Nick, a homeschooled graduate in California, was looking forward to receiving college-level instruction through Job Corps—a free program operated by the federal Department of Labor that also provides room and board.

But the principal of the high school department on the Job Corps campus told Nick that he did not qualify because his diploma was not worth the paper it was printed on. He also claimed that Nick’s mom, Bri, had no legal authority to issue a diploma to her son.

­In late August, Home School Legal Defense Association received an email from Bri, a California mom, regarding her son Nick’s application to Job Corps.

As a second-generation homeschooler, Bri was aware of the long battle HSLDA and other homeschool leaders have fought to ensure equal treatment for homeschool grads. She contacted the Job Corps supervisor and a legislator, but neither office provided sufficient help. At that point, Bri contacted HSLDA.

Why Homeschools are Valid

Our legal team immediately contacted the director of the local Job Corps office, explaining that Nick’s parent-issued diploma was legal and should be treated the same way as any other private school document. We pointed out that the state Court of Appeal in the 2008 case, Jonathan L. v. Superior Court, expressly held that “home schools . . . constitute private schools.”

As Bri had complied with the requirements as the administrator of Nick’s private school/homeschool program, she was legally authorized to issue his transcript and diploma.

Within less than two weeks, Bri and Nick received word that he was enrolled in the Job Corps nursing program as a high school graduate.

The homeschool community has worked for decades to ensure homeschool graduates are treated fairly when applying for colleges and careers. From state organizations urging legislation that guarantees the rights of homeschoolers, to HSLDA arguing in court for the legitimacy of homeschooling, to homeschool families meeting with their federal representatives, homeschoolers have worked hard to protect the rights of homeschool graduates.

Homeschoolers have won significant victories in the fight to ensure fair treatment, but the struggle is ongoing. HSLDA is committed to fighting for our members’ rights to homeschool their children, and we are committed to fighting for their children’s rights as homeschool graduates.