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California Homeschool
Legal Challenge

Is Homeschooling Still Legal in California?

Homefires Legal News

Here are the latest news stories provided by sources other than Homefires to help you stay up-to-date on this important case that challenges the legality of homeschooling in California.

Iowa lawmakers pressing for tougher homeschool laws The Iowa Senate is pressing for tougher homeschool laws. Reason.com reported on March 26, 2013 that the Senate is looking to remove the provision that allows homeschool parents to teach up to four unrelated children. If passed, the law will have a negative impact on homeschool families with working or chronically ill parents. Iowa currently allows homeschoolers to teach up to four children who are unrelated. This provision allows parents who work during the day, parents who have disabilities or chronic illnesses or families with new babies, a chance to homeschool without having to do so directly. by Lynda Altman
March 28, 2013
Should Family Seeking Asylum in U.S. to Home School Their Children Be Sent Home? The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has overturned a ruling by a U.S. judge that initially granted the Romeike family asylum after they fled Germany five years ago. According to the Huffington Post, Uwe and Hannelor Romeike and their six children moved to the U.S. in 2008 when Germany refused to allow them to home school their children. The report says that under German law, the parents of children who don't attend a state-approved school face fines, jail time and possibly lose custody. The family was granted asylum by the U.S. in 2010, but the Department of Homeland Security then challenged the ruling and overturned it, saying the case did not rise to the level of religious persecution.
March 24, 2013
U.S. Attorney General says homeschooling is not a fundamental right Americans have it pretty good when it comes to homeschooling. The federal government leaves homeschool families alone. Individual states are left with the decision to manage homeschool, and it is legal to homeschool in every state. However, this may soon change. A dark cloud is rising over U.S. parent's right to homeschool. It is starting with the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. CBN News quoted Holder on March 18, 2013, saying that homeschooling is not a fundamental right. by Lynda Altman
March 20, 2013
Homeschooling is a Constitutional Right Are California parents prohibited from educating their kids at home unless they have state-issued teachers' credentials? That was the stunning assertion of a California appellate court in a ruling this past February. In contrast, Pacific Legal Foundation took the side of parents, choice and competition in education, and fundamental constitutional freedoms. PLF's brief cited U.S. Supreme Court precedent upholding parents' rights to direct and oversee the education of their children, and quoted former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor: "[T]he Due Process Clause does not permit a State to infringe on the fundamental right of parents to make child-rearing decisions simply because a state judge believes a 'better' decision could be made." by Pacific Legal Foundation
December 8, 2010
Homeschooling gets green light from court An appeals court in California has ruled that state law does permit homeschooling as a species of private school education but that statutory permission for parents to teach their own children could be overridden in order to protect the safety of a child. The long-awaited case resolves many of the questions that had developed in homeschooling circles across the nation when the same court earlier found that parents had no such rights - statutorily or constitutionally - in California. by Bob Unruh
August 8, 2008
Tough Lesson Late last month, a California court ruled that California parents do not necessarily have a constitutional right to homeschool their children, even when the parents say they homeschool for religious reasons. The uproar is understandable. California courts are rightly known for being political, liberal and result-oriented. It is impossible to read the court's decision without suspecting that it reflects a liberal anti-homeschooling political agenda. by Tara Ross and Joseph C. Smith Jr.
March 28, 2008
Babysitter with an axe: California court bans homeschooling One more reason to move to New Zealand: A California appeals court ruled two weeks ago that parents without teaching credentials cannot home school. One hundred sixty-six thousand home schooled children and their parents now face contempt of court charges, jail and fines. Lovers of freedom should rage at these words. They assume that the state, rather than parents and students, should control education. by Joy Pavelski
March 28, 2008
Court to reconsider home-school ruling The 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles granted a rehearing Tuesday, essentially voiding the 3-0 decision until it rules again. "Wow!" said Diane Flynn Keith of Redwood City, who edits Homefires, an online home-schooling journal. "I think the judge recognized that he hadn't done his homework." by Dana Hull
March 27, 2008
Homeschool Ruling Vacated; Court Will Reconsider Pacific Justice Institute has just received word that the court ruling which declared most forms of homeschooling unlawful in California has been vacated. This means the Rachel L. decision, which has sparked a nationwide uproar, will not go into effect as it is currently written. The Second District Court of Appeal has instead decided to re-hear the case, with a new round of briefings due in late April.
March 26, 2008
California homeschooling being given 2nd chance A California court order that essentially banned homeschooling in the state has been vacated and the judges who issued the ruling will hear further arguments on the status of parents who want to teach their own children. The petition actually was submitted by Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation to the 2nd Appellate District Division on behalf of the Longs. by Bob Unruh
March 26, 2008
Appeals court will reconsider homeschooling ruling A state appeals court has agreed to reconsider its decision last month that barred homeschooling by parents who lack teaching credentials, raising the possibility that the judges will change a decision that has infuriated homeschool advocates nationwide. It is not unusual for appeals courts to reconsider decisions, and the result is often a minor revision that leaves the original conclusion unchanged. But the three-judge panel in the homeschooling case hinted at a re-evaluation of its entire Feb. 28 ruling by inviting written arguments from state and local education officials and teachers' unions. by Bob Egelko
March 26, 2008
Home ed growing, facing challenge Court ruling threatens some parents' alternative approach to schooling. According to the home-schooling clearinghouse Web site Homefires.com, California has an estimated 175,000 home-educated children with a projected annual increase of up to 20 percent. Nationwide, more than 1 million children were homeschooled in the spring of 2003 - a 29 percent jump from the 850,000 for the same period in 1999, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. by Neil Gonzales
