By Sharon Noguchi
A California appeals court this morning affirmed the right of parents who don’t have a teaching credential to educate their children at home.A three-judge panel overturned a lower-court order in February that had created an uproar among home-schooling parents when it required the credentialing. An estimated 166,000 California children are home schooled.
The Second District appellate court in Los Angeles ruled that individual parents, like private schools, are exempt from the requirement that those who teach children be credentialed by the state.
“It is a very good decision and definitely a victory for home-schooling families in the state,” said Damien Schiff of the Pacific Legal Foundation in Sacramento, which had filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of a Sacramento couple who teach their 7-year-old at home.
But the overall victory for home schoolers does not necessarily apply to the family who sparked the case. The court ordered a new trial to determine whether the two youngest children of Phillip and Mary Long of Lynwood in Southern California should be removed for [sic] home schooling for their safety.
The parents had home-schooled their eight children through the Sunland Christian School in Sylmar. After authorities determined that the father physically abused the older daughters and the mother attempted to hide the children from authorities, an attorney representing the two youngest children asked the juvenile dependency court to order that they be enrolled in public or private school as a way to protect their well-being.