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5/15/2003 3:09:16 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Texas H.B. 944 In Senate - Calls Needed

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 15, 2003

Dear Texas Members and Friends,

Do you want to help homeschoolers get into college? We need you to
call the Texas Senate immediately in order to pass House Bill 944.
This bill will remove the present discrimination against
homeschoolers seeking admission to state universities in Texas.

The office of the bill sponsor, Representative King, has told us that
homeschoolers have until May 23 to get our calls in to help pass H.B.
944 in the Senate. Please take a moment to ensure that this bill will
be enacted.

REQUESTED ACTION

There are two action items:

1) Call your state senator and give him the following message in your
own words.

"Please vote in favor of House Bill 944. It will end the
discrimination of Texas state universities against qualified
homeschool graduates."

To get the name and telephone number of your senator, use HSLDA's
Legislative Toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox. If you do not
have Internet access, you can call the legislature to find out
information about your senator.

2) Call as many members of the Senate Education Committee as possible
and give them the same message as above.

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE:

Chair: Senator Florence Shapiro, (512) 463-0108
Vice-Chair: Senator Royce West, (512) 463-0123
Senator Kip Averitt, (512) 463-0122
Senator Kyle Janek, (512) 463-0117
Senator Steve Ogden, (512) 463-0105
Senator Todd Staples, (512) 463-0103
Senator Leticia Van de Putte, (512) 463-0126
Senator Tommy Williams, (512) 463-0104
Senator Judith Zaffirini, (512) 463-0121

You can also send an email to Senate Education Committee members
by going to:
http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/commit/c530/c530.htm

Click on the committee member's name and fill in the email form with
your message.

BACKGROUND

For years, some Texas universities have held homeschool graduates to
a different and more difficult standard than others. The most
frequently used discriminatory practice is to require homeschool
graduates to have significantly higher test scores than other
students.

Although we have been successful in changing the college admission
policies at the federal level, some states and individual
universities still have policies discriminating against homeschoolers
seeking college admission.

House Bill 944, introduced by Representative Phil King, requires
colleges and universities to admit graduates of a homeschool program
according to the same standards that are applied to graduates from a
public high school programs.

HSLDA strongly supports H.B. 944 as it codifies the recommendations
we have made to the Federal Department of Education. In passing the
federal Higher Education Act, Congress indicated that the admissions
standards for graduates of homeschool programs should be equal to
standards for public school graduates and that extra requirements
(for example the GED, higher SAT scores, or SAT II tests) are
discriminatory.

In addition, we were able to work with Representative King's office
to address our concern with his use of the phrase "home school."
During the floor vote, Representative King removed the undefined term
"home school," and added our language, "private school in the home,"
into the bill. The amendment was passed. This will keep homeschooling
safe under the Texas Supreme Court's interpretation of homeschools as
having the legal status of a private school in Texas. We do not want
to separate ourselves from the Leeper court decision by creating the
term "home school" in the Texas Code.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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