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a division of Home School Legal Defense Association
September 1, 2000

National Center Weekly Update


1. New Study Finds Increased Spending on Education is a Waste of Money

2. Congress in Session for Four More Weeks

3. Home Schoolers Score Higher on the ACT

This week on Capitol Hill we have the following activities to report:

1. New Study Finds Increased Spending on Education is a Waste of Money

A new study conducted and released on August 25, 2000, by the American Legislative Exchange Council found that there is no correlation between increased spending and student performance. The study reported on state education performance, noting that Minnesota’s public school performance ranked highest in the nation spending at an average of $6,245 per student and the District of Columbia’s public school performance ranked last even with spending $8,670 per student. ALEC Chairman Ray Hynes said, “This study shows the path of least resistance fails our children, and that throwing more money at the problem is not the answer.”

Over the last decade, spending per pupil has increased by 23 percent nationwide in real dollars, yet our public schools continue to perform poorly. On the other hand, home schoolers spend on average less than $600 per pupil per year according to a 1998 study conducted by Dr. Lawrence M. Rudner. They are also scoring higher across the board on standard achievement test like the ACT and the SAT. Clearly, legislators should consider the success of home schooling and stop spending education tax dollars without failed results.

ALEC is the nation’s largest bipartisan, individual membership association of state legislators, with nearly 2,400 members across America. Among the leadership of America’s state legislatures, ALEC members have an impressive presence: 45 Speakers and Speaker Pro Tems; 29 Senate Presidents and Senate Pro Tems; 30 Senate Majority and Minority Leaders; 42 House Majority and Minority Leaders. Twelve sitting Governors and 77 members of Congress are alumni of ALEC.

2. Congress in Session for Four More Weeks

Congress returned from its summer recess on September 5 and is scheduled to adjourn on October 9, about one month before the general election in November. Key issues that will be addressed in this four-week period include:

1) A veto override attempt on the Marriage Tax Penalty;
2) Final approval of the Education Appropriations Bill and Goals 2000 funding;
3) Possible reauthorization of the National Assessment Education Progress.

Please continue to pray for National Center for Home Education staff as they work diligently to insert last minute changes that will improve our current laws.

3. Home Schoolers Score Higher on the ACT

Home schooled students have scored higher than their traditionally educated peers on the ACT, one of the nation’s two major college-entrance exams, for the third consecutive year.

While the average ACT assessment score was 21 nationally, home-educated students scored an average of 22.8 — yet another academic benchmark that has given the home school movement increasing credibility and attention. The number of home schoolers taking the ACT this year, 4,593, represents a 41 percent increase over last year, ACT officials said.

The ACT, much like the more popular SAT test, the other major college-entrance exam, is used not only for admissions, but also for making decisions on scholarships and course placement.

This concludes HSLDA’s Legislative Hotline. We pray that this information will bless your family in your fight for freedom. For more information on HSLDA and home schooling, visit our website at