Home School Court Report
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No. 2

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State agency recognizes homeschool diploma

Homeschool graduate Jasmine Armstrong* was known well by the owners of a day care center. When an opening arose for a teacher, the day care operators were eager for Jasmine to take that position.

After Jasmine applied for the position, her paperwork was forwarded to the Kansas agency that regulates day care centers, where it was reviewed by the agency's regional administrator. The administrator decided Jasmine could not be hired because her high school diploma was signed by her parents.

Since the Armstrongs are members of Home School Legal Defense Association, they contacted our office, and we called the agency administrator. Although we convinced the administrator that the regulations only require a day care center teacher to have "a high school diploma," she refused to relent.

We followed up with a letter to the administrator carefully explaining that she was acting contrary to the agency's own regulations in refusing to recognize Jasmine's diploma, since it was lawfully issued by a registered, home-based, non-accredited private school. The administrator forwarded our letter to the agency's legal staff. In agreement with HSLDA, the legal staff told the administrator that Jasmine's diploma was valid and her employment application should move forward.

With the agency's obstruction removed, Jasmine's application for the teacher position was quickly accepted

Form trumps substance

An HSLDA member family recently asked their local public school to provide special education services for their homeschooled child. Claiming that homeschoolers are not entitled to special education services, the school rejected their request. The family promptly called HSLDA for assistance.

We explained to the family that Kansas statutes-and a few stubborn Kansas officials-do not acknowledge the existence of anything called a "homeschool," and they staunchly ignore the fact that thousands of Kansans homeschool their children. The statutes and officials do, however, acknowledge the existence of "private schools." (In Kansas, homeschools are technically considered private schools.) And under federal law, students in private schools are given access to certain special education services.

We advised the family to resubmit their request, and since they had previously filed the required private school notice, we suggested that this time they tell the official that their child was enrolled in a private school, without referring to a "homeschool" at all.

The family followed our advice, and the school promptly accepted their revised request for special services.

by Scott A. Woodruff