Saturday, July 12, 2008

California Homeschoolers Catch A Break

A couple of months ago I wrote, however briefly, about a case that sent California homeschoolers into fits--a judge ordered a family to send two of its children to public school because the mom/teacher didn't have a teaching credential. Homeschoolers took it to mean that the judge effectively ruled that homeschooling is illegal in California.

I didn't really get exercised over it because I didn't believe it would ever stand up--the governor and the legislature both support homeschooling, and if for some arcane reason our law could be interpreted as not allowing it, that law would be corrected mucho pronto.

Well, yesterday, the original case has been dismissed, which puts the ruling about homeschooling in some sort of legal limbo.

A controversial legal ruling that outlawed most forms of home schooling in California will face greater scrutiny because the underlying family court case was dismissed earlier this week...

The issue remains in legal limbo. On Thursday, the family court judge terminated its jurisdiction over two of the eight children of Phillip and Mary Long, who were accused of mistreating some of their children. All of the children are currently or had been enrolled at Sunland Christian School, where they would occasionally take tests, but they were educated in their Lynwood home by their mother...

The Longs, the Sunland school and others appealed, and the appellate panel agreed to revisit the ruling. That panel heard arguments last month and is expected to rule by late summer on whether parents can legally educate their children without a credential.

I'm pretty sure the courts will rule that homeschooling is legal, and this issue will die the embarrassing death it deserves. At least, I hope that's what happens.


Eric W. said...

If the kids can still pass the same tests we have to to get a high school diploma, I don't think the teacher necessarily needs a teaching credential.

gbradley said...

The problem that I have with Home schooling is that it gives "Irresponsible parents" an out.
Why isn't Johnny at school?
Oh I am Home schooling him.
Truant officer's hands are tied.
Johnny can't read, downward spiral for him and society pays a higher price.

Leave the teaching to the experts.
Besides they'll work for peanuts. :-)

allen (in Michigan) said...

That takes care handily of irresponsible parents but what about an irresponsible public education system?

If Johnny is frog-marched from a home in which he isn't learning anything to a school in which he isn't learning anything society suffers from both the authoritarian presumptions of mandatory attendance laws but also from the squandering of public monies on an education system that doesn't educate.

The societal benefit only accrues if the schools are doing their job. Right now far too many aren't.