California State Requirements in Homeschooling

In California, for example, homeschoolers must either a.) be part of a public homeschooling program through independent study or a charter school, b.) use a credentialed tutor, or c.) enroll their children in a qualified private school (Such private schools may be formed by the parents in their own home, or parents may utilize a number of private schools which offer some kind of independent study or distance learning options). All persons who operate private schools in California, including parents forming schools just for their own children, must file an annual affidavit with the Department of Education. They must offer certain courses of study (generally similar to the content required in public schools, but described in one page rather than the hundreds of pages of scope and sequence requirements that public schools must follow) and must keep attendance records, but are otherwise not subject to any state oversight. There is no requirement in California that any private school teachers, whether the school is large or small, must have state credentials, although all teachers must be "capable of teaching". This principle was recently challenged. A homeschooling family in Southern California had satisfactorily resolved a lower court case concerning parenting issues, but the children's court appointed attorneys wanted the court of appeals to make a ruling on the topic of homeschooling. On February 28, 2008, the California Court of Appeals issued a ruling that effectively made homeschooling (except for tutoring by certified teachers) illegal in the state of California. Since the lower case was not about homeschooling, the legal representation of the family and its school, Sunland Christian School, requested a rehearing.[9] The court granted the petition for rehearing, and unanimously reversed itself, deciding that non-credentialed parents could homeschool their children under California law.