Homefires - The Journal of Homeschooling OnlineHomefires - The Journal of Homeschooling Online

California Homeschool
Legal Challenge

Is Homeschooling Still Legal in California?

Is Homeschooling Still Legal in California?

On February 28th, 2008, a 2nd Appellate Court in Los Angeles handed down a decision that effectively reinterpreted the exemptions to compulsory education in California rendering the opinion that homeschooling through all avenues except the tutoring/teaching credential option are illegal.

You can read the full court ruling rendered on February 28th here.

The appeals court ruled against Mary and Philip Long who homeschooled their 8 children through the Sunland Christian School, a private school independent study program under the direction of Terry Neven. The court banned the family from enrollment in the school and ordered the children to attend public school.

This case took ALL of the homeschool organizations including California Home Educators Association of California, California Homeschool Network, Family Protection Ministries (PO Box 730 Lincoln, CA 95648-0730), HomeSchool Association of California, and Home School Legal Defense Association by surprise. They held a conference call on Monday, March 3, 2008, to develop a strategy and response.

It is certain that an attempt will be made to overturn the decision by the court, who was GROSSLY (and in Homefires' opinion negligently) MISINFORMED about the exemptions to the California Education Code and the interpretation of the law that allows not only private individuals to homeschool their children, but private schools, and public school district and public charter schools to offer homeschooling options to students as well. Wait until the state finds out that their ADA money for children enrolled in these programs has been jeopardized! Clearly the judges in this tribunal did not do their homework!

What should parents do in the meantime?

Be patient. Stay calm. If you are not a member of a homeschool organization - join one now. They help to protect your right to homeschool. Volunteer to help them in their endeavors. Then, relax, knowing help is on the way, and as one homeschool mom put it, "Go to park day and play."

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

Diane Flynn Keith,