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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4537

 Liberal judges rule CA homeschools illegal...

[b]Homeschoolers' setback sends shock waves through state[/b]
Bob Egelko, Jill Tucker
Friday, March 7, 2008

04:00 PST LOS ANGELES -- A California appeals court ruling clamping down on homeschooling by parents without teaching credentials sent shock waves across the state this week, leaving an estimated 166,000 children as possible truants and their parents at risk of prosecution.

The homeschooling movement never saw the case coming.

"At first, there was a sense of, 'No way,' " said homeschool parent Loren Mavromati, a resident of Redondo Beach (Los Angeles County) who is active with a homeschool association. "Then there was a little bit of fear. I think it has moved now into indignation."

The ruling arose from a child welfare dispute between the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and Philip and Mary Long of Lynwood, who have been homeschooling their eight children. Mary Long is their teacher, but holds no teaching credential.

The parents said they also enrolled their children in Sunland Christian School, a private religious academy in Sylmar (Los Angeles County), which considers the Long children part of its independent study program and visits the home about four times a year.

The Second District Court of Appeal ruled that California law requires parents to send their children to full-time public or private schools or have them taught by credentialed tutors at home.

Some homeschoolers are affiliated with private or charter schools, like the Longs, but others fly under the radar completely. Many homeschooling families avoid truancy laws by registering with the state as a private school and then enroll only their own children.

Yet the appeals court said state law has been clear since at least 1953, when another appellate court rejected a challenge by homeschooling parents to California's compulsory education statutes. Those statutes require children ages 6 to 18 to attend a full-time day school, either public or private, or to be instructed by a tutor who holds a state credential for the child's grade level.

"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.

"A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare," the judge wrote, quoting from a 1961 case on a similar issue.

[b]Union pleased with ruling[/b]

The ruling was applauded by a director for the state's largest teachers union.

"We're happy," said Lloyd Porter, who is on the California Teachers Association board of directors. "We always think students should be taught by credentialed teachers, no matter what the setting."

A spokesman for the state Department of Education said the agency is reviewing the decision to determine its impact on current policies and procedures. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell issued a statement saying he supports "parental choice when it comes to homeschooling."

Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, which agreed earlier this week to represent Sunland Christian School and legally advise the Long family on a likely appeal to the state Supreme Court, said the appellate court ruling has set a precedent that can now be used to go after homeschoolers. "With this case law, anyone in California who is homeschooling without a teaching credential is subject to prosecution for truancy violation, which could require community service, heavy fines and possibly removal of their children under allegations of educational neglect," Dacus said.

Parents say they choose homeschooling for a variety of reasons, from religious beliefs to disillusionment with the local public schools.

Homeschooling parent Debbie Schwarzer of Los Altos said she's ready for a fight.

Schwarzer runs Oak Hill Academy out of her Santa Clara County home. It is a state-registered private school with two students, she said, noting they are her own children, ages 10 and 12. She does not have a teaching credential, but she does have a law degree.

"I'm kind of hoping some truancy officer shows up on my doorstep," she said. "I'm ready. I have damn good arguments."

She opted to teach her children at home to better meet their needs.

The ruling, Schwarzer said, "stinks."

[b]Began as child welfare case[/b]

The Long family legal battle didn't start out as a test case on the validity of homeschooling. It was a child welfare case.

A juvenile court judge looking into one child's complaint of mistreatment by Philip Long found that the children were being poorly educated but refused to order two of the children, ages 7 and 9, to be enrolled in a full-time school. He said parents in California have a right to educate their children at home.

The appeals court told the juvenile court judge to require the parents to comply with the law by enrolling their children in a school, but excluded the Sunland Christian School from enrolling the children because that institution "was willing to participate in the deprivation of the children's right to a legal education."

The decision could also affect other kinds of homeschooled children, including those enrolled in independent study or distance learning through public charter schools - a setup similar to the one the Longs have, Dacus said.

Charter school advocates disagreed, saying Thursday that charter schools are public and are required to employ only credentialed teachers to supervise students - whether in class or through independent study.

[b]Ruling will apply statewide[/b]

Michael Smith, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association, said the ruling would effectively ban homeschooling in the state.

"California is now on the path to being the only state to deny the vast majority of homeschooling parents their fundamental right to teach their own children at home," he said in a statement.

But Leslie Heimov, executive director of the Children's Law Center of Los Angeles, which represented the Longs' two children in the case, said the ruling did not change the law.

"They just affirmed that the current California law, which has been unchanged since the last time it was ruled on in the 1950s, is that children have to be educated in a public school, an accredited private school, or with an accredited tutor," she said. "If they want to send them to a private Christian school, they can, but they have to actually go to the school and be taught by teachers."

