Saturday, March 8, 2008

Homeschool ruling in California...

Patrick brought this article to my attention today. Here is a quote that gives you a hint of what it's about...
"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.

Since I do not homeschool, and we haven't yet decided how our children will be educated (and homeschooling is an option) I don't really know how to react to this. For my friends who homeschool their children (whom I respect), I wonder what you think...


Kelly said...

Well, I have friends who homeschool in California, and my concern is mostly for them right now. I have signed the petition at HSLDA. The governor made a statement yesterday (maybe the day before?) that he disagrees strongly with the decision and will do everything in his power to see it overturned or depublished.

If this were to happen in NC, I would not worry for myself as much as others, since I have a teaching degree and am certified under Massachusetts law. I would have to see that transferred to NC.

The most horrible part about it is the way the government is able to interfere with a parent's relationship to a child. If you read the court decision, they talk in such demeaning terms about the "cloistered environment" that homeschooled children are forced to live in, how they have no one else in their lives but their parents. You and I both know that for the LARGE majority of children, that is simply untrue.

jen Unsell said...

Kelly- that teaching degree would do you no good if you were in CA or the same laws were passed in NC as have been passed in CA because in part 6 of the ruling it states that you must be certified for each grade that you are teaching- and once out of the elementary years- certified for each subject that you would be teaching. As a mother of multiple children- that pretty much makes it impossible to homeschool legally under their terms of this ruling as it would be impossible to become certified for so many different levels and subjects. It thus pretty much makes homeschooling illegal for almost everyone, even those with teaching degrees, if they have more than one child.

As you know we grew up in CA and have many family and friends still their. We too are very concerned for many of them in how this affects them right now and in the years ahead.

I agree with your last paragraph Kelly- our thoughts exactly. We too signed the petition at HSLDA which anyone can do, even if you do not homeschool.

Melanie- I have too many thoughts to write all out here. It's a really heavy subject that has been discussed much over this past week all across the country and in many ways has the potential to affect any parents long term whether you homeschool or not.
~Jen Unsell

Kelly said...

Jen, it would allow me to teach them up to grade 6, which is much better than being forced to immediately place them in school. :-) So I wouldn't go so far as to say it would do me "no good." We'd be going strong for another five years.

Also, I received an email from NCHE (the state organization here) that stated that they believed that this would be HIGHLY unlikely in NC, since homeschooling here is protected by a state supreme court decision and cannot be overturned by an appellate court (which is what happened in CA). I had no idea that homeschooling would make me such a student of the law.... :-)