Friday, March 7, 2008

California Appeals Court Ruling - Homeschoolers Shouldn't Panic

The key thing to note for now is this:

The appeals court did not "declare all homeschooling in California unconstitutional". In fact, the court quoted Pierce (U.S.. Supreme Court case) in stating that parents do have a right under the U.S. Constitution to the upbringing and education of their children. But as Deborah Stevenson repeatedly has stated to various audiences, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Pierce, also stated that the right of parents may be "regulated by the state". The appeals court in this case stated that under California's constitution there is no "right to homeschool", but the statutes provided exceptions to compulsory education. It found that the parents in this case may not have complied with those state statutes and remanded the case to the trial court to determine whether the parents did comply.

In addition, because this was a decision by an appellate court, the parents may petition the California Supreme Court to hear it. Depending on what issues are raised, assuming the California Supreme Court hears it, the parents could appeal it further to the Supreme Court. Or, parents in California could ask their legislators to clarify the statute in a way that overrules the court decision.

In any case this issue certainly bears watching.
Let's not get hysterical.
And remember you can't believe everything you hear on the news or in the paper.

Read the California appeals court decision for yourself

Here are things you need to know before citing case law and also a bit about "stare decisis".

NHELD's Deborah Stevenson just did a radio show today with Dr. Karen Albrecht about this issue

For what it's worth:
Governor Schwarzenegger had something to say about this court's ruling:
“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.”

Life On The Planet left this comment at Dana's blogpost and I just had to share because it totally cracked me up:

Life On The Planet
Posted March 8, 2008 at 12:13 am | Permalink

The Homeschool-a-nator.
It has a nice ring to it!
Good for Arnold.

Update 03-08-08 : NHELD issues a bulletin about the California Appellate Court ruling