Diploma Language on the IDOE Website

Occasionally, Indiana Association of Home Educators (IAHE) or IAHE Action receive inquiries from colleges or employers about homeschool diplomas. A potential employer informed IAHE Action that the State Board of Education (SBOE) had language on its website that stated homeschoolers should get an accredited diploma which was then used by the potential employer to discriminate against a homeschool graduate. We have been unable to locate that language on the SBOE website, but we did find diploma language on the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) website.

IAHE and IAHE Action have an excellent working relationship with the IDOE. We believe their language regarding diplomas for homeschoolers could be viewed as a requirement instead of a recommendation or suggestion to obtain an accredited diploma. We suggested updated language and are pleased to report the IDOE and their attorneys accepted our language to make it clear that an accredited diploma is a parental choice and not a mandate by the State. Tens of thousands of Indiana homeschoolers have graduated from their home school program with a non-accredited diploma and have successfully entered college and/or the workforce.

It is our hope the improved language will be beneficial for home educated graduates if there is ever a question about their diploma. 

From the Indiana Department of Education’s Homeschool Help Sheet: Getting a Diploma

Homeschooled children will not receive a diploma from the local public school or from the Indiana Department of EducationIf you are concerned about the type of diploma your child will receive, the IDOE suggests you could use an accredited correspondence program which grants a diploma upon completion.

Students who are issued a diploma by the administrator (parent or legal guardian) of an Indiana homeschool possess a legally issued, non-accredited diploma according to the State of Indiana. Homeschools, like all other non-accredited, nonpublic schools, may legally issue a diploma to students that complete the graduation requirements of that school, as established by that school. Many homeschool parents find their non-accredited diploma, backed by the homeschool program’s transcripts of the high school instruction the student received, accepted by colleges and prospective employers.

Indiana law requires homeschools to give instruction equivalent to public schools but does not bind any requirements set forth with regard to curriculum or the content of educational programs offered by the school. It is strongly recommended that homeschool programs keep good records of the courses taught through high school so that transcripts can be provided to colleges and prospective employers.

Sixteen-year-old home educated students may choose to take the general equivalency exam to earn a High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma. The forms required for participation in HSE testing are available at local HSE testing sites, or from http://www.tasctest.com.

IAHE Action is a 501c4 organization, so donations are not tax deductible. IAHE Action is funded by the generosity of our donors.




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The Rise of Homeschool Discrimination

IAHE has had concerns over the past several years as it noticed a shift in the attitudes of some regarding homeschool diplomas.  There have been various instances in Indiana where questions have arisen regarding diplomas; such as, with the military, higher education, and employers.  A case involving an Indiana company, NiSource, was troubling to many homeschoolers as they learned of its discriminatory practice toward homeschoolers.

Home School Legal Defense Association has seen an increasing number of cases of discrimination against homeschoolers.  Listen to Equal Rights for Homeschoolers: An Interview with HSLDA Attorneys from their latest Homeschool Heartbeat to learn more.

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Homeschoolers and Indiana’s RFRA

As we gear up for the 2016 session of the Indiana General Assembly, IAHE Action thinks it would be a good time review our stance on Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).  Home education rights rest on two pillars:  religious liberty and parental rights.  We need both strong pillars to protect home education rights.

RFRA was signed into federal law in 1993, and there is no federal law giving special class to sexual orientation and gender identity.  This law has been used ZERO times to allow for discrimination. [1]  RFRA was demonized as allowing discrimination, but that was untrue.  It is a shield and not a sword that protects ALL Hoosiers’ deeply held religious beliefs against government intrusion.

After Indiana’s RFRA was amended by SB 50, “IAHE asked Darren Jones, HSLDA staff attorney, if we are accurate in our understanding that homeschoolers can still benefit from Indiana’s RFRA as it pertains to the state trying to force us to teach evolution, sex education in a certain manner or by a certain age, or by attempting to ban home education, etc.? WEBSITE RGB Action Logo 400x400

His response: “Yes, you are accurate in your understanding. Individual homeschoolers could still claim the protection of RFRA in a court proceeding if Indiana tried to impose religiously-objectionable curriculum requirements or ban home education. The amendment to RFRA only applies to “providers” in the context of services, facilities, etc., and so that amendment would not diminish an individual homeschooler’s right to raise RFRA in the situations you have mentioned.”” [2]

“The important conclusion is that no one should be forced by the government to violate his or her faith. This is what makes RFRA so important, but those that oppose religious freedom are at work using misinformation to stop this.”  [3]

IAHE, Inc. had an excellent article about Indiana’s RFRA.  Read it here.

[1] Indiana, Arkansas are Standing for Religious Freedom…Will you?

[2] Portion of article originally printed in the Indiana Association of Home Educators, The Informer Magazine, Fall 2015.

[3] Does RFRA Equal Discrimination? No It Prevents It

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