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May 2, 2006

Bad Bill Defeated

Senate Bill 56 was introduced in Louisiana the day the legislative session opened on March 27. This bill simply stated that a diploma issued by unapproved private schools would be the equivalent of a General Equivalency Diploma (GED). This would have meant any diploma issued by a homeschool parent operating as a private school in Louisiana would have been on the same level as a GED certificate.

After learning of this bill the Home School Legal Defense Association and CHEF of Louisiana quickly discussed several options. After settling on a plan of action, CHEF contacted the sponsor of the bill. According to the information we received, at least one large traditional private school had requested this bill to help their students due to some problems they had been having. Beryl Amedée with CHEF was able to meet with the sponsor of the bill and those who had requested the bill and explain our concerns.

At the meeting we suggested that the bill be amended to state that these private school diplomas would be officially recognized by the state. While the bill was not able to be favorably amended, the sponsor did agree to withdraw the bill entirely.

We believe this decision was made due to the fact that both CHEF of Louisiana and HSLDA would have opposed the bill.

Currently under Louisiana law, homeschool parents who file as a private school can issue diplomas for their homeschool high school graduates. As these diplomas are issued by a legally operating private school they should be accepted as proof of graduation from high school. While these diplomas are not issued by the state, homeschool families have generally had little or no difficulties when documenting their child's graduation with a homeschool diploma. As it was written, Senate Bill 56 would have reduced the benefit these private school diplomas would have had.

 Other Resources

Senate Bill 56: Unapproved Private School Diplomas