Saturday, March 08, 2008

Homeschooling, California, and the Terminator

I have been receiving a ton of email on the recent California court decision on homeschooling. On the off chance that you have no idea what I'm talking about, here is a letter sent by Laura Berquist. Her Mother of Divine Grace home study school is located in CA. I urge your to sign the petition she speaks of, no matter where you live. If this decision is not knocked down, it could have a snowball affect across the rest of the country.

Recently, as most of you probably know, a California Appellate Court handed down a very bad decision regarding homeschooling (and distance learning) in CA. We don’t yet know the impact of this decision, but it is a seriously wrong decision, and one we should all react to, in order to maintain our right to teach our children at home. The opinion of the court is that no one in California is legally able to teach their own children unless they qualify as a private tutor by having a state recognized teaching credential.

Home School Legal Defense Association is monitoring the situation and their website is a good source of information about it. They report that the family involved is appealing the decision to the State Supreme Court, and they will be filing an amicus brief in that appeal. I am including some links to their information here. The first gives you the original court opinion, and the second is HSLDA’s own opinion of what constitutes legal home schooling in CA. You can see that they do not agree.

Pacific Justice Institute is the organization that is actually filing the appeal to the CA Supreme Court.

There are three things that we can do now to help this situation. First, we can pray, and we need to. I have confidence in God, and I have a really strong sense that God is going to bring good out of this evil. I know He always does, but I think the position of parents teaching their children in CA and the rest of the nation will be strengthened as a result of this decision. I think that right now we are being called to trust and to pray together. Below I have included a novena that I would like to have you all join me in saying.

Second, HSLDA has asked us all to sign a petition to have the court’s decision depublished. They say that we can help stop this threat to home teaching by signing an online petition to depublish the Court of Appeal opinion. Please sign this petition, and get everyone else you know to sign it, too. Send this information to any homeschooling e trees you belong to, and be sure your local and state homeschool leaders are aware of it.

Third, I urge anyone who does not belong to HSLDA to join. If you live in California this is imperative, and if you live in another state, I think that it would be both prudent and kind to join. You will be protected should this decision have a negative impact where you live, and you will be helping others like yourselves across the nation. HSLDA has experience defending families who are teaching their children at home. Mother of Divine Grace families receive a discount for membership in Home School Legal Defense Association. To receive the discount on your membership include the Mother of Divine Grace membership number (299598) when you renew or join. HSLDA has payment plan options available. For more information on HSLDA and on joining HSLDA, please contact them on their web-site or by phone at: 540-338-5600.

The time for the Divine Mercy Novena is coming up (starting on March 22 and ending on Divine Mercy Sunday, March 30th). This is the novena that I would like us to all say together. Let us petition God for a quick decision in favor of the right of parents to choose how to educate their children, free from fear of reprisal from state authorities.

St. Faustina, pray for us.

We have a faithful God, One who is with us through all our afflictions.

"If you aspire to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for an ordeal. Be sincere of heart, be steadfast and do not be alarmed when disaster comes. Cling to Him in that trial and do not leave Him so that you may be honored at the end of your days. Whatever happens to you, accept it and in the uncertainty of your humble state, be patient, since gold is tested in the fire and chosen men in the furnace of humiliations. Trust the Lord and He will help you; make straight your ways and hope in Him."

Lord, we trust in you. Please answer our petition through the powerful intercession of St. Faustina.
God bless you all. Thank you for your prayers.
Laura M Berquist
Director, Mother of Divine Grace School

Laura followed up with this letter:

Dear MODG Families,

We just wanted to pass on a piece of encouraging news regarding the homeschooling situation in California:

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement regarding the recent Second District Court of Appeals ruling on home schooling:

"Every California child deserves a quality education and parents should have the right to decide what's best for their children. Parents should not be penalized for acting in the best interests of their children's education. This outrageous ruling must be overturned by the courts and if the courts don't protect parents' rights then, as elected officials, we will."

Please continue to pray.

God bless you all,
Laura M Berquist
Director, Mother of Divine Grace School

Addendum: Another POV


Anonymous said...

Good for the Govenator!! I know many homeschooling families within our military community, and with so many bases on the west coast this effects them every time they are moved in and out of the state. I hope your prayer warriors will keep these famiies in thier prayers too. Chrissy

Simple Faith and Life said...


Thank you for sharing this letter from Laura Berquist! It is good to hear what an active homeschool parent and homeschool provider who lives in the state has to say about this.

God bless.

Margaret Mary