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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1317439
 
 

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Evidence for Homeschooling: Constitutional Analysis in Light of Social Science Research


Tanya K. Dumas


affiliation not provided to SSRN

Sean Gates


Morrison & Foerster LLP

Deborah Schwarzer


HomeSchool Association of California; GCA Law Partners LLP; Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

December 17, 2008

Widener Law Review, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
Homeschooling is a time-honored and widespread practice. It often presents, however, a conflict between the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and the State's right to impose regulations in the interest of ensuring an educated citizenry. The Supreme Court has made it clear that any regulation impacting this constitutional right must be "reasonable." The courts have therefore generally resolved homeschooling cases by examining whether state regulation of homeschooling places an unreasonable burden on the rights of parents. The courts, however, have altogether failed to address another, more fundamental question: whether the state regulation in fact advances the State interest. A regulation that fails this criterion cannot be "reasonable." Using the vehicle of a recent California appellate court case, in which the court initially upheld a regulation prohibiting parents from homeschooling their children unless they first obtained a state teaching credential, we show how recent social science research should impact the analysis. Instead of assuming away the issue of whether the regulation in fact advances the State interest, we show that this type of empirical research will allow courts to be able to answer this threshold question.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 36

Keywords: homeschooling, education, constitutional rights, parents, parental rights, reasonable regulation, compulsory education

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Date posted: December 19, 2008 ; Last revised: December 29, 2008

Suggested Citation

Dumas, Tanya K. and Gates, Sean and Schwarzer, Deborah, Evidence for Homeschooling: Constitutional Analysis in Light of Social Science Research (December 17, 2008). Widener Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1317439

Contact Information

Tanya K. Dumas
affiliation not provided to SSRN
Sean Gates (Contact Author)
Morrison & Foerster LLP ( email )
United States
Deborah Schwarzer
HomeSchool Association of California ( email )
P.O. Box 77873
Corona, CA 92877
United States
888-472-4440 (Phone)
650-475-8444 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.hsc.org
GCA Law Partners LLP ( email )
1891 Landings Drive
Mountain View, CA 94087
United States
650-428-3900 (Phone)
650-428-3901 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.gcalaw.com
Gifted Homeschoolers Forum ( email )
P.O. Box 18865
San Jose, CA 95158
United States
612-435-4726 (Phone)
650-475-8444 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://giftedhomeschoolers.org
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