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October 17, 2007

New PSAT Law Gets Tested

During the 2007 session of the Texas legislature, Home School Legal Defense Association worked with Texas homeschool leaders to ensure passage of a new law which mandates that homeschoolers be allowed to take certain tests which are only offered by public schools.

The law specifically states: “A school district shall permit a home-schooled student entitled . . . to attend public school in the district to participate in an administration of the PSAT/NMSQT or a college advanced placement test offered by the district.” HSLDA worked on this law because some school districts were actually prohibiting homeschoolers from taking these tests.

After the bill became law, the Pedrons, an HSLDA member family, contacted their local high school to have two of their boys take the PSAT. However, this Dallas-area public school told the family that the students could not participate.

HSLDA attorney Chris Klicka contacted the chairman of the counseling department of this Dallas-area school and explained the new law. The chairman quickly acted and arranged for the boys to take the PSAT during the testing time later that week.

After laws are passed, it often takes time for school district personnel to get the message. With over 1,000 school districts in Texas, there is potential for lack of communication. HSLDA appreciates this opportunity to be able to come in and explain the requirements of the law.

The PSAT is the gateway into the National Merit Scholarship Program.