Preserve Homeschooling in California
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Who are the homeschoolers?
We Are You! Just like you we support and participate in our communities, we just choose to educate our children at home. Stand with us and oppose this discriminatory legislation!
California Homeschool Network, a statewide homeschooling organization, is submitting this petition because California homeschoolers are facing two serious legislative threats.
History of the Problem
All parents want what’s best for their children. For some California families, what’s best is homeschooling. On February 16, 2018, AB 2756 was introduced by Assembly Members Jose Medina, Susan Eggman, and Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher and co-authored by Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez. On the same day Assemblymember Susan Eggman introduced AB 2926.
These hastily written bills are an overreaction to the recent arrests of a California couple accused of seriously abusing their 13 children. Both bills would change California education code and restrict homeschooling in California. Thousands of good homeschooling families are being lumped with one bad family and presumed guilty, and that is wrong!
First Small Victory
When AB 2756 was introduced, it required annual Fire Marshal inspections of the private homes of homeschooling families! Thousands of homeschoolers strongly objected, and that part was removed from the bill!
AB 2756 – A Privacy Invasion
If passed, the education code would be changed to require the nature of a private school to be listed on the Private School Affidavit. The purpose is to single out homeschoolers for data collection. Additional data collection of only one type of private school is unnecessary and profiles a single group. Profiling leads to discrimination.
AB 2926 - Additional Requirements for Homeschoolers
AB 2926 would establish an advisory committee to make recommendations on “imposing on a home school additional requirements”! The committee would be tasked to consider the following three items and could include additional homeschool requirements:
1.“Health and safety inspections”
Inspections of private individuals, solely due to their educational choice, is discriminatory, an invasion of privacy, and potentially a violation of fourth amendment rights. There is no empirical evidence to show that homeschool students are at any greater risk for abuse than public school students.
2.“Additional, specific curriculum standards”
The majority of homeschool families do not use public school curriculum, therefore curriculum standards are not only unnecessary, but unwise, considering the significantly higher academic achievement of homeschooled students.
Homeschool students typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests. A 2015 study found African American homeschool students scored 23 to 42 percentile points above African American public school students. And what would happen to those who use a highly successful method known as unschooling? This would seriously impair a parent’s right to decide on the best curriculum for each child.
3.“Certification or credentialing of teachers.”
High achievement scores are consistent regardless of the parent’s level of education or whether they possess a teaching credential.
One 2010 study found homeschool students of parents without teaching credentials scored higher on achievement tests than homeschool students whose parents possessed teaching credentials.
California currently does not require private school teachers to be credentialed.
Students from states with the greatest level of regulation do not have higher achievement scores, nor do they have higher college acceptance rates than states with few regulations on homeschooling.
Homeschoolers are a diverse group. Homeschoolers represent all political, religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups. A 2013 study found that 32% of homeschool students are Black, Asian, Hispanic, and other ethnicities. In other words, California homeschoolers are as diverse as California itself.
Homeschooling in California is not broken. There is no evidence to suggest that any changes or additions to homeschooling laws are necessary. Both AB2756 and AB2926 violate individual liberties, and are a waste of legislators’ time and taxpayer dollars.
We respectfully ask that these bills be withdrawn.
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