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6/29/2007 3:57:25 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Louisiana--TOPS Bill Passes Legislature!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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June 29, 2007

Louisiana--TOPS Bill Passes Legislature!

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Thank you for all of your hard work and prayers. The TOPS bill, House
Bill 634, passed the Senate earlier this week. Because there were a
few minor amendments in the Senate, the bill went back to the House
for concurrence. The House agreed to the amendments on Tuesday, just
two days before the Louisiana Legislature adjourned for the year. Only
one Senator opposed the bill, and the House voted unanimously for
House Bill 634. Praise God!

The bill now goes to Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco for her
signature. We don't anticipate any difficulties.

The passage of House Bill 634 really has been a joint effort. With
HSLDA helping mobilize support, your phone calls, and CHEF of
Louisiana's work in the Legislature, TOPS awards are now going to be
more accessible for homeschool graduates. A number of homeschool
parents and students testified in favor of the bill, which also
contributed greatly to its passage.

Once House Bill 634 is signed into law, it will be easier for a
homeschool student to be eligible for a TOPS award. Under the bill, a
homeschool student will have to score 2 points higher than public or
approved nonpublic school students on the ACT for a TOPS-Tech or
Opportunity Award but only 1 point higher on the ACT for a Performance
or Honors Award.

Currently the minimum ACT scores a public or approved nonpublic 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.

Thus, a homeschool student would be eligible for a TOPS-Tech Award
with a 19, an Opportunity Award with a 22, a Performance Award with a
24, and an Honors Award with a 28 on the ACT.

The passage of House Bill 634 is a victory for several reasons. If the
bill had not passed, homeschoolers would have gone back to having to
score 3 points higher on the ACT for all TOPS Awards. Additionally,
while homeschoolers still have to score higher than their public or
approved nonpublic school counterparts, homeschool students are not
required to meet the core curriculum requirements established by the
State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.


Thank you for your part in fighting for greater freedom in Louisiana!

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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