Friday, March 28, 2008

Court will rehear CA Homeschool Ban


(03-26) 18:00 PDT LOS ANGELES -- A state appeals court has agreed to reconsider its decision last month that barred homeschooling by parents who lack teaching credentials, raising the possibility that the judges will change a decision that has infuriated homeschool advocates nationwide.

The Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles granted a rehearing Tuesday at the request of a couple who have taught their eight children at home without credentials.

It is not unusual for appeals courts to reconsider decisions, and the result is often a minor revision that leaves the original conclusion unchanged. But the three-judge panel in the homeschooling case hinted at a re-evaluation of its entire Feb. 28 ruling by inviting written arguments from state and local education officials and teachers' unions.

It said it will hold a new hearing in June.

"Another look at this case will help ensure that the fundamental rights of parents are fully protected," said attorney Gary Kreep of the U.S. Justice Foundation, the father of the homeschooled children.

Last month's ruling, if upheld, could put many parents at risk of prosecution for violating the state's compulsory-education law. Homeschooling advocates say 166,000 children in California are taught by at home, most of them by parents who lack teaching credential.