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9/25/2002 3:13:48 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Virginia--Loudoun County Opens PSAT to Homeschoolers

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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September 25, 2002


Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Home School Legal Defense Association recently intervened on behalf
of homeschoolers in Loudoun County, Virginia, who were denied their
right to take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) through
the public schools. The Loudoun County School Board relented on
September 24, 2002, when the it voted to allow homeschoolers to take
the PSAT at the same time the test is administered to public school
students.

The controversy began a few days earlier when Loudoun County Public
Schools (LCPS) said there was no room for homeschoolers at the
testing sites.

For several years, the College Board (who publishes the PSAT)
permitted individual public schools administering the PSAT to decide
whether students other than their own could take the test at school
facilities. Some public schools refused. The College Board
subsequently changed its policy and now requires all public schools
to permit homeschoolers to take the test as well. LCPS, however,
continued to refuse homeschoolers.

Upon hearing of the problem, HSLDA General Counsel Michael Farris
called LCPS Assistant Superintendent Douglas C. Holmes who admitted
that "space" was not the real issue. The real issue was that the
Loudoun County School Board had adopted a policy prohibiting
homeschool students from engaging in any public school activity.

Farris told Holmes that the policy violated the new PSAT rules.
Farris cautioned Holmes that HSLDA would persist with this issue
"including a lawsuit if necessary" unless the school board policy
were changed.

Farris also called Harry Holtzinger, a Loudoun County School Board
member, and asked him to look into the matter.

The PSAT is a prerequisite for college-bound students who wish to
participate in the National Merit Scholarship program. The Loudoun
school board vote is excellent news for college-bound homeschoolers.
We thank God for bringing down this barrier. Please contact HSLDA if
a public school in your area refuses to allow homeschoolers to take
the test.

For a copy of the registration form and a sheet of instructions
(these apply to Loudoun county, only), go to:

http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/va/LoudounPSATflyer.pdf

and

http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/va/LoudounPSATRegistration.pdf

Very truly yours,

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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