From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


6/18/2004 4:47:11 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New York--Calls Needed Daily To Help Stop College Discrimination

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

June 18, 2004

New York--Calls Needed Daily To Help Stop College Discrimination

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

We now have a number for the Assembly version of Senate Bill 6849!
It's Assembly Bill 11538. Please continue to make calls supporting
this bill!

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.
Please call now to help pass this bill!


1) Please contact both Assemblyman Steven Sanders, the Chairman of the
Assembly Education Committee, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver
(daily if possible) and strongly urge them to support this bill. You
can use the following message:

"Please bring Assembly Bill 11538 for a vote. This bill is needed to
help future homeschool graduates enter a New York college or
university. 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.

Please act to ensure that homeschool graduates are not discriminated
against and pass AB 11538."

Steven Sanders - Assembly Education Committee Chairman
(518) 455-5506

Sheldon Silver - Assembly Speaker
(518) 455-3791

2) Please call the Assembly Education Committee, listed below, and
give them this message:

"Please help homeschool graduates trying to enter New York state
colleges and universities and vote for Assembly Bill 11538. The
current regulations discriminate against students with a homeschool
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 AB 11538."

Assembly Education Committee Members

Barbara M. Clark

James D. Conte

Ruben Diaz Jr.

Thomas P. DiNapoli

Patricia A. Eddington

Steve Englebright

Aurelia Greene

Earlene Hooper

Susan V. John

Tom Kirwan

Steven L. Labriola

John W. Lavelle

William B. Magnarelli

Joel M. Miller

Matthew Mirones

William L. Parment

Amy Paulin

Philip Ramos

Bill Reilich

Teresa R. Sayward

William Scarborough

Dede Scozzafava

Scott Stringer

Robert K. Sweeney

Paul D. Tonko

Please thank Assemblyman Tocci for his support
Ronald C. Tocci

3) Please call your own Assemblyman and give him or her the same

You can find your Assemblyman's phone number either by calling the
Assembly Public Information Department: 518-455-4218 or by using
HSLDA's legislative toolbox at


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.


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

* 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.


Thomas J. Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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