Sunday Mar 16 2008
Gaines co-authors Assembly resolution to reinstate home schooling
By: Jenna Nielsen, Journal Staff Writer
State legislators are responding to a recent Superior Court ruling that non-credentialed parents cannot homeschool their children by introducing a resolution asking the California Supreme Court to overturn the decision. During a press conference held at the State Capitol Thursday, Assemblyman Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, announced he has co-authored Assembly Concurrent Resolution 115 with Assemblyman Joel Anderson, R-El Cajon, which urges the California Supreme Court to overturn the 2nd District Court of Appeal's Feb. 28 decision. The resolution will be considered by the Assembly in the coming weeks. The court's ruling in this case is just another example of judicial activism by judges trying to legislate from the bench, Gaines said after the conference. This decision to prohibit home schooling is an attempt to consolidate and assimilate young children into California's one-size-fits-all education system, against the wishes of many parents in our state. California's 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles ruled last month that enrollment and attendance in a public full-time day school is required by law unless the child is enrolled in and attends a private full-time day school, is tutored by someone holding a state teaching credential or meets one of a few statutory exemptions. Those found teaching without a credential could face criminal complaints, the ruling stated. It is my firm belief that should parents desire, they should have every legal right in our state to homeschool their children according to their values and their beliefs, Gaines said. Over the years, my wife and I have home-schooled four of our six children with fantastic results. State Sen. Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks, said Thursday he would also sign on to co-author the resolution. Parents have a fundamental right to choose the type of education and upbringing their children receive, Cox said. A panel of judges should not take that responsibility away. Not everyone was against the court's ruling. Gayle Garbolino-Mojica, Placer County superintendent of schools, told the Journal during a March 11 interview that she has a different view of the ruling. (The ruling) basically upheld the law, Garbolino-Mojica said. She said she supports a parent's right to choose how their child will be educated, as long as it's within the limits of the law. While the ruling doesn't change policy for Placer County schools, it does have an impact on those homeschool families who do not fall within the guidelines of California's compulsory education law, Garbolina-Mojica said. Gaines said Friday that said the Legislature would decide whether to get involved once the courts have reached a final ruling. Part of my perspective is that we need to make sure parents have as many choices as possible when it comes to education, whether they choose private school, a charter school, public education or home schooling, Gaines said. I think parents understand their children best and know what their needs are. (This ruling) simply punishes schooling families. The Journal's Jenifer Gee contributed to this report. The Journal's Jenna Nielsen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on this story at auburnjournal.com.