Justifacts to HSLDA: Help Us Treat Homeschoolers Fairly
by Dave Dentel • October 2, 2018
In a development that could help reverse a recent trend toward discrimination, the Pennsylvania-based background check company Justifacts reached out to Home School Legal Defense Association to ensure homeschool graduates are treated fairly when they apply for employment.
Dan Beasley, the HSLDA attorney for Nebraska, helped the company revise its policy to reflect the reality that homeschool diplomas represent bona fide, legally recognized education programs.
The willingness of this employee background check company to alter the way it assesses homeschoolers represents a welcome change. In the past few years, HSLDA has stepped in to help many qualified homeschool graduates who were in danger of missing out on good jobs—because the companies hired to verify their educational credentials didn’t know how to do that.
Often these companies attempt to verify a homeschool diploma through a government or accreditation agency. This process usually returns a negative result, since in most states homeschools operate with a fair degree of autonomy.
The representative from Justifacts recognized this was a problem. She contacted Beasley through a Nebraska HSLDA member, and asked him about a proposed disclaimer that the company could use in its reports to employers about homeschooled job applicants.
Beasley noted that Justifacts’ approach to verifying diplomas was still wrongly focused on obtaining information from state education officials. He wrote back to the representative and suggested that the company adopt a new policy:
A parent-issued or homeschool diploma is a valid high school completion credential when issued to a student who completes a secondary school education in a homeschool setting that qualifies as an exemption from compulsory attendance requirements under state law.
He also pointed out that parent-issued diplomas are considered valid documents for students who wish to apply for federal aid.
Reaching an Agreement
The company representative agreed, and later confirmed that Justifacts would start evaluating homeschool graduates on their individual merit, with occasional requests for additional documents such as high school transcripts.
Beasley said he was very pleased with the outcome.
“It’s a real breakthrough to have a background check company say they want to make sure homeschoolers compete for jobs on a level playing field,” he said. “And making a change in this direction is good for the company, too. Having a policy statement that correctly recognizes the legality and legitimacy of homeschooling will likely result in fewer applicant disputes and higher client satisfaction.”
HSLDA is delighted by this positive development—and we hope this will help persuade other background check companies to stop discriminating against qualified homeschool graduates.
See Related Story: “Grad’s Job Offer Frozen While Company ‘Verifies’ Diploma.”