The House Resolution concerning the College Access and Opportunity Act of 2005, asÂ blogged by Mary Nix at HEM Support Group News,Â was reported approved by a reader of NHEN’s LegClearinghouse list.
- The Daily Herald, Everett, Washington, 1 April 2006, Roll CallÂ
Higher education aidÂ
Voting 221-199, the House on March 30 sent the Senate a Republican bill (HR 609) that renews programs for higher education. The bill raises the maximum Pell Grant for low-income students from $5,800 to $6,000, although actual grant levels will be lower. Also, the bill authorizes 5 percent Perkins Loans for low-income students; requires the Department of Education to publicly identify schools with steep tuition hikes; introduces to higher education teacher-accountability concepts of the No Child Left Behind Act; changes current law in several areas to benefit corporate-run, for-profit institutions; expands programs for minority institutions, and removes enrollment barriers to the admission of home-schooled students to traditional colleges and universities.
I stillÂ don’t understand why this part of the billÂ was needed merely because the bill concerns ‘education.’Â The texts of the “home school” sectionsÂ are as follows:
- PDF-pages 90 – 91:Â (1) FEDERAL CONTROL PROHIBITED.â€”Nothing in this part shall be construed to permit, allow,Â encourage, or authorize any Federal control over anyÂ aspect of any private, religious, or home school,Â whether or not a home school is treated as a privateÂ school or home school under State law. This sectionÂ shall not be construed to prohibit private, religious, or home schools from participation in programs or services under this part.Â Â (2) NO CHANGE IN STATE CONTROL ENCOURAGED OR REQUIRED.â€”Nothing in this part shall beÂ construed to encourage or require any change in aÂ Stateâ€™s treatment of any private, religious, or homeÂ school, whether or not a home school is treated asÂ a private school or home school under State law.
The point ofÂ HR 609Â is aid to collegeÂ students:
- The College Access & Opportunity Act (H.R. 609)Â
The College Access & Opportunity Act (H.R. 609) will strengthen and improve the nationâ€™s higher education system by expanding college access for low- and middle-income students.Â The bill will reauthorize discretionary programs of the Higher Education Act (HEA), including the student aid programs in Title IV, teacher training programs, graduate study, international and foreign language programs, and institutional programs.
Now if this is about colleges not wanting to accept freshmen who were homeschooled to ‘high school’ graduation because the administrators think the college will lose federal funding, that problem was dealt with in 2002:
- “Dear Colleague” letter from the Federal Student Aid site: Eligibility of Home-Schooled Students â€“ Institutional and Student EligibilityÂ Â
Summary:Â Â Â An institution can admit most home-schooled students as regular students without jeopardizing its eligibility to participate in the Title IV, HEA student financial assistance programs.Â The Department considers that a home-schooled student is beyond the age of compulsory school attendance if the State in which the institution is located does not consider the student truant once he or she has completed a home-school program.
Why use federal language in a proposed law to fix a problem that was taken care of four years ago with a letter?Â Homeschool groups and individual families should copy the letter, and the site URL, and have it handy for teens who are applying to colleges.Â If there are any questions, contact information is available at the site:
- We hope that this information will be helpful to you. If you have any questions you can contact the FSA Customer Service Call Center. The Call Center staff can be reached through any of the following means:Â Â
Via phone Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM (Eastern Time) at 1-800-433-7327. After hours calls will be accepted by an automated voice response system. Callers leaving their names and phone numbers will receive a return call the next business day.Â
Via FAX at (202) 275-5532.Â
Via e-mail at email@example.com.
As Mary recommended, if you wonder why the hoo-hah, read about the H.R. 6 episodeÂ (Cheryl Lindsey Seelhof’s account):
- HR 6 and the Federalization of Homeschooling by Larry and Susan Kaseman
Two separate forces are working simultaneously that would federalize homeschooling, that is, put homeschooling under the control of the federal government. If homeschoolers do not take action now, much of the energy and independence of the homeschooling movement may be lost as it comes under the control of the federal government. This column will discuss these two forces and suggest ways homeschoolers can resist them, both on the short term and on the long term.
Neither the second part of the Ford/Kildee amendment nor the Armey amendment is necessary. Except for these amendments, H. R. 6 does not contain provisions that could reasonably be interpreted as being likely to lead to federal control of homeschools. Private schools, including homeschools, are protected from federal regulation by the U. S. Constitution and Section 432 of the General Education Provisions Act of 1970 which states that:
Prohibition Against Federal Control of Education. No provision of any applicable program [defined as any program administered by the Secretary of the U. S. Department of Education] shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over curricula, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any educational institution or school system, or to require the assignment of transportation of students or teachers in order to overcome racial imbalance.” (Congressional Record, February 24, 1994, p. H834.)
Some voices in the homeschooling community point out that ‘it hasn’t happened yet,’ and assume it won’tÂ ever happen.Â Well, maybe it hasn’t happened yet because some of us keep squeaking about the lack of this particular need.
(all emphases added for ease of reading)