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Legal Help

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 have.


Will the CHN Legal Rights Committee offer help to non-CHN members?

The answer is yes. In fact, most of the people who ask for help are not members—perhaps 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 CHN today!

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 offers—the simple legal facts.

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 (800) 327-5339


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 fund raising.






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