SB 319: A Little More Background…

by | Feb 15, 2018 | Legislative, News

…A Little More To Do

by Edie Carey, wife of CHEWV’s Legislative Liaison, John Carey, and active homeschool mom

SB 319, the Senate bill that removes the GED requirement for homeschool applicants, was in the Senate Finance Committee this past Monday and Tuesday.

Clearly, homeschooling was under attack during the committee’s deliberations, and for a while Senator Palumbo led the charge. Senator Palumbo’s concern — that removing the GED requirement is dumbing down education — has no basis in fact.  If you can pass the ACT and show you are ready for college, certainly you can get a passing score on the GED.  We appreciate Senator Palumbo’s willingness to hear the truth and change his position.  

Yet there have been additional challenges of which you need to be aware.  Last week when the Senate Education Committee considered the removal of the GED testing requirement, Vice Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission Matt Turner implied that a homeschool diploma and transcript are subpar.  Turner stated if the GED testing requirement was removed, “What we’ll do is monitor the cohorts. If this changes and this becomes a problem, we can come back and report it (to the legislature) and say, ‘We need to make some adjustments again. . . You could start to see the erosion of the merit level of the Promise.”

Senators and state education bureaucrats, regretfully, are not aware of an empirical fact:  both nationally and in the state of West Virginiathe data is in on the performance of homeeducated students as it relates to the ACT and the SAT.  Homeschool graduates in West Virginia score higher, on average, than public students on the ACT and SAT.  Statistically, this has proven true year after year.  In 2016, homeschool graduates enrolled as freshmen in WV four-year and two-year colleges scored, on average, 23.8 (70th percentile ranking) on the ACT.  The average score of WV public school graduates enrolled as freshmen in the same colleges was 21.5 (59th percentile ranking).  

Enrolled as freshmen in 2 & 4-year WV colleges:

Homeschool Graduates

Public School Graduates

2016 ACT Score



2016 ACT Percentile Rank



Click here to read the NHERI study on the ACT nationallyLikewise, homeschoolers excel on the SAT as demonstrated in this study.

Homeschooling father and CHEWV member Senator Karnes confronted these arguments in Committee, providing support for the passage of SB 319 and its advancement to Senate Finance this week.  Others helped advance the bill once in the Finance Committee; read my husband’s report from earlier today here.

Yet the job is not done.

Again, we remind all of our members and friends that more calls are needed.  Even better, show up in person!  The bill is now on the floor of the Senate.  Its Second Reading, the amendment stage, is on Thursday.

  • Action needed:  Contact your senator early (they go into Session at 11:00 a.m.) and ask him/her to please support SB319 as it came out of Senate Finance.
  • Those of you with senators on the Finance Committee, take the time to thank them for their unanimous support of the amendment to drop the GED requirement!

Then it’s up for final passage on Friday.  If approved, it goes to the House Education Committee.

My husband, John, spends hours at the Capitol as part of his service to CHEWV homeschoolers – like our own family!  I can testify to the fact that he is genuinely encouraged when CHEWV families all across the state participate with their support.  Thank you for continued prayers and ready action on SB 319 as it moves through the legislative process!

One Last Request:  A thankyou to the Finance Committee senators who finally passed SB 319 and sent it to the Senate floor would be a great idea.  Acknowledging their pro-homeschool choices is highly effective.  Remember, legislators typically receive more complaints than compliments.  Put yourself in their place and take a few moments to be a blessing!