Students who are considering applying for the General Assembly Merit Scholarship (GAMS) in the fall may see some changes in the eligibility requirements for application. Tennessee State Representative William Lamberth has filed legislation with House Bill 1665, which would change the requirements homeschool students must fulfil to be eligible for the GAMS scholarship.

Currently, homeschool students must complete the same course of study met by public and private schools students. Where eligibility rules differ, is that homeschool students are also required to complete four dual enrollment courses of at least 12 semester hours and maintain a 3.0 grade point average. The additional requirement has often led to homeschool seniors having to continue their senior year past their expected graduation date to meet that requirement.

The new bill proposes an amendment be made where homeschool students would be required to complete 12 hours of college credit that may be earned through dual enrollment courses and other college equivalent classes or programs. The current section regarding homeschool students would be replaced with the following:

During the course of a home school program or while attending an ineligible high school, the requirement would include 12 hours of college credit comprised of any combination of the following: dual enrollment, Governor School, AP testing with a minimum score of 3 (or a grade point average of 3.0) and CLEP testing with a minimum score of 55.

The amendment is one that would benefit homeschool students. Parents are encouraged to contact the members of the Tennessee Education Committees who represent them and show their support for the proposed amendment by Representative Lamberth. Shown below are the two committees that will be the first to see this legislation that will affect current and future homeschoolers. With National School Choice Week currently being recognized, you can make a positive impact for change that will affect the way you have decided to educate your children.

The sponsor of the legislation is Representative William Lamberth, R, Cottontown, (615) 741-1980. The contact numbers of the committee members are shown below.

Education Administration and Planning Committee
Mark White, R, Memphis, Chair (615) 741-4415
Harry Brooks, R, Knoxville, (615) 741-6879
John DeBerry, Jr. , D, Memphis, (615) 741-2239
Kevin Dunlap, D, Rock Island (615) 741-1963
Debra Moody, R, Covington, (615) 741-3774
Eddie Smith, R, Knoxville, (615) 741-2031
Dawn White, R, Murfreesboro, (615) 741-6849
Rick Womick, R, Rockvale, (615) 741-2804
  Education Instruction and Programs Committee
John Forgety, R, Athens, Chair (615) 741-1725
Bill Spivey, R, Lewisburg, Vice-Chair, (615) 741-4170
Raumesh Akbari, D, Memphis, (615) 741-3830
Harry Brooks, R, Knoxville, (615) 741-6879
Shelia Butt, R, Columbia, (615) 741-3005
David Byrd, R, Waynesboro, (615) 741-2190
Bill Dunn, R, Knoxville, (615) 741-1721
Roger Kane, R, Knoxville, (615) 741-4110
Sabi Kumar, R, Springfield, (615) 741-2860
Ron Lollar, R, Bartlett, (615) 741-7084
Harold Love, Jr., D, Nashville, (615) 741-3831
Joe Pitts, D, Clarksville, (615) 741-2043
Joe Towns, Jr., D, Memphis, (615) 741-2189
Ryan Williams, R, Cookeville, (615) 741-1875

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©2016 HomeLife Academy. Article by Jennifer Smeltser. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the publisher /.