Action Needed – Homeschool Bill AB 2756

Joint Legislative Action Alert

Action Needed – Homeschool Bill AB 2756


April 12, 2018

From: Roy Hanson—Family Protection Ministries, and Mike Smith—HSLDA

Bill: AB 2756 (Medina) – as amended April 2, 2018.

Author: State Assembly Members Medina, Eggman, and Gonzalez Fletcher
Co-author: Assembly Member Rodriguez

Status: In Assembly Education Committee to be heard April 25, 2018.

Our Position: STRONGLY OPPOSE

Outline of Information included in this Action Alert:

  • Summary of Concerns
  • Action Items
  • Opposition Points to Share with Legislators
  • Background
  • Conclusion

Summary of Concerns

AB 2756, as originally filed, would have required annual fire inspections of private homeschoolers’ residences without a warrant or reasonable cause. The author has amended the bill removing the fire inspections. However, AB 2756 still retains the new section requiring that when private homeschoolers* file the Private School Affidavit (PSA) in October each year, filers will now need to choose from a new list of options which best describes their school including the following:

  • conventional or traditional private schools,
  • private school satellite programs,
  • private online or virtual schools,
  • parents, guardians, or other individuals who operate a private home school.

Additionally, under AB 2756, information filled out by parents on the Private School Affidavit, including the physical address of the school (the home), would (for the first time for schools with five or fewer students) be published on a public directory on the California Department of Education’s (CDE) website.

The author of AB 2756 is motivated by the Turpin case involving a homeschooled family charged with horrific treatment of their children. He has declared his personal belief that “the state has a responsibility to ensure that each child is in a safe learning environment.” He further declared that AB 2756 “will provide the oversight needed to protect students and their rights.” Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that the purpose of the collection of personal data of private homeschoolers will be used in future legislation to add new regulations for private homeschoolers.

*The term “private homeschoolers” is meant to include only families that file a Private School Affidavit as distinguished from families who are enrolled in programs that are administered and funded by the public school system.


Action Items

1) CALL OR WRITE THE MEMBER OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY WHO REPRESENTS YOUR DISTRICT. Click here to find your Assembly member: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov

  • TELL THEM: “Please vote no on AB 2756 as amended on April 2 (by Medina).”
  • Please use one or more of the “Opposition Points to Share with Legislators” listed below when you write.
  • If you are interested in visiting your Assembly Member Representative at his or her local district office, please contact FPM for more details at (916) 786-3523 or contact@fpmca.org.

2) SEND COPIES OF YOUR LETTER TO THE ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION. If you are able, also send copies to each member of this committee. See link below for their information.

Committee on Education
California State Assembly
Legislative Office Building

Sacramento, CA 95814

For more information about the committee, and addresses for each member, please visit: http://aedn.assembly.ca.gov/membersstaff.

3) CALL OR WRITE THE THREE AUTHORS AND THE ONE COAUTHOR OF THE BILL LISTED BELOW, asking them to withdraw AB 2756 using one or more of the opposition points listed below. 

Authors:
The Honorable Jose Medina
California State Assembly
State Capitol Room 2141
Sacramento, CA 94249
(916) 319-2061

 

The Honorable Susan Eggman
California State Assembly
State Capitol Room 4117
Sacramento, CA 94249
(916) 319-2013

 

The Honorable Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher
California State Assembly
State Capitol Room 2114
Sacramento, CA 94249
(916) 319-2080

 

Co-Author:
The Honorable Freddie Rodriguez
California State Assembly
State Capitol Room 2188
Sacramento, CA 94249
(916) 319-2052

 

4) PLEASE SHARE THIS EMAIL WITH OTHERS. Spread the word to those who support private homeschooling.


Opposition Points to Share with Legislators

1. There is no credible evidence that privately homeschooled children are more susceptible to abuse than other children.

2. A recent study comparing the frequency of abuse/neglect of privately homeschooled children in low, medium, and high regulation states found that the frequency was the same in each category, therefore more regulation will not impact the frequency of abuse/neglect in CA. To the contrary, privately homeschooling parents can be trusted. A recent study of private homeschooling concluded that the frequency of abuse and neglect in states where there is very little oversight is not greater than it is in highly regulated states. Another researcher concluded that privately homeschooled students have 40% fewer fatalities than the national average.

3. The new terms to be added to the PSA that will identify the types of private schools are undefined and lack well-understood meanings. Private homeschool families must declare under penalty of perjury that their school fits within one of the terms when the terms themselves are not defined and there is no well-understood meaning. This data collection is not required for the state to administer its laws, but rather for unnecessary or impermissible objectives. It is unnecessary because anyone could make a fairly accurate guess about the nature of a school by looking at enrollment, and impermissible because the intent is likely to identify a particular group for further punitive regulation. Private homeschooling is not broken and doesn’t need fixing.

4. Children are put in more danger with their home addresses published. The additional data collection and public disclosure of privately homeschooling parents’ private information is a violation of their privacy and could result in individuals with ill motives acquiring the information. Current laws protect children from known predators by forbidding these individuals from being near a campus school where children are expected to be. AB 2756 would do the opposite—it would publish the names and addresses of private homeschools on a public list, and child predators would know where your children could be found during the day. Ironically, this bill’s stated purpose is to protect children, but it will instead endanger them.

5. There is no rational basis for removing home-based private schools from being classified simply as private schools which has been legally done for the last 40 years. The introduction of the term “private home school” into the Education Code makes it easy to separate private homeschoolers from the rest of the private schools for future regulation.

6. The fundamental principle that individuals are innocent until proven guilty is disregarded. This bill creates a great injustice by assuming that privately homeschooling parents are more likely to commit child abuse because of this case in Perris, CA. It violates a hallmark of American justice, that one is innocent until proven otherwise. AB 2756 will punish thousands of good and loving families for something they had no part in doing.


Background

AB 2756 is an attempt to satisfy the huge media response surrounding the accusations of severe abuse of 13 children by their parents (in Perris, CA) who had filed a Private School Affidavit. The horrible allegations shook us all. But almost immediately, the media’s focus turned to private homeschooling, and this became the perceived cause for this tragedy in the eyes of many. The conclusion was that because privately homeschooled children don’t attend public school and can be isolated from the general public, private homeschoolers need to be further regulated so that this never happens again. Private homeschooling became the focus rather than better prevention of child abuse and neglect.


Conclusion

Although the bill’s stated purpose is to protect children, it will instead endanger them. Additionally, the introduction of the term “private home school” into the Education Code makes it easy to separate private homeschoolers from the rest of the private schools for future regulation. AB 2756 will punish thousands of good and loving families for something they had no part in doing. Ultimately, the ripple effect of AB 2756 will lead to the limiting of the God-given rights of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children. We must fight this and every other bill to come that attempt to infringe on our freedom as parents to train, educate, and care for our children privately. 

“Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.”
Psalm 16:1

This current battle to protect private homeschool freedoms has stretched our already-tight funding very thin. Please consider donating financially and pray that we would remain strong throughout this legislative session. Without your support, we would not be able to advocate on your behalf on bills like AB 2756.


Roy Hanson and Nathan Pierce
Family Protection Ministries
PO Box 730
Lincoln, CA 95648

 

Permission given to share this Action Alert unaltered to your friends, church, school, and group.