The HomeSchool

Association of California

Legislative Watch

HSC's legislative team keeps an eye on proposed legislation and court cases that could potentially impact homeschoolers.


This is a very nice page describing how a bill becomes a law in California:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bil2lawx.html



 

Alerts and Advisories

 

Assembly Bill 2926

What it Does

AB-2926 Private schools: home schools: advisory committee


  1. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, will establish an advisory committee that will study home schools.

  2. This bill will not create any new laws and would not, in and of itself, increase homeschooling regulation.

  3. For this bill, “home school” means a private school operated by a parent, guardian, or other individual in a home environment.

  4. The committee will consist of a “broadly representative and diverse” committee.

  5. The committee will make recommendations on the appropriateness and feasibility of imposing additional requirements on a home school.

  6. The committee will make recommendations to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education.

  7. The Advisory Committee, Superintendent, and State Board must make recommendations to the legislature and governor by January 1, 2021.

  8. They will make recommendations specifically regarding:

  1. health and safety standards;

  2. additional, specific curriculum standards; and

  3. certification or credentialing of teachers.

They are not limited to considering only these topics, they may include others.


Link to the bill text:
http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB2926


HSC Position
 
  • 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.


 

AB 2756


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.

Requirements for fire inspections of all private schools have been dropped and there will new amendments soon.


HSC Position

This bill started as a result of a child abuse case. Be sure to read the following press release by Assembly Member Jose Medina.


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.

We have been informed that the fire inspections requirements in the bill will soon be removed. That will leave the data collection component. We have been told to expect other amendments to be announced soon.

Education Committee Members

Governmental Organization Committee Members


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.


Bills We've Been Watching

On August 8, 2008, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District ruled that homeschooling is indeed a legal option in California. This was a reversal of a ruling in February of that year that parents must hold a teaching credential to homeschool their children, and confirmed HSC’s long-held interpretation of private school laws.

Open thank you letter to attorney Mark Parnes and the law firm (Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati) for successfully defending our right to homeschool.

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