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In re Rachel L.: The California Homeschool Case
Volume 117, Program 37
10/22/2013
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What if homeschooling was declared illegal in your state? In 2008 one of the highest courts in California declared that parents did not have a right to homeschool. Let’s tune into today’s Home School Heartbeat to hear Mike Smith and Mike Farris discuss HSLDA’s role in reversing this judgment.

Mike Smith:
Mike Farris, founder of HSLDA, joins me again today to talk about some of the biggest cases in HSLDA’s history. Mike, just five years ago, homeschooling was declared illegal in the state of California by the Court of Appeals for the Second District. How did HSLDA respond to this judgment?

Mike Farris:
Mike, we hadn’t been involved in the original trial of this case, and when it came to light when the Court of Appeals announced its decision, we went to the lawyers who were representing the family and urged them to file a motion for rehearing that we ghostwrote for them. The motion for rehearing, to everyone’s surprise, was granted, and the Court held a second hearing with a lot of briefing, and so on.

Mike Smith:
So what happened after that, Mike?  

Mike Farris:
Well, one of the things that was the most impressive about the response was help came from all over the country. There were a good number of organizations—some homeschool organizations, California-based groups, and other groups that were interested—worked very hard. The Alliance Defense Fund worked very hard, among others. And we had a team effort. To everyone’s great surprise and joy, the court reversed themselves and ruled that homeschooling was authorized in California and was protected by the Constitution.

Mike Smith:
Well, what an encouraging victory for homeschoolers, not only in California, but for the rest of the country as well! Until next time, I’m Mike Smith.


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