OCEANetwork has sponsored a bill in the Oregon Legislature (the Homeschool Professional Licensing Equity Bill) to level the playing field for homeschoolers applying for an Oregon occupational or professional license. We need you to ask your state Representative to support this bill.

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Homeschool Professional Licensing Equity Bill

HB 4059 would correct the inequality that exists between a homeschool and a public school diploma for the purpose of occupational and professional licensing in Oregon. State-mandated training requirements would continue to assure the skill levels of license holders for specific occupations, regardless of type of high school education.

Homeschool graduates are being discriminated against by Oregon State licensing agencies and boards because a homeschool diploma is not considered to be an “acceptable” alternative to a public high school diploma.

So, homeschool graduates are forced to pass the GED test to obtain an occupational or professional license. Homeschooled electricians, plumbers, real estate brokers, private unarmed security guards, and law enforcement officers are among those required to get a GED.

This discrimination against homeschool graduates is wrong for the following reasons:

1. The average Oregon homeschool standardized test score was 29 percentiles higher than the national average in 2011-2013 (last data available from the Oregon Department of Education). Why are such high achievers being discriminated against?

2. Private schools are less regulated than homeschoolers, yet their graduates are not required to get a GED. Only homeschoolers face this requirement.

3. Homeschoolers are fulfilling Oregon’s legal requirements for student education. That should be enough to honor their high school diplomas.

4. It is unfair to require homeschool graduates to demonstrate the details of high school proficiency years after graduation. Neither public school nor private school graduates are required to do so.

This bill would stop the discrimination by making a homeschool diploma legally equivalent to a public school diploma for purposes of occupational and professional licensing in Oregon.

The 2020 Oregon legislative session starts on February 3 and ends March 8. Events will move quickly. It would be helpful if your Representative has time to consider this homeschool bill, to consider that their homeschooling constituents view the bill as important.

So OCEANetwork is asking you to contact your state Representative about HB 4059 before the session starts on February 3.

We suggest a short email or phone call giving a couple of reasons to support HB 4059. Use your own words. If emailing, the subject line should be your own, too, to avoid office staff thinking your message is just like others with the same title and filing it without reading.

The Find Your District and Legislators box at https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/ will give your Representative’s contact information under the House tab.

Thank you for supporting OCEANetwork as we seek equal opportunity for homeschool graduates to pursue occupational and professional licensing in Oregon.

Rodger Williams
OCEANetwork Freedom Watch Team

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If you have questions about this alert / update, please contact us here so that we can funnel questions and concerns appropriately to the Freedom Watch team.