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From: Roy Hanson’s Private and Home Educators of California and Home School Legal Defense Association

This Action Alert is a web posting only and was not emailed via the HELPTree

Bill: Assembly Concurrent Resolution ACR 115 as Amended
(Supports Homeschooling and denounces Anti-Homeschool Appellate Court Decision)
Author: State Assembly Member Joel Anderson
Position: Strongly SUPPORT
Status: Assigned to Assembly Education Committee.

Summary of Resolution:
ACR 115 supports the right of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children. It expresses the Legislature’s position that the Appellate Court’s interpretation of the laws as reflected in its February 2008 decision, under which parents teach their children at home, was erroneous. And, it calls upon California courts to acknowledge the right of parents to teach their children at home, apart from any public school program, and without a teaching credential. ACR 115 will NOT change any existing laws and it will NOT create any new law. No change is needed in California law regarding the teaching of children privately at home. Please see the article “Use Courts First – Legislation A Last Resort.”

Information Included In This E-mail:
A. List of Author and Co-authors of ACR 115
B. Action Items
C. Background
D. The Resolution

A. List of Author and Co-authors of ACR 115:
We are very grateful for being able to work with Assembly Member Joel Anderson as the author of ACR 115. We are also very thankful for the following legislators who have signed on as co-authors of ACR 115 as of April 7, 2008: Assembly Members: Adams, Aghazarian, Beall, Benoit, Berryhill, Blakeslee, Cook, DeVore, Duvall, Emmerson, Fuller, Gaines, Garcia, Garrick, Horton, Houston, Huff, Jeffries, Keene, La Malfa, Lieu, Maze, Nakanishi, Niello, Parra, Plescia, S. Runner, Silva, Smyth, Spitzer, Strickland, Tran, Villines, and Walters; and Senators: Ashburn, Battin, Cogdill, Cox, Denham, Dutton, Harman, Hollingsworth, Maldonado, Margett, McClintock, and G. Runner.

B. Action Items:

  1. If your Assembly Member or State Senator has co-authored ACR 115 (see list above), write and thank them.
  2. If they are not on the list above as author or co-author, Write (do not call) your State Assembly Member and/or your State Senator. (You can find your Assembly Member’s and Senator’s Capitol contact information here or by calling the office in your county that handles voter registration.)

Ask them to –
“Please support Assembly Member Anderson’s ACR 115 by signing on as a co-author. This Resolution, supportive of home education, calls for the courts to recognize the right of parents to educate their children at home privately, apart from any public school program.”

* Letters and faxes are significantly more effective than emails.
* Reprint or forward this to your friends, church, school, and group.
* Pray for a proper outcome.

C. Background:
On February 28th, the Second Appellate District Court in Los Angeles issued a ruling in the In re Rachel L. case concerning a homeschooling family from Southern California that effectively and outrageously claimed that homeschooling in California is illegal unless (1) the parent is credentialed to teach by the state, and (2) teaches under the Education Code’s tutorial exemption. Almost all homeschoolers who have a teacher’s credential do not opt for the tutorial exemption but operate under the private school exemption.

On March 25th, the Second Appellate Court vacated its February 28th ruling and granted a rehearing where the court desires to address two broad legal issues: “(1) whether there is a constitutional right to home-school; and (2) whether California law provides for instruction at home by non-credentialed parents.” ACR 115 was amended on March 24, March 28, and April 7 to add co-authors and minor wording changes to make it consistent with the change of status of this case before the Appellate Court.

The court invited interested parties to file amicus briefs, and is scheduled to hear oral arguments on June 23rd. HSLDA and each of the statewide private homeschool leadership organizations, as well as the parties in the case, and other interested parties have filed amicus briefs. Private and Home Educators of California (a part of Family Protection Ministries) is being represented by HSLDA in the amicus brief that they have filed. CHEA, CHN, and HSC have filed an amicus brief. Our Governor and the California Attorney General have filed a brief that is very supportive of private home education.

Nothing has changed in California regarding your homeschool. HSLDA maintains that the advice they have given homeschool 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 (ISP) are valid options under the law in California.

As we have said previously, homeschoolers should not panic but continue to homeschool as in the past. The leaders of the statewide homeschool groups and HSLDA continue to coordinate with each other on a regular basis. Continue praying for a positive outcome in the courts.

D. The Resolution:

Assembly Concurrent Resolution
ACR 115 (Anderson) – as amended April 7, 2008

WHEREAS, Some 30 years of experience with the modern home schooling movement in California demonstrates that home-school graduates occupy responsible positions as parents, as students in and graduates of colleges and universities, in the workplace, and as citizens in society; and

WHEREAS, Home schooling by California families with diverse backgrounds has historically given children a quality education through proven, independent approaches that nurture valuable family bonds and support successful pupil development; and

WHEREAS, Private home schooling has a long and rich history in the State of California, and is currently estimated as involving 200,000 pupils in the state and 2,000,000 pupils nationwide; and

WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court has ruled that parents have a fundamental constitutional right to direct the education and upbringing of their children (Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972) 406 U.S. 205, Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1925) 268 U.S. 510, and Meyer v. Nebraska (1923) 262 U.S. 390); and

WHEREAS, On February 28, 2008, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District in Los Angeles issued an opinion in the case of In re Rachel L., 2008 Cal.App. Lexis 292 (Cal.App.2d Dist. Feb. 28, 2008) holding that home schooling without a teaching credential is not legal; and

WHEREAS, This erroneous interpretation denies California parents their primary responsibility and right to determine the best place and manner of their own children’s education; and

WHEREAS, The fair opportunity of California families to educate their children should not be undermined; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby denounces the foregoing opinion as being overly broad and poorly reasoned, and calls upon California courts to acknowledge the right of parents to teach their children at home, apart from any public school program, and without a teaching credential; and be it further

Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.