Fair Deal for Homeschool Grads Seeking Real Estate Careers
by Dan Beasley • June 11, 2019
Thanks to a new law, Nebraska homeschool graduates who dream of pursuing a career in real estate will no longer have to negotiate additional, unfair regulation.
Late in May, Governor Pete Ricketts signed Legislative Bill 454, which amends state law to ensure that homeschool graduates may apply for a real estate broker’s or salesperson’s license on the strength of their parent-issued diplomas.
Previously, homeschool graduates seeking to work in real estate had to obtain a GED.
Bringing an end to this inequitable rule began at the most fundamental grassroots level—with an individual homeschool graduate contacting Senator Robert Clements in the Nebraska unicameral.
Career Path Blocked
As Dave Lostroh, legislative liaison for Nebraska Christian Home Educators Association (NCHEA) explained, the graduate had taken the requisite courses for a real estate license, but was then told she needed alternative high school credentials.
During homeschool day at the capitol in February, I met with Dave in Lincoln to strategize and discuss language in a bill being considered to correct this situation.
The graduate and her father subsequently testified on behalf of the legislation before the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee.
“I could tell her disappointment really made an impact,” Dave told me.
This favorable testimony, along with Senator Mark Kolterman’s praise for homeschool students who’ve worked at the capitol, and a favorable statement from the Nebraska Real Estate Commission, made a huge difference.
“By the end of the hearing,” said Dave, “all of the senators appeared to have a favorable impression of the bill and of homeschooling in general.”
Along with NCHEA, we urged Nebraska homeschoolers to contact their senators in support of the bill, which passed the legislature without opposition and was signed by the governor within a week.
A statement from Governor Ricketts’ office explained his decision: “In Nebraska, I have found homeschoolers to be some of the more mature, civic-minded people that I have ever met. L.B. 454, which I recently signed into law, removes barriers for homeschool graduates who want to become a Realtor and help more Nebraskans achieve the American dream of homeownership.”
I was gratified to see homeschool advocates and legislators working together to correct this injustice.
Though it’s true that nowadays discrimination against homeschoolers is more the exception than the rule, those who do face unfair obstacles find such discrimination can constitute a major roadblock in their career path.
In an era where some colleges and employers actively recruit homeschoolers, making others face unnecessary hurdles is particularly unjust.
That’s why HSLDA works with organizations like NCHEA to ensure that homeschool graduates receive equal treatment. Dave shares my optimism that this recent success regarding real estate licensure should lay the groundwork for securing additional freedoms.
“This is an amazing thing to happen,” he said regarding L.B. 454. “Not one senator voted against the bill. This should provide some persuasive authority in other areas where homeschool graduates are still experiencing discrimination.”