Lawmaker wants Lottery Scholarship to include homeschooled kids

SANTA FE (KRQE) – The state’s lottery scholarship paid out more than it took in last year and one lawmaker now wants to give thousands more a chance to have part their tuition paid for.

“As long as they fulfill the requirement or state law for homeschooling, then they would be allowed to participate in the Lottery Scholarship.”

Sen. Cliff Pirtle, a Republican out of Roswell, said as of now, homeschooled kids have to take the GED to be eligible. His bill would get rid of that and as long as they meet state curriculum requirements upon finishing homeschooling, they would be eligible for lottery scholarship money.

Right now, the Public Education Department said there are 10,450 homeschooled kids in New Mexico.

Last year, the lottery scholarship fund brought in $60 million but paid out $67 million. Beginning this spring semester, it only covers 95 percent of costs. Before, it covered it all.

For each dollar spent on lottery tickets, 30 cents goes toward the fund.

Pirtle said it would pay off for those homeschooled students and for New Mexico in the long run.

“Generally, the homeschooled children have a large success rate in college and they do very well and this gives them equal footing,” he said.

Pirtle thinks if the state invests in homeschooled students they may stay in New Mexico to work.

Those students would have to follow the lottery scholarship rules and maintain a 2.5 grade point average after one semester in college.

KRQE News 13 reached out to the lottery to get its take on this bill. A spokeswoman says they have no opinion on it

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