The homeschooling movement got blindsided by a ruling from a California appeals court that restricts homeschooling by parents without teaching credentials.k
The ruling was a shock to the movement and leaves an estimated 166,000 children as possible truants and their parents at risk of prosecution.
It also demonstrates the lengths government will go to protect its monopoly on education.
The homeschooling movement was shocked–to put it mildly.
“At first, there was a sense of, ‘No way,’ ” said homeschool parent Loren Mavromati, a resident of Redondo Beach (Los Angeles County) who is active with a homeschool association. “Then there was a little bit of fear. I think it has moved now into indignation.”
A dispute between the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services–doesn’t that have a nice “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you”ring to it?–and Phillip and Mary Long of Lynwood, who have eight children they have been homeschooling.
Mary Long is their teacher, but holds no teaching credentials.
The parents said they also enrolled their children in Sunland Christian School, a private religious academy in Sylmar (Los Angeles County), which considers the Long children part of its independent study program and visits the home about four times a year.
The Second District Court of Appeal ruled that California law requires parents to send their children to full-time public or private schools or have them taught by credentialed tutors at home.
At least one justice saw nothing wrong with forcing parents to enroll their children in California schools which are a potpourri of multicultural and liberal educational theories in action.
“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.
The fact that parents of almost 166,000 children in California have decided that the state no longer does this seems immaterial to the judge.
Will the California legislature fix this?
Don’t hold your breath.
hat tip: Powell Gammill, FPhoenix
* California Court Shocks Homeschooling Parents
* Homeschooling Setback sends Shockwaves Through State