From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


5/3/2002 4:28:54 PM
Dewitt T. Black III, Esq., Senior Counsel of HSLDA
South Carolina--Please Attend Hearing on HB 3364

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

May 3, 2002

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Your presence at a hearing in Columbia this Wednesday is needed to
stop House Bill 3364, which could deny home school graduates equal
opportunity in higher education, employment, and other critical

It is also important that you call the senators on the Senate
Education Committee and voice your opposition to H.B. 3364.

Unfortunately, H.B. 3364 has already passed the House of
Representatives and is now in the Senate Education Committee. A
subcommittee of the Senate Education Committee will meet at 9:00 a.m.
on Wednesday, May 8, 2002, in Room 407 of the Gressette Building in
Columbia to conduct a hearing on this bill. Attendance at this
hearing on Wednesday will make the difference in defeating this


(1) Please attend the subcommittee hearing in Columbia on Wednesday.
It is crucial to the defeat of this bill that the subcommittee
members see a vibrant and strong home school community opposed to
this legislation. A strong showing will also deter lawmakers from
introducing unfavorable bills in the future.

(2) Immediately contact Senator Warren Giese, Chairman of the Senate
Education Committee, as well as members of the subcommittee, to
express your opposition to H.B. 3364 with this message:

"Please vote against House Bill 3364. The language of this bill could
be interpreted to deny home school graduates equal opportunity for
college admission, employment, and any license requiring a high
school diploma."

Following are the names and contact information for Senator Giese and
members of the subcommittee. You can find the name and telephone
number of your state senator by using Home School Legal Defense
Association's Legislative Toolbox at

Sen. Warren Giese (Chairman)

Sen. Bob Waldrep, Jr. (subcommittee Chairman)
803-212 6230

Sen. Robert Hayes, Jr.

Sen. Lawrence Grooms

Sen. Nikki Setzler

Sen. Kay Patterson


Under House Bill 3364, for the state to recognize a high school
diploma, the diploma would have to be awarded by a school or program
that meets certain requirements. According to H.B. 3364, the diploma
or its equivalent must be received from either (1) a correspondence
program approved by the state board or department of education in the
state where the school is located, (2) a school accredited by certain
accrediting associations named in the bill, or (3) a school approved
by a local school board in South Carolina. These requirements would
apply "[i]f any state licensing, appointment, election, admission,
employment, or other procedure or process requires the applicant,
candidate, official or individual to possess a high school diploma or
its equivalent...."

Passage of House Bill 3364 would directly affect home school
graduates. Unless their high school diploma met one of the three
requirements described above, they could not be admitted to a state
college or other state school requiring a high school diploma, could
not be hired to work for a state agency, and could not receive any
state license requiring a high school diploma. Given the broad
language of the bill, which mandates that these requirements be
applied to any "other procedure or process," the potential for
discrimination against home school graduates by the state is
virtually unlimited.

In discussions with state legislators, we have been told that the
intent of this bill is to address problems with correspondence
diplomas. However, in our opinion, the language of the bill is
unclear and ambiguous to the point that it is subject to various
interpretations. Even if the bill affected only correspondence
diplomas, many home schooling families are enrolled in academically-
sound correspondence programs which would not meet the requirements
of this bill.

There has been some discussion about amending this bill to exempt
home schooling programs from its requirements, but we are not
convinced that this will remedy the problem. For example, if a
student is complying with one of the three statutory options for home
schooling in South Carolina but is enrolled in a correspondence
program from which a diploma is earned, it appears that the
correspondence diploma would have to meet the requirements of House
Bill 3364 before it is recognized.

In summary, this is a bad bill which cannot be fixed. It must be
defeated altogether.

Please check HSLDA's website for the current status of this
or contact us if you have any questions.

To view the text of House Bill 3364, go to the South Carolina General
Assembly's website at

Very truly yours,

Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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