California Ruling Against Home-Schoolers Causes Stir

By Mark Walsh — March 06, 2008 1 min read
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A state appellate court ruling in California is raising major questions about the rights of parents in that state to home school their children, and that is causing a big stir.

“It is clear to us that enrollment and attendance in a public full-time day school is required by California law for minor children unless (1) the child is enrolled in a private full-time day school and actually attends that private school, (2) the child is tutored by a person holding a valid state teaching credential for the grade being taught, or (3) one of the other few statutory exemptions to compulsory public school attendance applies to the child,” says the Feb. 28 decision by the 2nd District California Court of Appeal in In re Rachel L.

The Los Angeles Times says in a story today that the ruling “is sending waves of fear through California’s home schooling families.”

It says the state currently does little to enforce provisions requiring home-schooling parents to file paperwork establishing themselves as small private schools, hire credentialed tutors, or enroll their children in independent study programs run by public or private schools.

The appellate-court ruling is likely to be appealed to the California Supreme Court, the Times reports.

Update: In a story posted today on Education Week‘s Web site, my colleague Lesli A. Maxwell reports on how home-schooling families are pushing back against a wave of efforts in several states to more closely regulate home schooling.

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A version of this news article first appeared in The School Law Blog.