A Victory & A Warning

August 9, 2008

by Tammy Drennan


Opinion supports legality of homeschooling, but…






August 8, 2008


The good news from the California Court of Appeal considering the case that has threatened the legal status of homeschooling in the Golden State is:


“We will conclude that: (1) California statutes permit home schooling as a species of private school education…”


But… the court also had this to say:


“It is important to recognize that it is not for us to consider, as a matter of policy, whether home schooling should be permitted in California. That job is for the Legislature.”


The court opinion then goes on to outline the history of California’s laws about homeschooling.


1903: Compulsory attendance law is passed “expressly permitting” homeschooling


1929: Homeschooling amended out of law and allowed only by credentialed tutor


1953: The 1929 decision is confirmed in case law


1961: The 1929 decision is again confirmed in case law


2008: “However, subsequent developments in the law call this conclusion into question. Although the Legislature did not amend the statutory scheme so as to expressly permit home schooling, more recent enactments demonstrate an apparent acceptance by the Legislature of the proposition that home schooling is taking place in California, with home schools allowed as private schools. Recent statutes indicate that the Legislature is aware that some parents in California home school their children by declaring their homes to be private schools. Moreover, several statutory enactments indicate a legislative approval of home schooling, by exempting home schools from requirements otherwise applicable to private schools.”


You get the very strong impression from the court’s opinion that they don’t really approve of homeschooling but that it’s up to the legislature to do something about it.


This court opinion is a warning as well as a victory. The warning is for everyone who supports any sort of independence in education. The state and the courts look with deep suspicion on parents who want to rear their children as they see fit.


This is a time to fully embrace our adulthood and move away from our infantile dependence on the state to help educate our children. It’s time to cut the apron strings that tie us to a power-hungry, dysfunctional mother who will stop at nothing to keep us helpless little children. It is time to choose freedom, before the courts and legislatures impose bondage.


“Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.” – Thomas Paine, from The Crisis