At the Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency (PHAA) annual meeting July 12, 1997, members voted to put a vote on the written ballot which would require that a 10 page paper be at least 2500 words long. The reasons given when this proposal was discussed at the membership meeting were (1) that Windows 95 makes it possible for a student to stretch the page length of a shorter paper to 10 pages, and (2) because some students who can type and have use of a computer choose to handwrite papers because they think that they can get by with fewer words.
Specifically the question on the ballot was, Do you favor a change in the bylaws which would insert "(2500 words)" after the words "at least 10 pages" in both Article XIV Section 4(2) and Article XIV Section 5(4)? (The PHAA bylaws can be found on this web site.)
Of the 791 members, 229 posted valid ballots in time for the July 28, 1997, deadline. PHAA Secretary, Debbie Newell, reported that 229 voted "yes" and 54 voted "no." There were 10 invalid ballots, postmarked after the due date, which Debbie did not even open. The amendment passed since more than three-fourths of those voting voted in favor. Therefore, from now on, those who wish to get the PHAA diploma should make sure that their ten-page papers have at least 2500 words.