Governor Vows to Protect Homeschooling

No, the sky is not falling...not in California, Oregon, or anywhere else. A California state court has recently declared homeschooling by anyone without state-sanctioned teaching credentials in front of the child each day to be illegal. Naturally, mayhem, speculation, and doomsaying commenced. Tammy really summed it up nicely:

Right now, the best course of action is to know that we are strong here. We aren’t afraid that everything will fall apart and we don’t need to spread panic in order to feel better about something we don’t know a whole lot about…If we panic now, how is that any different than being sucked in by sensationalist news on TV? Let’s rise above and be calm, wise and ready.

We are quite used to teachers' unions fighting homeschooling and even charter schools. We realize their opposition is pure greed. But what elite, authoritarian mind-set (rather than one carries a personal vendetta against homsechooling) could cause a state judge to decree that only government-credentialed instructors may teach a child?
• 1 of 3 California students attends an overcrowded, underfunded school.
• California has more students per class than any state except Utah.
• Overcrowded California schools enroll up to 5 times the number of students they were built to serve. 4200 students attend South Gate Middle School in Los Angeles—a school designed for 800.
• Most students in overcrowded schools are Latino and still learning English; most overcrowded schools are in poor neighborhoods.
• By 2009, California will need schools for 1 million more students.

While our government is not always for our best interest, even they would not set up such a scenario. Don't consume yourself with waves of fear, but do stay close-watch on upcoming legislature. Personally speaking, HSLDA is driving the panic in a sort of mid-season recruitment drive. Apparently it’s working too.

Granted, the ruling is alarming. Next up: only registered dieticians may feed your kids and don't you dare even think about cutting their toenails without a license.

On Friday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued this statement regarding the ruling. I am not always a fan of the “Governator;” in this particular instance, I am delighted for his support:

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.

Phew! Thank goodness someone in the Golden State is thinking clearly.

In sum: fellow homeschoolers, TAKE A BREATH. You are not about to be criminally charged for choosinng to educate your children at home, as SF Chronicles, L.A. Times, and various commentators imply. You can still homeschool your children, assuming you pass a criminal background check and aren't totally incompetent. The lawyers for these parents and homeschool advocates all over the state are gleefully watching all the outrage this has stirred up. They should be ashamed of themselves for terrifying the devoting parents of homeschooled children.

I hope I did not offend you by expressing my personal view. This is very much a part of my and my family life. My blog is my unconscious is where I discover my voice. PEACE.

4 encouragements:

Kaylynn's Mommy said...

Crazy Stuff!!! I didn't know the government could take this personal freedom away? I guess I take it for granted that I lived in rather conservative states like Texas and Indiana. I have a lot of friends who homeschool! I hope to be able to homeschool someday! (By the way...thank you for all the precious comments about my daughter!)

Hilaree said...

Oh, good! It worked this time. Wanted to say thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. Also thank you for this well written post about the CA situation. Do you happen to know the details surrounding the case that caused the court to proceed in such a way? Were the children being neglected or abused? Good stuff - never be apologetic about your voice - you are a light in the darkness.

Sarah said...

Hilaree, regarding the California Homeschooling case, a complaint was filed on behalf of the three youngest children in a family of 8 (the oldest is 29), alleging physical and emotional mistreatment by the father. He is the type of dads that would beat their children for misbehaviors or acting out. Upon investigation, the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services discovered that the kids were being homeschooled. An attorney for the two youngest sought a court order requiring them to be enrolled in and actually attend a public or private school. The family was also ordered for family counseling which The Long Family failed to comply. The judge regarded home education lousy, meager, and bad and has it out for homeschoolers anyway did not help. This was THE CASE he was awaiting...It's my understanding the not every judge in the circuit is in agreement with his ruling. I honestly don't think it will stick. Time will tell. Again, it's my liberal opinion from living in SF Bay for over 25 years.

Kaylynn's Mommy said...

What a sad case. Does this judge think that the public schools would have prevented this incident? I have found that public education has little influence in helping abused students. As a former public educator in Houston, I have referred students to CPS with little or no avail. Many times parents can cover abusive situations up ....I have also reported what I assumed sexual abuse to the school nurse and she responded that children will be children and explore themselves. Can you believe that! My point is that homeschooling is irrevelant to his ruling.....bad stuff happens everywhere! Most teachers mind their own business and don't report child abuse because they don't want to cause conflict with crazy parents and CPS needs more than one report to even investigate the case (that is what the CPS worker told me when I referred this sexual abuse case) We live in a fallen and sinful world. This judge had no right to band homeschooling for parents who love and care for their children......and do a great job teaching their children at home!

True learning-learning that is permanent and useful,that leads to intelligent action and further learning, can arise only out of the experience, interest, and concerns of the learner.
John Holt
Real heroes are men who fall, fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they stayed true to their ideals, beliefs and commitments.
Actor Kevin Costner

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