Legal Issues
Is homeschooling legal? Which laws pertain to homeschoolers and which don't? How do homeschoolers protect their rights to freely educate their children and to preserve their privacy?
Political and Legal Support for Homeschoolers in California
Alliance for the Separation of School & State
An advisory group concerned with educating people about the need to eliminate government involvement in education and the rights of parents to educate their own children. On this site, you will find a public proclamation for the separation of school and state, which you can sign.
California Homeschool Network Legal Rights Committee
California Homeschool Network's volunteer legal committee doesn't give legal advice, but they can share information about the experiences of other homeschoolers who have asked those same questions, and they can help you understand current homeschool laws and regulations. The CHN Legal Defense Fund was established in 2000 to benefit families who do not qualify, for any reason, for assistance from one of the other legal services organizations.
National Charter School Watch List
This list is created to be a means of informing, documenting and evaluating available information concerning the impact of virtual/charter schools on the homeschooling community. This information consists of and is not limited to news items, articles from various sources, legislative information (bills, law changes), documented efforts and experiences and other information that may give weight to whether home-based charter schools or virtual schools are having an impact in any negative way on homeschooling.
Legal Issues Affecting the Homeschool Community
State Laws Concerning Participation of Homeschool Students in Public School Activities
This is a list of states that have addressed issues of homeschooler participation in public school classes, sports, activities, etc.
Homeschooling Litigation: Preparing the Way
The greatest obstacle pioneering homeschoolers faced two decades ago was daunting: in most states home education wasn't legal. This article details five of the most significant cases that have become landmark decisions in the move towards homeschooling freedoms: the DeJonge case in Michigan, the Jeffery case in Pennsylvania, the Diegel case in Ohio, the Triple E case in South Carolina, and the Calabretta case in California.
Stand for Freedom
Some veteran home educators seem to take a firm stand on principles that others don't even recognize as issues. Is it that they are just stubborn, rebellious, or cantankerous? Probably not.
The New Face of Homeschooling
As their ranks increase, homeschoolers are tapping public schools for curriculum, part-time classes, extracurricular services, and online learning.
How to Suppress Homeschooling
The education establishment has realized that the socialization issue will be seen for the red herring that it is, and has searched for other means to suppress homeschooling. Two new strategies have emerged, and these pose real threats to homeschooling. The first strategy is to argue that homeschooling needs some form of accreditation. A number of reasons have been offered: it eases the transition back to the public school for those homeschoolers who go back, it is the basis for awarding a recognized diploma, and it makes it easier to provide homeschoolers access to public school programs and facilities such as science classes, libraries, sports, etc. But accreditation is simply another word for conforming, and the desire to not conform is the fundamental reason for choosing to homeschool. Homeschoolers as a group will not be seduced nor will they be tricked by the false promises of accreditation. The second strategy for suppressing homeschooling is one that is much more likely to be successful, and it is to drastically limit homeschoolers’ access to public higher education. In this, the education establishment has discovered its only effective weapon against homeschooling.
The Seduction of Homeschooling Families
Do the public school authorities feel threatened by homeschooling? Judging by their efforts to lure homeschooling families into dependence on local school districts, the answer is apparently yes.
Battling for the Heart and Soul of Home-Schoolers
A look at the battle for the homeschooling movement and the demographics of homeschooling families that challenges the notion that all homeschoolers are conservative fundamentalists. This article is a critical look at the HSLDA.
The Seduction of Homeschooling Families
Do the public school authorities feel threatened by homeschooling? Judging by their efforts to lure homeschooling families into dependence on local school districts, the answer is apparently yes. For the last several years, homeschooling has been the fastest growing educational alternative in the country. The sheer number of homeschoolers represent a distinct threat to the hegemony of the government school monopoly. Qualitatively, the academic success of homeschoolers, measured by standardized test scores and recruitment by colleges, debunk the myth that parents need to hire credentialed experts to force children to learn.
Political Influence
Every important movement or trend in this country was followed by an onslaught of legislative actions which resulted in some legal stipulations that controlled the trend. What is really of concern is that this legislative control is not static, but very fluid, subject to change (meaning more restrictions in many cases). These changes occur through either more legislative actions on the part of the government or through interpretation in the judicial system. Currently, the homeschool movement is being closely monitored by various teacher unions, the public and legislative bodies throughout the United States, resulting in more and more laws being passed to control or monitor the movement. If the homeschool movement is to survive in a manner which we feel would be beneficial to us and society as a whole, we have to be more and more diligent in protecting our rights. The only way we can do this is to be more active in the political process. The question now becomes, how do we do this?
Legal Issues - Special Needs Children
Many homeschoolers are reluctantly drawn to homeschooling because the schools failed their children. This trend is expanding to include children in special needs programs, resulting in an increasing number of questions from parents choosing to homeschool their children who are interested in continuing or obtaining special needs help from the schools. In many instances a special needs child shows tremendous gains just by being removed from the public school situation and educated at home by loving and caring parents who are able to provide the stimulation and enrichment each child needs and deserves. If services are offered the family is not required to accept them. Many families do just fine without government help, but if you need it, special needs services are available to homeschoolers.
The Legal Side of Homeschooling: An Overview of the Legal Risks and their Solutions
Families homeschooling for the first time inevitably have questions about legal challenges or threats that they might face from local or state education authorities. Those who do seek an answer to these questions are often faced with a confusing array of laws, policies, and regulations that not only vary from state to state, but also between school districts, and school officials within the same state or district.
Protecting Ourselves from Truancy and CPS Investigations: Avoiding Referrals
Although some government employees oppose homeschooling, most notably in the Department of Education's Legal Counsel's office, there is no indication that there is a systematic effort by the government to prevent homeschooling. First, compliance with one of the legal ways to homeschool is crucial. Second, the following factors may result in a referral: Pulling children out of public or private school after a dispute with the school (i.e.: ongoing truancy problems); custody battles; welfare referrals; or neighborhood disputes. As long as children are healthy, happy, involved with the community, and appear to be learning and thriving, the likelihood of a referral is reduced. What can you do if you are in one of the "high-risk" groups for referral? The most important thing to do is know your legal rights.
A New Charter for Homeschooling?
Discusses some of the issues relating to homeschoolers in North Carolina placing their children in public charter and virtual charter schools for some or all of their education. Using examples from Alaska, California, and other parts of the country, author Dr. Karen Palasek examines why homeschooling parents need to be informed about the implications of this type of enrollment.
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