California Appellate Court Ruling

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California Appellate Court Ruling

Homeschool Victory
Review & Outlook
The Wall Street Journal
Posted August 16, 2008

Excerpt: But in a rare victory for parental choice, the public school monopoly won't be able to exploit a bad case to declare that homeschooling is unconstitutional.


Bulletin #63 - California Appeals Ruling
Posted August 11, 2008

Note: Highlighting added by Alliance.

ExcerptWhile some have read the decision and are claiming that the Appeals Court “declared that homeschooling is legal” in California, and are touting it as a victory, a careful reading of the Appeals Court decision shows that, in fact, the Court did not “declare homeschooling to be legal in California”.  The Appeals Court, in point of fact, correctly pointed out that it does not have the authority to make such a decision.  The Appeals Court, as it did initially, explained what the existing law actually says about homeschooling and also what it doesn’t say, as well as what the legislature in California has “accepted” despite what the statutory law says...

The bottom line is this:  The requirement existed that credentialed tutors were required, the practice existed that parents homeschooled without having credentials as tutors, the Legislature and state agencies accepted the practice despite the law, the Court recognized this occurred and concluded that because it occurred, the practice was accepted despite the existence of the law. More importantly, the Court held that despite the Constitutional rights of parents to the upbringing and education of their children, the state can override that right. 


While NHELD is gratified that parents in California will be able to continue to homeschool as they did previously, we continue to admonish all parents to become fully informed of what the statutes in their state actually say and to adhere to the provisions of those statutes.  If parents do not agree with the requirements in those statutes, the appropriate way pursuant to the Constitution to change that law is by an appeal to the Legislature of that state, not to the Courts.


A Great Victory for California Homeschoolers
Posted August 8, 2008

In a unanimous decision, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District today ruled that “California statutes permit home schooling as a species of private school education.”  (Read entire opinion).


Caution: In the closing paragraph of "4. California Has Few Express Limitations on Home Schooling," the court states:


Given the state’s compelling interest in educating all of its children (Cal. Const., art. IX, § 1), and the absence of an express statutory and regulatory framework for home schooling in California, additional clarity in this area of the law would be helpful.


Further vigilance is clearly in order, and homeschoolers in California and other states should take note.


California homeschooling case to be reheard
by Bob Egelko, Staff Writer Francisco Chronicle
Posted March 27, 2008

Special Bulletin: Homeschool Ruling Vacated; Court Will Reconsider
Posted March 26, 2008


Excerpt: Pacific Justice Institute has just received word that the court ruling which declared most forms of homeschooling unlawful in California has been vacated.


The Court of Appeal of the State of California, Second Appellate District, Division Three, has ruled that parents without teaching credentials have no constitutional right to educate their children.


The situation has drawn the attention and action of thousands of homeschoolers, California state education officials, the governor of California, and news sources across the country.


It should be stressed that California law has not changed. While this particular judgment does open the door to interpret future cases with similar harshness, it will take some time before the actual implications of this case for average homeschoolers may be fully realized. The most important thing to do is stay informed and not make any decisions in a panic.


Many organizations and California homeschoolers are working together on this situation and covering it on their web sites. We recommend that you spend a little time reading over what each has to say and what action they suggest before deciding on your own course of action. The situation is serious enough to merit careful and informed thought and response.


The following resources should help you understand the threat to homeschooling in California and the wisdom of various responses to it.


The criminalization of parents

By Stephen Baskerville

Posted March 15, 2008


Excerpt:  The California appeals court decision criminalizing parents who homeschool their children is only the tip of an iceberg. Nationwide, parents are already being criminalized in huge numbers, and it is not limited to homeschoolers.



California Appellate Court Ruling

Bulletin #60

Attorney Deborah G. Stevenson, Executive Director

National Home Education Legal Defense (NHELD)

Posted March 8, 2008


Excerpt:  In other words, the Appeals Court said the legislature adopted statutes regulating the parents’ right to educate their children.  Those statutes are still valid and parents must comply with them.

The lesson here is: don’t believe everything you hear or read.  Go to the original source.  Read it for yourself.  Arm yourself with the truth and then you will be prepared to act appropriately.


Update - Defending Homeschool Freedom in California

Posted March 12, 2008


Excerpt:  On Tuesday, March 11, Jack O’Connell, California Superintendent of Public Instruction, announced that he believed that homeschooling is still legal in California. O’Connell’s statement is welcome news... Some might conclude that the statement ends the controversy. However, it is not the end of the matter; it is just an important step along the way.


Time for a Texas-style Round Up!

Chuck Norris

Posted March 10, 2008


Excerpt:  Our twins are homeschooled. That is the present educational option we have chosen for them and us. It is our right to do so as parents and American citizens. But, increasingly across this union, private academic alternatives are coming under attack, being legally stripped of their value and even being labeled unconstitutional and illegal.



Governor vows to protect homeschooling

Posted March 8, 2008


Excerpt:  Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger denounced a state appeals court ruling that severely restricts homeschooling and promised Friday to change the law if necessary to guarantee that parents are able to educate their children at home.


Homeschoolers' setback sends shock waves through state

Posted March 7, 2008


Excerpt:  A California appeals court ruling clamping down on homeschooling by parents without teaching credentials sent shock waves across the state this week, leaving an estimated 166,000 children as possible truants and their parents at risk of prosecution.


The homeschooling movement never saw the case coming.



Focus on the Family Radio Broadcast

In Defense of Homeschooling

March 7, 2008


Dr. James Dobson discusses the case with Dr. Mike Farris of HSLDA, Roy Hanson of Family Protection Ministries, Carrie Gordon Earll of Focus on the Family, and a homeschool mom from California.



Anderson Authors Resolution to Protect Home-Schooling

Assemblyman Joel Anderson Press Release

Posted March 7, 2008


Excerpt:  Decrying the February 28, 2008 Appellate Court decision attacking home-schooling, Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-El Cajon) has introduced Assembly Concurrent Resolution 115 calling upon the California Supreme Court to reverse the opinion.



Response to Ruling of California Court of Appeal
‘Homeschooling is Illegal in California’


Posted March 6, 2008


Excerpt:  The ability to homeschool freely in California should not depend upon one family in a closed-door proceeding. All families should have the right to be heard since the rights of all are clearly at stake.



Judge orders homeschoolers into government education

Court: Family's religious beliefs 'no evidence' of 1st Amendment violation

By Bob Unruh

Posted February 29, 2008


Excerpt:  "We find no reason to strike down the Legislature's evaluation of what constitutes an adequate education scheme sufficient to promote the 'general diffusion of knowledge and intelligence,'" the court said in the case. "We agree 'the educational program of the State of California was designed to promote the general welfare of all the people and was not designed to accommodate the personal ideas of any individual in the field of education.'"






February 28, 2008


Read the actual Appellate Court ruling.


For background on the appeal, read the case document filed November 20, 2007.


Coming Together in California
Posted March 26, 2008

California Homeschool organizations join forces to protect homeschooling


Excerpt: We are united in the goal of protecting the right of parents to teach their children privately at home without additional governmental interference.

What California homeschool organizations are saying:

California Homeschool Network Update


Christian Home Educators of California Update


Homeschool Association of California Update



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