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5/26/2003 10:44:08 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Texas--H.B. 944 Passes out of Committee

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 26, 2003

Dear Texas Members and Friends,

Thanks to your phone calls and efforts, House Bill 944 received a
favorable hearing on May 20, 2003, and was voted out of the Education
Committee. We spoke with the office of Senator Estes, H.B. 944's
Senate sponsor, and his office told us that the bill has been placed
on the calendar for consideration and will likely be passed early
this week. The really promising news is that this particular
calendar is reserved for uncontested bills that are supposed to be
passed without any further discussion or debate.

Nonetheless, some calls will be helpful to be sure all promises will
be kept.

This bill will finally remove the present discrimination against
homeschoolers seeking admission to state universities in Texas. Thank
you for your faithful calls!

REQUESTED ACTION

If you have not yet called your senator, please do so and express
your support of H.B. 944.

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.

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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Home School Legal Defense Association
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