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Homeschool Non-Discrimination Act

 
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 11:47 am    Post subject: Homeschool Non-Discrimination Act Reply with quote

This is very good news for home schoolers. It would be a good idea to send Senator Larry Craig an e-mail of thanks. I did, but he is also my senator.

ICHE INFORMATION UPDATE: September 14, 2005

TO: ICHE MEMBERS

SUBJECT: Homeschool Non-Discrimination Act

(HONDA) of 2005



At the request of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), Idaho Coalition of Home Educators (ICHE), and Christian Home Educators of Idaho State (CHOIS), Senator Larry Craig, as the lead sponsor, has introduced the Home School Non-Discrimination Act (HONDA) 2005. We are very grateful for Senator Craig’s leadership in support of this important legislation. ICHE urges you to email your comments and appreciation to Senator Craig at

larry_craig@craig.senate.gov or by phone at (208) 342-7985. You must include your name and address.



For Immediate Release Mike Tracy (208) 342-7985

September 13, 2005 Sid Smith (202) 224-8708

CRAIG INTRODUCES HOME SCHOOL BILL

Legislation would end discrimination against home schooling

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier today, Idaho Senator Larry Craig introduced the “Home School Non-Discrimination Act” (HONDA) of 2005. The legislation would clarify several existing federal statutes which inadvertently discriminate against home schools or home schoolers.

“All too often, federal laws relating to education have left out the millions of children across the nation who benefit from home schooling,” Craig said. “These students are some of our nation’s best and brightest. Many of them consistently score at the highest levels of achievement tests and go on to succeed at the best colleges and universities in the United States. Unfortunately, despite their talents and achievements, these students may be denied services or privileges available to other students because of oversights in federal law. This bill would rectify such situations.”

Among the statutes corrected by HONDA, one would clarify that home schoolers are eligible to apply for the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship program, and would place home school graduates on par with high school graduates when enlisting in the armed services. Currently, home schoolers are not eligible for the Byrd Scholarship, and are regarded as “Tier II” military recruits – the same as high school dropouts – unless they obtain a G.E.D. As Tier II recruits, home schoolers are ineligible for the signing bonuses and college benefits of Tier I recruits.

HONDA would also clarify that higher education institutions who accept home schoolers will remain eligible for federal funds. Another provision would allow parents to use money saved in Coverdell Savings Accounts for qualified home education expenses, just as parents of private and public schooled students can now use that money for qualified education expenses.

HOME SCHOOL LEGAL DEFENSE ASSOCIATION


Home School Legal Defense Association


P.O. Box 3000, Purcellville, VA 20134



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



For Immediate Release
Contact: Ian Slatter

September 14, 2005
(540) 338-8663


HOMESCHOOL NON-DISCRIMINATION BILL INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS
New bill corrects federal laws which discriminate against homeschoolers


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Washington, DC — Yesterday, Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) and Representative Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) introduced the Homeschool Non-Discrimination Act (HONDA) respectively in the Senate and House. "Our Constitution does not allow federal control over homeschooling, but there are many federal laws written for the public school environment that impact home education that need clarification," said Michael Smith, President of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).

Homeschoolers often find themselves in unusual situations. For example, many college-bound homeschoolers have been denied admission to college due to confusion about whether federal financial aid programs forbid a college to admit them because they did not obtain a state-issued diploma. HONDA will correct this and other anomalies in the law.

HONDA will allow parents to utilize federal education savings accounts for their homeschool expenses, and allow homeschool eligibility for Byrd college scholarships. Federal privacy law is extended to include homeschool records, which some states require the public schools to keep. HONDA also permits older homeschooled teens to work during traditional school hours. Currently, federal law does not allow a student to work during school hours. This is an unfair restriction on homeschoolers, as traditional school hours have little relevance in a homeschool setting. This is a real limitation on the homeschool teen who would like to save for college by, for example, working the lunch shift at the local fast-food restaurant.

Further, HONDA would address forced evaluations under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). A Missouri family is currently in court fighting a decision by the state to force their homeschooled child to undergo an evaluation under IDEA, even though the family does not want, nor is even eligible for, the services which could be provided. HONDA makes it clear that IDEA does not require evaluations if a parent refuses services.

Finally, HONDA would end discrimination against homeschool graduates who seek to join the U.S. military. Under current law, homeschool recruits are usually considered to be highschool dropouts or GED graduates and do not receive the same signing bonuses as traditional high school graduates.

"We fully support HONDA," said Caleb Kershner, Director of Federal Policy and Research for HSLDA. "Homeschooling is here to stay and it is time that federal lawmakers came up to speed and consider the implications of their policies on homeschooled students."

If your organization would like to schedule an interview with Michael Smith, 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 22 year old, 80,000 member non-profit organization and the preeminent national association advocating the legal right of parents to homeschool their children.
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