From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


5/27/2005 9:53:20 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Louisiana--Hearing Scheduled on TOPS Bill!

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

May 26, 2005

Louisiana--Hearing Scheduled on TOPS Bill!

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

The bill reducing the discriminatory policy for homeschoolers to be
eligible for TOPS has been scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday, June
1st. Please call and e-mail the House Appropriations Committee members
and urge them to support this bill.

House Bill 120 would reduce the current requirement that homeschool
students score three points higher than public school graduates on the
ACT college entrance exam in order to be eligible for the Louisiana
Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS). A student who has
completed an approved home study program and was enrolled in the
program no later than the end of the 10th grade is eligible for TOPS
financial aid if they score 3 points higher than the score required
for public school students.

Under House Bill 120 a homeschool student would be eligible for TOPS
aid if they scored two points higher than the total required for
public school students. While we would like to completely remove this
discriminatory policy, this bill moves the TOPS eligibility
requirements in the right direction.

This bill has already been discussed in the House Committee on
Education and reported favorably. Now the bill has been sent to the
House Appropriations Committee and we need your support to urge them
to pass this bill out of committee!


Please contact the members of the House Appropriations Committee
listed below with this message:

"Please vote in favor of House Bill 120. Currently homeschool students
must score three points higher than public school students on the ACT
in order to be eligible for TOPS. This is discriminatory and must
eventually be stopped."

House Appropriations Committee Members

Representative John A. Alario, Jr.

Representative Donald J.Cazayoux, Jr.

Representative Charlie DeWitt

Representative Yvonne Dorsey

Representative Cedric B.Glover

Representative Cheryl A. Gray

Representative Elcie J Guillory

Representative Roy Hopkins

Representative Willie Hunter, Jr.

Representative Michael Jackson

Representative Jalila Jefferson-Bullock

Representative Eric LaFleur

Representative Charles McDonald

Representative Thomas H. McVea

Representative Dan W. Morrish

Representative Joe R. Salter

Representative Steve Scalise
(504) 888-9899

Representative Jack D. Smith
(337)828-7778 (Please include "Rep Jack D. Smith" in
subject line)

Representative John R. Smith

Representative Francis C. Thompson

Representative Warren J.Triche, Jr.
(985)447-0999 (Please include "Rep Warren J.Triche, Jr."
in subject line)


The Louisiana state financial aid program, TOPS, has been open to
homeschool students who have been enrolled in approved home study
program since the end of their 10th grade year. However, in order for
a homeschool graduate to receive any TOPS aid they must score at least
three points higher on the ACT than the minimum score required for
public school students.

Currently the minimum ACT scores a public school student is required
to receive to be eligible for TOPS are:
(1) For a TOPS-Tech award- 17,
(2) For an Opportunity Award- 20,
(3) For a Performance Award- 23,
(4) For an Honors Award- 27.

While HSLDA is neutral on bills that would provide government benefits
to homeschoolers we oppose discrimination against homeschoolers. Since
Louisiana already provides TOPS funding to students in homeschools
HSLDA maintains that the three point difference between public school
and homeschool students is discriminatory. We cannot stand by while
Louisiana discriminates in such a blatant manner.

All Louisiana homeschoolers need to stand together for freedom,
whether they choose the private school or approved home study option.
In our opinion, reducing or eliminating the three point penalty for
approved home study programs would not create a significant risk of
increased regulation for families who choose the private school


Thomas J. Schmidt, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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