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4/29/2004 5:08:43 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Arizona--Contact the Board of Regents Now!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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April 29, 2004


Arizona--Contact the Board of Regents Now!


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

We contacted you last year regarding Arizona's new rule for admission
to a public university. Under existing law, students who achieve
certain test scores are guaranteed automatic admission to Arizona's
three state universities. The Board of Regents plans to change that
rule in 2006 to guarantee automatic admission to the top 25% of each
graduating class, with no automatic admission based on test scores.
This hurts homeschoolers, since Arizona does not recognize any
particular class rank for homeschool graduates. We need your help to
persuade the Board of Regents to amend the new policy.


Action Requested:

1. Please e-mail Judy Garza, Secretary to the Arizona Board of
Regents, at jgarza@asu.edu. Your e-mail should be directed to the
Arizona Board of Regents, and should ask them to amend Policy 2-101
and Policy 2-102 to ensure equal rights for homeschoolers. Keep your
e-mail short and please be very courteous. If possible, please send
a copy to us at legale@hslda.org


Background:

Several states have amended their entrance policies to state colleges
and universities to increase the number of minorities who attend.
California and Texas have both guaranteed admission to the top 10% of
each graduating class, which means that disadvantaged students in low-
performing school districts are given the same incentive as students
in high performing schools to make the grade and attend college.
While this does not overtly discriminate on the basis of race, it is
intended to boost the numbers of low-scoring students in public
colleges and universities.

The problem with this new approach is that it does not consider the
possibility that some students have no "class rank" to rely upon.
Many homeschool families come from the same disadvantaged populations
as other children in the same school district. Homeschool families
have responded to low-performing public schools by pulling their
children out and teaching them themselves. High scoring
homeschoolers in poor school districts are accomplishing exactly what
the state desires, but the new policy unfairly discriminates against
these families.

The Arizona Board of Regents did not want to harm homeschoolers when
it drew up its new policy, but it did not work through the problem
and consider the homeschooler's perspective. Your e-mail to the
Arizona Board of Regents can help them understand how many
homeschoolers there are and how much they are affected by this change
in policy.

If you live in a school district with poor schools, your story is
particularly important to the Arizona Board of Regents. Please
explain how your family has solved the problem of poor public schools
by pulling your children out to teach them yourself at home. If you
believe your child would be in the top 25% of his or her class in
your local school district, please explain that to the Board of
Regents. Under their policy, your child would get a poor education
in a local public school but guaranteed admission to a state
university. As a homeschooler, you are making sure they get a good
education now. It's up to the Board of Regents to make sure that
they get an equal opportunity at a good education tomorrow.


Sincerely,

Scott W. Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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