Idaho Examiner - Sen. Larry Craig News Releases

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

CRAIG INTRODUCES HOME SCHOOL BILL

Legislation would end discrimination against home schooling

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier today, Idaho Senator Larry Craig introduced the “Home School Non-Discrimination Act” (HONDA) of 2005. The legislation would clarify several existing federal statutes which inadvertently discriminate against home schools or home schoolers.
“All too often, federal laws relating to education have left out the millions of children across the nation who benefit from home schooling,” Craig said. “These students are some of our nation’s best and brightest. Many of them consistently score at the highest levels of achievement tests and go on to succeed at the best colleges and universities in the United States. Unfortunately, despite their talents and achievements, these students may be denied services or privileges available to other students because of oversights in federal law. This bill would rectify such situations.”
Among the statutes corrected by HONDA, one would clarify that home schoolers are eligible to apply for the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship program, and would place home school graduates on par with high school graduates when enlisting in the armed services. Currently, home schoolers are not eligible for the Byrd Scholarship, and are regarded as “Tier II” military recruits – the same as high school dropouts – unless they obtain a G.E.D. As Tier II recruits, home schoolers are ineligible for the signing bonuses and college benefits of Tier I recruits.

HONDA would also clarify that higher education institutions who accept home schoolers will remain eligible for federal funds. Another provision would allow parents to use money saved in Coverdell Savings Accounts for qualified home education expenses, just as parents of private and public schooled students can now use that money for qualified education expenses.

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