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Back to September Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 272 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS SEPTEMBER 2008

California Court Overturns Anti-Homeschooling Decision
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In February, California's 2nd District Court of Appeal seemed to jeopardize the legal status of homeschooling in the state. Judge H. Walter Croskey wrote the decision demanding that two children attend public school, and implying that homeschooling by parents who were not credentialed teachers violated state law.

The state's largest teachers union, the California Teachers Association, accepted the court's invitation to get involved in the controversial case. According to the CTA, "parents do not have an unfettered right to dictate the terms of their children's education." A CTA representative said of the court's original decision, "We're happy. We always think students should be taught by credentialed teachers, no matter what the setting."

In response to widespread criticism from homeschoolers, legislators, Gov. Schwarzenegger and others, the court revisited the decision this summer. Homeschool activists applauded the court for recognizing, as a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling declared in 1925, that "the child is not the mere creature of the state."

The court did, however, call for new regulations on homeschooling. "California impliedly allows parents to homeschool as a private school but has provided no enforcement mechanism," wrote Croskey. "Given the state's compelling interest in educating all of its children . . . and the absence of an express statutory and regulatory framework for homeschooling in California, additional clarity in this area of the law would be helpful."


 
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