Heimov said her organization's chief concern was not the quality of the children's education, but their "being in a place daily where they would be observed by people who had a duty to ensure their ongoing safety."


[url=]CLICK HERE[/url] to read the full article.


 2008/3/7 11:09Profile

Joined: 2007/9/13
Posts: 1752

 Re: Liberal judges call CA homeschools illegal...

We homeschool our 3 children and will continue to homeschool our future children.

This is all about money and the Liberal agenda. When will people realize that PEOPLE can make their own decisions regarding their children WITHOUT the need of government interference when it comes to school.

This is not only shocking (semi shocking at least, we know it will only get worse before it gets better) but it is another atempt by the government to control every aspect of its citizens lives.


:-( :-(


 2008/3/7 11:14Profile

Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4537

 Re: Liberal judges rule CA homeschools illegal...


This law effectively outlaws homeschooling if a parent or homeschool teacher does not have teaching certification from the state -- which requires both a Bachelor's Degree AND a series of state teaching courses, observations and examinations.

If you are a homeschooling parent or student, I advise that you contact your Congressmen immediately -- even if you are not in Califonia. While this ruling only affects parents and children in California, it is likely to be appealed to a higher court. The most outrageously liberal court in America is the 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals, which decides cases affecting certain West Coast states (including California, Hawaii, Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregan and Washington). A decision by the 9th Circuit to uphold the lower court decision could have widespread implications.

Teacher unions have long opposed alternative educational options for children (including vouchers and homeschooling). They are an extremely wealthy and powerful lobby, and they will want to push this case to other states. If the public outcry is loud enough, however, these unions will cower from supporting this decision. If you feel the need, you can contact your Congressmen about this issue. You could also write a letter to the editor of major newspapers in order to complain about this sort of government interference.

And to think that some liberal activist judges complain about the Patriot Act? It seems that they want BIG BROTHER in every aspect of our lives EXCEPT homeland security!



 2008/3/7 11:25Profile


Micheal Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association is involved in this, and he is a lion of an attorney. He is also starting a movement to have parental rights added as an ammendment to the Constitution of the United States.

This is not due to DSS or anything like that, but because the UN is trying to force us to accept a "rights of the child" law which would basically strip all parents of their rights concerning raising their children and putting it into the hands of the United Nations.

This is very dangerous! This UN law is also very much supported by Obama and Clinton, and McCane is neuteral on it (meaning he's not against it).

If you want to get behind this movement to amend the Constitution to protect the rights of parents go to:

I urge everyone here to check these things out and join the fight.


 2008/3/7 12:23


I'm listening to Focus on the Family right now about this issue,

 2008/3/7 13:20

Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4537


Here is [url=]an update[/url] from the California Homeschool Netword. My wife and I are currently exploring an option to relocate to California. This doesn't make the state look very appealing from a Christian family point of view.


Here are the [url=]actual Court document[/url] that show the Judges' "findings."


 2008/3/7 13:36Profile


This doesn't make the state look very appealing from a Christian family point of view.

No disrespect to my brothers and sisters on this forum from California (like Mike!), but aside from the beach, there is nothing about California that appeals to me... and we have beaches in North Carolina... so there ya go.

Seriously tho, California courts and government just make me scratch my head. And whats up w/ Berkley????


 2008/3/7 13:47


Are there no Christian schools that children can be sent to? I remember my friend sent her disruptive child to a Christian school and it did a world of good (she was homeschooling him but she wasn't getting anywhere with him). The problems in his life seemed to have ceased and he became a goodly boy. The school has all the credential needed to teach, and they don't teach evolution.

I like the idea of Home Schooling, but I have to agree with the state of *California that a teacher should have credentials to teach children, whether it be in a Christian or Secular setting. Children deserve an education that will be able to take their credits and apply them to a College or University.

*I don't agree with the reasonings and motives from these liberal judges, just that children who want to advance in their careers should be given the materials that will better their education. I went to a secular school, I turned out all right.

 2008/3/7 17:37

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37707
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11


Parents can be criminally prosecuted for failing to comply, Croskey said.

This is a terrible step in the wrong direction. I wonder how long it will take for home schooling to be banned in canada!

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2008/3/7 17:43Profile

Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164


I like the idea of Home Schooling, but I have to agree with the state of *California that a teacher should have credentials to teach children, whether it be in a Christian or Secular setting. Children deserve an education that will be able to take their credits and apply them to a College or University.

Should education be mandated or should it be available? If it is to be mandated, who should have the authority to mandate it?

Josh Parsley

 2008/3/7 20:40Profile

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