Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Ethical Government and Economics

When considering ethical topics for discussion and understanding, government is rarely among the first topics called to mind. However, there are many ethical issues involved in government and this paper will examine a few of the major ones. Since God is the perfect, all-knowing, Author and Creator of man, institutions, governments, and all other forms of organization, we can be sure that a clear understanding of His truths and principles form the most ethical system of government policies. Therefore the Bible will be the standard for the most appropriate relationship between ethics and government. Ultimately we know that no system made by man can be without flaw as the entire human race is corrupted by sin. However, we can certainly do our best to understand what the most biblical system would be.

The Purpose of Government
The Bible very simply lays out that the God-given role of government is to restrain evil. Romans 13 clearly addresses this, speaking of from where government gets its authority and what its purpose is. Verses 1-4 state:
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.

This role allows for the punishing of criminals and the protection of the rest of society from those same criminals that would make the society unsafe. In order to even begin to look at the issue of restraining evil though, we must understand what this evil is being restrained from doing. What rights or property do we value that we do not want to lose to the evils of fallen man. Frederic Bastiat in his book The Law lays out very neatly what are we protecting:
We hold from God the gift which includes all others. This gift is life—physical, intellectual, and moral life.
But life cannot maintain itself alone. The Creator of life has entrusted us with the responsibility of preserving, developing, and perfecting it. In order that we may accomplish this, He has put us in the midst of a variety of natural resources. By the application of our faculties to these natural resources we convert them into products, and use them. This process is necessary in order that life may run its appointed course.
Life, faculties, production—in other words, individuality, liberty, property—this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it.

So there we have the three essential gifts that government must protect in order to maintain an ethical standard: Life, Liberty, and Property. Two other greatly recognized intellectuals also named these three rights as God-given and inalienable: John Locke in his Treatise on Civil Government and Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.

History shows us however, that governing authorities are seldom long-satisfied with this limited role. They find ways to expand their power and govern more areas of people’s lives than simply restraining and punishing lawbreakers, and thus step outside the scriptural purpose for government. Economics, not being concerned with lawbreaking, is in that extra-scriptural category. Any time government involves itself more in economics, that same government takes away the economic rights of the people. The perhaps unapparent seriousness of this lies in that to take away economic rights from the people is to take away the ability for each man to provide for his family in the manner that he feels God would want. God commands men to provide for their families. It is in essence taking away a fundamental right of our ability to worship God, which is taking away our inalienable right of liberty.

Unfortunately, here in America we have removed from our culture the role of God’s 10 commandments, which is the perfect law of God and could regulate government leaving all rights intact. Without this law there is a void that must be filled with other laws in order to keep the balance between the anarchy of man’s sinful nature and totalitarian government control. These imperfect laws, not based on God’s principles, have led us to where now our democratic republic, birthed in the guidance and freedom of God’s perfect law, is being legislated to death with anti-biblical nooses of socialist ideas and thinking.

Underlying Principles of Economics
For centuries men have argued the basic issues of economics from the perspective of both the enterprising entrepreneur and the poor laborer. The debate is not whether one or both are working, but rather if any worker earning any amount of money has the right to dictate how his money will be earned and then spent. The most biblically accurate of conclusions to these debates is known by the term free-market system or capitalism.

The free market system is where individual citizens are the economic decision makers in the society. This system or idea is also known as laissez-faire economics. This form takes advantage of man’s natural self-interest, because when a person is allowed to make their own economic decisions they also are going to be careful to waste no capital or product, but rather he will “make the most” of his money. These decisions include buying and selling, trading, renting, borrowing and also the right to not do each of these things. He has the freedom to do what he wants with his money. He can choose to buy a house or to rent an apartment depending on his needs, desires, and abilities. It is when these choices are taken from the individual that he is denied the right to make economic decisions. The Bible doesn’t specifically address the topic of economic rights, but rather it assumes free choices. For instance, Paul gives the example in 1 Timothy 2:6: “the farmer is to be first to receive of the crop.”

