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6/15/2004 5:37:12 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New York--Calls Needed To Help Stop College Discrimination

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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June 15, 2004


New York--Calls Needed To Help Stop College Discrimination


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

We need your calls immediately to support Senate Bill 6849 and take a
step in the right direction for homeschoolers determined to enter
college in New York without having to take the GED.

If enacted into law, this bill would create another option under New
York law that would enable homeschool students to receive a
certificate of completion from their local school district verifying
that they had completed a homeschool high school program. While
parents would need to continue to report to the local school district
until completion of their high school program the reporting
requirements would actually be less then currently required.

This bill was originally introduced by Senator LaValle and drafted in
a way that would not have been supported by Home School Legal Defense
Association or Loving Education at Home. However, due to the hard work
of HSLDA attorneys and LEAH, Senator LaValle substantially amended his
bill. We support this bill as a step in the right direction towards
ending the current discrimination in New York colleges that homeschool
students are facing.

The Senate has passed the bill and it now moves to the Assembly. At
this time there is no bill number but we understand that Assemblyman
Tocci will be sponsoring the bill in the Assembly. Please call now to
help pass this bill!


REQUESTED ACTION

1) Please call and write the Assembly Education Committee and give
them this message:

"Please help homeschool graduates trying to enter New York state
colleges and universities and vote for Senate Bill 6849. 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 6849."

Assembly Education Committee Members

Postal Address:
Assemblyman (Insert name)
LOB (Insert office number)
Albany, NY 12248

Assemblyman:
Sheldon Silver - Assembly Speaker
(518)455-379
LOB Office: 932

Barbara M. Clark
(518)455-4711
LOB Office: 702

James D. Conte
(518)455-5732
LOB Office: 635

Ruben Diaz Jr.
(518)455-5514
LOB Office: 432

Thomas P. DiNapoli
(518)455-5192
LOB Office: 625

Patricia A. Eddington
(518)455-4901
LOB Office: 528

Steve Englebright
(518)455-4804
LOB Office: 824

Aurelia Greene
(518)455-5671
LOB Office: 424

Earlene Hooper
(518)455-5861
LOB Office: 744

Susan V. John
(518)455-4527
LOB Office: 749

Tom Kirwan
(518)455-5762
LOB Office: 725

Steven L. Labriola
(518)455-5305
LOB Office: 534

John W. Lavelle
(518)455-4677
LOB Office: 833

William B. Magnarelli
(518)455-4826
LOB Office: 519

Joel M. Miller
(518)455-5725
LOB Office: 722

Matthew Mirones
(518)455-5716
LOB Office: 429

William L. Parment
(518)455-4511
LOB Office: 828

Amy Paulin
(518)455-5585
LOB Office: 327

Philip Ramos
(518)455-5185
LOB Office: 820

Bill Reilich
(518)455-4664
LOB Office: 431

Teresa R. Sayward
(518)455-5565
LOB Office: 633

William Scarborough
(518)455-4451
LOB Office: 602

Dede Scozzafava
(518)455-5797
LOB Office: 532

Scott Stringer
(518)455-5802
LOB Office: 536

Robert K. Sweeney
(518)455-5787
LOB Office: 837

Paul D. Tonko
(518)455-5197
LOB Office: 713

Please thank Assemblyman Tocci for his support
Ronald C. Tocci
(518)455-4897
LOB Office: 841


Reasons We Support This Bill

Senate Bill 6849 has been introduced by Senator LaValle to fix some of
the problems that homeschool graduates have been experiencing. Senate
Bill 6849 would:

1) Create an option for parents to have their children receive a
letter of compliance and a certificate of completion for high school.
A family desiring to follow this option would simply need to submit a
notice of intent for each year their child is in high school. While
this notice of intent would include the list of subjects to be taught
and the textbooks or plan of instruction to be followed for that year,
no Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) or quarterly reports
would need to be filed. At the end of the year the family would file
an annual report with the school district consisting of a transcript,
attendance records and a report consisting of the results of a
nationally normed standardized achievement test as determined by the
parent taken and administered consistent with the test publisher, or
the results of the alternative annual assessment, such as a portfolio
of the child's work or evaluation by a private or public school
teacher indicating the child is progressing according to his ability.

2) 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.


BACKGROUND

Beginning in the 2002-03 school year, homeschoolers began 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.

This unexpected change in college policy has interrupted many
homeschool graduates' plans for college and has even kept homeschool
graduates in college from graduating. Below are a couple of examples
of the widespread discrimination.

* M.P. is a homeschool graduate from New York. She enrolled in a
political science Associates Degree program at a New York community
college. She had attended one full year with an approximate GPA of 3.2
when the college contacted her and said that because she had not
attended an accredited school, she would have to take a GED to
continue. She has since had to transfer out of the community college
to a private four-year school out of state.

* Paul Owens is a homeschool graduate from New York. He enrolled in
Monroe Community College, which had full knowledge of his status as a
homeschooled student. After almost two years, Monroe informed him that
he would not be allowed to receive an Associates Degree even if he
completed all the required courses (which he did within 8 months).
Paul also transferred to a private college in order to receive a
degree. In order to write this wrong, Home School Legal Defense
Association recently filed suit against the state in Owens v.
Parrinello to help those homeschoolers who are already admitted into
college.

* The C family contacted their school district to obtain a letter of
equivalency for their son. Not only did the school district not give
the family a letter, the district stated that they wouldn't provide a
letter regardless of the sufficiency of the home instruction program
provided to the student. The family was in full compliance with New
York law.


Sincerely,

Thomas J. Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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