From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


3/20/2002 7:16:01 PM
Scott A. Woodruff, Esq., Staff Attorney of HSLDA
Oklahoma--Dangerous Legislation Stopped By Home Schoolers

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

March 20, 2002

Dear Oklahoma Members and Friends,

In response to a general outcry from the home school community,
Chairman Larry Roberts of the House Common Education Committee has
given his assurances that Senate Bill 1251 will not be given a
hearing. Without a hearing this bill will die when the session ends
in May. S.B. 1251 would have clouded parents' right to issue a
diploma and invited state regulation of home schools.

S.B. 1251 would authorize the Oklahoma State Board of Education to
issue a "certificate of high school equivalency" (GED) to students
who received "other means of education" (i.e. home schooling), who
took the American College Test (ACT), and who received a composite
score of average or higher. The student's parent would be required to
sign an affidavit that the student "met the curricular requirements
necessary for high school graduation." The bill would give the state
board power to adopt rules to implement the provisions.


Phone calls and email voicing opposition to S.B. 1251 are no longer
needed. Please consider thanking Chairman Roberts for his leadership.
He can be contacted at House Common Education Committee, State of
Oklahoma, 415 State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105-4808 or 405-557-7399 or


On March 18, HSLDA faxed a letter to all members of the House Common
Education Committee outlining the reasons S.B. 1251 should not become
law. The same day, Oklahoma Central Home Educators Consociation
(OCHEC) sent a legislative alert to its members. Christian Home
Educators Fellowship also opposed the bill.

By late March 19, many home schoolers had contacted their lawmakers
and there were reports the bill was dead. This morning Chairman
Roberts gave his assurance that he would not give the bill a hearing.
This effectively puts an end to S.B. 1251, since under ordinary
circumstances, legislation cannot move forward without a committee

To read HSLDA's reasons for opposing S.B. 1251 go to:

To read HSLDA's letter to members of the House Common Education
Committee go to:

No student needs a GED if he already has a high school diploma. A law
creating a special GED path for home school graduates sends the
dangerous and inaccurate message that home schoolers cannot earn
diplomas. It is inaccurate because home schooling families can issue
diplomas to their own children who finish their high school education
at home. It is dangerous because casting doubt on the right to issue
a diploma could encourage other lawmakers to mount further attacks on
parents' right to home school.

S.B. 1251 could destroy the academic independence of the home school
family. The bill requires parents who want their child to receive a
GED, to sign a statement that the student met the "curricular
requirements necessary for high school graduation." Since the bill
gives the Oklahoma Board of Education power to adopt rules for
implementation, it would almost certainly adopt rules as to what
curricular requirements must be met in order to graduate and earn a
GED. This could destroy the academic independence of the home school
family seeking a GED. It could encourage attempts to force all home
schoolers to conform to a state-approved curriculum before graduation
would be allowed.

Section 5 of Article 13 of the Oklahoma Constitution gives the State
Board of Education power to govern only public schools-not private or
home schools. Yet this bill gives the board power to adopt
regulations controlling which home school graduates will receive the
special GED. Once the board adopts regulations to determine exactly
who qualifies there will be tremendous pressure for those regulations
to be applied to all home schooling families--not merely the families
who are seeking a GED for their child.

Customarily, when a student graduates, he receives a diploma. S.B.
1251 requires that home schoolers meet the curricular requirements
for high school graduation, but fails to acknowledge that this home
schooler is now entitled to a diploma. Instead, he is granted a poor
substitute for a diploma-a GED. When applying for college, a job, or
a promotion, a person with a GED will often be at a disadvantage
compared to someone with a diploma. This makes no sense. Any student
who has met all requirements for graduation has earned a diploma.


We thank Rick Williamson of OCHEC who supplied us with information in
this e-lert from the capitol this morning, Representative Bill Graves
of the House Common Education Committee who brought home schoolers'
attention to this bill, every home school organization and group that
helped spread the message, and every home school parent who made a
phone call or sent an email opposing this bill. Your voice was heard!

Very truly yours,

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.

The HSLDA E-lert Service is a service of:

Home School Legal Defense Association
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Phone: (540) 338-5600
Fax: (540) 338-2733

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