The Home School Court Report
- disclaimer -
January / February 2005

State Legislation Summary—2004
2004 art contest

Our Judges

Winners of the three categories
PHC beats Oxford in debate
GenJ: Into the land

What are Generation Joshua & HSLDA PAC?

Sodrel: One very tight race . . .

Davis: In a dead heat

From the heart

2004 in review

From the director

Impact of the fund

Mission statement of HSF
Across the states
Active cases
Members only
About campus
President's page


On the other hand: a Contrario Sensu

HSLDA social services contact policy/A plethora of forms

HSLDA legal inquiries

Prayer & Praise




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Threats to homeschooling

Approximately halfway through the school year, Home School Legal Defense Association is dealing with fewer legal conflicts regarding the right to homeschool in California than we have in previous years. This can be primarily attributed to the fact that the private school affidavit is now available on the California Department of Education's website. A secondary reason is that the superintendent of public instruction's office is no longer systematically notifying school districts that homeschools are illegal unless they are using the tutorial option.

Some school districts are still following the previous superintendent of public instruction's legacy of misinformation. However, HSLDA has been able to successfully resolve disputes on a case-by-case basis in favor of our member families. That's the good news.

The bad news is the continuing growth of public school independent study programs (ISPs) and charter school oversight programs for homeschoolers. These programs certainly offer attractive financial support. But if government benefits require us to forfeit our right to teach our children as we desire, the price is too high.

Charter schools and public school ISPs pose a threat to freedom, particularly the freedom of homeschool families who are motivated by religious beliefs. Most of these programs have been enacted with restrictions concerning religious education. (These restrictions are found in the state constitution.) This means that it is unethical and possibly illegal for any religious education to occur during the process of teaching any academic subject covered by the official program.

After more than 20 years of representing homeschool families, HSLDA is convinced that government regulation almost always follows government funding. The history of our nation and of Western civilization bears this out.

HSLDA's mission has always been to defend the rights of families who desire to privately homeschool their children. Because homeschooling through charter schools or public school ISPs is a form of public education, we do not accept for membership families who are enrolled in these programs.

Since home education is a battle for freedom and will continue to be so long as public schools exist, our greatest enemies are complacency, apathy, and dependence on the government. If we allow our vigilance to slip away, our freedoms will slip away too. We cannot allow this to happen in California.

Together, HSLDA, Family Protection Ministries, and the Christian Home Educators Association of California protect your freedom and depend upon your support. Freedom from mandated state oversight in California hinges upon all of these organizations remaining strong and viable. Without your involvement, that cannot happen.

— by J. Michael Smith