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Date:
From:
Subject:

9/3/2002 10:17:25 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Action Alert-End College Discrimination Permanently

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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September 3, 2002

Dear HSLDA Member and Friends,

You have a chance to help stop discrimination against home schoolers
in college! Home School Legal Defense Association is working with the
U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee to pass House Resolution
4866 containing language ending discrimination for home schoolers
seeking financial aid and college admissions. As a result of some
political wrangling, H.R. 4866 was defeated on the House floor in
July. We need your calls now to resurrect and pass this bill that
includes important fixes for home school students.

REQUESTED ACTION

Please call your Congressman (if he is listed below) and Minority
Leader Dick Gephardt and give him the following message:

"Your vote against H.R. 4866 is hurting students pursuing higher
education. We thought you were pro education. Please vote YES for the
Higher Education Technical Amendments bill when it is brought for a
vote on the House floor."

Please call Tuesday, September 3 through Friday, September 6.

There is no need to identify your self as a home schooler.

Congressmen voting against H.R. 4866:

Minority Leader
Dick Gephardt
District: 3, MO
Phone: 202.225.2671
Web: http://www.house.gov/gephardt

Congressmen in your state ({{State}})

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Name],[FIRST];||2||3}}{MD1} {MD0}
District: {MD4}, {MD2}
Phone: {MD5}
Web: http://{MD6}

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Note: You can also look up your congressman on HSLDA's legislative
toolbox.

http://www.hslda.org/toolbox

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Congressman Dick Gephardt and 176 other Congressmen worked together
to defeat a bill that would stop unfair treatment of home schoolers
seeking college admissions. On July 7, 2002, Minority Leader Dick
Gephardt stopped the Higher Education Technical Amendments bill, H.R.
4866. This bill was supposed to be non controversial since both
political parties had agreed to the content of the bill.
Consequently, the bill was placed on the suspension calendar (a
unique legislative process whereby the legislation skips committee
and goes directly to the floor). Suspension is usually reserved for
popular and non-divisive legislation since passage requires a 2/3
majority. Unfortunately, political reasons, Mr. Gephardt decided he
would kill the bill and found enough no votes to defeat it on the
House floor. The vote was 246 to 177 -just short of the 2/3 majority
needed.

Because of Mr. Gephardt and all those voting against H.R. 4866,
colleges may continue to discriminate against home schoolers because
the law is unclear. H.R. 4866 would make several technical
corrections to the higher education law that would permanently solve
the problems home schooled students are having with universities.
Colleges often reject home schoolers under the age of 18 because
these schools are afraid they would lose their "institutional
eligibility" for public funds if they admit home schoolers. This fear
stems from the 1998 Higher Education law that was poorly defined in
the Federal Student Handbook by the Clinton Administration. This
contained wrongly interpreted the law and was distributed to colleges
at the beginning of the 2001 school year. In January 2002, HSLDA
obtained a copy of this manual and determined it to be the source of
the confusion.

The manual stated, "Note, however, that [home schooled] students must
be above the age of compulsory attendance in order for your school to
enroll them without jeopardizing its institutional eligibility." This
interpretation is inaccurate and discriminatory.

HSLDA worked closely with the Department of Education's attorneys who
sent a clarifying letter to colleges ensuring them that they would
not lose their institutional eligibility. Nonetheless, HSLDA
continues to battle with colleges over this problem.

To permanently solve this problem, we have worked closely with the
House Education and Workforce Committee to clarify the confusing law
in H.R. 4866. Despite our hard work, Congressman Gephardt and 176 of
his colleague have decided that political maneuvering is more
important that home school freedom, defeating these important fixes.

HSLDA has requested the House leadership bring this bill up for
another vote this September.

Please, call your Congressman if he is listed below and ask him to
vote YES to the Higher Education Technical Amendments bill.

For more information visit:
http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/hslda/200206170.asp

Very truly yours,

Caleb Kershner
Manager, Federal Policy and Research


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