Bulletin #47     HONDA  Re-Introduced - Examining Section 4(a)              01/23/06

 

This is the second of a series of bulletins NHELD is preparing detailing, section by section, the exact language of HR3753/S1691, the “Home School Non-Discrimination Act of 2005”, or “HoNDA”, as proposed in the House and Senate.  The bulletins will provide the exact language from the bill, along with the exact text of the existing federal law that the bill proposes to amend.  The bulletins will also include NHELD’s comments on those provisions.  The first bulletin was Bulletin #44 - HONDA  Re-Introduced - Examining Sections 1, 2 and 3 issued 10/17/2005.

 

NHELD is opposed to passage of any and all parts of this legislation.  NHELD believes the entire bill should be killed and all previous federal laws already adopted having anything to do with the rights of parents to instruct their children at home should be repealed.

 

NHELD believes that there can be no compromises on any federal legislation regarding the rights of parents to instruct their children at home. 

 

NHELD believes all federal legislation regarding the rights of parents to instruct their children at home, no matter how beneficial the legislation appears, is wholly unconstitutional, in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and must be defeated and/or repealed immediately.

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Do you know what Section 4(a) of the HONDA bill does?  Let’s go through it and decipher the substitution language requested.

Section 4 of HR3753/S1691 provides:

“SEC. 4. CLARIFICATION OF PROVISIONS ON INSTITUTIONAL AND STUDENT ELIGIBILITY UNDER THE HIGHER EDUCATION ACT OF 1965.

(a) Clarification of Institutional Eligibility- Section 101(a)(1) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)(1)) is amended by inserting `meeting the requirements of section 484(d)(3) or' after `only persons'.

 

(b) Clarification of Student Eligibility- Section 484(d) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1091(d)) is amended by striking the heading and inserting `Satisfaction of Secondary Education Standards'.”

 

First and foremost, the Higher Education Act of 1985 has multiple parts. 

Section 4(a) of HR3753/S1691, or HoNDA, amends Section 101(a)(1) of the Act.

Section 101(a)(1) is codified in the federal statutes as 20 U.S.C. 1001(a)(1) where

20 U.S.C. 1001 is the section, (a) is a subsection of that section, and (1) is a subsection of subsection (a).  20 U.S.C. Section 1001 includes three subsections – (a), (b), and (c).

For a clearer understanding of the law, all of 20 U.S.C. Section 1001 as it reads today is reprinted below.  The underlined section is the section that is to be amended, after which we have inserted the proposed amendment:

 

TITLE 20—EDUCATION
 
  CHAPTER 28--HIGHER EDUCATION RESOURCES AND STUDENT ASSISTANCE
 
                    SUBCHAPTER I--GENERAL PROVISIONS
 
                           Part A--Definitions
 
Sec. 1001. General definition of institution of higher education
 
(a) Institution of higher education
 
    For purposes of this chapter, other than subchapter IV, the term 
``institution of higher education'' means an educational institution in 
any State that—
 
        (1) admits as regular students only persons having a certificate 
    of graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the 
    recognized equivalent of such a certificate;
 
( would be replaced with:
 
        (1) admits as regular students only persons `meeting the requirements of section 484(d)(3) or' having a certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the recognized equivalent of such a certificate; )
 
        (2) is legally authorized within such State to provide a program 
    of education beyond secondary education;
        (3) provides an educational program for which the institution 
    awards a bachelor's degree or provides not less than a 2-year 
    program that is acceptable for full credit toward such a degree;
        (4) is a public or other nonprofit institution; and
        (5) is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency 
    or association, or if not so accredited, is an institution that has 
    been granted preaccreditation status by such an agency or 
    association that has been recognized by the Secretary for the 
    granting of preaccreditation status, and the Secretary has 
    determined that there is satisfactory assurance that the institution 
    will meet the accreditation standards of such an agency or 
    association within a reasonable time. 
 
(b) Additional institutions included
 
    For purposes of this chapter, other than subchapter IV, the term 
``institution of higher education'' also includes--
        (1) any school that provides not less than a 1-year program of 
    training to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized 
    occupation and that meets the provision of paragraphs (1), (2), (4), 
    and (5) of subsection (a) of this section; and
        (2) a public or nonprofit private educational institution in any 
    State that, in lieu of the requirement in subsection (a)(1) of this 
    section, admits as regular students persons who are beyond the age 
    of compulsory school attendance in the State in which the 
    institution is located.
 
(c) List of accrediting agencies
 
    For purposes of this section and section 1002 of this title, the 
Secretary shall publish a list of nationally recognized accrediting 
agencies or associations that the Secretary determines, pursuant to 
subpart 2 of part G of subchapter IV of this chapter, to be reliable 
authority as to the quality of the education or training offered.
 

