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Wisconsin

May 29, 2015

End Discrimination against Homeschool Graduates

Scott Woodruff Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff helps members and advocates for homeschool freedom in your state. He and his wife homeschooled their children.
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Current Wisconsin law discriminates against homeschool graduates because it prohibits them from being teacher’s aides in private schools that participate in the Private School Choice Programs (PSCP). This is unacceptable. HSLDA is working to end the discrimination.

A Wisconsin private school hired a homeschool graduate to work as a teacher’s aide. The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) asked for confirmation that she was a high school graduate, so she submitted her homeschool diploma. The DPI then told the private school they must fire her (if she did not get a GED) or they would be forbidden from participating in the PSCP program. The private school was very unhappy because the young lady was doing a terrific job for them. They contacted HSLDA for help.

The law in question (118.60(7)(b)3 and 119.23(7)(b)3) says a teacher’s aide must be a “high school” graduate. In Wisconsin, a homeschool is not technically a private school: it is a “home-based private education program.”

Technicality

While it might have been possible to file a lawsuit, HSLDA would have had to argue that a homeschool is a private school under Wisconsin law. If this argument had prevailed, it could have resulted in homeschools being exposed to the same regulations that private schools face—an undesirable result.

HSLDA therefore worked with the private school and a state lawmaker and developed a legislative solution. The Joint Committee on Finance recently implemented this in paragraph 17 of the “K–12 Omnimbus Motion” to amend the pending budget bill.

It says: “… a private school participating in the private school choice program can employ a teacher’s aide who has been granted a high school diploma by the administrator of a home-based private educational program.” Read the full text here.

If this becomes law, homeschoolers will have a level playing field—and will no longer need to worry about the DPI ordering their employer to fire them unless they get a GED. This is a powerful expression of what we know is true, but the DPI rejects: that a homeschool diploma is of equal stature with other diplomas.

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Protect Your Family

If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>