Home schooling endangered

March 24th, 2008 by Ken

( A similar comentary ran on KGY Radio on March 28, 2008) 

 Parents who home school their children are an endangered species.   A California Supreme Court ruling last month said that parents cannot home school their children unless they have a government teaching certificate.

What happens in California doesn’t stay in California.  It won’t be long before the Washington Education Association brings a similar lawsuit to Washington.

There are about 500 full and part time home schooled children in Olympia, North Thurston and Tumwater school districts.  Each parent has chosen to teach their students at home, but each is not without resources.

All home schooled children are required to be registered with the local school district.  All school districts are required to offer the home schooled students the same opportunity for education.  Thus science labs, libraries, gymnasiums and even organized sports are offered to home schooled children.  About a quarter of all home school children take advantage of part time public education.

In addition, a whole industry has grown up offering home school programs in every discipline.  Conscientious parents have all types of help available should they want to educate their children at home.

The problem lies with those parents who want to do the educating, but don’t have the discipline to follow up and do a good job.  Are they short-changing their children?

The California State Supreme Court thinks so.  The suit to require all home school teachers to have a teaching certificate was brought by the California Department of Children and and Family Services not the California Education Association.   It was based on one complaint from a home schooled child that his father had abused him.

Now, all home school teachers must have a government approved teaching certificate.

From my personal experience, I know that those who home school their children do a good job.  All of the children I know who have been home schooled have turned out as good if not better than those children in public schools. 

I think a balance must be struck.  We have to make certain that home schooled children aren’t short-changed while at the same time allowing parents to have some control over what their child learns.

The California Supreme Court decision doesn’t allow that.  It just brings down the heavy hand of government.

Posted in The Real News

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