 

The problem is, Section 4(a) of the bill does not specify what “meeting the requirements of section 484(d)(3)” means.  It does not specify whether “section 484(d)(3) is referring to a section in the Higher Education Act of 1965 or a section of another federal law. 

 

Aides in the office of the sponsors of the bills are not even certain as to what law “section 484(d)(3)” refers to, but “assume” it refers to a section of the Higher Education Act.

 

That section, “section 484(d)” of the Higher Education Act as it currently reads is reprinted below.   The underlined section is the section to which the amended Section 4(a) of the bill refers:

 

“(d) STUDENTS WHO ARE NOT HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES – In order for a student who does not have a high school certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the recognized equivalent of such certificate, to be eligible for any assistance under subparts 1, 3, and 4 of Part A, and Parts B, C, D, and E of this title, the student shall meet one of the following standards:

 

(1) The student shall take an independently administered examination and shall achieve a score, specified by the Secretary, and demonstrating that such student can benefit from the education or training being offered. Such examination shall be approved by the Secretary on the basis of compliance with such standards for development, administration, and scoring as the Secretary may prescribe in regulations.

 

(2) The student shall be determined as having the ability to benefit from the education or training in accordance with such process as the State shall prescribe.  Any such process described or approved by a State for the purposes of this section shall be effective 6 months after the date of Submission to the Secretary unless the Secretary disapproves such process. The Secretary shall take into account the effectiveness of such process in enabling students without high school diplomas or the equivalent thereof to benefit from the instruction offered by institutions utilizing such process, and shall also take into account the cultural diversity, economic circumstances, and educational preparation of the population served by the institutions.

 

(3) The student has completed a secondary school education in a home school setting that is treated as a home school or private school under State law.”

 

 

The entire section 484 (20 USC 1091) should be read in context at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=browse_usc&docid=Cite:+20USC1091

 

After reading that entire section, one can glean the following information:

In order to receive any grant, loan, or work assistance” from the federal government “a student must” be enrolled in an “eligible institution”; if already enrolled, must maintain satisfactory progress (a C average); must not owe a refund or be in default on other government loans; must sign a form saying the money will be used for educational purposes; must provide your social security number and verification of citizenship or legal status; etc., and:

 

“In order for a student who does not have a high school certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the recognized equivalent of such certificate, to be eligible for any assistance under subparts 1, 3, and 4 of Part A, and Parts B, C, D, and E of this title, the student shall meet one of three standards.

 

The question is, in order to be eligible for what kind of assistance under “subparts 1, 3, and 4 of Part A” and all of “Parts B, C, D, and E”?

 

What are those Parts?  They appear to be parts of the Higher Education Act, Title 20, Chapter 28, entitled, “Higher Education Resources and Student Assistance.”

 

You can find the text of those parts at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/uscode/title20/chapter28_subchapteriv_.html

 

Part A  is “Grants to Students in Attendance at Institutions of Higher Education”
    Subpart 1 is “Federal Pell Grants”
    Subpart 3 is “Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants”
    Subpart 4 is “Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Program”
 
Part B is “Federal Family Education Loan Program”
 
Part C is “William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program”
 
Part D is “Federal Perkins Loans”
 
Part E is “Needs Analysis”
 
In other words, in order to be able to receive any of the grants, loans, or assistance cited in those parts and subparts of the law, the student shall: 
(1)     take an independently administered examination and achieve a score to show that the student can benefit from the training offered;
(2)     be determined as having the ability to benefit from the training in accordance with any procedure the State prescribes; or
(3)     complete “a secondary school education in a home school setting that is treated as a home school or private school under State law”.
   
This is what the law currently reads.  NHELD has often reported during the last few years that Congress has adopted several laws already, at the behest of HSLDA, that affect the rights of “homeschoolers”, all of which are unconstitutional and all of which should be repealed.
 
 It appears that HLSDA is asking Congress to make the amendment listed in Section 4, subsection (a) of this bill, in order to make the other parts of the federal law conform appropriately.  Section 4, subsection (a) of HoNDA, purports to “clarify” the “eligibility” of “institutions” of higher education by saying that those institutions are “eligible institutions” (to receive federal funding) if they admit students “meeting the requirements of section 484(d)(3)”.  That is, they are eligible institutions only if they admit students who take an independently administered exam, are determined to have the ability to benefit from the training according to whatever procedures the state prescribes, or they complete “a secondary school education in a home school setting that is treated as a home school or private school under State law.”
 
This legislation puts the undefined phrase”home school” in federal statute unnecessarily, and we point you to our very first bulletin to further explain why: http://nheld.com/articles.htm#bln1
 
 

 

 

Attorney Deborah Stevenson - Executive Director of National Home Education Legal Defense. – www.nheld.com or email : info@nheld.com

Judy Aron - Director of Research, NHELD – imjfaron@sbcglobal.net