CA Horseshoeing School Barred From Enrolling Certain Students

Recently, the decision of a lawsuit brought forth by a horse shoeing school, farrier and student was overturned in a California court. The lawsuit alleges that the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 violates the First Amendment rights of Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School (PCHS) and Bob Smith to teach farriery, and also violates the rights of Esteban Narez to learn.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the United States Court for the Eastern District of California, stating that the Act controls more than contractual relations and that content discrimination was apparent. The panel does not contest that the state cannot regulate for-profit teaching, but it does ask for demonstration of why PCHS cannot enroll Narez, a high-school dropout.

Keith Diggs, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, is representing PCHS, Smith and Narez. He is asking for evidence to back up why Narez should be barred from the school. The state plans to file a petition for rehearing, which is rare. If the rehearing is denied, the case will return to district court, where the state must provide an evidence-based argument as to why PCHS cannot teach horsehoeing to students who don’t have a high school diploma.

The law had a well-intentioned goal when it was written: curbing schools that preyed upon underqualified students, giving them fake credentials and massive student loan debt. The California law applies to all schools, even those that don’t accept student loans, like PCHS.

As written, the law prohibits PCHS from enrolling Narez because he doesn’t have a high school diploma or GED, nor has he passed a government-approved exam stating that he is proficient in math, reading, writing and other criteria. The state has threatened to shut down the horse shoeing school because PCHS doesn’t require that students take the test.

Read more at American Farriers Journal.

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