2024 Spring Albany Days

This year, we’re hosting an Albany Day on May 6th to help prepare for our big Legislative Day on May 23rd! Details are forthcoming, but for now, please mark your calendars and plan to join us for both days if possible! Please keep an eye on our emails, website, and social media channels, as the registration page will soon be live.

Legislative Day Info:

Pre-Legislative Day Rally / Training Session
Date:
Wednesday, May 22, 2024 | 7pm (times are tentative)
Location: Tru by Hilton Albany Airport & Zoom
What to Expect:

  • Teen workshop, training, and fellowship
  • Family training and encouragement

Our Purpose:
If you can come the night before Legislative Day, we’ll have rooms reserved at a local hotel (details on the registration site) for a key training event. For both the teen and family groups, we want to take advantage of this time to help you better understand the legislative process here in New York, as well as the bills we’re supporting (and opposing) and why! More importantly, we want to help you understand the history of our movement, where we stand today, and what the future may hold. And, foundationally, we want you to understand and embrace a Biblical model of engagement in our government and culture to both enhance homeschool freedom and advance the Gospel!

Homeschool New York Legislative Day
Date:
Thursday, May 23, 2024 | 8:30am-4:00pm (times are tentative)
Location: The Well, Legislative Office Building (LOB)
What to Expect:

  • Tour of the Capitol
  • Meetings with your local assembly representative and senator
  • Workshops and speaker
  • Opportunity for teens to pass out Homeschool New York opinion papers and ask representatives for their support

On Thursday morning, we’ll meet together in the Well of the LOB in the Capitol. After a time of worship, prayer, training, and encouragement, you’ll spend the rest of the day attending meetings with your senator and assembly representative, as well as additional meetings with key committee members. These meetings will be facilitated by a Homeschool New York board member (so you won’t be alone!).

Our Purpose:
This year, there are already two bills we are working hard to advance! One is the Sports Bill (A1072 and S1010), which would allow homeschool students to participate on high school sports teams.

The other, which is our main focus for this legislative session, is the Letter of Substantial Equivalence Bill (A2957 and S7706), which would require district superintendents to write the letter when students have completed their home education in compliance with Section 100.10 of the Commissioner’s Regulations.

Unlike public or private high school students, home educated students do not receive high school diplomas. Instead, they may receive a “Letter of Substantial Equivalence” from their school district superintendent. However, due to persistent confusion, some public school administrators will not issue the letter, and some higher education institutions will not accept it as evidence of the student’s completion of high school. Failure to obtain such a letter can be a major obstacle for homeschool students applying to colleges and licensed private career schools. Many institutions of higher education do not permit students to enroll as degree candidates unless they can provide satisfactory evidence of a high school education or its substantial equivalent. If a student is unable to enroll as a degree candidate, he will be ineglible to apply for financial aid. This results in many students going to college (and eventually settling) out of state.

Despite confusion among some public schools and institutions of higher education concerning the format and substance of the letter, the SED’s guidance on home instruction clearly states, “A home instruction program that adheres to the standards of the regulations at each stage of the process should be deemed to be substantially equivalent.” This bill clarifies that a public school superintendent need only verify the fact of compliance to be authorized to issue a letter certifying home instruction as “substantially equivalent” to the public school. In turn, this bill also provides institutions of higher education with certainty that they may accept a letter of substantial equivalence as satisfactory evidence of the home educated student’s fulfillment of four years of high school.

We need your help! Several legislators have asked for specific examples of our students who have struggled to obtain the letter. If that applies to you, would you please send your story to legislative@nysleah.org?

By May, there might be other bills we are supporting (or opposing), so your presence is needed both for offense and defense!

Bring the Whole Family!
We are homeschoolers, so, of course, this is a family-friendly event! No childcare is available, as we encourage you to have your children present with you during the meetings. There will be a room set aside for nursing and a place for you to put coats. The New York State homeschool regulations include citizenship as a required topic of study. Participating in this event, together with your children, is a great way to meet that requirement!

Teens:
Each year at Legislative Day, our teens visit every senator and assembly representative’s office to introduce themselves as homeschool students, deliver our position papers, and review them with as many elected officials and staff members as possible! Of course, before going out on this mission, there will be times of training and preparation (both Wednesday evening and Thursday morning)!

Your teens will benefit from participating in these engaging training sessions, and this is a fantastic opportunity for them to learn the importance of being a part of the legislative process. (Perhaps one of them will run for legislative office one day!)

With the guidance of Homeschool New York alumni, your teens will review our position papers, practice speaking about them, and divide up into teams (we’ll pair teens who are new to the program with those who are more experienced). Later in the day, they will regroup to debrief, sharing what they have learned and discussing follow-up strategies.

Registration Deadline: April 8, 2024

Why Register?
The sooner you register (for only $10/ family), the sooner our legislative team can

  • Schedule group meetings with your elected representatives
  • Prepare family and teen packets
  • Plan teen events

If you register after April 8, we’d still love to have you join us! However, we won’t have enough time to set up meetings with your senator and assembly representative.

Contact:
For more information, contact Michael and Carolyn Bailey and the Legislative Team at legislative@nysleah.org.

2024 Legislative Hall of Fame Sponsors:

NYS Senator Peter Oberacker
(R, C) 51st Senate District
Sports Bill S1010

NYS Assemblyman Al Stirpe
Assembly District 127
Sports Bill “Golden Sponsor” A1072

Co-sponsors: Benedetto, Cook, Peoples-Stokes, Rosenthal L, Thiele, Woerner, Rosenthal D, Cruz, Taylor, Hunter, Fall, Dickens, Lupardo, Santabarbara, Blankenbush, Brabenec, Goodell, Mikulin, Miller, Morinello, Ra, Walsh, Giglio JM, Manktelow, Barclay, Fitzpatrick, Smullen, DeStefano, McDonough, Byrnes, McMahon, Gallagher, Buttenschon, Durso, Flood, Giglio JA, Maher, Gray, Simpson, McGowan, Gandolfo, Palmesano, Jensen, Bendett

MLTSPNSR: Hawley, Ramos, Steck, Tague

NYS Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner
Assembly District 113
Letter of Substantial Equivalence A2957a

Co-sponsors: Lupardo, Thiele, Tapia, Santabarbara

NYS Senator Monica R. Martinez
(D, WF) 4th Senate District
Letter of Substantial Equivalence S7706

Co-sponsors: Borrello, O’Mara, Palumbo, Walczyk, Weik

Are you ready? Visit https://leah.regfox.com/legislative-day-2024 to register. We’ll see you in Albany!

Get Connected

Membership in LEAH is through a local chapter. A LEAH Chapter typically provides opportunities to meet with experienced home educators, field trips, athletic activities, and various other events.

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NYS LEAH is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) primarily supported by member families through annual dues. If you are interested in furthering the homeschooling mission in New York and would like to donate please click on the link below. We’re eternally grateful for your partnership and support of homeschooling families throughout New York.

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