07.01.2008 0

California Judge Outlaws Homeschooling

  • On: 07/16/2008 15:49:59
  • In: School Choice

  • In yet another example of outrageous judicial activism, a California judge has ruled that it is illegal for parents to homeschool their children without a degree and “proper” State-issued license:

    “A California state appellate court recently handed down a landmark ruling that stunned many parents and could potentially have legal repercussions for families across the country. Judge H. Walter Croskey wrote a court opinion that declared California children were only allowed to be taught by teachers credentialed by the state. Such a decision was a stark about-face from the previous California policy which provided parents with options in determining how best to educate their children.”

    Newt Gingrich neatly outlines the background to this case that went before the State’s Second District Court of Appeals:

    “[Y]ou should know that although California’s compulsory education law requires that all children between the ages of six and 18 attend a full-time day school, the state law also contains provisions for parents to legally teach their children at home. Under these provisions, homeschooling by unlicensed moms and dads has flourished in California, as it has across the nation.

    “But all this began to change when the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services recently investigated a claim of abuse by a homeschooled child. Lawyers representing the child invoked the California compulsory education statute to send the child to a public school and a judge eventually agreed, ruling that homeschooling by an unlicensed parent teacher is illegal. Thus, writes the [Wall Street] Journal, ‘a single case of parental abuse is being used to promote the registration of all parents who crack a book for their kids.’”

    As Gingrich notes, this is an example of a special-interest group – in this case the educrats and teachers unions – using the courts to kill competition in the free market. That is because homeschooling represents a significant threat to the education establishment’s State-run monopoly on schools.

    The facts on homeschooling are astounding, as Exploring Homeschooling illustrates with these facts:

    Academic Performance

    • “The home-educated typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests.
    • “Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents’ level of formal education or their family’s household income.
    • “Whether homeschool parents were ever certified teachers is not related to their children’s academic achievement.
    • “Degree of state control and regulation of homeschooling is not related to academic achievement.
    • “Home-educated students typically score above average on the SAT and ACT tests that colleges consider for admissions.
    • “Homeschool students are increasingly being actively recruited by colleges.”

    Maybe the judge got it backwards. Maybe the court should have ruled it illegal not to homeschool your children. And then maybe the State of California will start turning out educrats and judges who can actually read the Constitution and respect parental rights.

    ALG Perspective:
    This is definitely a case that bears watching. What’s next? Will a California court rule that one needs a license to be a parent, too? That they cannot teach moral lessons to their children without the proper credentials? Across the nation, the insidious educrats are fighting against homeschooling and other school choice initiatives, whether it be via legislative efforts or through the courts. The next step in this case is the California Supreme Court. ALG will monitor this case closely and keep you posted.

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