Is Homeschooling Safe? New Bill Would Investigate
by Mike Smith • March 28, 2018
California homeschoolers face yet another legislative challenge—a bill that would rewrite the legal foundation for home education in order to make it easier to regulate.
Freedom-loving homeschooling families in California have already rallied against Assembly Bill 2756, which calls for fire marshals to inspect every private homeschool every year.
Now, Assemblymember Susan Eggman has introduced another homeschool measure, Assembly Bill 2926, which is just as bad—maybe even worse.
It would mandate the formation of a committee appointed by the state Superintendent of Public Instruction to “investigate” homeschooling. The committee would then share its findings for the legislature to consider for future regulations.
This flurry of legislation started after criminal charges were filed against homeschool parents accused of severe child abuse. The media and some California legislators immediately placed the blame for the abuse on an alleged laxity of homeschool regulation.
Private Schools at Home
Most homeschooling in California is accomplished under the private school exemption. At least 12 states treat homeschoolers the same way, including some of the largest homeschooling states, such as Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, and North Carolina.
In California, homeschoolers annually file an affidavit under penalty of perjury. This document includes information such as the number of students, grades taught, type of school, and names of teachers or administrators.
But this is not enough for Assemblywoman Eggman. At a minimum, she wants the committee to look into the health and safety of homeschooled children, and the possibility of imposing specific curriculum mandates and teacher certification requirement for parents.
What’s the stated reason for the need for this expedition? To summarize in my words: “The state doesn’t know enough about homeschoolers, and other states have more restrictive laws; so, we need more restrictive laws to give us more control over homeschooling.”
HSLDA has issued email alerts with talking points on AB 2926 and AB 2756 so the homeschooling community can have information to intelligently voice objections to this legislation. This legislative battle is important not only to the California homeschooling community, but to the rest of the nation. What occurs in California has a significant impact on the rest of the nation because of its size and media influence. It is imperative that these two bills be defeated for the good of homeschoolers everywhere.