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On June 1, 2009, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen approved legislation requiring all state and local government entities to recognize high school diplomas awarded by homeschools and church-related schools the same as diplomas awarded by public schools.
The chief architect of this legislation was Representative Mike Bell (District 23), who worked closely with the Tennessee Home Education Association in guiding the proposal through the Tennessee General Assembly. The final version of the new law was designated as Senate Bill 433, its primary sponsor being Senator Dewayne Bunch (District 9).
College admission and public employment are often conditioned upon the applicant’s having a state-recognized high school diploma. In recent years in Tennessee, graduates of homeschools and church-related schools have been denied these opportunities because their diploma was not approved by the Tennessee Department of Education. S.B. 433 has eliminated this discrimination and placed homeschool and church-related school graduates on equal footing with public school graduates.