In our last alert about HB 4059 we asked you to contact your state Representative before February 3 to support the Homeschool Professional Licensing Equity bill.

OCEANetwork now needs you to ask the Oregon House Committee on Education by NOON this Monday, February 3, to hear HB 4059 and move it to the full House for a vote.The bill will stop current discrimination against homeschooled graduates applying for occupational and professional licensing in Oregon.

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OCEANetwork Freedom Watch Alert: Update on Call to Action for Homeschool Professional Licensing Equity Bill

Homeschool diplomas are currently not considered to be an “acceptable” alternative to a public high school diploma by Oregon State licensing agencies and boards.

Instead, homeschoolers are forced to go back and take the GED test in order to get a State 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.

As you know, Oregon homeschooling educators have their own high school programs and issue diplomas on successful completion, just as public schools and private schools do. Homeschool diplomas are issued by the parent-educators.

Homeschooled students receive an excellent education, scoring on average at the 79th percentile on standardized tests according to the last available data (2011-2013) from the Oregon Department of Education — 29 percentiles above the national average of 50 percentiles.

HB 4059 stops the highly visible discrimination against homeschooled graduates that current Oregon State practice imposes: This group of high achievers is being forced to take the GED test, often years after graduation, in order to get an Oregon occupational or professional license. Neither public school graduates nor private school graduates have to do this.

The bill recognizes the value of a homeschool education and existing homeschool diplomas. It treats homeschool diplomas the same as public school diplomas when issuing Oregon occupational and professional licenses. This is similar to accepting diplomas from private schools, which are regulated even less than homeschools.

Homeschooled students are required by the State of Oregon to pass nationally-normed standardized tests at the end of grades 3, 5, 8 and 10. These tests include reading, mathematics and social studies.

So at a minimum, homeschooled graduates have met State standards in reading, mathematics and social studies up through grade 10. With the average test score at the 79th percentile point, we would expect few homeschooled graduates to be at any level of concern for the occupation and professional licensure organizations at graduation time.

Furthermore, licensure organizations are already prepared to handle this type of situation because of unregulated private school diplomas. The license job-specific training and testing requirements weed out diploma holders who are not qualified for service. So the public will continue to be protected, just as it is now, no matter what the type of high school education.

Please ask the House Committee on Education to stop the discrimination and level the playing field for homeschool graduates. Ask them to move HB 4059 out of the Committee On Education to the full House for a vote.

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.

Contact Information for the 2020 Oregon House Committee on Education

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.