NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

California Prepares To Attack Home Schooling

August 21, 2002

California's Department of Education has issued a memo warning parents that they cannot educate their children at home unless they obtain professional teaching credentials.

Critics say the memo is nothing but a ploy to scare parents away from home schooling and send their children to public schools -- while the state's education bureaucracy is dealing with a $23 billion deficit.

  • Without the proper credentials, the memo states, parents can no longer file the required paperwork that would authorize them to home school their children.
  • It claims that in California "'home schooling'... is not an authorized exemption from mandatory public school attendance."
  • Also, private schools are required to file affidavits each year in order for their students to be excused from public school attendance.
  • Defenders of home schooling say it is legal under a state statute that allows any parents to operate a "private school" -- even if the student body includes only one child

California is one of 12 states where home schooling is conducted under a private-school exemption. But under the terms of the memo, it would become the only state in the union that would require home schoolers to be certified teachers.

Source: Ellen Sorokin, "California Warns Home Schoolers," Washington Times, August 21, 2002.


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