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New Jersey
New Jersey

December 4, 2015

Welding Program Rejects Homeschool Graduate

Scott Woodruff Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff helps members and advocates for homeschool freedom in your state. He and his wife homeschooled their children.

A homeschool graduate went to sign up for a welding program at Morris County Vocational School. The school representative questioned his diploma and contacted the New Jersey Department of Education.

A department spokesman told the school representative that the diploma was not “state recognized.” The school representative then told the graduate he would need a GED.

After the family contacted us for help, the HSLDA legal department wrote a letter explaining that his the student’s high school diploma was valid under New Jersey law. The school representative sent it to the New Jersey Department of Education for feedback.

Refusing to Verify

After reading the HSLDA letter, the department spokesman did not repeat his assertion that the diploma was not “state recognized.” Instead, he said, “The NJ DOE [New Jersey Department of Education] doesn’t support home schooling. It is allowed but, I can’t verify anything about a home schooled student.” The school rebuffed the homeschool graduate once again.

HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott A. Woodruff then wrote a letter to the school explaining that under well-established federal law, a homeschool graduate who has finished his program of secondary education can qualify for federal financial aid with or without a diploma. Woodruff confirmed that the school could accept the student without jeopardizing the school’s eligibility to participate in federal college financial aid programs.

Shortly thereafter, Morris County Vocational School fully admitted the young man into their welding program, saying, “After receiving a lengthy letter from HSLDA it was decided a high school diploma was not necessary for the class”.

The graduate, who is now at the top of his welding class, sent a note of thanks to HSLDA saying, “You have restored my sanity that the diploma I worked so hard for was worth it.”

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