A California court has ruled that parents must be credentialed in order to educate their own children at home. In its decision, the Second District Court of Appeals stated that “parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children.”
What does this mean? In a practical sense it means that parents without teaching and counselling certificates will be breaking the law if they keep their children out of school and teach them at home.
In an ideological sense it means that the California courts system has decided that children are the property of the government, and parents are merely tools of the government, responsible for providing a government-approved education.
This decision affects not only the 166,000 homeschool children of California; it could have a chilling effect on homeschooling nationwide, which is a shame. A disproportionate number of brilliant American children come from homeschooling families, and the standardized test scores of these children are also higher than those from public schools. In addition to personalized teaching from a teacher who loves them, these children also benefit from one-on-one attention from a teacher whose motivation is greater than money or continued employment.
Ironically, the website of the San Francisco Chronicle has reported that 5.5% of California’s public schoolteachers lack the same credentials being cited as so important in this decision.
To his credit, California’s usually liberal Republican governor has spoken up in support of the overwhemingly conservative homeschooling community, saying this: “This outrageous ruling must be overturned by the courts and if the courts don’t protect parents’ rights then, as elected officials, we will.”