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This bill would prohibit the homeschooling of children under care, custody, or supervision of the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCCP) without DCPP approval. It gives the State Board of Education the power to adopt regulations to implement the bill.
The bill takes away a parent’s right to homeschool a child if the child is under the "care, custody or supervision" of the DCPP. However, the bill does not define "care, custody or supervision" so it could apply far more broadly than one might expect. The bill gives DCPP the power to decide if such a child may be homeschooled. A child can come under DCPP "care, custody or supervision" without the parents even having an opportunity to be heard in court. The bill thus treats the parents as guilty until proven innocent, which runs counter to American principles of justice.
Even more troubling, the bill gives the State Board of Education the power to adopt regulations to implement the bill. As history shows, government agencies can and often do adopt regulations opposed by the overwhelming majority of families. We would expect such regulations to make the bill, in practice, more harsh and burdensome on families.
The power to adopt regulations would include the power to define the phrase “home-schooled” because the bill includes no definition of that phrase. This is tantamount to giving the Board of Education the power to define homeschooling. We would expect an unfriendly definition of homeschooling to be adopted. The power to define is the power to control.
2/8/2016 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Women and Children Committee
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