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Awarding KEES money to home school students discussed


FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Giving home-schooled students the chance to earn the same amount of Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) money as is available to students who attend high school, was discussed at a legislative committee meeting on Tuesday.

Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, told the Interim Joint Education Committee, “All the data shows that children who are home schooled, are on average some of the best prepared students for college in the state. The last 4-5 years, the home-schooled population has really increased.”

However, since they have no high school grade-point average, they lose out on the majority of KEES money for college, although high ACT scores allow them to be awarded some scholarship funds.

KEES awards range from $125 per school year for a student with a 2.50 GPA to $500 for a 4.0 GPA. The ACT bonus ranges from $36 annually for a score of 15 to $500 for a score of 28 or better. That means high school students who carry a 4.0 GPA for all four years, and earn a 28 on the ACT, can earn up to $2,500 per year for college, while home school students are limited to the ACT bonus of $500 per year.

Laura Edwards, who taught in school for eight years before leaving to home school her own children the past 12 years, told the panel there are several ways to equalize the KEES money.

–Take the GPA from dual credit classes, multiply it by four for the four years of high school.

–Use the dual credit GPA for the first year of college, then the college GPA for years 2-4.

–Use the ACT to GPA conversion chart for the first year of college and base the award on college GPA.  That chart goes from an ACT score of 17 equaling a GPA of 2.5, up to a 34 or better ACT score equaling a 4.0 GPA.

Schickel pointed out legislation using the ACT to GPA conversion chart passed the Senate in 2009 but failed in the House.

He added, “We’re not wedded to any one formula. Let the discussion begin, that’s why we’re here before you today, to try and figure out a path forward.”

It is estimated there are currently around 60,000 home-schooled students in Kentucky.

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