EDITORIAL: California law prohibits man from learning a trade

Sunday, 12 November 2017, 10:42:32 AM. Any law that prevents someone from spending his own money to take classes that help him learn a skill is an affront to reason and common sense.
For adults with limited education, trade schools can provide a great way to learn skills and start a career. But a case in California reveals yet again how protectionist government regulation can stand in the way of such transformative opportunities. The controvery involves a ranch hand named Esteban Narez who applied to study at Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School, the only school of its kind in California. Mr. Narez had been working odd jobs with horses for five years, and a professional farrier said he’d hire him as an apprentice if he took the school’s eight-week course. But Mr. Narez’s excitement soon gave way to frustration. The school was forced to deny his application because he hadn’t graduated high school. Passed in 2009, California’s Private Postsecondary Act forces schools such as PCHS to require that prospective students have high school diplomas — or pass an equivalent government-approved test — before they can be admitted. The intent was to prohibit fly-by-night schools or “diploma mills” from pocketing government education loans to underqualified students. But the school doesn’t even accept student loans. Mr. Narez planned to pay his own tuition. Mr. Narez wasn’t the only one caught in this nonsense. PCHS owner Bob Smith received a notice from the state accusing him of violating state law by admitting students such as Mr. Narez. The Institute for Justice — a nonprofit public-interest law firm based in Arlington, Va. — has filed a federal lawsuit against...Read more
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