The homeschooling community has been abuzz the last few days over a judge’s ruling in California. The Second Appellate District has ruled that homeschooling is legal only if the teacher (usually the mother) has a teaching certificate for the grade being taught.
The case involved the Long family who has been in contact with Child Protective Services (CPS) over the last 20 years. They claimed to homeschool their children, but it doesn’t sound like a lot of educating was going on if you read their children’s testimonies. CPS wanted the kids enrolled in a government or private school, which is why the whole question of whether or not homeschooling is legal came up.
California courts have held that under provisions in the education Code, parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children.
It is clear to us that enrollment and attendance in a public full-time day school is required by California law for minor children unless (1) the child is enrolled in a private full-time day school and actually attends that private school, (2) the child is tutored by a person holding a valid state teaching credential for the grade being taught, or (3) one of the other few statutory exemptions to compulsory public school attendance (Ed. Code, § 48220 et seq.) applies to the child.
The reaction I’m hearing throughout the homeschooling community is everything from “there’s nothing that says a parent can’t be a teacher” to likening the ruling to Hitler and Nazi Germany. “The words echo the ideas of officials from Germany, where homeschooling has been outlawed since 1938 under a law adopted when Adolf Hitler decided he wanted the state, and no one else, to control the minds of the nation’s youth.”
Focus on the Family’s daily broadcast yesterday was regarding this situation. You can listen to it here: In Defense of Home Schooling.
As mentioned on Focus on the Family’s broadcast, Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has started a petition to “depublish” the ruling in California. This would mean that the ruling would only apply to the Long family and not to homeschoolers across the state. You do not have to be an HSLDA member or even a homeschooler to sign the petition.
When I started to write this article yesterday, I wanted to include the background of the case. The article became quite lengthy, so I decided to split it up into two separate articles. My opinion is that this case is a classic example of how one person or one family can ruin it for everyone else.
Here are several articles regarding the ruling in California:
- In re Rachel L.
- Judge orders homeschoolers into government education
- Homeschoolers’ setback sends shock waves through state
- Sunland Christian School administrator weighs in on CA home-school ruling
- In Defense of Home Schooling
- Appellate Court: Parents must be certified to home school
- Home-school ruling has little effect here
- Homeschooling Families Threatened by Court Ruling
- California Court Says Religious Claim Doesn’t Grant Homeschooling Right
- Sign the Petition to Request Depublishing of California Court Case In re Rachel L.