Home School Legal Defense Association

P.O. Box 3000, Purcellville, VA 20134



For Immediate Release Contact: Ian Slatter
June 17, 2003 (540)338-8663

COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION
DISCRIMINATES AGAINST COLLEGE-BOUND
HOME SCHOOL STUDENTS



Washington, DC - New York Commissioner of Education Richard Mills has decided that homeschool children cannot receive degrees from New York State Universities or community colleges, unless homeschool children produce either a GED, receive a letter from their school district testifying to the legitimacy of their academic program or complete 24 credit hours in a special GED program.

The problem developed when the Commissioner changed longstanding policy and reinterpreted a rule by the Board of Regents. The rule gives latitude to the Commissioner to determine whether a student is qualified to attend college. It reads in part - 'no earned degree shall be conferred unless the candidate has had a preliminary education of at least a four year high school course, or its equivalent, as determined by the Commissioner.

As a result of the change in policy, some homeschool graduates who are presently honor students in college are being told they will not be allowed to graduate unless they receive a GED. "This is illogical, unnecessary, and demeaning to the students," said Chris Klicka Senior Counsel for Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).

All the evidence demonstrates that homeschoolers receive a more thorough education than the 'four year high school' cited in the rule. In addition several New York colleges testify to the academic and social success of homeschoolers.

"Homeschool high school graduates seeking college admission should not be treated as if they are dropouts. It is unfair to punish homeschool students simply because they received their four years of high school outside the public school system," said Klicka.

If your organization would like to schedule an interview with Chris Klicka 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 20 year old, 75,000 member non-profit organization and the preeminent association advocating the legal right of parents to home school their children.

If your organization would like to schedule an interview with Michael Smith on topics such as how-to-homeschool, legal battles, benefits of homeschooling or social worker harassment 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 20 year old, 75,000 member non-profit organization and the preeminent association advocating the legal right of parents to home school their children.

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