Families all across the Golden State are breathing a sigh of relief after controversial homeschooling legislation hit a dead end.
Opponents of the bill say it's a big win for homeschoolers and parental rights.
“A massive victory for homeschool families, parental rights, and government by consent of the people,” said Jonathan Keller, president of California Family Council. “Thanks to the thousands of homeschool families and supporters who flooded the Capitol, legislators were reminded that this building is still the people’s house.”
The bill, known as AB 2756, was designed to gather more data on families who choose to homeschool their children instead of using public schools.
The legislation was crafted in response to the horrific Turpin family incident, where the parents held their 13 children hostage, torturing and starving them for years.
The incident went undetected by California school officials because the children were being homeschooled by their abusers.
Backers of AB 2756 pointed to that nightmare scenario as a reason for better tracking of homeschooled children.
Yet, supporters of homeschoolers saw the bill as an attack on their way of life and the freedoms this country provides.
According to the Family Research Council, state Assemblyman Kevin Kiley called the Turpin incident “an extreme outlier case.”
The representative of the state's 6th District added: "Any dataset will have extreme outlier cases."
When word came down that the bill died in committee, Kiley tweeted: #AB2756 was just defeated in the Assembly Education Committee. The major victory for all the homeschool educators, parents, and students who came to the Capitol and made their voice heard.
#AB2756 was just defeated in the Assembly Education Committee. Major victory for all the homeschool educators, parents, and students who came to the Capitol and made their voice heard.
— Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA) April 26, 2018
Senior Staff Attorney Matthew McReynolds of the Pacific Justice Institute tells CBN News this bill was just a way for some legislators to flex their muscles to be seen as “doing something” in the wake of the Turpin tragedy.
McReynolds noted that when lawmakers were pushed to explain the reasoning for the bill, "the author of AB 2756 could not identify any problems with the many other law-abiding homeschoolers in the state. Nor could he explain how his bill would have prevented the bizarre crimes for which those two disturbed parents are now in jail.”
He’s in good company with family advocate Tony Perkins, the president of Family Research Council, who hailed the unity of over 3,000 Californians who traveled hours just “to spend a few minutes speaking out on a measure that would give the government more power over parents who educate at home.”
Homeschool families are celebrating their success:
Today our children were literally a part of history, as they stood and opposed #ab2756. THIS is what homeschooling is about. Raising change makers, and ground shakers. Citizens who WILL stand and speak up against injustice. #whywehomeschool #ihsnet #homeschoollife
— Tatiana (@themusingsofmum) April 26, 2018
I hope that legislators who have vocally stood with parents on this bill feel empowered to continue to stand because we are with you! Thank you for standing with us! #CALeg No on #AB2756 #homeschool #parentalrights #schoolchoice pic.twitter.com/aeHyGIUHeo
— Danielle Cullum (@daniellecullum) April 25, 2018
As for PJI and others who are fighting for freedom from unnecessary government intrusions, they say that despite this recent victory the battle is not over.
According to McReynolds, California has enough problems with its education system, pointing to his finding which shows there are “public schools where more than 90% of students cannot read on grade level.”
He says school administrators and legislators “would be much better served to focus on innovative solutions for the broken schools under their control, rather than attempting to coerce the families who have fled -- back into unsafe, unacceptable schools.”