Once again, I can get past the news without feeling the need to mention this.
In this article by the San Francisco Chronicle titled “Homeschoolers’ setback sends shock waves through state” we are finding out that you simply can’t home school your kids in CA, that is… unless you hold a valid teaching credential. Here’s a snippet from the article that sums it up:
Yet the appeals court said state law has been clear since at least 1953, when another appellate court rejected a challenge by homeschooling parents to California’s compulsory education statutes. Those statutes require children ages 6 to 18 to attend a full-time day school, either public or private, or to be instructed by a tutor who holds a state credential for the child’s grade level.
“California courts have held that … parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children,” Justice H. Walter Croskey said in the 3-0 ruling issued on Feb. 28. “Parents have a legal duty to see to their children’s schooling under the provisions of these laws.”
Parents can be criminally prosecuted for failing to comply, Croskey said.
“A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare,” the judge wrote, quoting from a 1961 case on a similar issue.
After reading both the article and the published ruling of this case (download the PDF here), it’s my understanding that this isn’t a NEW law, but something that has been in existence since as early as the 1950’s.
I know that many people at my church love home schooling and enjoy the freedom to able to train and educate their children as they see fit. I am honestly amazed that the state of CA has that kind of power, or even feels they have that kind of authority in the home. Of course parents could seek to obtain a teaching credential, but I have no idea how long that would take. Most credentialing programs in California last at least a year and require teaching time in the classroom. This is pretty big news in my mind.
Your thoughts? Leave me a comment.