Homeschoolers win in California
Under a new superintendent, California’s Education Department is taking a hands-off approach to homeschooling, reports the Oakland Tribune:
Just nine months after declaring homeschooling largely illegal, the California Department of Education recently reversed its position, pronouncing the practice as essentially none of the state’s business.
In September, then Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin notified local officials that, “parents who homeschool their children are operating outside the law.”
Eastin essentially said that without a credentialed teacher providing the instruction, the child was truant.
Jack O’Connell, who became superintendent job in January, reviewed the issue and retracted Eastin’s policy.
(Deputy General Counsel Michael) Hersher said O’Connell is focusing on the positive experiences of many homeschooled children, rather than on the few who might not receive a satisfactory education at home.
“Jack’s instinct is to stay out of the way of the potential positive stuff, rather than forcing some people back in the system (by) saying their kids are truant,” Hersher added. “We’re basically saying it’s a local decision.”
I thought the department would back down. Homeschoolers have political clout due to their numbers and their activism; all those stories of homeschooled kids winning spelling bees and other academic honors don’t hurt either. And most non-homeschoolers have no beef with someone who relieves taxpayers of the burden of educating their kids.