A shockwave rolled through the homeschooling community today in the wake of a ruling by the California Second District Court of Appeals, clamping down down on homeschooling by parents without teaching credentials, and leaving an estimated 166,000 children as possible truants and their parents at risk of prosecution. As reported by SF Gate, the San Francisco Chronicle's online service:
The ruling arose from a child welfare dispute between the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and Philip and Mary Long of Lynwood, who have been homeschooling their eight children. Mary Long is their teacher, but holds no teaching credential.
The parents said they also enrolled their children in Sunland Christian School, a private religious academy in Sylmar (Los Angeles County), which considers the Long children part of its independent study program and visits the home about four times a year.
The Second District Court of Appeal ruled that California law requires parents to send their children to full-time public or private schools or have them taught by credentialed tutors at home.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger condemned the ruling,saying "Every California child deserves a quality education and parents should have the right to decide what’s best for their children. Parents should not be penalized for acting in the best interests of their children's education. This outrageous ruling must be overturned by the courts and if the courts don't protect parents' rights then, as elected officials, we will.”