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Events of Interest


On October 13, 2009 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law Assembly Bill 66: (Anderson) Pupil Work Permits, a new law which will take effect on January 1, 2010.

You may read the complete Bill here

To summarize briefly, this new law will allow private schools to issue work permits to students. However, the California Department of Education has to establish some procedures to implement the new law's requirements. For example, the CDE will need to provide a means of making the work permit forms available to private schools. Therefore, all of the details on how to comply with the new law and how to properly have a work permit issued to your student have not yet been completed, though those questions are already being asked. We anticipate having more details before the new law goes into effect on January 1, 2010. Please continue to check on this page for more updates closer to that date.

SPECIAL NOTE: Work permits which have already been issued for the 2009/2010 school year (or which will be issued before January 1, 2010) will continue to be valid until the end of the school year.

California Homeschool Network
Legislative and Legal Rights Advocacy Committees

On September 23, 2008 Natural News incorrectly reported online that a ruling made homeschooling illegal in California. They were notified of their error, and have printed a retraction. Homeschooling remains legal in California, and California homeschoolers will be filing their private school affidavits between October 1 and 15 as they have for years. CHN has filing instructions to assist homeschoolers on our "How to Homeschool" pages.

Court Ruling: California statutes permit homeschooling!

CHN would like to thank Jerry Salcido and his team of attorneys at Baker & McKenzie LLP for the outstanding job they performed in representing the members of California Homeschool Network. They worked for months with the attorneys from HSC and CHEA, to defend our right to continue to homeschool legally in California.

August 8 update from CHN's attorney, Jerry Salcido: The Cailifornia Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three issued its ruling in the In re Rachel L. case.

In Feburary 2008 this same court issued an opinion that held that California parents can homeschool their children only if they hold a valid teaching credential. The court vacated its February 2008 decision by agreeing to rehear the case. In addition to hearing from the parties on rehearing, the court also invited numerous friends-of-the-court, known as "amicus curiae" to provide legal argument. The court heard argument from the parties and the amicus curiae on June 2, 2008 for more than 2 hours.

Today's court ruling held that (1) California statutes permit home schooling as a species of private school education; and (2) the statutory permission to home school may constitutionally be overridden in order to protect the safety of a child who has been declared a dependent.

Homeschooling, therefore, remains a legal educational option in California.

The entire 44 page document is here: Opinion on Rehearing, filed 8/8/08

  • Schools Chief Jack O'Connell Issues Statement On Court Ruling That Home Schooling Is Allowed Under California Law.  

  • Parents may home-school children without teaching credential, California court says: Gov. Schwarzenegger praises the reversal by the 2nd District Court of Appeal as a victory for students and parental rights.  

  • Court backs off ruling that restricted home schooling.

  • Parents have the right to home school, state court says.  

  • Court Reverses Itself, California Parents Can Homeschool Without Teaching Credentials.
  • Appeals court backs home schooling by noncredentialed parents.

  • Court Says Homeschooling OK in California.
  • Harman backs 'right' to home school children.
  • Time Magazine: A Homeschooling Win in California.
  • The Wall Street Journal: Homeschool Victory.

  • On February 28th, the court document In re Rachel L. was published. On March 25th, that ruling was vacated, and the California Court of Appeal granted a rehearing, scheduled for June 23, 2008. Counsel for the three state groups, CHN, CHEA, and HSC, were present at the hearing, and were granted time to speak.

    CHN was very concerned about the initial ruling, and is hopeful that the court will recognize that the interpretation of Califorinia law, as understood by homeschoolers for decades, is correct, and that no change in California law regarding the teaching of children privately at home is needed. Homeschooling by using one of the alternatives to public school currently available under California law remains legal.

    After the hearing, CHN Trustee Karen Taylor described her experience at the hearing to the members of CHN's two largest email lists:

    "The court of appeals rehearing was today, in Los Angeles. We were expecting this to be a closed hearing, but it was open, and members of the press were there. The line was long, waiting to get in the courtroom, and there was some concern that we would not all get in. Those from the state homeschooling groups were really glad when they kept on counting past us, meaning we were going to be allowed to observe the proceeding.

    CHN, CHEA, and HSC had many attorneys present, and they travelled quite a distance to be there. I think it was good that so many of them were able to hear the arguments.

    The hearing began at 10:00 am and it was supposed to go for 2 hours. Instead, it went on for an additional 45 minutes, and that was at the discretion of the three judges. There were 12 attorneys who spoke and each had an agreed upon time limit. But, the judges were very involved and often stopped them and asked questions. It was very interactive, and the judges were attentive. They also made references to some of the amicus briefs, and were very knowledgeable.

