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Why CCS does not include families enrolled in Charter School

"Do not be unequally yoked...."


Charter schools began to appear in California in 1993 shortly after The Charter School Act was passed the previous year. They have taken off since then with more than 1300 of them in California and are approximately 11.5% of the public-school population as of the 2020-21 school year. Charter schools can be classroom based or non-classroom based (homeschool) or a mixture of both and they are "free". What they are not and explicitly cannot be is religious. Those enrolled in charter schools must teach curriculum approved by the public schools.


Calvary Christain School is a private school. We are explicitly Christian, Bible based, and our goal has always been to encourage, strengthen and grow the private homeschooling community. The private homeschooling movement has always been about taking back our parental authority back from the state so that we are free to educate our children in the manor God has instructed us. "Teach them to your children, by talking about them when you are sitting around your house and when you are out and about, when you are lying down and when you are getting up." Deuteronomy 11:19.


Private homeschooling parents are working hard and sacrificing much to live out their faith in God and teach their children at home. We are not ashamed of our faith nor are we willing to hide it from the state. This is our inalienable God given right and though we lost it for a time we regained it through much sacrifice and effort, and we are excelling in educating our children. We also understand that it is our duty to protect and defend these hard-won rights to educate our children so that they can be passed along to the next generations.


The private homeschooling community was growing rapidly, and it was a surprise when private homeschooling communities began to be dramatically impacted by charter schools. Some private homeschooling communities saw losses in enrollment of 50% or more almost overnight. This continued for years, and the current state of private homeschooling is struggling and uncertain. Many families seem to have forgotten the fight that went on to win back these rights and have opted to enroll their children in government assisted homeschooling programs using the charter school system. With these great losses in people privately homeschooling comes an erosion in support for the larger organizations that are fighting to defend these rights.


The private homeschooling community now had to face a new challenge. How do we interact with those families that have chosen to use a government assisted homeschooling program (GAHP)? "Last year we had fellowship and did everything together, does it matter that they joined a GAHP?" We had to figure out what our position would be, and it isn't easy, after all the families did not stop being Christian.

Much thought, prayer, experimentation and work went into this new challenge.


It is easy to see how public schools and private home education are completely opposed to each other. The differences in curriculum, the location, teaching faith or not, and trusting parents vs. trusting the state are very polarizing. It is obvious that public school students, Christian or not, do not also attend private schools, we have clearly taken a different path. Parents of GAHP students, on the other hand, still have a desire to join with Christian private homeschooling groups for more fellowship and activities for their children, so private homeschoolers have had to make a decision on if this is a good idea or not.


Calvary Christian School has decided that we will not enroll GAHP families in our PSP or Support group. Although we feel that more fellowship is great and having more people at events makes them better, we are not equally yoked with Christians choosing GAHPs. Here are the reasons we came to this conclusion:

  1. A Government Assisted Homeschooling Program is explicitly not religious, and you may not use Christian curriculum. You must use and teach what the public school approves (A charter school must be nonsectarian (EC Section 47605[e][1])). Christian parents are assisted, by school administration in some cases, to hide or alter homework samples when they present them to their GAHP overseer. This is a clear violation of the law for charter schools, not to mention a bad example to society and the children. As it is a clear choice on the parent's part to participate in this deception and they are under no compulsion to do so.

  2. A Government Assisted Homeschooling Program is not actually "free". Parents are not "free" to choose what to teach their children nor are the programs "free" to society. Parents may not have to pay to put their children into the system, but their neighbors do. Public education is funded by taking money from some people that earned it, under compulsion, and giving it to others who have not earned it, in other words, it is funded through theft. Theft by the government is not less wrong than theft by anyone else. "You shall not steal" is an obvious Christian principal and we cannot continue to ignore this fundamental reality.

  3. A Government Assisted Homeschooling Program subsidizes extracurricular activities. This means that families that choose these programs get thousands of dollars given to them for each student from what the state has plundered. They have used these funds on anything from Disneyland adventures to horseback riding to anything else they are allowed within the state's guidelines. This is nice for them, and we are happy they get to have all of those experiences, but what does it do for the parents and children that have made the choice to privately home educate? Private homeschoolers have chosen to make huge sacrifices for their children. Often it means living on one income, scrimping and saving, putting your desires on hold or altogether giving them up for the benefit of your children and family. Giving so much also means that your extracurricular activities are greatly curtailed. The disparity between the families in a GAHP have and can cause discouragement and may become a stumbling block for private homeschooling parents and their children.

  4. A Government Assisted Homeschooling Program is still a public education, and you are still giving up your authority over your children to the state of California. Some parents do not realize this about public schools and those that do think they will get their children out when things start getting worse. The issue is that they assume they can abandon the private homeschooling effort and when things get bad it will still be here for them to escape to. That is like assuming we can outsource all our manufacturing to China and that when things get bad there will still be American businesses making the things we need. Clearly this plan is not sound, and we are experiencing the reality of this choice right now. We know we need to continue to strive to keep our freedoms. A clear choice must be made, and as serious as it is, we do not want to be unclear about it to our families.

We know these are difficult times and choosing to privately home educate is not easy, but we believe it is our duty before God. We love families that choose to take a different path and we hope the best for them, but Calvary Christian is here to support those that are convicted to privately homeschool. We also hope to be a witness to the truth and if you have never considered the issues with GAHP schooling we hope you will think deeply about them in the light of God's Word.


Please let us know your questions or thoughts on the issue in the comments. We in no way think we have considered all possible perspectives, and we are happy to entertain any counter arguments or encouragements.


Blessings






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