The United States was founded on such economic principles as a free market system and capitalism. It has been a long-standing characteristic of the American people. We in America have traditionally had strong feelings about all sorts of personal freedoms, including personal economic freedom. However in the last few decades, this seems to have been changing. Ronald Nash says in his article entitled Does Capitalism Pass the Moral Test? “[M]ost of the Christian scholars writing about economics these days show little regard for capitalism.” As it is God himself in Scripture that gave man his rights and economic freedom, it is tragic that most Christians are turning away from a free system of economics. One of the causes for this turn is that people are buying into what can be called the zero sum game. This is the idea that if A wins, B must lose. Nash points out that in reality is both can win.

The myth about exploitation lends support to a related claim that often functions as a ground for rejections of capitalism. Capitalism is denounced because of the mistaken belief that market exchanges are examples of what is called a “zero-sum game.” A zero-sum game is one where only one participant can win. If one person (or group) wins, then the other must lose. Baseball and checkers are two examples of zero-sum games. If a wins, then B must lose.

The error here consists in thinking that market exchanges are a zero-sum game. On the contrary, market exchanges illustrate what is called a “positive-sum game.” A positive-sum game is one in which both players win. We must reject the myth that economic exchanges necessarily benefit only one party at the expense of the other. In voluntary exchanges, both parties may leave the exchanges in better economic shape than would otherwise have been the case. Both parties to a voluntary exchange believe that they gain through the trade. If they did not perceive the exchange as beneficial, they would not continue to take part in it.

To illustrate, consider the situation where neighbor Johnny digs a drainage ditch for neighbor Bob and is paid $25 for the job. It isn’t that Johnny wins and Bob loses because now Johnny has the $25 and Bob doesn’t, but rather both Johnny and Bob win because Johnny has $25 and Bob has a yard the doesn’t flood. It is when this reasoning is unknown or misunderstood that our society is drawn away from the Biblical principles of government and economics.

Current Topic: Welfare

Welfare is the forced taking of one individual’s money and giving it to another without anything given back in exchange. The receiver does no work nor gives any goods, but is still given a paycheck. In 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12, the apostle Paul addresses the results of a situation where something very like this was occurring:
For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone will not work, neither let him eat. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.

Clearly Paul teaches that people are supposed to provide for their own living, not live off of the work of others. 1Tim. 5:8 says “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” Consider also Psalm 62:12 “And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord, For You recompense a man according to his work.” And Proverbs 6:6 “Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise”. These verses demonstrate that God desires men to work for their food and to provide for their families.

Contrary to this principle, the government today has given itself the power to legalize the robbing of the rich to give to the poor. Giving to the poor, charity, and generosity are all good actions and commendable traits to be desired by all of mankind, but understand the difference between giving and robbing. Must giving be voluntary or can it be mandated? That is the principled question. Mandated giving is essentially legal plunder. It is when the government forcefully takes wealth from one person that rightfully owns it and gives it to another person that didn’t earn it. Bastiat saw this in 19th century France as the nation was embracing socialism:
Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame, danger, and scruple which their acts would otherwise involve. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons, and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim—when he defends himself—as a criminal. In short, there is a legal plunder . . . But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.

An example of this legal plunder in our society today would be things such as the government taxing the rightful earnings of people and then turning and giving that money to someone who for whatever reason doesn’t earn income.
Yet there is compassion in scripture for those that are needy. There is a Biblical “welfare” that was designed for widows, orphans, or others who are unable to provide for their own needs. The church members were commanded to voluntarily and cheerfully give for merciful support. But even this is wisely regulated so that, for example, only those widows that have lived a life full of service, have no family, and are no longer capable of caring for themselves are put on the support list. Everyone else is required to work for a living and on top of that to not grow weary of doing good (II Thess. 3:13).

Current Topic: Socialized Medicine

One of the issues currently before our legislature in Sacramento is Socialized Medicine. This is where the government absorbs all privately owned medical centers and insurance companies and is the sole giver of medical services. This would eliminate any and all privately owned hospitals, doctors offices, treatment centers, and health insurance companies. The government would have the power to accept or turn away any individual at its discretion and give services to whomsoever it chooses.

