What I find maddening about this is not the fact that the company refused to hire a homeschooler. Even though the fact that they actually made a job offer and then rescinded that offer is extremely annoying, it is still not the most insane part of this story. What strikes me as especially insane is that this company is acting as if homeschooling is not legal in Ohio.
From the Home School Legal Defense Association:
NiSource, Inc., an Indiana-based energy distribution group with operations in Ohio, told the Home School Legal Defense Association that the company will not hire homeschool graduates. In response to numerous letters written in an attempt to resolve a dispute over a particular job applicant whose job offer had been rescinded because he was homeschooled, NiSource Senior Counsel Adele O’Connor told me that NiSource “disagrees with the conclusions in your letter as to the legal requirements regarding a diploma. These requirements are set forth in Chapter 3313 of the Ohio Revised Code.”
However, this section of the code applies to public and chartered private schools, not homeschools.
Ohio has thousands of homeschoolers and has had such students graduating for decades. How can anyone possibly not know this? It is as if I am reading a story from the early 1970s.
In fact, the HSLDA believes that NiSource is deliberately misinterpreting Ohio law to justify discrimination. The section they appeal to is about the requirements for public schools and chartered schools.
So why can’t they be honest? Why not just say that you don’t want to hire former home schooled students? This pretense that a home schooler has not really graduated from high school is infuriating. Talk about adding insult to injury!
What makes it even more ridiculous is that this homeschool graduate has both pertinent work experience and college credit from classes he took.
In addition to graduating from homeschool in compliance with Ohio law, this applicant had years of relevant job experience and several key industry certifications. During his last two years of high school the applicant took seven courses at a recognized state college and made the dean’s list.
In theory, I have no problem with NiSource choosing to be a company of morons that turns away skilled and promising candidates. It is better to work where people appreciate you. However, I have to ask: How much of this decision is due to perceived political pressure?
HSLDA has been working with homeschool advocates in Ohio to seek legislative action to prevent this kind of discrimination. The problem may indicate more than just discrimination against homeschoolers. This situation reflects the precise concern that motivates HSLDA’s opposition to the Common Core and its “college- and career-ready” standards—that qualified homeschool graduates who don’t have a state-issued credential will be discriminated against in employment decisions.
It is bad enough that home schoolers have to pay taxes to support public school while they also incur the expense of educating their own children. It is completely oppressive for them to be forced to pay for the education of people who will be permitted to get jobs that the homseschooled children are barred from getting even though they are more than qualified.
The government system starves without our children in their schools. It would not surprise me at all to find out that they are finding ways to pressure corporations to not hire homeschoolers.