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October 7, 2011

Ending Discrimination against Homeschoolers

Until this past summer, homeschool graduates working at child-care centers in Ohio were at risk of being fired because they lacked a “state-approved” high school diploma. For years, Home School Legal Defense Association received numerous calls for help from qualified homeschool graduates who were threatened with losing their jobs or missing exciting opportunities because of a poorly worded regulation.

The Ohio Administrative Code required homeschool students working for Ohio licensed day-care facilities to provide a letter from the state or local board of education indicating that they had received an approved course of home study. When confronted with these problems, day-care centers were prone to fire their homeschooled workers in order to preserve their license.

This created real-life problems for homeschoolers who worked at day cares because local school boards do not have the authority to approve homeschool curriculum. Homeschooling parents in Ohio simply file an annual notice with their local school district for informational purposes.

HSLDA teamed up with Christian Home Educators of Ohio (CHEO) to end this wrongful discrimination. CHEO and HSLDA worked with several members of the House of Representatives to amend the law as part of the state budget process, a common approach used by many. After the budget bill passed this summer with the new language, students who receive or have completed their final year of instruction at home are fully eligible to work at child-care centers without providing a letter from the state or local board of education approving their curriculum. HSLDA deeply appreciates the crucial work of CHEO and leadership in the Ohio House of Representatives. Their support was instrumental in defending the rights of homeschoolers from this wrongful discrimination.