    Our state groups had an attorney present to speak on behalf of California homeschoolers. She spoke for 15 minutes, which was longer than the court expected for her, but when it was noted that she had gone over (because so many questions were asked), one of the judges asked if she had anything else to add because "Your argument has been excellent so far." That was very nice to hear! I think her points were some of the best received of the day.

    I know everyone who was present will take something different from the day. For me, it seemed that the judges are trying to do what they feel is best. At one point, one of them said "Keep in mind this court has an obligation to interpret the intent of the legislature, and it is a huge burden." Right before they left the courtroom, one of them thanked those in the courtroom for appearing and being diligent in providing information, and said that the issues are monumental. It appears that they have an understanding of the significance of their decision. Homeschoolers in California as well as the nation hope that they'll reach a favorable decision."

    Credentialed Teachers Show Support!

    Credentialed teachers, here is a way to have your voice heard. Please sign our new petition to show your support of homeschooling. As teachers are signing the petition, they are leaving some great comments! Check out the comments here!

    Statement of the California Association of Private School Organizations on the In re RACHEL L Decision

    May 20, 2008
    The Appellate Court has accepted the brief filed by California's three statewide membership groups, CHN, CHEA and HSC. CHN issued this press release.

    May 19, 2008
    California Attorney General Jerry Brown files an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Governor Schwarzenegger supporting the rights of California parents to teach their children at home.

    May 19, 2008
    Liberty Counsel files brief on behalf of nineteen members of the United States Congress.

    May 14, 2008
    The Daily Breeze published a letter to the editor from Assemblyman Ted Lieu in support of homeschooling.

    April 4, 2008
    CHN, CHEA, and HSC (the California groups) have agreed to file a joint amicus brief. It is our hope that the unified voice of California homeschoolers will be heard by the court. Each organization is represented by law firms who are working together on this joint brief. CHN is represented by Baker and McKenzie LLP.

    April 2, 2008
    CHN announced a petition for credentialed teachers in support of homeschooling.

    March 26, 2008
    Court of Appeals Grants Rehearing
    On March 25, the court of appeals vacated the In re Rachel ruling and will be rehearing the case. This means that the February 28, 2008 In re Rachel ruling will not apply to any homeschoolers. Court document 3/25/2008

    March 26, 2008
    California homeschool organizations unite to protect our right to homeschool. View our joint statement.

    March 24, 2008
    A statement from the California Office of the Secretary of Education
    "My feeling is very much in line with the governor in that it is a parental choice as to how they will educate their children," said Chris Bertelli, assistant secretary of education. "To require a credential for a parent that is home-schooling is ludicrous." "No other state in the country requires a credential," Bertelli said. "It would be nearly impossible to enforce and would do so much more damage than good."

    A statement from the LA County Department of Education
    "As long as they are a private school registered with the state then as far as we are concerned they are a legal home school," said Victor Thompson, director of student support service for the L.A. County Department of Education.

    Both quotes from: Homeschoolers Give Courts Bad Marks Whittier Daily News

    March 17, 2008
    "Did you know that the sky is not falling in California? Homeschooling is still “legal” there, believe it or not." Read an opinion written by a homeschooling attorney -

    March 12, 2008
    Assembly Member Joel Anderson offers Homeschool Resolution and Petition

    March 11, 2008
    CHN's Letter of Support to Assembly Member Joel Anderson

    March 11, 2008

    "I have reviewed this case, and I want to assure parents that chose to home school that California Department of Education policy will not change in any way as a result of this ruling. Parents still have the right to home school in our state." The entire statement can be viewed here.

    To read more about this case,
    consider the following resources:

    Press Releases

  •  Press Release from Supt. Jack O'Connell's office
  •  Press Release from Assemblyman Guy Houston's office
  •  Governor Schwarzenneger's Press Release supporting   homeschooling

       Selected News Stories

  • Parade Intelligence Report Poll: Should parents need teaching credentials to home-school their kids? 95% say no, with over 52,000 having voted. This poll is still open, and the number of "NO" votes continue to pour in!

  • CHN Press Page And News Feed
  • The San Francisco Chronicle article -1200 responses and   counting!
  • NPR All Things Considered Radio Show
  • Home is Where the School is


  • The information on this page was not prepared by an attorney, and is not implied to be legal advice.
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