Home School Legal Defense Association

P.O. Box 3000, Purcellville, VA 20134

For Immediate Release Contact: Ian Slatter
May 20, 2004 (540) 338-8663


Purcellville, VA- South Dakota Education Secretary Rick Melmer recently denied Opportunity Scholarships to homeschoolers. "This is discrimination, pure and simple," said Scott A. Woodruff, Staff Attorney for Home School Legal Defense Association.

The legislature intended for Opportunity Scholarships to be available to all South Dakota students, regardless of where they received their high school education.

Homeschooled students are some of the strongest high school graduates. South Dakota college-bound homeschool students averaged 22.5 on the ACT. South Dakota students in other programs averaged more than a full point lower, 21.4, (1997-98 figures).

Due to the Secretary's decision, homeschoolers may now face state approved exit exams, which will test material from public school curriculum. This is blatantly unfair because homeschoolers use their own curriculum.

"It's a slap in the face of all homeschool parents, whose children significantly outperform the public system. Exit exams were not part of the legislature's plan," said Woodruff.

Over 75 % of colleges in America, including Harvard and the University of Virginia, have dedicated homeschool admission officers.

George Mason University, The University of Iowa, and the University of Maryland recently gave full 4-year scholarships to homeschool graduates.

"There's no valid reason to prevent homeschoolers from gaining scholarships and attending colleges in South Dakota. Homeschoolers deserve equal treatment," said Woodruff

If your organization would like to schedule an interview with Scott Woodruff please contact Ian Slatter, Director of Media Relations at (540) 338 8663 or via e-mail Ian@hslda.org.

Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a 21 year old, 80,000 member non-profit organization and the preeminent association advocating the legal right of parents to homeschool their children.