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7/25/2006 3:33:31 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
South Carolina--Calls Needed Regarding LIFE Scholarships

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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July 25, 2006

South Carolina--Calls Needed Regarding LIFE Scholarships

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

On June 6, 2006, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
changed the rules for LIFE Scholarships for college expenses by
deciding that parent-generated transcripts for homeschool students
will no longer be accepted. Instead, only transcripts prepared by
homeschool associations or public school districts will be considered
in determining eligibility for the scholarships. This policy became
effective immediately.

Your calls to state officials are needed to reverse this unnecessary
and burdensome policy. In some cases this policy will undoubtedly
result in the denial or delay in homeschool students receiving the
LIFE Scholarship.


ACTION REQUESTED:

(1) Please call or write (both would be better) the state officials
named below with this message:

"Please rescind the policy of the South Carolina Commission on Higher
Education to no longer accept parent-generated transcripts for
homeschool students to receive LIFE Scholarships. Requiring these
students to submit transcripts prepared by homeschool associations or
school districts is an unnecessary administrative burden, considering
the fact that all of the data for the transcripts will continue to be
supplied by the parents."

Governor Mark Sanford
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12267
Columbia, SC 29211
(803) 734-2100

Dr. Layton McCurdy, Chairman
South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
3 Chisolm Street, #301
Charleston, SC 29401
(803) 737-2260

Dr. Gail Morrison, Executive Director
South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
1333 Main Street, Suite 200
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 737-2260

(2) Please forward this email to other homeschooling families who are
not members of HSLDA and ask them to contact these state officials as
well.

BACKGROUND:

The new policy states that students who are homeschooled must have
their grades converted to the South Carolina Uniform Grading Scale
(UGS) by the approved homeschool association of which they are a
member. Students who are homeschooled through their local school
district may request that the public school accomplish the conversion
to the UGS. Grade conversions conducted by parents will not be
accepted for scholarship eligibility.

The fact is that homeschool associations rely solely on information
provided to them by parents of students. The associations do not check
homework, administer and grade tests in particular subjects, or
otherwise independently evaluate the academic progress of a student in
individual courses. The new policy does nothing more than add a step
for compiling a transcript without adding any integrity or credibility
to the contents of the transcript. This simply creates an
administrative burden to the homeschool associations without any
increase in reliability of the end product. Further, homeschool
associations cannot reasonably be expected to exercise the level of
scrutiny that would be required to independently verify grades
submitted by parents.

Public high schools are not required by law or by state policy to
convert grades to the UGS for homeschool students. Accordingly, it is
doubtful that any public school district will be willing to verify the
grades earned by a homeschool student by preparing a transcript based
on the UGS. Again, the only information the public school has
regarding the student's academic performance in particular subjects
comes from the parent.

The new policy also states that if a homeschool student is unable to
have his grades converted by a homeschool association or public high
school, then the student must earn eligibility for the scholarship by
maintaining a 3.0 GPA and earning 30 credit hours by the end of each
academic year. While the South Carolina General Assembly has
authorized the Commission on Higher Education to promulgate
regulations and establish procedures to administer the LIFE
Scholarship, the Commission does not have the authority to change the
law concerning how and when a scholarship is awarded. We believe the
statutory language of Section 59-149-10 et seq of the Code of Laws of
South Carolina sets forth the eligibility requirements, and these
requirements may not be changed by the Commission.

If you have any questions about this new policy, please do not
hesitate to contact us for additional information.

Thanks for taking time to call--together we can make a difference!

Sincerely,

Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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-> Can you look at the clouds and tell the direction of the wind?

An interesting phenomenon of wind is that it can blow in multiple
directions at the same time, at different heights from the ground.
But usually there is a prevailing wind. HSLDA watches the gusts
and monitors the prevailing trends of change in the legal climate
of home education. So no matter which way the wind is blowing,
we're there to protect your family.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1938

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