Monday, March 10, 2008

more on the homeschool ruling

For those of you who are interested in all the the homeschool hubbub here in CA, I thought i'd give you a little more info.

On a personal level, after a few days of panic, we haven't changed anything we're doing.
We're members of a few different homeschool groups ranging from our local city group, to the national Home School Legal Defense Association. The HSLDA is basically our lawyer, should we need one for any reason. Before this time, California has been very homeschool friendly. it was one of only 12 states that have NO homeschool laws in place ... which meant that we were free to teach how we wanted. All we have to do is register as a private school, & follow the same guidelines that any other school has to follow (attendance and vaccine records, etc). So it's been pretty simple. So far, nothing has changed for us. We've recieved several emails from all our different groups. Here are some clips from one of the latest - including a statement made by the governator:

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Current Situation
Nothing has changed in California regarding your homeschool.
HSLDA maintains that the advice they have given home school families for some twenty-five years is still accurate and that filing a private school affidavit, or enrolling in a private school independent study program (I.S.P) are valid options under the law in California....

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Governor’s office press release Friday, March 7, 2008
Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement Regarding Court of Appeals Home Schooling Ruling
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement regarding the recent Second District Court of Appeals ruling on home schooling:

"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.”
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This ruling resulted from a Juvenile Court case on allegations of abuse or neglect, which originally had nothing to do with homeschooling. When the Juvenile Court judge would not prohibit the parents from home schooling their children, the court-appointed attorneys for the children went to the California Court of Appeals. The Appellate Court went further than they needed to, and essentially ruled that State law does not provide any options that allow parents to teach their own children at home.

Future court action on this Appellate Court ruling cannot occur until after March 29th. This ruling is a very serious matter but not a cause for panic. There are legal options still open to pursue in the Courts. HSLDA is working to overturn this decision in the courts. In other words, this Appellate Court ruling is not the final say.

It is important to realize that no laws have changed that affect private schools whether in one’s home or on a campus. California is still one of twelve states where homeschoolers can operate legally under the private school provision. See our
Legal Fact Sheet. The Court does not have the power to change the law but only to interpret it, and this court has made critical errors in their interpretation of private school laws as they apply to private home education.

No court has the authority to universally order every homeschooler into a public or private campus school. ......
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What can homeschoolers do right now to help?
(1) This court's ruling could provoke well-meaning individuals to seek a legislative remedy. Legislation at this time would be detrimental to our current freedom to home school privately in California . If you become aware through first hand knowledge of any such attempt to have a legislator introduce legislation addressing or dealing with home schooling,
please contact us at immediately!

(2) Please encourage your home schooling friends to
join HSLDA now for two reasons! (a) Membership in and contributions to HSLDA will help provide the financial resources needed to carry on this complex and lengthy court process for judicial relief from this current ruling. This will benefit all homeschoolers. (b) HSLDA membership will protect your family should you be contacted as a result of this Appellate Court ruling. This will also give you the piece of mind that, whenever you might need it, you have immediate support from the only experienced highly successful team of attorneys specialized in defending private home schoolers in California and our Nation.

(3) In all situations, it is the Lord Jesus Christ Who is our refuge, provider, and protector (Psalm 50:10-15). He is sovereign over all. Our Lord reigns! We are asking that you pray daily and also consider some kind of periodic fasting during this protracted battle that is shaping up. Pray for:
* those in authority, especially the judges involved in this case,
* the Long family involved in this case,
every fellow private homeschooling family
* HSLDA as they prepare to not only handle this situation but as they respond to all future legal contacts,
* for us here at Family Protection Ministries that God would sustain us and that we will be able to intercept every legislative proposal that could further erode our freedoms,
* CHEA and every other home school organization in California , and
* all other individuals and groups supporting this effort to defend home education.

(4) Continue on with a peaceful heart in your homeschooling and family life

also, for those of you who think that online petitions are useless (Glenna ;~) ) . I don't really know, since I'm not a lawyer, but i'm told that if you give all the important information, they they hold up. The one that i asked you to sign is put out by the HSLDA... they're experts in the law, so I figure they would know, & they wouldn't ask us to do something that would be useless.
Thanks to all of you who signed! :)

And, i thought you might like to know that I just checked the petition site, & it now has 184,500 signatures!


Dog snob said...

That petition looked good, i'm just going by what i've been told. I've heard of contracts, drafted by lawyers, not hold up in court so you never really know. None the less, I signed and if push comes to shove, hopefully it will mean something.

Gwendolyn said...

Kari, thanks for the update. I'll continue to keep you and the rest of the homeschoolers in CA in my prayers.