California education officials are warning parents that they cannot homeschool their children unless they obtain professional teaching credentials. According to "The Washington Times," without the credentials, homeschooling parents--many of them Christians--no longer can file required paperwork that would authorize them to educate their children, states a memo issued by the state Department of Education. Children not attending public schools then would be considered "truant" by local school districts.
"In California, 'home schooling'--a situation where non-credentialed parents teach their own children, exclusively, at home whether using correspondence courses or other types of courses--is not an authorized exemption from mandatory public school attendance," Deputy Superintendent Joanne Mendoza wrote in the July 16 memo to all school employees.
However, home-based education advocates say the memo is just another ploy to frighten homeschool parents into sending their children to public schools, the "Times" reported. They say part of it has to do with money because the state's education department is dealing with a $23 billion deficit.
"This has to do with money and ideology," said J. Michael Smith, president of the Virginia-based Home School Legal Defense Association. Gary Kreep, founder and president of the U.S. Justice Foundation in California, added: "If these children are not in public school, teachers can't tell them that homosexuality is normal and permissible, which is what's being taught in California."