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THE A-to-Z of Homeschooling
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Anderson’s Resolution Supported by Homeschool Associations in California

By Ann Zeise

Assembly Concurrent Resolution

WHEREAS, Some thirty years of experience with the modern homeschooling movement in California demonstrates that home school graduates take up responsible positions as parents, as students in and graduates of Colleges and Universities, in the workplace, and as citizens in society at large; and”

WHEREAS, Homeschooling 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 student development; and”

WHEREAS, private homeschooling has a long and rich history in the State of California, currently estimated as involving 200,000 students in the State of California, and 2,000,000 students 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, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, Meyer v. Nebraska); and”

WHEREAS, On February 28, 2008, the Court of Appeals for the Second Appellate District in Los Angeles issued an opinion in the case of In Re: Rachel L. holding that homeschooling without a teaching credential is not legal; and”

WHEREAS, This misguided interpretation denies California parents’ 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 calls upon the California Supreme Court to reverse the opinion.”

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

HSC’s Position

Debbie Schwarzer just posted this on the HSC list:

To avoid another firestorm like we had with the HSLDA petition, I wanted to get this information in front of you, and HSC’s position on it, right away. I have discussed this with Leslie Buchanan, HSC’s {past} President, and she agrees with this message. She and I would like you to forward this to any groups that might be helpful.

Assemblymember Joel Anderson, now state senator, a conservative Republican whose children are taught at home, has introduced a concurrent resolution in the California Assembly. If it passes, it will go to the state Senate for their vote.

The resolution basically states as follows: that homeschooled children perform well at college and in life, that there is a rich history of homeschooling, that an estimated 200,000 children in California and 2,000,000 children in the U.S. are taught at home, that the U.S. Constitution recognizes the fundamental right of parents to have their children educated outside of state schools, that the appellate decision is misguided, and that the Supreme Court should reverse the decision.

The call for the Supreme Court to reverse is in the second to last paragraph of the version I have seen. Obviously, this goes against what I have been asking people to do the last week (leave the Supreme Court alone lest we make them mad). However, I believe this resolution is intended to serve much the same function as the HSLDA petition, which is to give a group (here the legislature) the opportunity to do something concrete before the Court completes its review. I believe many in the legislature understand that it is premature to try to introduce legislation until that review is complete and we know what the Court believes the law in California should be based on the statutes we currently have in place.

Given the purpose of the resolution, and that the Court will ignore anything the legislature says, I think the resolution serves one other very important purpose. It will help identify who in the Assembly and who in the Senate is our friend, and who isn’t. We all know that there are members of both houses who are beholden to the CTA and to unions, and we can expect them to vote against the resolution. But if there are members who support the resolution, especially Democrats, it is in our interest to know who they are, as we will need to work with them should legislation be unavoidable.

This is one case where I do encourage members of HSC and all other homeschoolers in the state to contact their representatives (currently, just the Assemblymembers, as it is not pending before the Senate and will just confuse your Senator’s office if you call now) and encourage them to vote in favor of ACR 115. You can find your Assemblymember and his or her contact information by going towww.leginfo.ca.gov, clicking on the blue box entitled “Your Legislature”, and entering your zip code.

Calls are fine, but letters faxed to the office are even better, as they then retain tangible evidence of their constituents’ positions. Emails are often ignored, so please call or fax if possible. It is best to give your name, the city and/or Assembly District you live in and the name of the resolution (ACR 115), to state that you educate your children at home (or support those who do) and wish the right of California families to continue to have that option with minimal government intervention, and to state your desire that Assemblymember ______ vote in favor of ACR 115 by Joel Anderson.

If you have any interesting discussions with staff about this resolution, either a strong indication of probable support or opposition, or any other feedback the legal and legislative folks should know about,please tell me about it.

Free Fax Service
You can fax a .DOC document (Word) or pdf from your computer.

What’s the difference between a resolution and a bill?
Resolutions allow the legislature to recognize people, events, groups, issues without actually making law.

Thanks.

Debbie Schwarzer
Co-chair Legal Team and Legislative Chair for HSC

CHN’s Position

According to Karen Taylor of the California Homeschool Network, California Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-El Cajon) has introduced a resolution ACR 115 supporting homeschooling and calling on the Supreme Court to reverse the Second Appellate Court ruling in the Long case. Although neither CHN nor any of the other homeschooling groups were involved in drafting this resolution, CHN is requesting that California residents supportive of homeschooling contact their legislators & ask them to vote for resolution ACR 115.

CHN is recommending phone calls to state Assembly Members given the time-sensitive nature of the matter.

The “In re Rachel L.” Decision

Note that at this time, early March 2008, we do not yet know the effect of the “In re Rachel L.” decision. Expert homeschool legal advisors are looking into this decision to see what repercussions it might have.

Legal Brief: In re Rachel L.
In this dependency case, we consider the question whether parents can legally –home school� their children. The attorney for two of the three minor children in the case has petitioned this court for extraordinary writ relief, asking us to direct the juvenile court to order that the children be enrolled in a public or private school, and actually attend such a school.

Recent California Appellate Court Decision NEW
March 6, 2008. HSC is being represented by counsel in this issue, and we will consult with them about our options and about the best strategy for limiting the impact of this decision. It is not appropriate for us to state what that strategy is, but there are actions we can take that could significantly minimize any bad results.

 

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