In a reversal of its previous decision, the Court today clearly upheld the right of families to homeschool under California law. In doing so, the court agreed with most of the arguments advanced by Pacific Justice Institute in the briefing and at oral argument. The court deferred to the state legislature, which has allowed homeschooling to flourish in the state with few restrictions. At the same time, the court stopped short of declaring the right to homeschool to be absolute in all circumstances, holding that in rare circumstances, the state may have a compelling interest sufficient to prevent families under the jurisdiction of a dependency court through charges of abuse or neglect from homeschooling. The appellate court remanded the Rachel L. case to the trial court for a specific determination as to the L. family at the center of this case, although the trial court recently determined it no longer needed to exercise jurisdiction over the family.
Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, commented, "This is a tremendous victory for thousands of homeschooling families in California. The pall of uncertainty that has hung over so many families for the last few months is gone. Our attorneys will be thoroughly analyzing this 44-page decision and will be communicating further with California homeschooling families as to its additional implications."