Wednesday, March 12, 2008

California Judge Rules Homeschooling Parents Unconstitutional

ON TUESDAY'S SHOW: Last week the Second Appellate District Court in Los Angeles, California ruled 3-0 that homeschooling parents must now have certification in order to teach their kids. Justice H. Walter Croskey ruled:
"California courts have held that parents do not have a constitutional right to homes chool their children."

As the San Francisco Chronicle reported: This has sent shock waves across the state, leaving an estimated 166,000 children as possible truants and their parents at risk of prosecution. The homeschooling movement never saw the case coming. 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.

According to Justice H. Walter Croskey,
"Parents have a legal duty to see to their children's schooling under the provisions of these laws."
"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."

Did you get that? LOYALTY TO THE STATE is what the judge says is a primary purpose of the educational system.

Also, citizenship and patriotism -- but who really believes the schools are emphasizing that any more?

This ruling had Lloyd Porter, director of the state's largest teachers union jumping up and down!
"We're happy. We always think students should be taught by credentialed teachers, no matter what the setting."
Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, who will represent Sunland Christian School and the Long family in a likely appeal to the state Supreme Court said,
"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."

What you can do:

California State Assembly Member Joel Anderson has introduced an Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR 115), which denounces Anti-homeschool Appellate Court Decision, and expresses support for private home education and the desire of the Legislature that the Supreme Court reverse the Appellate Court decision.

ACR 115 supports the right of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children. It expresses the Legislature's position that the Appellate Court's interpretation of the laws, under which parents teach their children at home, was misguided. And, it would call on the California Supreme Court to reverse the Appellate Court's opinion.

Status of the Resolution: Introduced Monday, March 10, 2008; May be assigned to a policy committee first, or be sent directly to the Assembly Floor for a vote by a date yet to be assigned.

Take Action: Call your State Assemblymember and State Senator as soon as possible and urge them to STRONGLY SUPPORT ACR 115. (See CW Take Action or Election Center pages for links

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneger says he will counter the court ruling. Contact him to stand firm on that resolve. Governor’s office is (916) 445-2841 or fax (916) 445-4633

E-mails are usually ignored, letters and calls are much more effective.


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