Homeschooling Ruled Illegal in California–Seriously

Last month I posted about a proposal in Nebraska that would mandate testing to homeschooling families.  Today, thanks to Reason, I read an article in the LA Times stating that homeschooling has been ruled illegal by a California appellate court.

“Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children,” wrote Justice H. Walter Croskey in a Feb. 28 opinion signed by the two other members of the district court.

Hold on.  WHAT?!  Excuse me?  Did I read that correctly?  They don’t have the constitutional right?  Pause for a second to digest that.

You know who loves this ruling, right?

Teachers union officials will also be closely monitoring the appeal. A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, said he agrees with the ruling.

“What’s best for a child is to be taught by a credentialed teacher,” he said.

Credentialed by the State, right?  No conflict of interest there.  Relax Teachers Union people.  Good teachers have been in demand since ancient times, way before unions.  They’ll always be in demand and are in no danger of ever being out of work.

Notice something I’m not discussing here is religion, which the Times article mentions frequently.  It’s almost as if they’re trying to make this a religious issue, which it obviously isn’t.  It just so happens that many people homeschool their children for religious reasons, but that’s not the only reason.

This will surely be overturned, but is it something the State would be willing to take to the limit.  Are they willing to line up tanks outside of someone’s home and threaten them with bullets for refusing to send their kids to gov’ment indoctrination camps schools?

California, if you’re still wondering why the rest of the country unfairly labels you a bunch of crazies…

No items matching your keywords were found.

Similar Posts:

16 Replies to “Homeschooling Ruled Illegal in California–Seriously”

  1. The ruling is somewhat alarming (though it sounds like the judge is simply enforcing the laws put into place by the legislature so it may in fact be the legislature that needs to be addressed), but unless I’m severely misreading the article, your headline is both sensationalist and factually inaccurate.

  2. Really dolphin? Read the rest of the quote from the judge in the LA Times article…

    “Parents who fail to [comply with school enrollment laws] may be subject to a criminal complaint against them, found guilty of an infraction, and subject to imposition of fines or an order to complete a parent education and counseling program.”

    That exactly what “illegal” sounds like to me.

  3. That exactly what “illegal” sounds like to me.

    It’s illegal for “parents to fail to comply with school enrollment laws” no doubt, but according to the article, homeschooling is not inherently against school enrollment laws, so long as the home-schooling parent has proper credentials. I’m not arguing that that is good, or appropriate, but it is NOT the same thing as homeschooling being illegal.

  4. Agreed dolphin, fair point.

    How about if I change the title to “Homeschooling By Parents Who Are Not Licensed By The State Is Illegal in California” to be factually accurate for the (probably small) percentage of parents who have been licensed by the State and are NOT breaking the law?

    Could we still be friends then? 😛

  5. This is outrageous.

    “Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children,”

    Excuse me? What about the 9th Amendment? And the Tenth?

    We have ALL the rights except those specifically mentioned in the constitution as belonging to government.

    The ninth: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    The tenth: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    This is really screwed up thinking. And so scary.

  6. I homeschool for NON-Religious reasons. (Sorry it’s long – my blog is longer) Recently posted in my blog: I want to give my opinion into this matter: It should be PARENTS CHOICE, NOT THE GOVERNMENTS CHOICE. Parental rights?? Anyone heard of them? Are we being stripped of them more and more?? Why?

    It just so happens that the people hurting my child were not other students, it happened to be faculty members at Cubberley Elementary, in San Diego, CA (the Serra Mesa area). The faculty needs to be removed and replaced with faculty that can handle children and aren’t allowed to stay there because they have tenure. GET RID OF THEM. With regards to the abuse, I have letters, received parents first hand accounts, and even the red haired secretary in the front office stated to my mom, “Sorry for being mean to (your son), we didn’t know how to deal with him.” Because of them, my then 8 year old was going to need depression medicine, was calling himself stupid, and hitting himself.

    I removed him immediately. I chose to homeschool him. Because of homeschooling, my sons self esteem is at the highest level. He understands the importance of family. I even have him do chores without difficulties (at least most of the time LOL). I have been able to teach him household chores without trying to also finish at least 3 hours of homework, and that was after he spent 6 hours in school. ?? Why?? Did you know that studies have been done showing that more time is spent getting classes in order then in actual teaching??

