I understand the ire of Californian home educators when an outsider says that either this or that is not homeschooling when the this or that happens entirely within California’s state lines. Officially, there is no ‘homeschooling’ in California, and education providers using public money dish out whatever looks good from the educational buffet to include charter schools that support as-you-like-it schooling at home. It is a People’s prerogative to pay for whatever kind of service they desire.
Because of the wording of the law, there isn’t any such beast as “that’s not homeschooling” when you’re in California.
It would be nice if there were.
Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, California, 19 April 2007, Charter mania isn’t good for L.A.
California law even pays charters to home-school kids. How long before some wag suggests that we simply shut down all public schools and home-school everyone?
The tongue-in-cheek response is that homeschooling everyone is not a bad idea, if “everyone” was motivated to homeschool. But these charters are just another kind of public education, and short of divine intervention (which doesn’t have the best rep itself) another publicly funded bureaucracy would, in all likelihood, develop the usual problems of all grand enterprises, from peevishness to empire building.
But in our zeal to try something new, we’ve created a competing educational system that is largely unregulated and potentially disastrous. Turning over our schools to self-proclaimed reformers and for-profit business is a sure-fire way to end California’s proud history of free, universal public education.
Is a public education an education provided at public expense, or is it whatever kind of schooling you want, footed by the taxpayer?
posted by Valerie