HSC opposes AB2926 because we believe it is unnecessary and dangerous to the future of homeschooling freedom. The formation of an advisory committee is wasteful of public resources and has a significant potential to eventually result in the imposition of unreasonable, unnecessary, and counterproductive regulations on homeschooling families.
Homeschooling has been shown in study after study to have positive outcomes. There is no homeschooling problem that needs to be solved and no reason to even consider creating new legislation for homeschooling. It works!
There is absolutely no evidence that any kind of regulations improve homeschooling outcomes. Studies show that homeschoolers do just as well, academically and in every other way, in states with no regulations as they do in states where they are highly regulated.
In fact, homeschooling freedom allows homeschooling parents to educate their children in their own unique and idiosyncratic ways which is crucial to the successful outcomes of homeschooling. Any kind of standardization would run counter to the benefits of homeschooling.
Parents should have the right to direct their child's education in the same way they have the right to competently raise their children in every other aspect of life.
Homeschooling families should not be singled out to have to defend themselves from potential regulations when it is clear that homeschooling works and works well.
Public schools are struggling, and their resources should not be pulled out of the public school system to be spent on trying to solve problems that don't actually exist.
Homeschoolers are fine. They typically score above average on measures of social, emotional, and psychological development. They regularly engage in social and educational activities in the community.
Homeschoolers are not so successful in spite of homeschooling, but because they are directed by their own parents, who have the freedom to do things in their own ways, using methods and materials that are specifically beneficial to each individual child.
What the Bill Does
On Friday, February 17, 2018, AB 2756 was introduced by Assembly Members Medina, Eggman, and Gonzalez Fletcher. This bill would amend California Education Code Section 33190, the section that requires private schools to file annual affidavits with the California Department of Education, in several ways.
The bill would add "conventional or traditional private schools, private school satellite programs, private online or virtual schools, parents, guardians, or other individuals who operate a private home school, and certified nonpublic nonsectarian schools" to those required to file a PSA (previously was "...every person, firm, association, partnership, or corporation...".
Previously, homeschoolers were simply considered a person running a private school like any other private school. This bill would mean that homeschoolers are separated out and identified in the data collected by the California Department of Education.
The bill would also require information on the nature, or a description of the nature, of the private school to be included in the affidavit or statement. This means we would be required to identify our schools as private home schools.
Currently PSA data is compiled into a Private School Directory ONLY if the school has 6 or more students. Those with fewer than 6 students are not put into a list. This bill would change that and all private schools, including the small ones with fewer than 6 students, would be included.
Requirements for fire inspections of all private schools have been dropped from the bill.
The horrific child abuse case in Perris, California raised questions about the lack of oversight of private schools. As homeschooling is included in the state’s definition of private school, we currently have very little information on the nature of private school entities across California. My bill, AB 2756, will tighten up existing law to be inclusive of all private school learning environments and collect more information to achieve a better understanding of the private school landscape in California. I believe it is important to have different education options, such as private schools, to meet each child’s individual needs. However, the state has a responsibility to ensure that each child is in a safe learning environment. AB 2756 will provide the oversight needed to protect students and their rights.
Assembly Bill 2756 has been referred to the Education Committee and to the Governmental Organization Committee. If you would like to contact them, please be sure to first become fully informed by reading HSC's complete statement.
The fire inspections requirements in the bill have been removed. That leaves the data collection component.
First is the separation of homeschoolers from other private schools. HSC opposes the extra data collection and identification of homeschoolers separately from other private schools because it is clearly a first step toward imposing regulations on homeschoolers separate from other private schools. This is unnecessary and costly and there is absolutely no evidence that regulation of homeschoolers results in better outcomes in any way. In fact, homeschoolers are fine. They are more successful that students in public schools on every measure. There is no problem and therefore no justification for singling homeschoolers out to impose extra requirements on them.
We also have privacy concerns. The data collected in PSAs is currently not listed in the private school directory if there are fewer than 6 students enrolled in the school. That would change if this bill passes. For people living in small towns, for example, it would become much easier for other people to identify and single out individual homeschooling families which could result in harassment or other negative consequences.
The HomeSchool Association of California is a nonprofit volunteer-run homeschool organization that:
Honors the diversity of homeschoolers
Supports the entire spectrum of homeschooling
Provides homeschooling information
Monitors and influences legislation
Offers opportunities for families to get together
Provides networking and support for homeschoolers
Empowers families to make choices that respect the rights, needs, and aspirations of their children
The HomeSchool Association of California (HSC) is a fully inclusive organization, welcoming homeschoolers of all races and ethnicities, religions, sexual orientation, gender identities, and abilities.
Harassment or bullying will not be tolerated by HSC. The HSC Board of Directors is committed to providing a safe and civil environment in which all members of the HSC community, including adults, teens, and children, are welcomed with dignity and respect.
The Homeschooler Post is published online by HSC and is free to all. It includes photos and feature articles on specific topics; homeschooling Q & A; learning trends and homeschooling methods; family dynamics; young homeschoolers; teens and beyond; projects, hobbies, travel, and other special interest articles. There are new articles every week.
Our monthly email newsletter carries homeschooling news from around the state, country, and world as well as information about HSC, about local and regional support groups, homeschooling resources, and more. It will keep you up to date on the legal and legislative climate for homeschooling in California.
The HSC Website contains extensive information about homeschooling for those just considering or getting started and those who are experienced homeschoolers as well as for professionals who may have an interest in homeschooling. The website also provides in-depth legal information prepared by HSC's homeschooling parent/attorneys.
HSC County Contacts can be reached in most California counties. These are HSC members (experienced homeschoolers) who volunteer to answer questions from homeschoolers or prospective homeschoolers in their area. They can give you advice and information about local support groups and activities as well as general moral support.
The HSC Adventures in Homeschooling Conference provides a place for the entire homeschooling family to gather together to hear interesting and provocative speakers, learn new crafts or skills, see resource displays, and most of all, meet, share ideas and experience just plain fun. Conference Website
The HSC Board of Directors holds business meetings several times per year at various locations around the state. HSC members who would like to schedule a visit to a Board meeting or request to be added to a meeting agenda, please contact usto schedule times, dates, and locations. If you would like to volunteer to host a board meeting at your house, please let us know.
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