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   Calif. attacks Home Schooling

Don't miss "Corruption in our children's textbooks."

With more of us home schooling in rejection of the atheist agenda among other heinous Constitutional rights violation, public schools are starting to panic.  Homeschooled children on the average test score high above public school children, and job fairs seek to hire the homeschooled.  With such success, public schools look foolish.  First we are force fed liberal agendas and now they want to force us to come back.  Atheists don't want us to leave because there are no atheist schools, nobody would sign up or pay for that garbage.  Force us back?  Oh, God, we lift our eyes to You, lead us to protect our children.

California's Attack On Home Schooling

by Lance T. Izumi

Home schooling is one of the fastest growing movements in the country.
Yet its popularity and high student achievement have not stopped California's reactionary education establishment from launching an attack against home schoolers.

Historically in California, the only requirement for parents to home
school their children has been that they fill out a so-called private-school
affidavit that designates the parents' home school as an individual private school. Now, however, the California Department of Education (CDE) has become more aggressive in its long-held opinion that home schooling is illegal unless either of two stringent conditions are met: 1) children are enrolled in a public school independent study program or charter school; or 2) the parent possesses a teaching credential and is
tutoring his or her child. Since most home-school parents can't meet
these conditions, the CDE charges they are operating unlawfully. Mike Smith, who heads the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), observes that the CDE "is saying that the only home schooling allowed in California is one that is under its control."

On the CDE website, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine
Eastin, a strident opponent of parental-choice options, writes that home
schooling "is not an authorized exemption from mandatory public school
attendance." Eastin and her department, however, are on shaky legal grounds.

The Roman Catholic publication San Francisco Faith observes that state education code sections cited by Eastin do not, in fact, say that home schooling is illegal. The publication points out that while children may be subject to compulsory education laws, the code acknowledges that students may attend private schools, that private school personnel must only be "capable of teaching," and that parents have the option of using a private tutor to teach their children.

Parents, therefore, can be tutors of their own children and only need
a teaching credential if they tutor children other than their own. Two court
cases relied upon by the CDE also turn out to be unimpressive.

The HSLDA notes that the first carries no legal weight since it was
only a superior court case, while in the other case the parents were not
actually teaching their children themselves but were solely using a
correspondence course. But despite the dubious foundation for its position, the CDE has been increasingly successful in leveraging county offices of education.

Sonoma County is distributing memos that declare home schooling
illegal. A Placer County home-school parent who had easily secured a
private-school affidavit for three years was informed last year that the
county would no longer give her one. She was instructed to call the CDE, which told her home schooling was illegal and that she had to have a teacher credential. Fortunately this parent knew the law and
eventually got the county to give her the affidavit.

Educational quality is not the issue here since home-schooled students
are often among the most well-educated kids around. Rather, these bully tactics by government educrats are nothing more than turf protection and self interest. California spends about $9,200 per pupil per year and funding is based on attendance. That is why, as one home-school association observes, the government's "calculators are humming." Once again, the greed of the government endangers the liberty of the people it claims to serve.


Lance Izumi is a Senior Fellow in California Studies at the
California-based Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy. He can be reached via email at lizumi@pacificresearch.org.

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