The reasoning behind this system is that many people believe that all people have a right to good medicine and that the government has a responsibility to provide that for everyone. This means for all intents and purposes, that they believe that the government should use its power to compel one person to pay for the medical expenses of another through taxes. Only those that earn enough income will have to pay into the system while those that for any reason don’t earn enough income will be free to partake of the benefits. The system would have to be compulsory because if those that can afford private insurance could opt out of the plan, there will not be enough funds to pay for the health needs of the no or low income earners. This system appeals to those that because of previous handouts believe that they deserve the complete benefits of higher income, without the responsibility of earning or saving for it. However, it is the end of freedom for those who already work hard and pay for their own benefits. These people lose the choice to choose the health care that suits their needs and/or faith, and the medical center and professionals lose motivation to produce the best services. Ingenuity and quality will suffer, along with the patient care of every citizen forced into the plan. In a system where government is the manager of everyone’s health care, and by extension, any sort of money or funding, there is no motivation to work hard and to be productive. According to George Gilder, a prominent author in the arena of economics, “The only dependable route from poverty is always work, family, and faith.” Work ethic is a vital contributor to the quality of life in any culture. The greater the work ethic the better the life lived.

Clearly the Bible has many principles that directly apply to the concept of an ethical government and economic system. In fact, when examining any ethical topic, by turning to the source of all truth, God, ethical issues can be examined and applied in the best way possible in a fallen world. If one seeks God through His Word and prayer, and His Spirit will guide him to wisdom. IN this case, this wisdom is that those that govern themselves the best will reap a reward and those that work diligently will gain.


Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Ethics. Edited by Eberhard Bethge. Translated by Neville Horton Smith. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1995.

McQuilkin, Robertson. An Introduction to Biblical Ethics. 2nd ed. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1995.

Thiroux, Jacques P., Ethics, Theory and Practice. 2nd ed. Encino, CA: Glencoe Publishing Co., Inc., 1980.

Ronald Nash “Does Capitalism Pass the Moral Test?” in Readings in Christian Ethics Vol. 2. ed. Clark, David K. and Robert V. Rakestraw. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1996.

Bastiat, Frederic. The Law. Irvington on Hudson, NY: Foundation for Economic Education, 1998.

Monday, December 19, 2005

History of California Home School Organizations

By Publius

Edu-ca/tion, n. [L. Educatio] The bringing up, as of a child; instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all the series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.

American Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster, 1828

Although the concept of “homeschooling” has been around a long time, there has been a recent revival of the practice in California today. An increasing dissatisfaction in the dominant public school system led in the early and mid 1980’s to a nation-wide movement now referred to as homeschooling. Following in the footsteps of the parents of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Charles Dickens, Andrew Carnegie, and the countless others educated at home in varied civilizations throughout history, today’s parents are reclaiming and reasserting their responsibility and capability to oversee the education of their own children. In the words of Dr. Patricia Lines, homeschool families “…have not turned their backs on the broader social contract as understood at the time of the Founding [of America]. Like the Antifederalists, these homeschoolers are asserting their historic individual rights so that they may form more meaningful bonds with family and community. In doing so, they are not abdicating from the American agreement. To the contrary, they are affirming it.”[i]

In order to clearly understand the function of major organizations in California homeschooling, one must first understand what the term homeschooling means. Homeschooling is a broad term used to describe a variety of different educational situations where all or some of the schooling is done at home, as opposed to a campus-based school. It is not a legal term in California (though it is in some other states). Homeschooling can refer both to situations where parents are themselves administrators and teachers of their own private school or where parents receive oversight from government or private school administrations.

Homeschooling can be done publicly or privately. A public school is an educational situation where the administration receives government (tax) funding, is subject the rules and regulations for public schools, regardless of who exactly is doing the teaching. A private school is an educational situation where private groups of any size provides all funding and oversight of a student’s education and must follow the rules and regulations for private schools in the state, regardless of who is doing the teaching.

Public homeschooling involves enrolling in a home-based charter school or public school independent study program (ISP). Legal private homeschooling involves enrolling in a home-based private school or private-school ISP. An ISP is a situation where the student is enrolled in a larger school of any number of students, with the parent doing the actual teaching at home. Public school ISP students are overseen by public school officials and the education is restricted by public school laws and the district overseeing it. Private school ISPs are administered by private school officials, and this may include extensive oversight and organization or it may be little more than a central record keeping.

