HOLLISTER – Despite some reports this summer, San Benito High School District is not banning or discouraging home schooling of district students, the district’s superintendent, John Perales, told the Northern California Record.
The controversy started in July when the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) announced that several families in the district had received a letter stating that home schooling was in fact illegal in California.
“Several of our member families received a Title II funding letter from the San Benito High School District in Hollister saying that home schooling was illegal via the Private School Exemption,” HSLDA's Mike Smith said in a letter shared (with permission) by Karen Taylor of the California Homeschool Network. “Needless to say, there was a lot of fear and concern. So we sent a letter to San Benito explaining that they were wrong and why,” Smith’s letter said.
However, Perales is adamant that his district is not banning or forbidding home schooling.
“Obviously we’ve had many, many, many students home-schooled,” he told the Record. We don’t discourage home schooling in any way, shape or form,” adding that he has friends and family members who homeschool their children.
Of the letter, he said, “I don’t know if they sent something out, or why,” speculating that perhaps his district had been confused with another in the region.
“Home schooling is very well-accepted and understood in California, and it is legal,” Taylor told the Record.
The confusion may arise from a February 2008 court ruling by the 2nd District Court of Appeal that parents who homeschool their parents must have teaching credentials. The same court reversed its own ruling six months later.