March 23, 2008
Letter: Home school ruling off base The recent ruling in Los Angeles regarding the legality of home schooling should be a great concern to anyone who values the personal freedoms being a citizen of this great nation has always held. This is not just about home schools; it calls into question the rights of parents to make choices for their children, and it prepares the way for our religious liberties to be challenged as well. by Jodi George
March 15, 2008
Petition seeks rehearing in homeschooling case A California appeals court that issued a ruling banning homeschooling in the state failed to recognize existing state law, according to a lawyer who filed court documents today. The petition for rehearing before the state's 2nd Appellate District Division Three court in the case involving the family of Phillip and Mary Long was filed by Gary Kreep, of the United States Justice Foundation. by Bob Unruh
March 14, 2008
California state superintendent endorses right to homeschool The California state Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O'Connell, has insisted that parents still have the right to homeschool. "We hope the statement from O'Connell puts the brakes on any enforcement action," he continued. "We have just started the legal battle to restore homeschool freedom in California."
March 14, 2008
Undermining a parent's rights SOME happenings in our society are just too stupid to comment on. Then again, there may be some folks who fail to see the stupidity there. And there may be some people who sense it ain't quite right, but haven't been able to justify their questioning of the circumstance. For these members of the reading public, here goes my take on the California state appellate court's ruling that parents who homeschool their children must have a teaching credential. by Shirlee Smith
March 14, 2008
Ruling must be overturned An appeals court ruling has infringed on the rights of parents by saying they cannot home-school their children. It is more than their right, but their job to teach their children. Public schools provide help with the job, and most people have allowed the schools to do the bulk of the work. The government has taken the reins, making attendance compulsory. But parents who want to teach their children to be productive adults in society are doing their job and no court should take that away.
March 14, 2008
Biggest homeschooling cost is possibly lost income Somewhere between $14 and $60,000 a year. Or more. That's what homeschooling can cost, depending on how you look at it. But before you start paying for it, you've got to get started in your homeschooling career. Some people have though. According to Homefires, an online homeschooling journal, the average family responding to a survey conducted in San Francisco spent $3,200 a year. However, none of this accounts for what is likely the largest expense of homeschooling. by David Zizzo
March 14, 2008
Members of Congress outraged by California homeschool case Members of Congress privately are infuriated and worried over a California appeals court ruling that essentially banned homeschooling in the state. Plans still were being developed, he said. But the ultimate resolution, Farris suggested, would be an amendment to the U.S. Constitution recognizing the rights and responsibilities of parents to direct their own children's education. by Bob Unruh
March 14, 2008
New Court Ruling Challenges California Parents Samantha Wulf's home is also her school. And it could be shut down now that a California court ruled that it's a crime for parents without teaching credentials to home school their kids. Samantha's mother, Rachel Shultz, told ABC News that she couldn't imagine being criminalized for caring for her child. Both she and her mother, Samantha's grandmother, have devoted their lives to the 13-year-old's schooling. by Lisa Fletcher
March 14, 2008
California Superintendent: Parents Have Right To Homeschool Saying that public schools might not be a good fit for every student in California, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell released a statement this week supporting the rights of parents to homeschool their children. The statement comes on the heels of a pledge by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to support homeschooling by fighting against the court ruling either through the courts or through other political means. by Dave Nagel
March 13, 2008
Ignorance, and Bigotry, and Stereotyping- Oh, My! I never gave much (if any) thought to either Cal State-Fullerton or Cal Poly-Pomona prior to reading a couple of idiotic op-ed pieces by persons affiliated with those institutions. Now they've got me wondering just what exactly it is that our family's tax dollars are subsidizing. Objectivity? Looking beyond tired stereotypes? Doing a little bit of research? If the two op-eds are any indication, those things appear to be sorely lacking at the lower-tier state colleges.
March 13, 2008
Overt Hostility toward Homeschoolers The controversy over a California appeals court ruling on homeschooling continues to expand, even as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger pledge to defend the rights of homeschooling parents. Now, even as the political and legal shockwaves reverberate, an overt hostility to homeschooling families has come to the surface. One example is an opinion column published in the March 13 edition of The Los Angeles Times. On March 12, the paper's editors had called for the California legislature to adopt legislation recognizing a right to homeschool and establishing an appropriate set of regulations. by Albert Mohler
March 13, 2008
Legal challenge pledged in homeschool ruling Even as some of California's top elected officials promised they won't support or enforce a recent court decision severely restricting most homeschooling, a small Christian school vowed to take the fight to the state Supreme Court. An attorney for Sunland Christian School, based in the Los Angeles County community of Sylmar, said he will file a motion this week to get that ball rolling. "Sunland was basically ground zero for what's going on in that case," Snider said. "Our client clearly has an interest in having its voice heard." by Jill Tucker
March 13, 2008
California must set standards for home schooling Extreme circumstances make bad legal precedents. It's proven anew in last week's court ruling that would dismantle a thriving and diverse home-school movement in California. Ff the state Supreme Court doesn't overturn the decision on a Southern California case. Lawmakers should act, although carefully. The issue is more complex than a universal right for parents to be their kids' teachers. There's a constitutional right of children to a decent education, and a state obligation to see that they have the opportunity to get it. by Mercury News Editorial
March 12, 2008

Homefires will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates. For a complete chronological list of updates to this case click here.