Education in America has come a long way. A few hundred years ago, schooling was limited to what a child learned at home about the family business or taking care of the family’s farm land. Specialization was rare, and limited to a few paths like metal-working or exporting. A college education, one we almost take for granted today, was limited to the extreme elite.

As the economy became more specialized, public schools for children opened up across the nation. Laws were written so that education is a right of all citizens. From a right, education would become mandatory – but at least children and parents had choices and options as to how they wanted to pursue it.

A recent court ruling in California might suggest the next legal evolution of mandatory education. Home schooling may be a thing of the past – and parents found guilty of this “crime” could face fines or criminal prosecution. The judge found that “parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children” and has forbidden home schooling to count toward a student’s mandatory education requirement unless the parent is also certified as a teacher in the state of California.

In America, this is radical news, but in some places in Europe this has been the standard for a while now. A German family lost custody of their daughter due to homeschooling her after repeated warnings by the court, and the rationale is that this is somehow “good” for society.

A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare.

Judge’s ruling

Unfortunately, this ruling seems to have more to do with preserving the power & interest of the state. From what I’m reading in this publicly released ruling, the motivation of the court has more to do with advancning patriotism and civic obedience. Students taught at home may not learn what the state deems important – particularly in controversial political topics.

Certain studies plainly essential to good citizenship must be taught, and that nothing be taught which is manifestly inimical to the public welfare.

There you go. You’re allowed to teach your own children – so long as you teach them exactly what they would have learned anywhere else. Not just in math and science, but in subjective topics like politics and government too.

10 Responses to “California Bans Home Schooling”

  1. I don’t think this ruling is as dire as most fear. Keep in mind the facts of this particular case: the children themselves sued their parents who ran a genuinely abusive household. It is entirely possible that the California court overreacted given the severity of the circumstances and will temper their ruling in future applications.

    In addition, we’re only talking about an intermediary court of appeals here. If the California Supreme Court grants certiorari (which, given the borderline unconstitutionality of the ruling in regards to substantive due process and the holding of Pierce v. Society of Sisters, I believe is likely), they will almost certainly revise the bright line rule attempted here. And even if there are no further attempted appeal, future courts that deal with homeschooling will undoubtedly trip over themselves to distinguish their cases from this one.

    In other words, it’s a jarring ruling for sure, but I do not think the implication that California has outright banning homeschooling will stick.

  2. Home schooling is illegal in California. Most home schoolers are Christians and all they know to do is fearmonger. Just look at this as an example!

  3. Yes you’ll have to excuse my rant – my political bias is showing 🙂 Its not even an outright ban, but its an effective one. Parents can still teach, so long as they conform to the state’s education training. Effectively, this defeats the very purpose of learning outside the state’s system. I expect this to be overturned quickly, either with the higher courts or with the legislature re-visiting the issue.

  4. Whew, I thought this was a joke at first then I saw the link to the article that this was reversed. We are just getting into homeschooling and I hadn’t heard of this before!

  5. its much better at home less noise and stress ..

  6. Check out Calvert School’s homeschool program. We offer homeschooling programs in California.

  7. I am glad to see that California reversed this ruling. I think the government is already taking too much out of our hands as parents, and since the public school system is failing our children, we SHOULD have the right to teach them how we see fit. WE are the parents, not the government!

  8. I do not believe that home schooling is wrong. I have had three kids to home school graduate and gone on to college, and are A students. I think that home school is being stopped because to many parents are home schooling their kids and less jobs for teachers. That’s the real reason. In home schooling your child learn at his/her pace and do not have to worry about fights in schools or teachers with not enough time to attend to the child needs. My children learn better in home school, and I am glad I chose that way. When my kids was in public school just about everyday they came home with a mark where the teacher had whip them, and it had got to the point they did not want to attend school any more. I had to do something so I chose home schooling and it was the best decision I made. Authorities are taking the parent rights away from how they chose to school their children, and it is not right. I feel sorry for California and at the same time I am glad that I am not there. The judge did not have these kid and is going to tell parents that they do not have a constitutional right to home school their kids!!?? and if they do not have the right then who do(the judge). God forbid. It has gotton to the place now that parents has no control over their kids. Seem like the nine months of carrying these kids should grant them some right.Home schooling your kids are not a crime but I guess California say other wise.

  9. Fantastic resource thanks a bunch! I am a lawyer myself and I look forward to reading more from your blog.


  1. Homeschooling NOT Illegal in California - Court Reverses Decision

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