Criminalizing Home Schoolers

Parents of 200,000 home-schooled children in California are reeling from the possibility that they may have to send their children back to school. On Feb. 28, Judge H. Walter Croskey of the Second District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles ruled that children ages six to 18 may be taught only by credentialed teachers in public or private schools — or at home by Mom and Dad, but only if they have a teaching degree. This news raised a furor among home schooling advocates, including government officials. "Every California child deserves a quality education and parents should have the right to decide what's best for their children," Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement today. "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."

California has allowed parents to home school as long as they file papers to create a private school and hire a tutor with credentials or if their child participates in an independent study program through a credentialed school for years. However, this may all change soon.

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