California Homeschool Ruling Likely to be Dismissed

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Writer

The California Appellate court ruling that shocked the nation by declaring home schooling illegal in California is likely to be dismissed within the next few weeks.

The February ruling that decided parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children arose from a child welfare dispute between the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and Philip and Mary Long of Lynwood, California, who have been homeschooling their eight children. Two years ago, court-appointed lawyers requested that the two youngest Long children be ordered to attend a school outside the home.

That request became the basis for the Appellate court’s February ruling that “persons between the ages of six and eighteen” are to be enrolled in a public or private “full-time day school” or “instructed by a tutor who holds a valid state teaching credential for the grade being taught.”

The ruling effectively made home schooling illegal in the state of California and caused an uproar across the nation.

However, the family court judge overseeing the two home schooled children at the center of the case recently terminated his jurisdiction over the children. As a result, the family’s attorneys are asking the Appellate court to drop the home schooling case altogether.

Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, which represents the family in the case, said the Appellate Court is expected to decide in the next few weeks whether to drop its earlier ruling.

“If that were to happen, we would be back at square one as if this whole mess had never taken place – at least legally speaking – because there’d be absolutely no precedent on the books,” he said.

Dacus encouraged home schooling families not to lo

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