With these understandings in mind we can go on to understand how this movement got started here in California. Although throughout the 20th century there were writing and discussions about the benefits of home-based education, the modern movement in California generally traces it’s beginning to the early 1980’s. Specifically, Christian parents were dissatisfied and fed-up with the dominant public, campus-based schools and wanted another option. The dominant reason that parents started deciding to homeschool was a religiously based conviction regarding education and the raising of children. An early leader and espouser of homeschooling, Dr. Raymond Moore gave advice at seminars and conferences in the early 80s to parents hungry for information on how to teach their children.[ii] It was such a new concept for parents to teach their children at home that many were tentative about their capability to teach. Curriculum was sparse and the general public was concerned about the effects on children if they were not sent to campus-based schools everyday. But in both the private and public sectors, the benefits have been astounding and the movement is continually growing.

Private Homeschooling

There are three main organizations that have contributed to the growth and sustained vitality of the private homeschool movement in California. These three groups could not function independent of one another, but have worked together to form the foundation of a structured movement in California. The common conviction of the three is that parents have a responsibility to train up their children with godly principles, and they can best do this privately and independently of government controls.

CHEA of California

The first of these organizations that served the homeschooling community in California was the Christian Home Educators Association of California (CHEA). Very early on in the homeschool movement in California two homeschool moms had an idea for a statewide homeschool support group that could provide information, materials, and training to the Christian homeschool community. These two moms, Susan Beatty and Karen Middleton, started CHEA in 1982. The women quickly started a newsletter mailing, organized local homeschooling support groups, and in 1984 held the first homeschooling convention in Los Angeles with over 1,000 attendees.[iii] The organization quickly grew as more and more parents realized the benefits of belonging to such an organization.

CHEA has provided many benefits to the homeschooling community. CHEA’s Support Network is a collective grouping of local homeschoolers through autonomous loose support groups and ISPs which can get just about anyone in contact with a homeschool group in their area.[iv] Homeschoolers in these very active groups have greater access to activities from field trips to holiday celebrations, shared abilities for special classes, information and support with homeschooling, and leaders of small groups can get advice in managing their diverse and busy groups.

1996 has published books essential to the beginning as well as the experienced homeschool parent like An Introduction to Home Education (1st edition in 1983, now in 8th edition) The High School Handbook (1st Edition 1989, now in 7th edition), and many other books that clearly lay out legal requirements or give a plethora of practical advice for planning, administrating, and teaching children of all needs.[v] CHEA also publishes a magazine, The Parent Educator. CHEA’s annual conferences, scattered throughout the state, provide homeschoolers with access to many curriculum vendors, informational and motivational speakers, and exposure to a variety of homeschooling styles and opportunities.[vi] These conferences are a face of homeschooling to colleges as well, as beginning in 1994 representatives from colleges around the nation began attending to attract the highly qualified and desirable high school graduates, giving further credibility to the success of homeschooling[vii]. The growth of these conferences is clearly seen from the initial 1,000 to in 1997 when over 8,400 home-educators attended representing tens of thousands of students.[viii] These are just a few of the many ways CHEA has supported the private homeschooling community.

Aside from directly benefiting homeschooling families, one of CHEA’s goals has been “to foster an accurate and favorable image of home education to the general public and the community, cooperating with other home education organizations in pursuing common goals…”[ix] In many ways CHEA has been the public voice of Christian private home education in California For a number of years CHEA’s Executive Director Phillip Troutt was the face of homeschooling in California, and many local organizations directed publicity questions and media personnel to him.

Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)

In 1983 two Homeschool dads (both lawyers) had the vision of an organization of attorneys to assist Homeschool families fight for their rights to privately educate their children at home. The work of these two men, Michael Farris and J. Michael Smith, led to the founding of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which provides families with a means of professional legal help at an affordable price[x]. Therefore, all HSLDA services are included in the benefits of membership, which without any discounts, is $115 annually. [xi]

