August 30, 2002

Home Schooling IS Legal in California

On August 27, 2002, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Delaine Eastin, sent a letter about private home education to state legislators. In her letter, Eastin begins by stating,

"Over the last few weeks, the Department of Education has been characterized in some circles as being engaged in a campaign to harass home schoolers and to root out home schooling in California. My staff and I have received dozens of angry telephone calls and written communications that unfairly assume that the Department is misapplying the state's compulsory education law in derogation of the rights of parents, and a handful of conservative publications have attacked our application of the law. None of these charges is true, of course, but the amount of misinformation, and passion, in these communications does make me believe that the situation cries out for a legislative solution." (emphasis added)
Eastin presents a distorted view of home schoolers' establishing of private schools by stating,
"In the more recent past, we believe that aggressive home school advocates have counseled home schoolers to attempt to bring their practice within the private school exemption by filing a Private School Affidavit. Home school advocates apparently assume that, once such a Private School Affidavit is filed, the home schooled children are no longer truant under the compulsory education law."
During the 1980's, the CDE openly supported private "home schooling." It was not until the 90's that the CDE changed their position, in spite of the fact that no law in California had changed.

Private home educators in California have successfully and legally complied with the private school laws for more than two decades. No law in California has changed. The laws relating to private schools do not limit schools by size, location, relation of pupils to teachers and administrators, teaching materials, nor state approval of teachers via credential or license. The CDE has erroneously claimed during the past ten years that private schools must be "businesses, soliciting enrollment from the public at large;" that they must offer "services for compensation;" and more. Local public school authorities have generally ignored such statements, and home education has continued to grow and prosper. For at least the past 20 years, the State Legislature has not only understood, but also supported the right of parents to establish and operate private schools in their homes.

For more information on the legal status of home education in California, read HSLDA President Michael Smith's letter to the California Legislature.

We need YOUR help fight Superintendent Eastin's incorrect view of home education. Read our Call to Action.