June 11, 2008

House Bill 1652: Regarding Diplomas from Church Related Schools

Representatives Mike Bell and Dennis Ferguson

As amended, this bill would require the state to recognize high school diplomas from church-related schools and homeschools.

2/15/2008(House) Introduced and first consideration
2/21/2008(House) Second reading and held pending amendment
4/2/2008(House) Referred to the House Education Committee
4/9/2008(House) Assigned to the Higher Education subcommittee
4/29/2008(House) Subcommittee recommended passage if amended
5/5/2008(House) Recommended for passage as amended. Referred to the Calendar and Rules Committee
5/15/2008(House) Taken off notice for calendar
5/21/2008(House) Bill died when legislature adjourned.

HSLDA's Position:
HSLDA supports this legislation.

Action Requested:
None at this time.

Representative Mike Bell proposed proposed an amendment to House Bill 1652 which would require the state to recognize high school diplomas issued by homeschools and church-related schools. This amendment was necessitated by the current policy of the Tennessee Department of Education that diplomas from church-related schools are worthless and are insufficient for employment and admission to schools beyond high school. This is an opportunity to remedy an injustice and discrimination against the thousands of students being taught by their parents through church-related schools.

In reaction to Representative Bell’s amendment, the Department of Education drafted its own amendment which would have prevented the vast majority of parents from even teaching their high school level children and required that all parents conducting a homeschool and all teachers in church-related schools (Category IV Schools) have a bachelor’s degree in order to teach students in grades 9-12. Fortunately, the Department decided not to offer its amendment. As the bill is now written, it would simply require the state to recognize high school diplomas from church-related schools and homeschools.

 Other Resources

E-lert—May 5, 2008—Tennessee: Calls Needed on Diploma Bill

E-lert—May 5, 2008—Tennessee: Change to Calls on Diploma Bill

E-lert—May 6, 2008—Tennessee: Update on Diploma Bill

Bill Text   (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Bill History