Did a California Appellate Court Render Homeschooling Illegal in California?
For a lot of people who claim not to put much stock in articles published by World Net Daily, their current article, "Judge orders homeschoolers into government education," sure has made the rounds and is being discussed not only on California lists but on lists as far away as Tennessee and people from the Netherlands.
In his article, Bob Unruh reports, "A California court has ruled that several children in one homeschool must be enrolled in a public school or "legally qualified" private school, and must attend, sending ripples of shock into the nation’s homeschooling advocates as the family reviews its options for appeal."
When a California Homeschool Network list member queried if now was the time to begin to panic. Karen Taylor’s response was, "If I (as CHN’s legal chair) or Loren Mavromati (as CHN’s president) tell you the sky is falling, start to worry then. Until that time, please remember this is a list with lots of independent opinions and a lot of people are thinking "what if" right now and wanting to talk about it."
Part of the problem, as I see it, is that parents homeschooling in California are asking all the right questions and no one is providing any answers. The silence on this topic speaks volumes.
When I first read the story, I added it to Education in the News and was prepared to let it run its course: no big deal. After reading the court documents, it was apparent to me that if this appellate court decision was allowed to stand on it’s face, it won’t only affect California homeschoolers, or rather those who homeschool independently under California private school laws, it will also render California Charter School’s illegal, the very ones that are being paid for by our tax dollars.
Rumor has it that a super power California legal teleconference is taking place today, in which all the major California based homeschooling organizations are to map out a strategic response. Those players involved in this high stakes legal game are California Homeschool Network (CHN), Christian Home Educators Association of California (CHEA), Family Protection Ministries, HomeSchool Association of California (HSC) and last, but not least, Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).
My curiosity got the best of me and rather than wait for an official statement by these various organizations, I decided to go straight to the horses mouth and called Mr. & Mrs. Long to see just exactly what was going on. Phillip said I was the first person to call him regarding his case. He had not heard from any of the state or national homeschool organizations.
What I learned after speaking with Mr. Long and reading through miles of documents was that this case is anything but straightforward. Each parent and the children were supplied with court appointed attorneys, who it is obvious by the court records had a superficial knowledge of homeschool (read private school) laws in the state of California.
In the coming days I will be covering certain aspects of the appellate courts ruling and what it means for the future of homeschoolers living in California. Phillip Long is acutely aware of the situation we are facing and had this to say, "This isn’t really about us, it’s about homeschooling. We’re not happy about it, but it’s much bigger than us."
Having worked in the past with California Homeschool Network’s legal team and in turn with the other homeschooling organizations, I can assure you there are some great legal minds at work on this and I am confident that this matter will be handled expeditiously and the appellate court taken to task over this error of judgment.
For Additional Information
- Is Homeschooling Still Legal in California?
- In re Rachel L. — Homeschool Appellate Court Ruling
- In re Rachel L.