Monday, March 24, 2008

Inmates Running the California Asylum

While homeschoolers should be taken to task for being asleep at the wheel in California, it appears that the California legislature is competing with Arizona for the fiscal irresponsibility award. Granted, homeschoolers are an easy target for bullying. Private schools with uncertified teachers get a pass because most of them are parochial schools with their own standards and they're not afraid to tell the state to take a hike if the state ever tried to mandate teacher certification. Likewise, the state is smart enough to keep their hands off the wealthy who hire their own tutors, certified or not, because they know this group has the power and money to resolve the problem in court and make elected officials look bad. The average homeschooling family, however, is on its own to fight the establishment unless it joins with other homeschoolers as a political block, which, in California, doesn't appear to be the case.

So, why would California's education elite suddenly decide to pick on homeschoolers? Is it because of the vastly inferior education these poor kids get at home? Anyone who knows anything about education in our country is aware of the consistently superior test scores and educational accomplishments of homeschooled children, so this is clearly not the issue.

So why is it that of tutors, private school teachers, and home schoolers, only kids participating in the latter approach are now considered truant from school? It's simple. the education establishment is looking for an easy power grab that will produce more per pupil dollars from the state coffers in the short term. But the number one fiscally troubled state in the country shoots itself in the head by yanking tens of thousands of kids into the public schools. Now, instead of those tens of thousands receiving superior educations at no cost to the state, the state will have to pick up the tab. And it costs the state thousands of dollars more per pupil per year to educate them. The state has been receiving a windfall from homeschooling for years and now they're letting a few greedy superintendents pull the plug.

Of course, the reality is that most homeschoolers will simply register as private schools, which have no restrictions on them, in order to slip past the law until the problem gets resolved. Already, the state superintendent of public instruction is backing down and congressmen are squeezing the state to get its act together. Eventually, the problem will be resolved, but the rest of the country will be left with one more laugh at California's expense.

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