After decades of increasingly accepted homeschooling,
homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike were surprised nationwide
when a court ruling declared that all homeschoolers must hold
teaching credentials in order to continue to homeschool in
California. CHN was part of a very strong team that included
the other state organizations. CHN's membership was represented
by the law firm of Baker & McKenzie. On August 8, 2008,
an opinion favorable to homeschooling was written by the Court
of Appeal of the State of California Second Appellate District
Division Three, case B192878. The three judges wrote a 44
page opinion that included what we wanted to hear: "California
statutes permit home schooling as a species of private school
education." The earlier language that said homeschoolers needed
a teaching credential was not included, and homeschoolers
in California are continuing to homeschool as they always
Will the CHN Legal Rights Committee offer help to non-CHN
The answer is yes. In fact, most of the people who ask for
help are not membersperhaps this is because our own
members are so well informed that they don't get themselves
in predicaments that require help. If a homeschooler needs
information that the CHN Legal Committee can provide, then
it's done. We help because it's the right thing to do, and
also because anything we do to support homeschoolers makes
homeschooling more secure for all of us. Please help make
this kind of support possible by joining
Get The FACTS!
Although it's rare, school districts do occasionally contact
homeschooling parents. To ease this worrisome situation and to help keep it from escalating to a
truancy charge, CHN's Legal Rights Committee has written a simple one page document that you
may print and show to anyone who might tell you that your homeschool is illegal. It's known as
"Just the Facts" because that's what it offersthe simple legal
How can a local school district accuse homeschoolers of truancy when homeschooling
is legal in California?
California does not have a homeschool law. In fact, the term
homeschool is not found anywhere in the Education Code. The
Code does, however, outline the procedure for establishing
a private school, which involves annually notifying the state
that the private school is operating, maintaining various
records and offering a specified minimum course of study.
Further, the Code does not confer the authority on any state
agency to regulate private schools. Decades ago, parents reading
the Education Code reasoned that they could open private schools
in their own homes. Nothing in the law forbids it. There is
no minimum size for a private school; there are no stipulations
on familial relationships between teachers and pupils. By
following the Code, any family, not just those who can afford
a tutor or who have a parent who is a certified teacher, can
enjoy the benefits of homeschooling.
How do I obtain answers to legal questions?
CHN has compiled helpful resources to assist you, the independent homeschooler.
We advocate taking personal responsiblity for our children's education. Please review
the entire legal section.
Once you have studied the information made available, if you still have remaining
questions or have unique circumstances, please
click here to contact our Legal
Chair or call CHN at 800-327-5339.
CHN Legal Defense Fund
The CHN Legal Defense Fund was established in 2000 to benefit
families who do not qualify, for any reason, for assistance
from one of the other legal services organizations. CHN views
the Legal Defense Fund as another option for protecting homeschooling
rights, not meant to compete with any other legal service.
Cases eligible for help will be limited to those that could
set a precedent impacting all homeschoolers within California,
with the goal to produce legal decisions and rulings which
will guarantee the right of homeschooling parents in California
to educate their children in the least restrictive environment.
CHN possesses two characteristics that prepare it to act prudently
on behalf of homeschoolers while exercising fiscal accountability.
First, CHN is a 501(c) 3 tax exempt nonprofit organization. This means that CHN must
manage all its funds according to accepted nonprofit accounting practices. Donors can
take an income tax deduction, and enjoy the confidence that their contributions will
be properly governed and distributed according to IRS codes. CHN's income and revenue
statement is published annually according to law.
Second, CHN is a membership organization. Not all 501(c)3
nonprofits are constituted to permit members to have a say
in the governance of the organization. The CHN Board of Trustees
is elected by the membership, and any member in good standing
may choose to be a candidate for the Board. Members are also
entitled to attend quarterly membership meetings to witness
the Board of Trustees deliberations. Members are invited to
participate in the meetings and express their opinions.
Donations may be sent to the CHN mailing address on our Contacts page or you may make a donation in the CHN Store
or by phone at
The California Homeschool Network is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation whose mission
is to protect and promote homeschooling. We are not a political action committee nor a source for political