Each year thousands of homeschool families make use of their HSLDA membership when they are contacted by a government official and need the assistance of a lawyer. Hundreds of these families are assisted by an HSLDA attorney interfacing on their behalf with the government official either by phone or by letter, which often resolves the situation early before it escalates to a court case. However each year there are dozens of homeschool families represented by HSLDA attorneys in courts across the US. HSLDA covers all legal and court costs for all the cases they handle, paying the, sometimes enormous, amounts that would normally burden or destroy the case of a lone family. [xii] The members of HSLDA by their annual fees combined with the sacrifices the HSLDA’s attorneys absorb these costs and the rippling effects of court victories benefit all homeschoolers. Two major California cases dealing with homeschooling and handled by HSLDA took place in 1986. People v. Black and People v. Darrah both upheld the right of families to homeschool by operating a private school out of their home.[xiii] In addition, HSLDA will take cases free for non-members if they believe the case will affect the legal status of homeschoolers in general.[xiv]

HSLDA is also involved in pro-homeschool lobbying efforts on the state and national levels. They work with state homeschool organizations providing legal counsel and strategy for lobbying in their states.[xv] Specifically in California they helped to establish Family Protection Ministries in 1986 and have supported CHEA in a number of ways. [xvi] They continue to support both organizations with legal counsel.

HSLDA also publishes a magazine The Court Report that gives the latest information on court cases they are handling as well as what is going on legislatively in each state. It also covers some major highlights of the homeschool community nationwide.[xvii]

Family Protection Ministries (FPM)

In 1986, as a result of a request made by CHEA and Michael Smith of HSLDA, Roy Hanson started Family Protection Ministries (FPM). Its specific goal is to “assure that California laws protect the God-given and constitutional rights of parents to determine and direct the education of their own children.” FPM maintains the task of monitoring and lobbying the California legislature. They also serve as an information clearinghouse for homeschool issues that arise anywhere in the state. FPM also works with other political action groups, especially private school groups, when events of common interest come up. [xviii]

FPM has smoothed the road over the years for many homeschooling families with the efforts of Roy Hanson, Jim Davis and many volunteers. FPM has worked to cultivate a relationship with the California Department of Education (CDE) in spite of their often-hostile attitude toward private homeschoolers. From 1993 to 2001 Carolyn Pirillo, Deputy General Counsel for the CDE, made multiple attempts to wreak havoc on the private homeschool community. She wrote letters to school district supervisors as well as home school families up and down the state informing them in various expressions “Home schooling is not authorized in California”.[xix] These letters often resulted in families being harassed by mis-informed officials. Delaine Eastin, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, followed in the footsteps of Pirillo until finally in August of 2002, shortly before she finished her term, Eastin wrote a letter to every state legislator calling for a “legislation solution” to make it more clear that homeschoolers were operating outside of the law.[xx] FPM obtained a copy of the letter and gave it to Michael Smith of HSLDA who then wrote a rebuttal.[xxi] Fortunately no action was taken on the letter from Eastin.

In other areas FPM has protected private home schooling families both by catching proposals of anti-homeschool laws before they reach the legislative process, as well defeating actual bills in the legislature that would infringe upon the rights of parents to privately educate their own children at home. To date, FPM has directly or indirectly helped defeat many damaging parental and private school rights bills and has been critical in helping to pass legislation supporting the same.[xxii]

Public Homeschooling

Coinciding with the growth of private homeschooling has been the increased opportunities public officials offer to parents seeking alternatives to the traditional campus-based public school. Parents often chose this method for the financial aid and supplies offered by the government funding, but also must obey increasing amounts of regulations and laws regarding when and what is taught.

Public School ISPs

There is an option in California for people to homeschool using a public school independent study program, administered by the local public school district. This is the least flexible option for homeschooling in California as the district through whatever program it has constructed dictates the student’s education. These programs were traditionally used for remedial or troubled students[xxiii], though there are programs designed for more conventional homeschooling students[xxiv]. Not all districts offer this type of program.[xxv]

The program where offered must comply with all the laws that apply to the public school and restrictions required in that district. The student is often assigned a teacher and curriculum from a local public school and the teacher gives assignments and meets regularly with the student. Some parents choose this option because of the lesser amount of work on their part relative to the private school option, while others choose its rigorous accountability and access to public school extra-curricular activities.[xxvi]

