Decision Helps Homeschooling in California
Special Report - July 14, 2008
A California court has overturned a ruling in the homeschooling lawsuit that had held most forms of homeschooling in that state unlawful. In a decision on July 10, the California Family Court terminated its jurisdiction over the two youngest children in the case In re: Rachel L. With this decision, the petitioners’ attorneys will now move for dismissal of the petition concerning Court of Appeals ruling that homeschooling is unlawful if the teacher did not have adequate state credentials.
The legal situation surrounding In re: Rachel L. is complex, since the case was being considered in two separate courts. When the California Family Court claimed jurisdiction over the children and thus prevented homeschooling rights for the family, the ruling was appealed. The California Court of Appeals made its ruling in February that essentially made homeschooling unlawful for most Californians.
Homeschoolers and advocates along with the California Governor were opposed to the decision and asked the Court of Appeals to revisit the February ruling. This rehearing began June 23 and a decision is forthcoming. During the rehearing process, the Family Court overturned its previous decision by terminating jurisdiction.
This action, however, does not mean that the Court of Appeals’ ruling is also overturned, as this is a separate ruling by a separate court. For the present, the ban on uncredentialed homeschooling remains, although the Court of Appeals has stayed its decision until it rehears the case.
“This is good news for homeschoolers in California,” said Matt Lytle, director of research for the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “This decision is not a decisive victory for homeshcooling in California, but it is a step in the right direction. Hopefully, this decision will positively impact the current rehearing of the Court of Appeals decision and make homeschooling more widely available to the citizens of California.”
Copyright © 2008. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.