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8/12/2004 11:34:37 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Homeschoolers Continue to Excel in the Military

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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August 12, 2004


Homeschoolers Continue to Excel in the Military


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

The homeschool military access pilot project, enacted by Congress
after HSLDA asked Congressman Hostettler to intervene on behalf of
homeschoolers, enters its sixth year. It requires the military to
admit a certain number of homeschoolers into Tier I, which is the same
level as high school graduates and the Tier which most new recruits
enter. The amendment has allowed homeschoolers to gain numerous
advantages and benefits in the military since Tier II and Tier III
offer only limited access to advancement because they are designed for
students who have dropped out of high school. HSLDA's website includes
a list of many homeschoolers who have served America in Iraq and a
significant number of homeschoolers have excelled under the new
recruitment process.

For example, one homeschooler from Seattle, Washington, was recently
accepted into the Navy after scoring 94% on the Navy Advanced Training
Exam in trigonometry, physics, and chemistry. He also took the Armed
Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and in one part gained a
perfect score. To be considered for the Navy Nuclear Power School
requires a combined score from all aspects of the ASVAB of 250. He
scored 262, the maximum being 280. After about five hours of academic
tests, and seven plus hours of medical exams, standing in line,
fingerprinting and interviews, he has been accepted as a volunteer
into the Navy Nuclear Power School. In addition, he received a $15,000
signing bonus and his pay will be at a higher scale. He has been told
that working with submarines and nuclear weapons attract the top 3% of
the Navy.

We praise God for the success of this young homeschooler that
demonstrates once again the importance of maintaining access for
homeschoolers at Tier I. To ensure that this program continues we are
working closely with Congress. An amendment to extend the pilot
project for one more year has been added to this year's military
reauthorization bill. The purpose is to gather accurate statistics to
prove that homeschoolers are not dropouts from the military. The first
body of research that was released by the Center for Naval Research
indicates that homeschoolers who score below the 50 percentile mark on
the ASVAB test tend to drop out at a higher rate than high school
graduates. We believe that these statistics are skewed since the
military has had trouble with frauds who gain entrance into the
various branches of the military disguised as homeschoolers. HSLDA has
worked with the Army recruiting command to create a policy for all
four branches of the military that would better scrutinize the
homeschoolers who seek enlistment to more accurately determine if in
fact, they are homeschoolers. The process is not burdensome, but it
will certainly ferret out the frauds. This policy was implemented in
September 2003. Our hope is that the extension for the military access
project for one year will enable the Center for Analysis to complete
new research based on a group of 2004 recruits which is representative
of all homeschoolers, without the impact of frauds. We will continue
to monitor this situation.


Sincerely,

Chris Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel



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