May 30, 2003

Texas Legislature Passes Bill Prohibiting College Discrimination of Homeschoolers

On May 28, House Bill 944 passed the Texas Senate after its second and third readings on the Senate floor. We look forward to seeing Governor Rick Perry sign the bill into law. The bill passed the House of Representatives on April 14.

We trust that this legislation will help end discrimination against homeschoolers in Texas state colleges. If you are a member of Home School Legal Defense Association, and your student experiences difficulty enrolling in college because he was homeschooled, please contact our Legal Department so we may assist you.

For years, some Texas universities have held homeschool graduates to a different and more difficult standard than others. The most frequently used discriminatory practice is to require homeschool graduates to have significantly higher test scores than other students.

Although we have been successful in changing the college admission policies at the federal level, some states and individual universities still have policies discriminating against homeschoolers seeking college admission.

House Bill 944, introduced by Representative Phil King, requires colleges and universities to admit graduates of a homeschool program according to the same standards that are applied to graduates from a public high school programs.

HSLDA strongly supports H.B. 944 as it codifies the recommendations we have made to the Federal Department of Education. In passing the federal Higher Education Act, Congress indicated that the admissions standards for graduates of homeschool programs should be equal to standards for public school graduates and that extra requirements (for example the GED, higher SAT scores, or SAT II tests) are discriminatory.

HSLDA was able to work with Representative King's office to address our concern with his use of the phrase "home school." During the floor vote, Representative King removed the undefined term "home school" and added our language "private school in the home" into the bill. The amendment was passed. This will keep homeschooling safe under the Texas Supreme Court's interpretation of homeschools as having the legal status of a private school in Texas.

For more information about this bill visit our website at: