Soumitro Sen

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March 7, 2008
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Homeschooling ruling won't affect local parents

A court ruling against Southern California parents who were homeschooling their children without a teaching credential does not affect local students enrolled in home study charter schools, local school administrators said Friday.

"The court case is aimed at something called private affidavit," said Jenny Travers, director of Twin Ridges Home Study Charter in Nevada City. "There are parents who have signed up with the state of California and registered themselves as a private affidavit school.

"There are also some parents who are out of the system entirely. It's those parents these court cases concern," Travers added. "The independent study schools that are California public schools are not the topic of conversation here.

"Our parents ... have signed up with a public school and are doing everything legally. We have credentialed teachers who oversee every student," Travers said.

The court ruling involves a family from Lynwood, in Los Angeles County, that had enrolled their children in an independent program offered by a private school, according to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The children were visited by their school employees four times a year, the Chronicle reported.

"Under state law, we need to meet with students doing independent study every 20 days or more often, to assign and evaluate their work," Travers said. "Meeting four times a year is not enough."

Homeschooling - considered independent study by the state - is usually a program offered through a public school district, which connects parents to a school to educate their children, said Pam Slater, spokeswoman for the Department of Education. Students undergoing independent study are monitored by credentialed teachers, Slater added.

Nevada County charter schools such as Twin Ridges Home Study, Nevada City Home Study Charter, Forest Charter School and Sierra Mountain High School offer the independent study option, which is how students can be taught under the supervision of credentialed educators.

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail or call 477-4229.

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The Union Updated Mar 8, 2008 02:26AM Published Mar 7, 2008 03:00AM Copyright 2008 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.