But Ayn Rand Institute legal analyst Thomas A. Bowden sees it for what it is…a superficial victory.
He writes in an op-ed:
But where’s the real victory for parents’ rights? Rights identify actions you can take without permission. A true victory would have been a judicial declaration that parents have an absolute right to control their children’s upbringing--and that they therefore don’t need government permission to educate their children as they see fit.
Instead, as this decision makes clear, California’s parents are expected to accept the status of perpetual supplicants, knees bent and backs bowed down to an all-powerful legislature that can decide at any moment to revoke its homeschooling “permission.”
To give parents a permanent victory, California would need to make its law consistent with America’s founding principles. Parents are sovereign individuals whose right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness includes the right to control their child’s upbringing. Other citizens, however numerous or politically powerful, have no moral right to substitute their views on child-raising for those of the father and mother who created that child.
Instead, a proper legal system recognizes and protects parents’ moral right to pursue the personal rewards and joys of child-raising.
By confirming that homeschooling is legal in California (at least for the time being), the recent court decision will undoubtedly quiet the shockwaves that were threatening to impact the apologists for government education--teachers’ unions, educational bureaucrats, and politicians. Their political and financial survival depends on a policy that treats children as, in effect, state property--but they have nothing to gain, and everything to lose, when the undiluted collectivism of that policy is trumpeted publicly.
The defenders of public schooling can now go back to papering over their system’s own failures--the very failures that helped fuel the homeschooling movement…
As the smoke clears from the current round of litigation, the battle lines remain as they were, clearly drawn. Are parents mere drudges whose social duty is to feed and house their spawn between mandatory indoctrination sessions at government-approved schools? Or are they sovereign individuals whose right to guide their children’s development the state may not infringe?
The answer could determine not only the future of homeschooling but the future of education in America.
Confronted with an explicit demonstration of tyranny in America, millions of people responded in typical American fashion…rebellion. But make no mistake, the government-run public school monopoly is itching to shut down all private education in America…including pre-school. The California court reversal is only a tactical retreat for them. The underlying cause that must be abolished is the government’s power to control education.
Homeschoolers and all advocates of educational freedom should not rest easy.