Homeschooling ruled illegal

Where else but California?  For a lot of you, this will be the first time I’ve ever really addressed the issue of homeschooling, because frankly it’s not something I talk about to a lot of people.

I was homeschooled, and homeschooled in California at that.  Additionally, my three other brothers were all homeschooled as well.  The thing about California is that there is very much an anti-homeschooling movement in the government and among a lot of the people there as well; so that when I was growing up we had a lot of hoops that we had to jump through so that my parents could legally homeschool us.

Now, California has ruled that unless a parent has a teacher credential, they will not be allowed to homeschool their children.

Parents who lack teaching credentials cannot educate their children at home, according to a state appellate court ruling that is sending waves of fear through California’s home schooling families.

I need to make some extremely clear, because I do feel very passionate about this issue.  Attacks on homeschooling are nothing short of tyranny by the state, because if the state says that you as a parent do not have a right to educate your own children as you see fit, they are one very small step away from deciding everything your children should be taught.

I don’t like making grand sweeping statements like that, but it’s true.  Restricting homeschooling is a direct attack on the Bill of Rights, because the government in affect is telling you how your children should be educated.  They are saying that you, the parent, unless you pass the state requirements to become a teacher, are not qualified to educate your child.  You, the parent, unless you have the approval of the state, are not allowed to educate you child in your home.


  1. Just another step down the road to total control by the state. . . Home schooling is dangerous. . . you may learn to think for yourself. . ..

  2. Because being a parent means you shouldn’t have to be qualified.

    Duly noted.

  3. No Kalium, that’s not what it means. What being a parent does mean is that you have the right to ensure that your children are being educated to your standards, and not necessarily the standards of the state.

    That’s the whole point of liberty; actually – even if some people fuck it up and turn their children into little retards/monsters.

  4. I was being sarcastic in the interest of making a point. Specifically, that being a parent does not endow one with any magical superjudgement or special qualifications for teaching.

    Call me crazy, but I think that universal public education is one of the best things America has going for it. The sheer economic impact is undeniable. Perhaps I’m off my rocker, but I think every child is entitled to a quality education, and it is in the interests of the nation as a whole to take steps to ensure this. Which, yes, means regulating some things outside the public school system.

  5. Kalium,
    Ok crazy, but taking away a parents rights to do what they want with thier children, as long as there is no physical or pshycological harm done, and to teach thier children whatever they deem fit is a tyrannical edict for any government entity to force upon citizens. Socialized government education is an ok idea I guess, as long as it doens’t infringe upon a parents rights and is made totally volunatary.
    p.s. do you know the history of socialized government education?

  6. That’s one of the differences between you and me, Kal – I don’t think anyone is really entitled to anything other than life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    A quality education is a nice thing to have, and I think everyone should have one, but I don’t feel like it’s up to the state to enforce that everyone has a quality education and then to define what quality means.

    I would probably be more comfortable with it if the state only set educational standards for hard sciences; but when the state sets standards subjects like “social studies” I get a little queasy.

  7. “Now, California has ruled that unless a parent has a teacher credential, they will not be allowed to homeschool their children.”

    Hell, I’ve seen a lot of teachers with credentials that shouldn’t be allowed to teach children.

  8. In California, anyone who is an expert in some subject can get a teaching certificate/credential. At least, that’s how my parents picked up theirs. Maybe they changed the law since then…

    (This law apparently came from the desire of a CA university to hire a famous composer who lacked teaching credentials.)

    Still, a parent shouldn’t require a teaching certificate. Really, 1st through 8th grades are really just glorified babysitting.

  9. I was not home schooled,but private schooled for the same reason as many are home schooled. Because my parents did not trust the government schools with my education, both in academics and morals.

    With that said, this is nothing more than a direct attack by the teachers unions and the state against those they perceived as “on the fringe”. Much like Germany still does with its home schoolers.

  10. The good news is that the Homeschool Legal Defense Association has taken up the charge against this idiocy…

    Of course, part of the problem could be that homeschooled students statistically perform better both on standardized tests, and in college… and we all know that liberals/Democrats everywhere cannot stand the thought of someone being better than someone else. Add to that the problem that public schools cannot adequately tailor their education to gifted/slower students (after all, public schools are all about teaching to the lowest denominator – nothing more), as well as some of the absolutely ludicrous nonsense being taught as education in those schools (sex ed? Sorry, that is something for the parents.), and the fact that America’s students are consistently performing lower and lower in comparison to international students, and the case for homeschooling is getting stronger year after year.

    I have nothing against public education being available for those who desire it -after all, homeschooling is certainly not for everyone. But forcing everyone to make use of it, simply because some union or political entity does not like the concept of one group of people outperforming another, or parents raising independent, intelligent children (the single largest threat to any government, that), or not having absolute control over what those children are learning… yeah, that is intrusive, statist government at its absolute worst.

  11. I’m just not with you on this one.

    If you saw the abuse of children in Hollywood, having them work long hours on set with “tutors” you’d want the schools involved too.

    FYI if you put your kid in front of a camera you have by default declared yourself to be a horrendous parent.

  12. So what you’re saying is that because some people are bad homeschoolers, that no parents should be allowed to homeschool their children unless they jump through the state’s hoops?

  13. I’m just looking for a little understanding here. How does the judge get to make homeschooling standards? Has anyone else noticed where the California public education system ranks compared to the rest of the country? And lately I have notice many scholarly contests won by homeschooled students.
    Sign me a California parent not happy with public education.

  14. Essentially, the judge is making law by judicial fiat (which pisses me off but is a whole different story), beyond that I think everyone would agree that the California public school system sucks.

    Unfortunately, not all of the residents of California are well off financially enough to put their children into an expensive private school if they want them to get a decent education, so they homeschooled. Now, they’re losing that option unless they want to tango with the state over “standards”.

  15. We homeschool our two kids. Michigan (where we live) has some of the most liberal (read: free) homeschooling laws out there. As long as you agree to educate your kids and cover the basic subjects, you’re good to go. Of course, there are some parents who abuse this and there are some kids who don’t get all the education they require, but don’t tell me that everyone in public education comes out fully educated, regardless of the curriculum.

    There’s also an older law on the books in Michigan that requires a homeschool parent to be a licensed teacher. I don’t know anyone who uses that option.

    I’ve wondered what my reaction would be if they came to force my kids into government school. Though I’m not sure how it would help my kids, I suspect it might eventually involve gunfire.

  16. You think it is bad in Kalifornia, try Germany. There you can be put in prison and have your child sent to a psyhc ward for evaulation.

  17. I’m working on another uberpost dealing with public education. I will be using excerpts from this comment thread in that piece, if it’s alright with you, Nate.

  18. That’s fine with me, Kevin. I’m actually getting pretty involved with this issue – shoot me an email if you want some specific comments.

  19. “Perhaps I’m off my rocker, but I think every child is entitled to a quality education”

    The problem, Kallum, is: Who defines “quality”?

    Who is best equipped to determine which is the best “quality” education for a particular child — that child’s parents, or a state bureaucracy?

    I’m going with the parents. The _fact_ that some parents, somewhere, are going to screw it up is not justification to assume that _no_ parent is capable.

    This kind of law is basically a claim that the state OWNS our children.

  20. “I’m going with the parents. The _fact_ that some parents, somewhere, are going to screw it up is not justification to assume that _no_ parent is capable.”

    This ruling is just more Statist, Collectivist BS. Want proof? Insert “gun owner” in place of “parent(s)”. Its “You are not to be trusted because you might screw it up.” By the same logic, they could very well insert “voter(s)” in there. It would do less damage in the short term than what they are doing now.

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