Charter Schools

In 1992 California’s legislature authorized the formation of charter schools as an attempt at reforming education.[xxvii] Charter schools are formed when a group of teachers, parents, or anyone forms a charter or contract with public officials to operate a public school following the guidelines and methods laid out in the charter.[xxviii] These schools are public schools though they offer greater flexibility than conventional public schools, they are required to be nonsectarian and have many legal requirements and restrictions. The laws regarding charter schools are ever-evolving and the movement is growing rapidly. [xxix] [xxx]

Some charter schools are campus-based and some are home-based. Depending on the charter, parents choosing to homeschool this way may or may not choose their own curriculum, which must be non-religious, and function with varying amounts of oversight from school officials. Homeschooling families using the Charter School system can have many similar opportunities to those homeschooling privately as in some cases where the two communities come together for information, activities, and social events.

Other Groups and Organizations

In 1987 a group of homeschool moms from the San Francisco Bay Area got to form a private organization that would serve the homeschool community in a new way. Today this group functions under the name HomeSchool Association of California (HSC). Unlike CHEA which had focused on private Christian home education, HSC (formally known as the Northern California Homeschool Association) wanted to cater to a religiously and motivationally diverse group of homeschoolers[xxxi], such as Muslim homeschooling families or those seeking purely the academic atmosphere of homeschooling and do not want any religious association at all. HSC supports all types of homeschooling including public school programs and is active statewide offering a newsletter, support groups, conferences, campouts, and other services.[xxxii]

The California Homeschool Network (CHN) was established in 1994. It is similar to HSC in that they also service non-Christian homeschoolers. Yet CHN is different from HSC and more like CHEA in that it has a focus on private home education independent of and without regulation from the State Government or any of its subsidiaries. For example, they would strongly encourage homeschoolers to stay away from public school programs such as charter schools, and public school independent study programs. CHN’s self-promoted distinguishing characteristic is their elected board of directors and encouragement of member participation in administration particulars. [xxxiii] CHN also is active statewide with support groups, conferences, campouts, and publications.[xxxiv]

There are many other medium and small sized local homeschool support organizations in California. Two medium sized groups are Christian Family Schools of San Diego, which represents 1200 homeschooling families in the San Diego area and was started around 1981[xxxv] and the Christian Home Educators of the Fresno Area (CHEFA) founded in 1995.[xxxvi] Both of these groups are members of CHEA’s Support network. Other scattered small groups who serve the private homeschool community in California are busy in their own way providing resources, field trips, and “how to” type of support.

Homeschooling in California Today

By estimating from the roll books of private organizations there are over 100,000 being privately homeschooled in California today.[xxxvii] Although it is impossible to know the number of children in public homeschooling, the California Charter School Association estimates there are about 180,000 campus and home-based charter school students in California.[xxxviii] By any account, homeschooling is quickly becoming a well-known and mainstream option of education. CHEA is still by far the single largest California homeschool organization, and HSLDA has over 70,000 member families nationwide. FPM continues to develop relationships with those in the CDE as well as monitor all the legislation that passes through the California Legislature, a task of ever growing proportions.

The future of the homeschooling movement in California is somewhat uncertain as both the public and private sectors call to families. Many private homeschoolers see and fear the public sector, specifically charter schools, growing and shifting away families who were once operating privately. They fear an eventual loss of their hard-earned security in the current legal arena. Regardless, wherever history takes homeschooling in the future, we can be sure that it already has made a profound impact on society by the many students who are now entering the workforce in large numbers and raising children of their own, all with a worldview very different from that of their public-school counterparts. It is in the lives of these students and their choices in schooling their own children that the long-term impact of the homeschool movement will be seen.

[i] Lines, Patricia M. (1994, February). Homeschooling: Private choices and public obligations in Home School Researcher, 10(3), 9-26.

[ii] Farenga, Patrick . “A Brief History of Homeschooling,” Homeschool Association of California: A Professional’s Guide, 2002 http://www.hsc.org/professionals/briefhistory.php (30 August 2005).

[iii] “It’s our birthday!” The Parent Educator, August and September, 1997, 1.

[iv] Chea of California: What is CHEA?, http://www.cheaofca.org/info.htm (29 August 2005).

[v] “It’s our birthday!” The Parent Educator, August and September, 1997, 4.

[vi] “’94 Convention Makes History,” Parent Educators News Magazine, August /September, 1994, 3.

[vii] “’94 Convention Makes History,” Parent Educators News Magazine, August /September, 1994, 3.

[viii] “CHEA Membership News”, The Parent Educator, August and September, 1997, 6-7.

[ix] “Introducing CHEA of California”, The Parent Educator, April/May 2000, 2.

[x] Home School Legal Defense Association: Our History, http://www.hslda.org/about/history.asp, 2005 (30 August 2005).

[xi] Home School Legal Defense Association: Group Discount Programs, http://www.hslda.org/join/discountgroups/discounts.asp 2005 (30 August 2005).

[xii] You can homeschool. Start here!: About HSLDA, http://www.youcanhomeschool.org/starthere/hslda.asp, 2005 (29 August 2005).

[xiii] Home Schooling in the United States, A Legal Analysis by Christopher J. Klicka, JD. HSLDA 2003.

[xiv] You can homeschool. Start here!: About HSLDA, http://www.youcanhomeschool.org/starthere/hslda.asp, 2005 (29 August 2005).

[xv] You can homeschool. Start here!: About HSLDA, http://www.youcanhomeschool.org/starthere/hslda.asp, 2005 (29 August 2005).

[xvi] Michael Smith Letter to HSLDA member families in California August 2005.

[xvii] You can homeschool. Start here!: About HSLDA, http://www.youcanhomeschool.org/starthere/hslda.asp, 2005 (29 August 2005).

[xviii] Family Protection Ministries Ministry Fact Sheet published in 2004 by FPM, available by request from Family Protection Ministries PO Box 730 Lincoln, CA 95648.

[xix] Pirillo, Carolyn. Letters to Various Individuals, 8/9/93, 10/16/96, 5/1/01.

[xx] Delaine Eastin’s August, 2002 letter to the California Legislature asking for a “legislative solution”.

[xxi] Michael Smith’s letter to the California Legislature in response to Delaine Eastin’s August 2002 letter.

[xxii] Family Protection Ministries Ministry Fact Sheet published in 2004 by FPM, available by request from Family Protection Ministries PO Box 730 Lincoln, CA 95648.

[xxiii] Schwarzer, Debbie, Conrad, Linda J., and Bryant, Elizabeth, “Public School Independent Study Programs,” Homeschool Association of California: Empowering Families, 2004 http://www.hsc.org/chaos/legal/public_independent_study.php (30 August 2005).

[xxiv] Zeise, Ann. “California Public ISPs,” A to Z Home’s Cool Homeschooling, http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/regional/CaliforniaPublicISPs.htm 2005 (30 August 2005).

[xxv] “Independent Study Programs,” California Department of Education, http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/eo/is/ (30 August 2005).

[xxvi] Schwarzer, Debbie, Conrad, Linda J., and Bryant, Elizabeth, “Public School Independent Study Programs,” Homeschool Association of California: Empowering Families, 2004 http://www.hsc.org/chaos/legal/public_independent_study.php (30 August 2005).

[xxvii] “Charter Schools Overview,” EdSourceOnline: Charters. 2005 http://www.edsource.org/edu_chart_cal.cfm#1998 (30 August 2005).

[xxviii] “About Charter Schools,” California Charter Schools Association, 2005 http://www.charterassociation.org/cnt_about_charter_description.asp (30 August 2005).

[xxix] http://www.charterassociation.org/cnt_legislative_updates.asp

[xxx] “About Charter Schools,” California Charter Schools Association, 2005 http://www.charterassociation.org/cnt_about_charter_description.asp (30 August 2005).

[xxxi] “About HSC,” Homeschool Association of California, 2004 http://www.hsc.org/about/ (29 August 2005).

[xxxii] “About HSC,” Homeschool Association of California, 2004 http://www.hsc.org/about/ (29 August 2005).

[xxxiii] “Who We Are,” California Homeschool Network, 2004 http://californiahomeschool.net/about/who.htm (29 August 2005).

[xxxiv] “Membership Benefits,” California Homeschool Network, 2004 http://californiahomeschool.net/about/benefits.htm (29 August 2005).

