Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Why CA Homeschoolers Don't Want a Legislative Solution

There's been a lot of discussion over the past several days about what should be done to resolve the uncertain legal status of homeschooling in California in light of the Long case. Debbie Schwarzer of the Homeschool Association of California's legal team posted this morning to the HSC Yahoo group that legislation is not the route HSC and other organizations want to take:

"I know it's not being talked about now, but just wanted to make sure people know what the state groups, including HSC, are thinking. HSC and the other state homeschool groups, as well as HSLDA, do NOT want to address the current issues by introducing legislation. If someone else introduces some, whether to be 'helpful' or to corral those pesky homeschoolers, we will have to deal with it, but we will not be the ones seeking it."

The dangers of a legislative solution were highlighted by today's announcement by the Washington, D.C. Superintendent's Office of new proposed restrictions on homeschooling in the District. According to an article in The Examiner:

"For years, parents in the District have been largely free to educate their children as they wished. But that could drastically change with the new rules, which authorize public school officials to make home visits several times a year, mandate the subject areas families cover and require parents to submit evidence that their children have been immunized."

This is the type of government interference with homeschooling that we Californian homeschoolers decidedly do NOT want...

UPDATE: You can find the details of the proposed new restrictions on homeschooling in D.C. here. The D.C. Superintendent of Education Deborah Gist is taking public comments on the proposal until March 29th. Hopefully, there will be enough outcry over the intrusiveness of the proposed regulations that they will not be implemented!


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for keeping us updated on the CA situation, and the DC dilemma. We homeschoolers need to band together across the nation. Too many are sitting back, not getting involved, wrongly assuming none of this affects them. CA tends to set the preicdent (sp?) for education. We will feel the waves here in NY eventually.
oh- yeah- Go YANKEES!!

jennifer said...

Interesting question -- I'm undecided about seeking legislative action. The current lack of clarity may work for a while, but, eventually, given the continuing attack against parental rights, may backfire. I'd be more prone to getting something in writing NOW that guarantees my freedom, while there is still a chance.

Dana said...

Actually, specific legislation may have helped in D.C. Their homeschooling is completely regulated by the rules and procedures the Department of Education chooses to adopt.

But I agree that legislation is not the best option, particularly if you are not assured of a majority on your side.