Originally Sent: 4/1/2016

From the HSLDA e-lert service…
Home School Legal Defense Association

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New York Legislative Days—You Can Still Come!

Homeschooling in New York.

Make your plans to attend today!

TJ Schmidt
Staff Attorney Tj Schmidt answers questions and assists members with legal issues in your state. He and his wife homeschool their children.

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

On Monday, April 4 and Tuesday, April 5, New York State Loving Education at Home (LEAH) will be putting on the 2016 Homeschool Legislative Days.

Over these two days there will be opportunities to meet with your legislators and urge them to support several bills that will bring greater freedom and protection to homeschool families. You will also be able to hear speakers such as Mark Hamby with Lamplighter Ministries, Will Estrada from HSLDA and Senator Joseph Robach, the main sponsor of S.B. 4788. Teens will be passing out position papers about the various homeschool bills. Families can also sit in on a committee meeting or watch a session of the legislature.

You can find more information about the two-day event here. Make your plans to attend today!

One bill that you will have the opportunity to lobby in favor of is Senate Bill 4788. This bill would eliminate the New York homeschool regulation’s quarterly report requirement and allow parents to use the alternative written narrative evaluation for the end-of-the-year assessment every other year, all the way through high school. This bill would lower the minimum composite score percentile required on a standardized achievement test to the 23rd percentile, which is still in the “average” range for test scores.

In addition, under S.B. 4788 parents would not need the consent of their local public school superintendent before selecting the person to conduct the annual evaluation. They would be free to choose any of the options allowed by law. Finally, S.B. 4788 would require local superintendents to provide a letter verifying that a parent had complied with all provisions of a home instruction program once the parent’s child had completed all of the necessary credits required for high school. This is often called the letter of substantial equivalency.

The Assembly also has a similar bill to Senate Bill 4788 in Assembly Bill 9091. The only difference is that A.B. 9091 keeps the quarterly reports.

Besides the homeschool freedom bills, there are companion bills in the Assembly and the Senate to address some of the college admissions issues that have been occurring in the past few years. Assembly Bill 43 and Senate Bill 841 would prohibit the Commissioner of Education from requiring homeschool or nonpublic school students to obtain a GED or have an accredited diploma in order to be admitted to college. Instead, all the homeschool student would be required to do is provide a notarized transcript which demonstrates completion of a high school program in a homeschool (or nonpublic school) setting.

Recently, some New York colleges have attempted to require homeschool graduates to obtain a GED before they will matriculate the student unless they have a letter of substantial equivalency.

Your attendance at the 2016 Homeschool Legislative Days could help bring a measure of freedom in New York. Make your plans today to attend, and I’ll see you there!

Tj Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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