Letters to the Editor

Home schooling Snohomish County Council

The Feb. 28, unanimous decision by the California Court of Appeals that home schooling in California by non-credentialed teachers is illegal has caused some concern among home schooling parents in Washington, which has in recent weeks been reflected in the pages of the Everett Herald.

This concern is well founded. Although Washington statute does protect home schooling by parents, statutes can be repealed by a legislature hostile to home schooling. In this area of life, as in many others, continued liberty calls for continued vigilance.

No one can doubt that the moral imperative for the education of children rests with parents, not with the state. This moral imperative is also a legally protected right. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that "the fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excludes any general power of the State to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only" (Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 1925), and having also ruled that the "primary role of parents in upbringing of children is established beyond debate" (Wisconsin v. Yoder, 1972).

Home schooled children excel. The occasional accusation that home schooled children suffer socially and academically are refuted by years of accumulated statistics showing they excel in every measure of achievement.

All parents love their children and sacrifice time and treasure for their children's benefit. Home schooling parents carry this sacrifice a bit further than most of us, and in so doing benefit not only their children but also our entire society, demonstrating to all of us that quality education does not necessarily require public schools to the exclusion of other alternatives.

John Koster

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