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In fall of 2008, the Lake Charles Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board passed an improvement to the eligibility guidelines for civil service applicants. Under these new guidelines, high school graduates with a diploma not issued by the state can be considered. This allows homeschool graduates to apply for a job with the Lake Charles police or fire departments.
The new guidelines were the result of months of hard work by a local homeschool-friendly attorney. Because of his work, the office of the state examiner, which provides information for local municipal fire and police civil service boards, made some recommendations to loosen the guidelines on who could be eligible for civil service positions. While each local civil service board in Louisiana is independent, all do pay some attention to what the state board does.
Under the new guidelines, an applicant has to provide documentation that he has met the “minimum high school graduation requirements to receive a high school diploma as established by the state of Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.” For homeschool students, this could be done by providing a high school transcript and diploma provided by their parents that demonstrates they have met these minimum requirements.
Lake Charles passed these new requirements through the help of homeschoolers who were willing to attend civil service board meetings and urge passage of the requirements. Christian Home Educators Fellowship of Louisiana and Home School Legal Defense Association will continue to work towards the adoption of these changes by other local civil service boards.
— by Thomas J. Schmidt