Home School Court Report
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No. 2

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by William Estrada
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Major Victory for Homeschool Graduates Enlisting in the Military

istockphoto/Shelly Perry


HSLDA is pleased to announce a major victory: on December 31, 2011, President Barack Obama signed into law language guaranteeing the equal treatment of homeschool graduates who seek to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces.

In past issues of the Court Report, we have reported our ongoing efforts to ensure that homeschool graduates are able to serve their nation by enlisting in the military. After numerous homeschool graduates were refused recruitment, HSLDA worked with the Pentagon to draft a temporary policy in 1998 ensuring that homeschool graduates were not discriminated against simply because their high school diploma was granted to them by their parents rather than a traditional brick-and-mortar school.

Despite this success, we were concerned that there was no permanent guarantee that homeschool graduates would be able to enlist in the armed forces. The Pentagon’s temporary policy would expire on September 30, 2012.

In early 2011, HSLDA began meeting with supporters of homeschooling in Congress to urge them to insert language into the annual Department of Defense Authorization Bill to ensure that homeschool graduates could enlist in the military.

These meetings paid off. Representatives John Kline (MN), Buck McKeon (CA), Joe Wilson (SC), and Duncan Hunter (CA) inserted language into the DOD legislation guaranteeing equal treatment for any high school graduate who “completes a program of secondary education in compliance with the education laws of the State in which the person resides” (House Resolution 1540, § 532).

In addition, these representatives inserted language in the House Armed Services Committee Report specifying that their intent was to ensure that homeschool graduates were able to enlist.


U.S. Congress
Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA)

U.S. Congress
Rep. John Kline (MN)

U.S. Congress
Rep. Buck McKeon (CA)

U.S. Congress
Rep. Joe Wilson (SC)

These congressmen closely monitored the language in the bill as it worked its way through the legislative process, and the language remained uncontested during the legislation’s House and Senate committee hearings and final passage. On the last day of 2011, President Obama signed the bill into law!

HSLDA wants to publicly thank Representatives Kline, McKeon, Wilson, and Hunter for their leadership. Without their strong support for HSLDA’s language in the DOD authorization bill, it would have been much harder, if not impossible, for this language to sail through both the House and the Senate with bipartisan support.

We also want to thank you—our member families all across the nation. Without you and your partnership in homeschool advocacy, we would not have the resources to lobby Congress in order to protect homeschool freedom and prevent discrimination against homeschool graduates.

HSLDA will closely monitor the implementation of this legislation to ensure that Congress’s intent to protect homeschool graduates is not watered down in any way and that patriotic homeschool graduates will be able to serve their nation in the U.S. Armed Forces.

If you wish to send a thank-you letter or email to Representatives Kline, McKeon, Wilson, or Hunter, you will find their contact information online.