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3/17/2004 5:00:29 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New York--Calls Needed to Senate to Stop Discrimination Against College Bound Homeschoolers!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 17, 2004


New York--Calls Needed to Senate to Stop Discrimination Against
College Bound Homeschoolers!


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Please call your State Senator now to urge them to vote in favor of
Senate Bill 6094 which HSLDA helped draft. New York is only one of
three states in the country that is faced with statewide
discrimination against homeschoolers seeking college admission.

Many honor students currently in college are being told they cannot
graduate without a GED. Other families are receiving letters from
their school district refusing to acknowledge that their homeschool
program is equivalent--so the homeschool student can't be admitted to
college under that option.

With your calls we can help enact legislation that will stop
discrimination against homeschool graduates as they try to enroll in
New York state colleges and universities!


Requested Action

Please contact your State Senator with this message:

"Please help homeschool graduates trying to enter New York state
colleges and universities and vote for Senate Bill 6094. The current
regulations discriminate against students with a homeschool diploma
and require them to obtain a GED certificate or statement from the
school district verifying that the homeschool program is equivalent
to the public school program.

A GED carries the stigma of a drop out and homeschool graduates are
high school graduates. Under state law a homeschool program is deemed
to be equivalent if a family complies with the regulations, but most
school districts are unwilling to provide an official endorsement of
a homeschool program.

Please act to ensure that homeschool graduates are not discriminated
against and pass SB 6094."

You can find your own State Senator by calling the Legislative
Assistance and Services office at (518) 455-3216 or by using HSLDA's
legislative toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox

Reasons We Support This Legislation

Senate Bill 6094 would:

1) Prohibit the Commissioner from requiring pupils who have completed
the requirements of a homeschool education or a non-public school
program to obtain or submit proof of having obtained a general
education development (GED) certificate or any accredited diploma;
and

2) Require that the Regents evaluate and consider all applicants from
a homeschool educational or a non-public school program in a fair and
nondiscriminatory manner.


BACKGROUND

Beginning in the 2002-03 school year, homeschoolers are experiencing
an increase in discrimination due to the implementation of a
previously dormant New York State Education Department policy. This
policy is preventing colleges from recognizing a 9-12 grade
homeschool education as being sufficient to enroll in either a State
University of New York or community college.

We are working with New York's Loving Education At Home (LEAH) at
three levels:

1) Litigation: HSLDA filed the Owens case in federal court to end
discrimination against homeschoolers already in college. For more
information, see http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1404

2) Legislation: HSLDA helped draft legislation which was recently
introduced as Senate Bill 6094 by Senator Robach to change this
discriminatory policy. For more information on this bill, see
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1405

3) Convince the Board of Regents by grassroots pressure to
voluntarily change their regulations and develop new favorable
regulations patterned after Senator Robach's bill. We have
communicated with the State Education Department to inform them of
the current discrimination against homeschoolers. They had made
promises to include our changes in their proposal to the Board of
Regents to end the discrimination but did not. For more information,
see http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1406

Your calls will help get this needed legislation passed and enable
the state universities and community colleges in New York to open
their doors to more homeschool students. Thanks for standing with us
for freedom!


Sincerely,

Chris Klicka
Senior Counsel
Home School Legal Defense Association



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