  7. Wanted to let you know that I subscribed – I appreciate you NOT taking a religious stance on this. That is not what this is about. It is for PARENTAL RIGHTS.

    Always pain free hugs,

  8. “It’s illegal for “parents to fail to comply with school enrollment laws” no doubt, but according to the article, homeschooling is not inherently against school enrollment laws, so long as the home-schooling parent has proper credentials.”

    That statement is self contradicting: “proper credentials” means possession of a “license” issued by the government. A license is “permission to do that which is otherwise illegal”. From this it follows the “home schooling” is illegal; QED.

  9. Is it only coincidence that this ruling comes at the same time that state budget cuts are affecting School Districts so immensely? San Diego Unified is facing cuts of around 15-20%, teachers and staff are being layed off in the upcoming year, and there are clear efforts to try to increase enrollment. Why do they need to increase enrollment by enrolling homeschooled kids who (in some studies) are shown to actually test higher on standardized exams then publicly scholled kids? Makes me wonder what part the Teacher’s Union does play in this, and what the motives are behind it all. Is it just purely to keep m,oney flowing into the schools?

  10. DNA…

    I hadn’t even thought of this from the angle you are taking (I don’t live in Cali.), but I think you’re on to something here. Yet another problem with allocating federal funds to school districts.

    Then again, the Teacher’s Unions just want what is best for the kids, right? Just like the UAW is focused on making the highest quality, lowest cost vehicles they possibly can, in spite of the wishes of GM and Ford.


  11. That statement is self contradicting: “proper credentials” means possession of a “license” issued by the government. A license is “permission to do that which is otherwise illegal”. From this it follows the “home schooling” is illegal; QED.

    bob r,

    “Homeschooling” is not defined by whether or not one has a license or otherwise enrolls their children in secondary activities. You can legally home school in California. Period.

    You’re comment is nothing more than sophistry (bad sophistry at that). By the illogic you have put forth in your comment, it’s illegal to drive a car (among many, many, many other everyday activities).

  12. >“Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children,”
    >Excuse me? What about the 9th Amendment? And the Tenth?

    Ummm, well according to most interpretations of those amendments among conservatives and libertarians it is quite correct to say that there is no constitutional right to homeschool. Those amendments leave it perfectly within “states rights” for the states to allow it or disallow it as they see fit.

    It is precisely the same argument that they use to say that “states’ rights” allow for abortion prohibition, anti-sodomy laws, discriminatory marriage statutes, etc.

    Now I personally disagree with the idea that states rights are more important than individual rights, and think the “libertarian” fetish for constitutional anti-federalism is fairly warped — but I am a distinct minority.

  13. I have written about this situation myself. It is good to see others who are taking this seriously as there are many who are not.

    You can read my take on this matter here:

    Also, this info may be helpful:

    California–Court against Home Schooling

    From: Roy Hanson’s Private and Home Educators of California

    ***** ***** ***** *****
    As you probably know, on Thursday, February 28th, The Second Appellate
    District in Los Angeles County ruled that a homeschooling family from
    Southern California (not a member of HSLDA) did not have a right to
    “homeschool” under the California Constitution unless the parent is a
    credentialed tutor.
    ***** ***** ***** *****

    Current Situation
    Nothing has changed in California regarding your homeschool. HSLDA
    maintains that the advice they have given home school families for
    some twenty-five years is still accurate and that filing a private
    school affidavit, or enrolling in a private school independent study
    program (I.S.P) are valid options under the law in California.

    In summary, homeschoolers should not panic but continue to home school
    as in the past. The leaders of the statewide homeschool groups and
    HSLDA are coordinating with each other on this issue on a regular
    basis. Pray for a positive outcome. The attorneys at HSLDA are
    working very hard during this time to prepare for additional legal
    action to reverse this decision. Seeking legislation at this time is
    unnecessary and likely dangerous.
    ***** ***** ***** *****

    Governor’s office press release Friday, March 7, 2008
    Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement Regarding Court of Appeals Home
    Schooling Ruling
    Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement
    regarding the recent Second District Court of Appeals ruling on home

    “Every California child deserves a quality education and parents
    should have the right to decide what’s best for their children.
    Parents should not be penalized for acting in the best interests of
    their children’s education. This outrageous ruling must be overturned
    by the courts and if the courts don’t protect parents’ rights then, as
    elected officials, we will.”
    ***** ***** ***** *****

    This ruling resulted from a Juvenile Court case on allegations of
    abuse or neglect, which originally had nothing to do with
    homeschooling. When the Juvenile Court judge would not prohibit the
    parents from home schooling their children, the court-appointed
    attorneys for the children went to the California Court of Appeals.
    The Appellate Court went further than they needed to, and essentially
    ruled that State law does not provide any options that allow parents
    to teach their own children at home.

