Bulletin #52     HONDA   Re-Introduced - Section 8                              07/24/2006

 

This is the seventh 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. We apologize for the length of this bulletin, but having the exact text of the law is necessary to see what is being proposed.  This bulletin will also include NHELD’s comments on those provisions. 

Previous bulletins were Bulletin #44 - HONDA  Re-Introduced Examining Sections 1, 2 and 3 issued 10/17/2005

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

Bulletin #48 - HONDA Section 4(b) issued 01/24/2006

Bulletin #49 - HONDA Section 5 issued 04/26/2006

Bulletin #50 - HONDA Section 6 issued 05/28/2006

Bulletin #51 – HONDA Section 7 issued 07/24/2006

 

NHELD believes this 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laws already adopted having anything to do with the rights of parents to instruct their children at home should be repealed.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unconstitutional, in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and must be defeated and/or repealed immediately.

 

As always, we strive to provide our readers with all of the facts so that they can reach their own conclusions. Please bear with us as we reprint the relevant and exact statute excerpts, which are both important and tedious at times to read.  Following the specifics of the legislation, we will provide you with a more reader-friendly analysis. 

 

Do you know what Section 8 of the HONDA bill does?  The proposed changes are as follows:

SEC. 8. CLARIFICATION OF ELIGIBILITY FOR STUDENTS PRIVATELY EDUCATED AT HOME UNDER STATE LAW FOR THE ROBERT C. BYRD HONORS SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM.

Section 419F(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070d-36(a)) is amended by inserting `(or a home school , whether treated as a home school or a private school under State law)' after `public or private secondary school’.

 

 

Lets’ take a look at the current federal law and see what it says and what the changes will look like.

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/search/display.html?terms=1070d-36&url=/uscode/html/uscode20/usc_sec_20_00001070---d036-.html

20 USC § 1070d-36 Eligibility of scholars

      SUBCHAPTER IV - STUDENT ASSISTANCE

      Part A - Grants to Students in Attendance at Institutions of Higher Education

(a)    High school graduation or equivalent and admission to institution required Each student awarded a scholarship under this subpart shall be a graduate of a public or private secondary school or have the equivalent of a certificate of graduation as recognized by the State in which the student resides and must have been admitted for enrollment at an institution of higher education.

The above section will be changed to read:

(a) High school graduation or equivalent and admission to institution required Each student awarded a scholarship under this subpart shall be a graduate of a public or private secondary school or a home school , whether treated as a home school or a private school under State law, or have the equivalent of a certificate of graduation as recognized by the State in which the student resides and must have been admitted for enrollment at an institution of higher education.

      (b) Selection based on promise of academic achievement Each student awarded a scholarship under this subpart must demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and show promise of continued academic achievement.

 

NHELD’s  Comments:

Other sections of the law appear to limit the scholarship award to $1500.00, and we have printed the section of federal law which defines this scholarship, at the end of our analysis. 

 

It is unnecessary to add the language proposed.   As it exists, statute says the students shall be graduates of public or private school OR have the equivalent of a certificate of graduation as recognized by the state.  The “equivalent of a certificate of graduation” is vague enough to include almost anything acceptable to the state under state law.  If in one state, the state considers “approval” of the home school each year and the child has evidence that the program was approved for the high school years, then that could be the “equivalent of a certificate of graduation”.  If a state does not require “approval” of homeschool, but under state law children legally home school during the high school years, then that also could be the “equivalent of a certificate of graduation”. 

 

Inserting the term “home school” in yet another federal statute allows the federal government to define the meaning of “home school”, which at some point they will have to do.  The federal definition of “home school” could mean only those “home schools” “approved” by the local Board of Education.  If the federal definition conflicts with the state definition of “home school”, because of the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, the federal law could reign supreme over the state law.  Of course, you could still argue the federal government has no authority over education because of the Tenth Amendment; however, because the student would be accepting federal money under this scholarship program, that argument doesn’t work.  The Tenth Amendment argument is nullified because the Constitution grants Congress the ability to tax and spend, in this case, to spend on scholarships. By accepting the scholarship, which is federal money, the student, in essence, is giving authority to the federal government to dictate the terms for receipt of that money. Is $1500.00 worth giving up your freedom to educate under your state law? 

 

Here is the statute which defines the scholarship award:

 

(20 USC § 1070d-38 Stipends and scholarship conditions

      SUBCHAPTER IV - STUDENT ASSISTANCE

      Part A - Grants to Students in Attendance at Institutions of Higher Education

      (a) Amount of award Each student awarded a scholarship under this subpart shall receive a stipend of $1,500 for the academic year of study for which the scholarship is awarded, except that in no case shall the total amount of financial aid awarded to such student exceed such student's total cost-of-attendance.

      (b) Use of award The State educational agency shall establish procedures to assure that a scholar awarded a scholarship under this subpart pursues a course of study at an institution of higher education.)

 

 

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