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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Home schooling no more (in California)?

The L.A. Times has this story about a recent ruling by an appellate (state) court in California:

Parents who lack teaching credentials cannot educate their children at home, according to a state appellate court ruling that is sending waves of fear through California's home schooling families.

Advocates for the families vowed to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court. Enforcement until then appears unlikely, but if the ruling stands, home-schooling supporters say California will have the most regressive law in the nation. . . .

"Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children," wrote Justice H. Walter Croskey in a Feb. 28 opinion signed by the two other members of the district court. "Parents who fail to [comply with school enrollment laws] may be subject to a criminal complaint against them, found guilty of an infraction, and subject to imposition of fines or an order to complete a parent education and counseling program."

Phillip Long said he believes the ruling stems from hostility against Christians and vowed to appeal to the state Supreme Court. . . .

Thoughts?  Predictions?

UPDATE:  This post suggests that the L.A. Times mis-reported the decision.  (HT:  The Corner).

Posted by Rick Garnett on March 6, 2008 at 06:21 PM in Constitutional thoughts | Permalink

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Comments

Actually, Mary is mistaken about Michigan law. In Michigan, home-schoolers need no credential to home educate their kids. Indeed, they do not need to notify the state that they are doing so.

It is true that the Michigan Supreme Court upheld a requirement that secular home-schooling parents be certified teachers in People v Bennett, 501 N.W.2d 106 (Mich 1992). But the resulting political uproar led the Michigan state legislature quickly to repeal the statute imposing this requirement. Since the 1990s, parents have been able to home-school their kids with virtually no state oversight. Indeed, SE Bill No. 5198a, a 1999 bill proposing that parents notify the school district that they were home-schooling their kids, caused an uproar among home-schoolers and went nowhere.

All of which is to say that there is only one political force equal to the teachers' unions -- viz., home-schooling parents. Based on the Michigan experience, I predict that the teacher certification requirement in California will not last very long.

Posted by: Rick Hills | Mar 10, 2008 10:15:02 AM

In Michigan this is already the rule, and I suspect it may be the case in other states. However, there is a religious exception, which I think was won through the courts. Essentially how it works is that parents can argue that their religious teachings are against the credentialing process and then are allowed to home school without teaching credentials.

Posted by: Mary | Mar 7, 2008 10:16:58 AM

Teaching credentials is not vague - it is a specific certificate givent to someone who has completed a teaching program (usually a year plus a bachlor's degree) and student teaching.

Posted by: Michael Risch | Mar 7, 2008 7:37:57 AM

I suppose parents who graduated from high school should be at least qualified enough to teach subjects through the 12th grade to their own children. "Teaching credentials" is vague to say the least.

Posted by: Jay | Mar 6, 2008 11:09:30 PM

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