[xxxv] Cooper, Todd. “In the Beginning,” Christian Family Schools of San Diego, circa 1999 http://cfssd.org/history/inTheBeginning.html (30 August 2005).

[xxxvi] Christian Home Educators of the Fresno Area, http://www.chefa.org/ (30 August 2005).

[xxxvii] Questions and Answers About Home Education in California published by CHEA of California.

[xxxviii] “About Charter Schools,” California Charter Schools Association, 2005 http://www.charterassociation.org/cnt_about_charter_description.asp (30 August 2005).

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Preschool California - The Silver Bullet?

Preschool is in the limelight. But have we looked into this enough?

First Five California and Rob Reiner are pushing, pushing, pushing to get government funded preschool universally available in California.

RAND even released another study on the issue. According to Preschool California:

"When all 4-year-olds have access to quality preschool, RAND projects reductions of:

3,300 annual high school dropouts in Los Angeles County
2,900 fewer criminal charges filed against juveniles each year in the Bay Area
10,063 fewer years of special education use for each cohort of children in the Central Valley."


Here is an article entitled Expert Commentary: Stop Studying, and Get Busy Caring for Children

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What Is An Original

Alexis de Tocqueville once wrote, "History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies.” At the first reading, this may sound quite profound and yet upon further thought, one might see that he missed something essential when making this statement.

When you read something profound, you might wonder from where the thought derived. Ecclesiastes talks about how there is nothing new under the sun. Perhaps the author realized that all thought could be traced to a single source.

In the beginning, God made Man in His own likeness. Therefore, Man is apt to reflect the Character of God’s own person. However, since man fell in the garden and thus separated himself from God, he is therefore at enmity with God. Those that are brought into a united relationship with God through his gift of forgiveness can once again bear a resemblance to Him because they are brought back in touch with His Character through the Holy Spirit, which indwells them.

I propose that all thoughts and ideas are derived from others presented before them eventually leading back to one foundational principle. All ideas, all philosophies, all systems of thought are either derived from the Character of God, or from a denial of or resistance to Him. Many great men throughout history have built upon the works of their predecessors. Thomas Jefferson for example wrote the Declaration of Independence not from his own self-conceived notions of liberty, but from men that came before him and essentially the very essence of scripture, which discusses the fundamental concepts of freedom and liberty.

God is the Father of all truth and all knowledge. All things ultimately come from Him and not from us. When we wish to imitate some great men, we are just admiring qualities that have their beginning in the Character of God himself. Paul wrote, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.” We need only look at God to find that true originator of all thoughts, ideas, and truths. After all, He did create the universe.

Sex Ed At Age 5

According to a London Times article dated 12/4/05, England will begin teaching sex education to children as young as five years old. According to the article:

Lessons would include tuition on how sexually transmitted infections are passed on, how to deal with pressure from peers to have sex, and where to get contraception.


Our cities, states, and our country are desparately in need of solid, unwavering leaders. Even Republicans as we have seen are not always trustworthy.

We must raise up leaders for the next generation and if you aren't leading... now may be the time. If you don't, somebody else will and it may be someone you disagree with.

Just look at who is in leadership in our state now. Do you agree with a majority of the people voting on your laws today? What makes you think this will get better in the future?

Those who love their neighbor as themselves, are willing to take a stand to protect them. This is leadership - Taking a stand for truth and righteousness.

It doesn't matter how young or how old, if you stand up for what is right, you are leading.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Schwarzenegger Swings Left... Some More

In a move that has shocked millions, actor turned politician Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed a quite liberal democrat to be his top aid.

Although Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee reported a claim of Schwarzenegger that "there will be no change in direction at all", the very action itself is a change of policy. It is a change of government.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Castro - Aging Control Freak

For a man who is nearing the age of 80 next summer, Fidel Castro sure packs packs a lot of desire for power. Perhaps it comes with the job.

It makes sense that in his country he would want to control all incoming infulences into the minds of his subjects. Without that control they may stray from the philosophy on which he has built the Cuban culture. If Cubans began to think too much for themselves he would lose all control and that would be his end.

Right now there is a new fight for power. Castro wants to control internet in Cuba even though they are getting it free from a Canada-Based Charity Organization. Read the Story