Monday, March 10, 2008

California Challenges Homeschoolers

California homeschoolers were slapped in the face by a recent court ruling of the state's second district court of appeals. The court said all children ages 6 to 18 must attend public or private school full time until they graduate from high school or must be tutored by a credentialed teacher.

On Saturday, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger weighed in vowing to reverse the court's decision. ""Every California child deserves a quality education, and parents should have the right to decide what's best for their children. Parents should not be penalized for acting in the best interests of their children's education. This outrageous ruling must be overturned by the courts, and if the courts don't protect parents' rights then, as elected officials, we will."

There is no provision in the California Education Code or elsewhere in state law that addresses the issue of homeschooling. Homeschool advocates want to keep it that way, despite the governor's support for a new law to help them. They believe current code supports their practices and that new laws would include regulations and possibly restrictions on homeschooling. "We just want to leave it alone because it's good the way it is," said Loren Mavromati, who homeschools her two children and volunteers with the California Homeschool Network, an advocacy organization made up mostly of homeschooling parents. "The law as it stands is working well in California."

A legislative remedy is unlikely despite Schwarzenegger's stance. The California State Assembly is controlled by Democrats who have little support or sympathy for homeschooling.

Read the full story here.

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