Part of the Bay Area News Group


By Jackie Burrell
Thursday, March 6th, 2008 at 11:00 am in Schools.

Homeschool study session in Texas (Photo by Jim Mahone, Dallas Morning News, MCT Direct) Here’s a news blast likely to rock California homeschool households. A state appellate court ruled this week that California parents who don’t have a teaching credential cannot homeschool their kids, and those who defy the law are subject to criminal action. The L.A. Times story quotes Justice H. Walter Croskey of the 2nd District Court of Appeals as saying, “Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children.”

Some 166,000 California kids are home schooled, a state of affairs California’s department of education has allowed if parents hire a credentialed tutor, enroll their kids in an independent study proram through a bricks-and-mortar school, or if they declare themselves to be, essentially, their own private school. School districts are supposed to enforce those rules, but they’ve been lax on the oversight. Now, the loophole has been closed. The family who sparked the case, an L.A. household with eight homeschooled kids, is vowing to appeal the case to the state supreme court.

And we are very, very curious to see what happens next. The California Homeschool Network says nothing has changed and that “this is the opinion of one court.” Folks, it’s the Second District Court of Appeals, not Judge Judy.

What are your thoughts? What do you think of homeschooling? And if you are a homeschool family, what are you planning to do?

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No Responses to “NO TEACHING CERTIFICATE? No Home School”

  1. Tina Says:

    The California state budget can barely educate the children currently enrolled in our schoools. What are they going to do if the 166,000 home schoolers join the system next year?! Everywhere you look there are budget cuts from the schools and those cuts are mostly for teachers.

  2. Mimi Rothschild Says:

    Judge Creates New California Law Forbidding Homeschooling

    By: Mimi Rothschild

    Not since the time of Hitler’s regime with consul general for the Federal Republic of Germany, Wolfgang Drautz, have we seen such a gross assumption of power and abuse of that assumed power as what appears to be happening with the California court ruling that says that homeschooling is illegal., Without even citing the statutes or constitutional principal on which this opinion is supposedly based, Justice H. Walter Croskey wrote in a February 28th opinion for the 2nd District Court of Appeals, “Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children.”

    Judge Croskey’s ruling states “keeping the children at home deprived them of situations where (1) they could interact with people outside the family, (2) there are people who could provide help if something is amiss in the children’s lives, and (3) they could develop emotionally in a broader world than the parents’ ‘cloistered’ setting.”

    Many people believe that sending children to school deprives them of situations in which they can interact with a far broader spectrum of people than simply those with whom they happen to share a birth year.

    Many people believe that the very people in the school who are charged with the responsibility of helping a child if something is amiss int heir lives are themselves not trustworthy or credible and that some children need to be protected from them.

    Many people beliebe that children develop better when not limited to the cloistered government school setting all day, every day for 13 years and that they develop better when afforded the opportunity to learn in and through the entire world.

    The immediate ramifications of this shocking ruling could subject the parents of 166,000 students throughout the state of California to face the state Supreme Court for criminal sanctions. This Judge’s opinion and his abuse and overreach of his power could be a slippery slope for home educators and all those that believe in the parent’s right to raise their children according to their own convictions.

    In addition to the obvious concerns that have rippled throughout the homeschooling community nationwide such as the erosion of parental rights and educational freedoms, my concern today is: At what point did our government change the Job Description of judges? Respectifully, is it within Judge Croskey’s power to create law. Isn’t the power to create laws is a responsibility given to the people by the United States government through the legislators that we elect? What statute or constitutional principal is Judge Closkey basing his interpretation that dictates that children cannot be educated by their parents unless the parent has a teaching certificate?

    Is Judge Closkey creating a new law that could affect the lives of up to 2 million home educators in this country? Is Judge Closkey overstepping the carefully defined boundaries of his duties? I understand that there are concerned California citizens calling for Judge Closkey’s resignation.

