Much has been made about people leaving California in recent years over the high cost of living, and one organization believes that the exodus may get worse if a bill involving homeschooling is passed.
Following the arrest of homeschooling parents David and Louise Turpin in Riverside County, California, on January 17, state lawmakers have been discussing legislation they say would not only check on the health and safety of homeschool students in California, but ensure that they are getting what lawmakers feel is a good education.
The Turpins were charged with felony child abuse, false imprisonment and torture.
Recently, state lawmaker Susan Talamantes Eggman introduced Assembly Bill 2926 – legislation that Brad Dacus of Pacific Justice Institute contends is a very dangerous piece of legislation.
"And it's going to be a precursor to more direct legislation," Dacus pointed out Wednesday on American Family Radio's (AFR) Janet Mefferd Live radio program. "The initial language was going to allow the fire departments to randomly invade homes of homeschoolers without a warrant at least twice a year just to make sure that they're healthy and safe. That was taken out, but what's in the legislation right now is the formation of a committee, and this committee would investigate to determine what needs to be regulated, in terms of homeschooling.”
According to the attorney, the areas to be scrutinized would be: (1) health and safety, (2) whether or not the instructors are credentialed teachers and (3) curriculum.
The legal expert feels that all three are illegitimate justifications.
"California law requires that homeschoolers file a private school affidavit, and it's a real basic criteria to satisfy," Dacus informed. "You file the affidavit, you have to keep a record of the attendance of your child in that private school, what days are they doing schoolwork, are they actually there or somewhere else – but that's just to make sure that parents aren't just doing nothing."
Pacific Justice Institute encourages parents to keep a folder on their child.
"It's to show that, 'No, we are a bonafide homeschooling entity and here's all the work the child has done,'" Dacus explained. "We actually had a victory in appellate court where the judge ruled in favor of our client – homeschoolers – and declared that homeschoolers do not have to have a teaching credential in order to homeschool. So, we have tremendous freedom in California, but this bill is going to be a precursor to heavy regulations that will undoubtedly result in many homeschoolers leaving the state of California."
Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has voiced similar concerns about Assembly Bill 2926.
Public schools, teachers unions and politicians have all waged stiff opposition to homeschooling over the years, not wanting to give up their states’ unbridled control of education, and they stand strongly behind the new piece of legislation.
"The teachers union is number one – as far as pushing it," Dacus continued. "They hate homeschoolers for purposes of power and more. The more people that homeschool, the less that are in public schools, the less teachers, the less union dues, and the less control they have of the legislature."
OneNewsNow reached out to California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, as well as to California Assembly Member Susan Talamantes Eggman's office for comment, but neither office responded.