June 11, 2013

Calls Needed to Congress to Ensure Equal
Treatment for Homeschool Military Enlistees

J. Michael Smith
HSLDA President


J. Michael Smith is president of HSLDA. He has been an advocate for homeschooling for more than 30 years. Read more >>

Urgent calls are needed to your U.S. representative to urge him or her to support the bipartisan Kline-Hunter-Andrews-Polis Amendment No. 79 to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The vote will occur sometime in the next two or three days.

The Kline-Hunter-Andrews-Polis Amendment is necessary to ensure that homeschool graduates are treated fairly when they enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. The Pentagon’s current enlistment policy requires homeschool graduates to receive a higher score on the military's enlistment test than public and private school graduates.

Representative John Kline (MN), who introduced this amendment, insists that no patriotic young person should be treated differently simply because of where he or she went to school. This amendment requires the military to treat all enlistees—including homeschool graduates—equally. Kline has been joined by Duncan Hunter (CA), Rob Andrews (NJ), and Jared Polis (CO) in introducing this bipartisan amendment.

Action Requested

Please call your U.S. representative now and ask him or her to support this amendment. If you feel comfortable doing so, please identify yourself as a homeschool parent or student and put the following message into your own words. You can reach your U.S. representative at the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, or use HSLDA’s Legislative Toolbox to type in your address and find your representative’s number. Tell your representative:

“I urge you to vote for Amendment No. 79 to the National Defense Authorization Act. Amendment 79, the Kline-Hunter-Andrews-Polis amendment, ensures that all students from legally operating secondary schools are treated equally and given the same opportunities to enlist in the armed forces. As a homeschooler, I have been disappointed that the Pentagon’s current policy requires homeschool graduates to receive a higher score on the military’s enlistment test than public and private school graduates. This is unfair. Please support this bipartisan amendment.”

Background

Two years ago, HSLDA worked with Congress to amend the NDAA to ensure that homeschool graduates were able to enlist in the armed forces. Although homeschoolers are now allowed to enlist just like any other graduate as a result of that legislation, the Pentagon’s policy requires homeschool enlistees to receive a score of 50 or higher on the AFQT, the military’s enlistment test. Public and private school graduates only need to score a 30 on the same test.

This is a clear case of bias against homeschool graduates and also goes against Congress’ clear legislative intent. HSLDA has worked with numerous homeschool graduates across the nation who have been denied the ability to serve their nation in the Armed Forces simply because they missed scoring 50 on the AFQT by a few points. To read more about HSLDA’s work on this issue, please click here.

We encourage you to call your U.S. representative and urge him or her to support this amendment to the NDAA even if your child has no intention of enlisting in the armed forces. This amendment is necessary to ensure that no branch of the federal government treats homeschoolers as second-class citizens and requires them to achieve a higher standard simply because the child’s parents chose to educate their child in a homeschool setting.

Thank you for standing with us for equal treatment for homeschool graduates.

 Other Resources

To read the text of Amendment No. 79 to the National Defense Authorization Act, the Kline-Hunter-Andrews-Polis Amendment, please click here.

To read the text of the National Defense Authorization Act, please click here.