    Do you think that Judge Closkey’s personal personal prejudice against the concept of home education has blinded his ability to properly perform his role as an impartial adjudicator of the existing laws.

    God blessed me with my children. He sent them to me and entrusts me to direct their care and education. He did not Cc or Bcc the judicial system on how I am raising them. He did not send them with a book, an amendment or a set of rules that I had to obey to produce a system’d product, to a system that I never believed in! And I know He did not send them to me so a system could hold them hostage from His presence and Truths for eight hours a day, five days a week, a hundred and eighty days a year; unable to even utter His name without a judicial mandate.

    The Lord made me a parent with the right to choose where and how my child will be educated. While we are called as Christians to obey the laws of the land, there is nothing that I can see within the constitution that mandates that a California judge’s opinion on what is best for children become the law for everyone. While Judge Croskey is entitled to express his opinion and to choose how he educates his children (if God entrusts him with them), it is not within his job description to dictate how to educate mine. Unless there is a proven violation of a child’s health and safety as described in the laws preventing child neglect and abuse, this Judge is misguided in forcing parents to choose government school.

    The reasons I believe that this Court’s ruling should be vigorously opposed and appealed are:

    1. There is absolutely NOTHING in the constitution that dictates how I raise/educate my child regarding any aspect of their child rearing,
    2. Personal and family privacy is protected, including the right to privacy about the decisions and rationale for how I raise my child.
    1. Freedom to worship is protected, including the right to guide my child’s religious growth. Few dispute that government schools often have a religious agenda, known as secular humanism, which contradicts the Biblical perspective.
    2. God gave the child to me to raise, not the state
    3. The state has failed in its mission to educate children (the United States ranks lowest of most countries on testing)
    4. One judge’s biases and misinformed opinions cannot create law.
    5. Judge are to uphold only the laws that the legislators (representatives of the PEOPLE) pass.

    We will continue to follow this case, and the new law that many fear Judge H. Walter Croskey has created as this case unfolds in appeals and eventually reaches the Supreme Court. This is obviously an issue near and dear to each of us, so share your thoughts by e-mailing me directly at or reply to this posting.

    Evil flourishes when good people do nothing. Albert Einstein

  3. Beth Says:

    I’m not a homeschooler, but I support every parent’s right to educate his/her child(ren) as (s)he sees fit.

    Two of my children attended Catholic school, and there are no state educational requirements for private school teachers.

    If the state is concerned about the education that a homeschool child is receiving, why not just have them test annually in each subject?

  4. Jefferson Says:

    Know what is evil? Stealing money from taxpayers for a school that never provided students a decent education, just so you could fund your own enterprise. Because of thieves such as the people that tried to run Einstein Academy in Philly, charter schools got a bad rap.

  5. Harbaugh Says:

    I’m not a homeschooler, but i support those parent’s that feel home school is best for there child. Who is the state to say what is best for your child. Do they know them individually? I believe the state is over stepping there boundaries on sever parental issues and this is just one big one. Who is the Parent and who knows what is best for the child? Putting a blanket law on this is one way of leaving home school kids left behind.
    What is online schooling? Am i not teaching my self the information from a online book? If you want to attack home school then why don’t they just go all the way and attack online classes also.
    This has turned in to a greed and power trip of the state. The more kids they have enrolled in a public school the bigger grant they get. We are not blind so we will see it for what it is. “Persecute the children to make another dollar”
    So pathetic what is the US coming to? Who has the gold makes the rule. Is that what the golden rule is?

    Concerned Single mother of 3

  6. Amanda Says:

    I home-school a child who simply cannot function to her full potential in a public school setting. She is learning *unique* let’s say, and needs CONSTANT redirection. I spend more time keeping her on task than teaching her. The point is, one woman between 20-35 students cannot teach this girl. In public school she was failing. At home she is living up to her potential. This new law would wreck her. I say, pack up and move to a state like Nebraska. There’s lots of land and you can do what you need to do for your family.

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