Originally Sent: 5/5/2014

From the HSLDA e-lert service…
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Homeschoolers Need not Apply—Take Action to End Discrimination

Homeschooling in Ohio.

Call your legislator today.



HSLDA staff attorney Mike Donnelly helps protect homeschool freedom in your community.
Read more >>

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Today, HSLDA published a story about an Ohio energy corporation, NiSource, that not only rescinded an offer of employment to a highly qualified homeschooled graduate but wrote to HSLDA reaffirming their policy not to hire anyone else with “just” a homeschool credential. This kind of discrimination is happening more frequently, and HSLDA requests that you take action to help end this kind of broad-based mistreatment of homeschooled graduates.

HSLDA and CHEO have collaborated on legislation that would clarify that homeschooling is a legal, valid and appropriate method of education and would prevent this form of discrimination. Your action is needed because a currently adopted amendment to the budget, pending action in the Senate after passing the House of Representatives, fails to address the problem of companies like NiSource and others who discriminate on the basis of the source of a person’s high school diploma.

The current language in the bill attempts to address discrimination by state institutions of higher education, but it does so by requiring that homeschool families obtain a “sworn affidavit verifying the successful completion of a student’s high school curriculum,” an unnecessary, burdensome and extra requirement. Whereas the proposed HSLDA/CHEO language addresses both issues, doesn’t require additional burdens on homeschooling families and is a more equitable approach. You can compare the two approaches in the background section below.

Action

HB 487 is making its way through the House, and we are asking that you contact your representative and senator and give them the following message in your own words:

Please adopt the CHEO/HSLDA proposal in HB 487, replacing the current proposed amendment to ORC 3345. The CHEO/HSLDA proposal addresses both college and career issues. The current amendment only addresses college admissions, and does so by imposing an additional burden on homeschooling families to obtain a sworn affidavit verifying the curriculum. The CHEO/HSLDA proposal prohibits discrimination on the basis of the source of an individuals’ high school diploma and recognizes that diplomas may be issued by homeschools and non-chartered non tax supported schools as evidence of the completion of a high school educational program.

Homeschooling is a legal, valid and recognized form of education in Ohio, but companies and colleges are discriminating against otherwise qualified graduates on the basis of how they were educated. Research shows that homeschool graduates are well-prepared academically and socially to go to college and work. Admission and job decisions should be made on the basis of an individual’s qualifications, not based on discrimination because of where a person received his diploma.

More and more companies and colleges are discriminating against homeschoolers as a class even though they have the requisite education and skills to be hired or admitted. This treatment is inconsistent with the values of a free society.

Please vote to amend HB 487 in favor of the CHEO/HSLDA anti-discrimination language in the final legislation. Thank you!

You can find the contact information for your representative online.

Background

For many years Ohio law has afforded parents the freedom to lawfully direct the education of their children through a variety of paths—public and private. Each of these options operates under a set of statutes and regulations that are distinct from one another. While there is some overlap between state requirements for public and private schools that are chartered by the state, there is still an avenue of compliance for educational options that do not seek a state charter or state certification—such as non-chartered religious schools and home education.

Unfortunately, some Ohio students have experienced in recent years unnecessary discrimination, and doors have been closed to opportunities, despite high test scores and professional competence. HSLDA and CHEO has been working on legislative remedies to reverse these practices and prevent future discrimination against students who are lawfully educated in Ohio outside the structure and system of public schools. These changes are critical to protecting and preserving the right and responsibility of parents to direct the education of their children in choosing the most appropriate means of education.

The current legislation is Sub. H.B. 487 (Midyear Budget Review) which has been passed by the Ohio House and is pending in the Ohio Senate. It was amended to include the following language amending Sec. 3345.06(D)(1) of the Ohio Revised Code:

For the purposes of admission to the institution, each state institution of higher education, as defined in section 3345.011 of the Revised Code, shall accept a sworn affidavit verifying the successful completion of a student’s high school curriculum from either of the following:

(a) If the student was enrolled in a chartered nonpublic school, the chief administrator of that school;

(b) If the student was excused from attendance at school for the purpose of home instruction under section 3321.04 of the Revised Code, the student’s parent or guardian.

Notwithstanding anything in the Revised Code to the contrary, the affidavit shall fulfill any admission criteria requiring proof of the successful completion of that student’s applicable high school curriculum.

(2) For the purposes of admission to a state institution of higher education, no institution shall discriminate against any student to which division (D) of this section applies solely in the manner in which the student received instruction in order to successfully fulfill the high school curriculum applicable that that student.

HSLDA and CHEO propose modifying section 3313.61 of the Ohio Revised code by adding three new sub sections (N), (O), and (P):

3313.61 (N). A person who has graduated from a non-chartered nonpublic school pursuant to OAC 3301-35-08 or has completed that final year of instruction in accordance with OAC 3301-34 may be granted a diploma respectively by the school or the parent, guardian or other person having charge or care of a child as defined by section 3321.01 of the Revised Code. Such diploma shall satisfy any legal requirement for proof of completion of a high school education. Division (C) and division (E) of this section shall not apply to diplomas issued under this subsection.

3313.61 (O). State institutions of higher education shall not deny, or in otherwise treat differently, an application for enrollment based on which type of diploma was issued to the student, or based on the student’s nonparticipation in the state’s assessment program, pursuant to this section.

3313.61 (P). Employers shall not deny an employment opportunity to any person on the basis of the type of diploma issued to the applicant upon completion of his or her secondary education program. Employers shall not deny an employment opportunity to any person based on the applicant’s nonparticipation in the state’s assessment system for public or public community school students.

Thank you for all you do in defense of freedom for families in the Buckeye state!

Very truly yours,

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

P.S. We greatly value you and your support—it is a privilege to serve you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>


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