study program, as opposed to a home-based private school. Many Louisiana families who operate private school programs for their younger children at home switch to the home study option in order to qualify their older students for this scholarship. The department's refusal to acknowledge HSLDA's form can spell trouble for families with students seeking the scholarship.

HSLDA is considering the best way to respond to this situation. We advise member families who have enrolled in the home study option solely for the purpose of claiming a TOPS scholarship to contact our office.

— Scott W. Somerville