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5/6/2004 4:52:09 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Arizona--Write to Your Regents!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 6, 2004


Arizona--Write to Your Regents!


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

We sent out an elert about a week ago asking for your action in
influencing the Arizona State Board of Regents to keep its policies
more homeschool friendly ( http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1511 ).
Policies 2-101 and 2-102 would hurt homeschoolers by changing the
automatic admissions to Arizona state universities from test scores
to class ranking.

HSLDA believes the Arizona Board of Regents should change its
direction on guaranteed admissions before any homeschoolers suffer
from their new policy. We are pleased with the way HSLDA members
have communicated their concerns to the Regents. Here is one example
of an especially effective letter from a concerned family:

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Dear Judy Garza and the Arizona Board of Regents,

I understand that The Board of Regents plans to change the rule
relating to automatic admissions for those with certain tests scores
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.

As a homeschooling mother, with two daughters now in college, I was
elated when "Bethany's Law" passed in 1998 which gave homeschooler
access to the Regents' Scholarship with 90th percentile scores on the
ACT or SAT. It seemed that Arizona was going to the forefront in
recognizing that home-educated students needed to be included in the
benefits and opportunities shared by the public and private school
students, and that they needed an alternative to the class rank
system. I was very proud of our state for making that stand, and
envisioned tremendous benefit back to the universities through the
contributions that homeschoolers could make.

Now, it seems the progress toward equity will disappear if automatic
admission will no longer be based on test scores. I urge you to
amend Policy 2-101 and Policy 2-102 to ensure equal rights for
homeschoolers.

If the reason for the proposed change is to include more minorities
and students from poorer school districts, let me assure you that
there are many minority and low income students entering the ranks of
homeschoolers. The vast majority of these students are taken out of
the public system as parents desire to ensure that they get a good
education.

We have a homeschool resource center in Central Phoenix, in the
Creighton district area. While we draw students from around the
valley, we plan to do an outreach in our immediate area to help find
other homeschooling families and provide services and resources for
them. Our goal is to equip families for a successful homeschool
journey, and we do that through parent training, classes for
students, testing and providing access to curriculum.

We currently have a diverse group of ethnic and economic backgrounds
represented among our families, and our clientele include such as a
single mom on disability from Avondale. She and her daughter ride
the bus in each week for classes with us since the local school
setting is very rough. We also had a boy from a gang neighborhood
near Indian School and 23rd Avenue who would walk to classes 4 miles
one way, so he could continue his education in some very desperate
circumstances. Some pregnant girls have called me to see how they
could continue their education at home so they could make something
of themselves for their child.

Mrs. Garza and board members, if it weren't for the option of home
education, some of these students would not have the opportunity of
getting out of their circumstances to try to improve themselves.
Those who work hard and have a level of self-motivation that is
awesome to encounter deserve an equal chance at a college education
through the vehicle of acceptable test scores.

Thank you for your consideration.

Please let me know if I may be of further assistance.


Blessings,

Holly C.



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Thanks to every family who has e-mailed their input. Keep up the
good work!


Sincerely,

Scott W. Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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