Legislative Alert – Diploma Fairness 5/5/14

May 5, sick 2014

For many years Ohio law has afforded parents the freedom to lawfully direct the education of their children through a variety of paths – public and private. Each of these options operates under a set of statutes and regulations that are distinct from one another. While there is some overlap between state requirements for public and private schools that are chartered by the state, viagra buy there is still an avenue of compliance for educational options that do not seek a state charter or state certification – such as nonchartered religious schools and home education.

That’s all well and good while the student is being educated. But what happens when students, illness who were not educated in state credentialed schools, experience closed doors solely because they lack a state endorsed document?

This has been a reality for some Ohio students, who have experienced in recent years unnecessary discrimination and doors have been closed to opportunities, despite high test scores and professional competence.

Cases in point:

One homeschool graduate, who lawfully completed her high school experience and has been trained and working in her field for almost a decade was recently denied the opportunity to even be considered for a position in a physician’s office because the HR department of the umbrella hospital system required “documentation that the candidate graduated from a high school that has accreditation in compliance with the State of Ohio.”

Parents were informed at a state community college that, “in order to get professional certification in various fields such as medical and education after completing a college degree, that the student must also have a diploma from a state accredited high school.”

Some state universities and community colleges will require home educated students to take a GED in order to be granted admission.

CHEO has been working on legislative remedies to reverse these practices and prevent future practice of discrimination against students who are lawfully educated in Ohio outside the structure and system of public schools. These changes are critical to protecting and preserving the right and responsibility of parents to direct the education of their children in choosing the most appropriate means of education.


Sub. H.B. 487 (Midyear Budget Review) has been passed by the Ohio House and is pending in the Ohio Senate. It was amended to include the following language:

Sec. 3345.06(D)(1)
For the purposes of admission to the institution, each state institution of higher education, as defined in section 3345.011 of the Revised Code, shall accept a sworn affidavit verifying the successful completion of a student’s high school curriculum from either of the following:
(a) If the student was enrolled in a chartered nonpublic school, the chief administrator of that school;
(b) If the student was excused from attendance at school for the purpose of home instruction under section 3321.04 of the Revised Code, the student’s parent or guardian.
Notwithstanding anything in the Revised Code to the contrary, the affidavit shall fulfill any admission criteria requiring proof of the successful completion of that student’s applicable high school curriculum.

(2) For the purposes of admission to a state institution of higher education, no institution shall discriminate against any student to which division (D) of this section applies solely in the manner in which the student received instruction in order to successfully fulfill the high school curriculum applicable that that student.


This revision above to Sub. H.B. 487 was not the language prepared by CHEO.  This revision might be all that is necessary to reverse a trend of discrimination in the admissions practices of state colleges or state universities. However, it does absolutely nothing to fix the problems with discrimination in hiring or professional certifications after a degree has been earned.

If the amended language is approved and becomes a part of state law, it would be very helpful if families would continue to share their experiences with us so we can more completely document the effects of this change.

For your information, copied below is a portion of the language CHEO has been advocating to revise state law:

3313.61 (add new division): 3313.61(N)
A person who has graduated from a non-chartered nonpublic school pursuant to OAC 3301-35-08 or has completed that final year of instruction in accordance with OAC 3301-34 may be granted a diploma respectively by the school or the parent, guardian or other person having charge or care of a child as defined by section 3321.01 of the Revised Code. Such diploma shall satisfy any legal requirement for proof of completion of a high school education. Division (C) and division (E) of this section shall not apply to diplomas issued under this subsection.

3313.61 (O) (add new division):
State institutions of higher education shall not deny, or in otherwise treat differently, an application for enrollment based on which type of diploma was issued to the student, or based on the student’s nonparticipation in the state’s assessment program, pursuant to this section.

3313.61 (P) (add new division):
Employers shall not deny an employment opportunity to any person on the basis of the type of diploma issued to the applicant upon completion of his or her secondary education program.

Employers shall not deny an employment opportunity to any person based on the applicant’s nonparticipation in the state’s assessment system for public or public community school students.

Immediate action is needed.

Please contact your elected members of the Ohio House and Ohio Senate. Respectfully ask for a “diploma fairness” policy in state law.

It is the portion of Ohio law that describes the issuance of diplomas (3313.61) that needs to be amended to provide for a more consistent protection against unnecessary discrimination.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.