HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A cosmetology school in Alabama has overturned its initial denial of admission to a homeschooler after receiving a letter from a nationally-recognized homeschooling advocacy organization.
According to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), a graduate of a church home instruction program—whose name has not been released, had applied for the cosmetology program of the Paul Mitchell School in Huntsville. However, school officials denied entrance over uneasiness about the validity of the church program.
“The admissions official was insisting that the applicant provide verification that the church school from which she graduated was approved by the Alabama Department of Education,” the organization stated.
HSLDA was then contacted about the matter, and Senior Counsel Dewitt Black sent a letter to the Paul Mitchell School stating that there is no state requirement that such schooling arrangements be approved, and that only a few homeschooling programs seek to do so.
“Further, Black said, state law prohibits the Alabama Department of Education from approving or regulating church schools in any manner,” the Virginia-based group outlined. “Black explained that because of this, it was impossible for the homeschool graduate to obtain the verification of church school approval demanded by the Paul Mitchell School.”
HSLDA also pointed out that Paul Mitchell School’s website only requires students to have a high school diploma or GED, and do not require that prospective enrollees be graduate from an accredited or state-approved school.
Officials then decided to overturn their original denial.
“Within a week of receiving HSLDA’s letter, the Paul Mitchell School sent the homeschool graduate a letter advising her that her application for admission had been approved,” the organization explained.
This week has been declared by Gov. Robert Bentley as being Alabama School Choice Week, which includes the right to homeschool. Thousands of youth, parents and teachers are expected to participate this week in a march at the state capitol building to demonstrate their support for school choice.
There are an estimated 23,000 students in the state currently being homeschooled, with over 1.5 million youth studying at home nationwide. Some of those who homeschool do so because of their opposition to Common Core, and/or their desire to raise their children according to the Christian faith.
“By the 2013–14 school year, Alabama had fully incorporated the Common Core English language arts and mathematics standards into its curriculum,” HSLDA notes. “Alabama will employ ACT Aspire examinations, which are based entirely on the Common Core.”