    Future court action on this Appellate Court ruling cannot occur until
    after March 29th. This ruling is a very serious matter but not a
    cause for panic. There are legal options still open to pursue in the
    Courts. HSLDA is working to overturn this decision in the courts. In
    other words, this Appellate Court ruling is not the final say.

    It is important to realize that no laws have changed that affect
    private schools whether in one’s home or on a campus. California is
    still one of twelve states where homeschoolers can operate legally
    under the private school provision. See our Legal Fact Sheet. The
    Court does not have the power to change the law but only to interpret
    it, and this court has made critical errors in their interpretation of
    private school laws as they apply to private home education.

    No court has the authority to universally order every homeschooler
    into a public or private campus school. Under due process the court
    can only issue orders directed to the parties before the court. Any
    attempts of enforcement would have to be one family at a time. As in
    the past, a family could be charged with truancy and then go to a SARB
    hearing even before any court hearing. This should not be a dread for
    anyone who is a member of HSLDA. If you are not a member of HSLDA you
    should join now!

    If a public official comes to your door and tells you that home
    schooling is illegal and that you must put your kids in a public
    school or a private campus school, do not let them in your house, call
    HSLDA if you are a member, and let the HSLDA attorney talk to the
    person at the door. HSLDA attorneys are available to their members 24
    hours a day seven days a week.

    ***** ***** ***** *****
    What can homeschoolers do right now to help?
    (1) This court’s ruling could provoke well-meaning individuals to seek
    a legislative remedy. Legislation at this time would be detrimental
    to our current freedom to home school privately in California. If you
    become aware through first hand knowledge of any such attempt to have
    a legislator introduce legislation addressing or dealing with home
    schooling, please contact us at immediately!

    (2) Please encourage your home schooling friends to join HSLDA now for
    two reasons! (a) Membership in and contributions to HSLDA will help
    provide the financial resources needed to carry on this complex and
    lengthy court process for judicial relief from this current ruling.
    This will benefit all homeschoolers. (b) HSLDA membership will
    protect your family should you be contacted as a result of this
    Appellate Court ruling. This will also give you the piece of mind
    that, whenever you might need it, you have immediate support from the
    only experienced highly successful team of attorneys specialized in
    defending private home schoolers in California and our Nation.

    (3) In all situations, it is the Lord Jesus Christ Who is our refuge,
    provider, and protector (Psalm 50:10-15). He is sovereign over all.
    Our Lord reigns! We are asking that you pray daily and also consider
    some kind of periodic fasting during this protracted battle that is
    shaping up. Pray for:
    * those in authority, especially the judges involved in this case,
    * the Long family involved in this case,
    every fellow private homeschooling family
    * HSLDA as they prepare to not only handle this situation but as they
    respond to all future legal contacts,
    * for us here at Family Protection Ministries that God would sustain
    us and that we will be able to intercept every legislative proposal
    that could further erode our freedoms,
    * CHEA and every other home school organization in California, and
    * all other individuals and groups supporting this effort to defend
    home education.

    (4) Continue on with a peaceful heart in your homeschooling and family

    ***** ***** ***** *****
    Permission is given to reprint this document or distribute it by email
    in its entirety without alteration. You are encouraged to link to
    this document on our website

    ***** ***** ***** *****
    Roy Hanson’s HELP Tree
    Private and Home Educators of California
    P.O. Box 730
    Lincoln, CA 95648-0730
    Fax: (916) 415-9470

    ***** ***** ***** *****
    The purpose of this communication is to present information and
    express our position on the issues addressed. We encourage you to
    research this for yourself and come to your own conclusions.
    Regardless of your position, we strongly urge you to exercise your
    constitutional right to express your position to your elected
    representatives. We have included an example of how we have expressed
    our position.

Comments are closed.