CRISIS IN CALIFORNIA

By:  Martin Forte

Greetings EIE Families and homeschool families of California.  As most of you probably are aware of homeschooling in the state has experienced some negative press resulting in over reactive legislative attempts to control how homeschooling should be exercised.  Do not be fooled, this is a serious problem and the future of homeschool freedom is at great risk.  Before we get into the weeds to deep let’s look at the freedoms we had in the past.

For the last 40 years homeschooling in the state of California evolved into one of the best places to homeschool in the nation.  The movement matured from a conglomeration of groups best described as Christians and on the opposite side of the spectrum the skinny dipping happy grass smoking hippies desiring to drop out of the system to a position of being common place with acceptance by the general population.  For the last 40 years we have been the beneficiary of freely homeschooling under the private school statutes providing great freedoms for parents to educate their children in a manner that was best for the family and of course the students.  For the last 10 years we have witnessed the surge in popularity of parents opting to join charter independent programs managed by the “state.”  The movement has also transformed from one on one parent child teaching to relying on classes and of course the internet.  We have travelled a long road from hiding our kids behind curtains from the hours of 8:00 and 3:00 to a wonderland of homeschool freedoms and options.

This all changed a few months ago when a Sherriff Deputy happen to come across the Turpin family residing in a somewhat remote part of Riverside County.  What the Deputy discovered was a family living in abject poverty without the conveniences of running water, electricity and proper living conditions.  In fact the conditions were very bad and of course the County of Riverside had no choice but to intervene.  This case brought on a media coverage that was intense describing the living conditions of this homeschool family.  Yes, a homeschooled family!

The problem is that State Assemblyman Medina (Riverside) did what most politicians do, legislate the problem away.  He introduced Assembly Bill 2756 which started out as mandating that the fire department inspect the homes of homeschool families.  This bill is currently going through the process and the latest information I know of is that there is a strong possibility that the “inspections” are eliminated from the bill but extra language will be submitted to include a long list of requirements most likely to include curriculum, testing, credentialing and supervision.   These actions of course will be detrimental to the private homeschool family on many levels.  For complete information and progress of the bill please refer to:

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB2756

To complicate the situation another bill AB-2926 (Private schools: home schools: advisory committee) has been introduced to set up a homeschool advisory committee.  This also has an extremely high probability of destroying homeschool freedoms.  Most committees generated by councils or other legislative bodies are designed for image only with the results and recommendations pre-determined.  We cannot win in this scenario.  This is complicated through the activism of an organization composed of ex-homeschooled young adults who are for all practical purposes anti-homeschooling as we know it today.  For more information and progress of the actual bill please refer to this website :

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB2926

Here is the good news!  The dangers of these bills has united the homeschool community not seen since the HR6 fiasco.  I am very excited to inform you that CHN, CHEA, HSC, HSLDA, and Family Protection Ministries have been very active and cooperating with each other.  The number of hours invested by key individuals from each organization has been phenomenal and through this cooperative effort we will prevail.

Now comes the question:  What Can You Do?

ACTION ITEMS:

Please preserve homeschooling in California by signing and sharing the new petition that asks Assembly Members Medina and Eggman to drop their anti-homeschooling legislation!

The link is:  https://www.change.org/p/susan-eggman-preserve-homeschooling-in-california

With the information you will glean from the link above contact your State Assemblyman via letter, email or phone.  It is very important that contact them in the next day or so.

With the information from above please send your concerns to the Education Committee before they consider this bill.  This should be done in the next day or so.

Be sure you are a member of at least one of the following statewide organizations.  If possible support more than one.  The organizations are as follows:

California Homeschool Network (CHN):   http://www.californiahomeschool.net/

Christian Home Educators Association (CHEA):  https://www.cheaofca.org/

Homeschool Association of California (HSC):  http://www.hsc.org/home-page.html

EIE fully supports and recommends membership in the two following organizations.

Homeschool Legal Defense Organization  (HSLDA):  https://hslda.org/

Family Protection Ministries:  http://pheofca.org/

Thank you for your support in insuring the Freedom to Homeschool in California.  Your input is very important!