Follow up interview with Debbie Schwarzer- CA

In February 2008, The California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three issued a ruling concerning the In re Rachel L. case and stated that California homeschool parents needed to be a credentialed teacher to legally homeschool their children. The court later vacated that ruling on March 25th and agreed to a rehearing that took place in June. This week CA homeschoolers were elated with the latest court ruling from the court that recognizes homeschooling as a species of private schools.

Since February, Debbie Schwarzer, CA homeschool Mom and legal co-chair of HSC has been involved in this situation every step of the way. She has spoken to me a few times about the situation and it was my pleasure to catch up with her again so we could hear her perspective on the latest court ruling.

You can listen to our interview here:

California Update – Interview with Debbie Schwarzer

On June 23, 2008, the California Court of Appeals held their rehearing in regards to In re Rachel L.

Debbie Schwarzer, homeschool Mom, HSC Legal Co-Chair and Attorney attended the hearing and she spoke to me earlier this week to bring us up to date.

You can hear the interview here:[display_podcast]

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California Appelate Court Rehearing

Many of you may recall the ruling in February that grew from an alleged abuse case involving one family to a broad reaching decree stating that CA parents must be “certified” if they to teach their children at home.

The case was rescinded in March and yesterday, June 23, 2008, the California Court of Appeals held their rehearing.

The news is that many homeschoolers and homeschool advocates spoke in favor of overturning the decision and the CA Teachers Union spoke in favor of keeping it. Debbie Schwarzer, homeschool Mom, HSC Legal Co-Chair and Attorney was at the hearing. Look for an interview with her later this week to hear more of what happened at the hearing.

California – June 2008 Interview with Debbie Schwarzer

On February 29th, a headline from World Net Daily read: Judge orders homeschoolers into government education. The article was in response to a case that involved alleged abuse and the court document In re Rachel L that the appellate court had published the day before. Although they were ruling on this one case, the ruling declared that California homeschoolers needed to be ‘certified teachers’ to legally homeschool. California homeschoolers acknowledged that the ruling could potentially affect homeschooling in their state, but they asked everyone to remain calm. At that time, Debbie Schwarzer, homeschool Mom, attorney and HSC Legal Team Co-chair spoke to me in an interview that I did for Home Education Magazine to explain why California homeschoolers were remaining calm.

On March 25th, the ruling was vacated and the California Court of Appeal granted a rehearing, scheduled for June 23, 2008.

Debbie Schwarzer will be at the rehearing and she spoke to me by phone again to bring us up to date. You can listen to our interview by clicking on this button below: [display_podcast].

Californians claiming their rights

On February 29, 2008, a media frenzy began after a World Net Daily article came across news feeds that read, “Judge orders homeschoolers into government education.” The court had taken one abuse case and instead of ruling on the individual situation, they produced a broad ruling that could effect all CA homeschoolers.

After I read the article, I got a copy of the California Appellate Court decision, “In re Rachel L” that spurred all the excitement. You can read it here. I began calling folks I knew in California and they assured me that they were concerned, but they were not in a state of panic and yes, they were continuing to educate their children at home.

I also write for Home Education Magazine and the magazine’s office was getting calls and emails from across the country asking if homeschooling was now illegal in CA. I called HEM’s publisher, Mark Hegener to tell him about the CA situation and ask him how we might proceed. The magazine has a front page peice called, “Closer Look” that primarily focuses on past articles from the magazine. He said that we could present the news via the front page Closer Look piece. That was a Friday and the Closer Look piece was due to be published on Monday, so I stopped everything and worked all week-end to gather facts and do a podcast interview with Debbie Schwarzer, homeschool Mom and HSC Legal Team Co-chair to share with our readers. You can listen to that interview and read the story here.

One especially helpful piece for me was the fact that ALL CA homeschoolers were remaining calm and were letting folks know that they weren’t going to take this sitting down. They were standing together, united to protect their fundamental right to educate their children as they see fit. They assured me that, the law, other than this court’s interpretation, hadn’t changed.

As all of this was occurring, it reminded me of the importance of knowing our rights as well as if not better than others so that when requests, orders or rulings are made that go beyond our rights, we can stand together united as informed parents.

There was a great deal of uproar heard within CA not only from homeschoolers, but from their Governor, other legislators and even the State School Superintendent defending the option.

There was also a call to the California Court of Appeal, 2nd District, Division 3 for a rehearing. The California Court of Appeal granted a motion for rehearing in the ‘In re Rachel L. on March 25, 2008. You can read a summary and comments on the case and the rehearing from HSC at HEM News and Commentary.

The latest news was posted just this week at the Homeschool Association of California’s Website. They wrote:

A joint brief filed by California’s three statewide homeschool organizations has been accepted for consideration by the California Court of Appeal in the case known as In re Rachel L. The court’s original decision specified, among other things, that parents need a teaching credential to homeschool. The decision was criticized by homeschoolers, teachers and government officials. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell both issued press releases in support of homeschooling, and Assemblyman Joel Anderson introduced a resolution supporting homeschooling to the California Assembly in response to the case. The court granted rehearing and vacated its original decision in March 2008.

California’s three statewide homeschool membership organizations –California Homeschool Network, Christian Home Educators Association of California and Homeschool Association of California — have been working together for several months in a united effort to preserve independent homeschooling in California. These three organizations represent homeschoolers across the state. Their amicus brief was a cooperative undertaking of the law firms Baker & McKenzie LLP, representing CHN, Munger Tolles & Olson LLP,representing CHEA, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, representing HSC.

Contact: Leslie Buchanan

I am standing with these Californians and will be sharing any updates here. — Mary

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