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Name: Jonathan L. v. Superior Court
Case #: B192878
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 08/08/2008

Homeschooling, while permissible in California, is not an absolute right and may be overriden in order to protect a dependent child. In this rehearing, the court reconsidered the legality of homeschooling in California. The issue arose during a dependency proceeding involving physical abuse and neglect. The minors’ attorney sought an order that that they be sent to public or private school, rather than educated at home so that they would be in regular contact with mandatory reporters of child abuse. The juvenile court declined to issue such an order based on its view that parents have an absolute constitutional right to educate their children at home. Children’s counsel sought relief, and in the original opinion, the court concluded that California statutory law does not permit homeschooling. The court subsequently granted the father’s petition for rehearing. The appellate court held that California statutes permit homeschooling as a kind of private school education, and that the permission to homeschool may constitutionally be overriden in order to protect the safety of a dependent child.