Public Charter Schools and Independent Study Programs
ACHEV supports families who teach one or more of their homeschooled students privately. We have aligned ourselves with HSLDA’s position on charter schools and public school independent study programs as follows*:
The mission of Home School Legal Defense Association is to defend the constitutional right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children. Homeschooling through charter schools or public school independent study programs is actually a form of public education in which the public school directs the education. Thus, it is HSLDA’s longstanding policy not to accept families as members if all of their children are enrolled full-time in such public school options, nor to provide legal services in connection with such children.
We understand that the financial pressures faced by families today make publicly subsidized educational programs very attractive. While we believe that parents have the right to choose whatever form of education they wish for their children, defending parents who are educating their children via a charter school or public school independent study program does not fall within our mission. For a fuller explanation of HSLDA’s position on this matter, please read our issue analysis here.
Excerpts from the California Constitution and the California Education Code state the following:
Article IX, Section 8 of the California Constitution:
No public money shall ever be appropriated for the support of any sectarian or denominational school or any school not under the exclusive control of the officers of the public schools nor shall any sectarian or denominational doctrine be taught or instruction thereon be permitted directly or indirectly in any of the common schools of the state.
California Education Code 47605 (d) (1):
In addition to any other requirement imposed under this part, a charter school shall be nonsectarian [bold added] in its programs, admission policies, employment practices, and all other operations, shall not charge tuition, and shall not discriminate against any pupil on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability.
Participation in all ACHEV activities is open to ACHEV parents and their students who are privately homeschooled. Siblings who are using an educational option other than private homeschooling may attend ACHEV family-integrated events with their family, though are not eligible for participation apart from their family.
The ACHEV Board continues to refine our purpose within the scope of our Mission Statement in order to keep our group focused and strong. It is our hope that our children and grandchildren will also enjoy the privileges and the right to privately homeschool their children in accordance with Christian principles, without government intervention and ultimately government control.
*Material in italics taken from HSLDA website, Frequently Asked Question “More about HSLDA membership” at http://www.hslda.org/docs/faqs/default.asp#q010.