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February 21, 2017

Graduate’s Job Snag Leads to Better Hiring Policy

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Mike Smith MIKE SMITH
HSLDA president

Home School Legal Defense Association recently helped a homeschool graduate qualify for a job in Missouri without having to obtain a GED.

Our intervention also prompted officials at a prominent recruiting company to make a policy change that could benefit other homeschooled students.

The situation arose when Edward Philpott applied for a position through Penmac, an employment services company with offices in Missouri and six other states.

Edward had graduated some time ago from his family’s homeschool program when they were living in California.

However, Penmac recruiters initially refused to accept Edward’s diploma because it was not issued by an accredited institution. They told him instead to attend classes aimed at preparing him for a GED.

As longtime HSLDA members, this struck Edward’s mother, Janet Philpott, as unfair—especially when she recalled how her daughter had qualified for dental hygienist training in California on the strength of her homeschool diploma.

“I thought I would call and see if HSLDA could do something,” Janet said.

I wrote a letter to Penmac on behalf of the Philpotts. In it I explained that Edward had graduated from a legally constituted private school and that under California law his parents are authorized to maintain pupil records, and issue report cards, transcripts and diplomas.

A Penmac spokesperson said that our letter laid the groundwork for a policy change regarding this particular employer. She added, “It will hopefully pave the way for more.”

Janet concurred, saying she was grateful not only for HSLDA helping her son, but for using his situation to smooth the path to employment for other homeschool graduates. “I’m hoping it’ll set a precedent,” she said.