As some of my readers know, my wife and I decided some time ago to homeschool our kids and are quite happy with the results. Unfortunately, as a homeschooler, depending on where one lives, one is constantly worried about the government taking away your right to teach your kids as you see fit. A recent court case in California, which asserts that children have to be sent to a brick and mortal school or taught by a "credentialled" teacher is particularly worrisome. It seems that the case began with allegations of abuse but when, upon investigation, it was discovered that the family had homeschooled its children, authorities attempted to force the family to send the kids to a regular school. The first court case supported the parent's right to home school, but this latest case overturned the initial decision. Here's an excerpt from the latest decision:
The trial court’s reason for declining to order public or private schooling for the children was its belief that parents have a constitutional right to school their children in their own home. However, California courts have held that under provisions in the Education Code, parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children. Thus, while the petition for extraordinary writ asserts that the trial court’s refusal to order attendance in a public or private school was an abuse of discretion, we find the refusal was actually an error of law. It is clear to us that enrollment andattendance in a public full-time day school is required by California law for minor children unless (1) the child is enrolled in a private full-time day school and actually attends that private school, (2) the child is tutored by a person holding a valid state teaching credential for the grade being taught, or (3) one of the other few statutory exemptions to compulsory public school attendance (Ed. Code, § 48220 et seq.) applies to the child. Because the parents in this case have not demonstrated that any of these exemptions apply to their children, we will grant the petition for extraordinary writ.[emphasis added]Regardless of the particular ideas and standing of these particular parents, it is important to support the right of all parents to control the education of their children as a basic right. I was under the impression that California by and large supported this right. It seems I might have been mistaken.