Fortunately, in the United States, parents still have alternatives to the public-school system. For most parents, these are private and homeschools.
The Supreme Court has held that states, “may impose reasonable regulations for the control and duration of basic education.” Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205, 213 (1972). This includes non-public-schools. However, the scope of such regulations are constrained by the rights afforded private entities and parents under the United States Constitution, and the First Amendment affords religious schools and homeschools freedom to tailor their children’s education according to their values.
California requires that each child attends a program of education starting with the school year a child turns 6 by September and ending on the child’s 18th birthday. This requirement can be accomplished through either private school or homeschooling.
Private School. Parents enjoy a fundamental, Constitutional, right to direct the education of their children. In 1925 the Supreme Court held 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. The child is not the mere creature of the state; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 535 (1925)
Private School can offer a refuge against the indoctrination of CHYA, albeit at a price. According to Private School Review, the average cost of private elementary school in California is $11,005/year and the private high school average is $18,861/year. (https://www.privateschoolreview.com/tuition-stats/california) However, these are state averages and many schools are able to provide quality educational services that are far more affordable, some at less than half the average fees. For private schools in a particular geographic area, Private School Review provides a list of private schools by zip code. (https://www.privateschoolreview.com/find-schools)
Homeschool. For growing numbers of Californians, homeschooling is the gold standard to ensure their children receive an education that both preserves parental values and is academically rigorous. Go to our homeschool page to learn more.