You haven’t heard a lot from the [HSC] Board or legal team recently about the [Long] case in Southern California since the court agreed to rehear the case. Since their original decision was automatically vacated by court rule, we no longer had to worry about all the horrible logic and statements in that opinion. While it’s theoretically possible that the court will read all the new briefs and listen to the new arguments and issue the same opinion again, we sort of doubt that will happen here. What the court will decide, no one knows, but at least this time we have a chance to be heard.
We can’t talk a lot about our strategy, but all of the big statewide groups and HSLDA are busy working on amicus briefs. These are due by mid-May. After we file ours, we get to read all of the ones that others have filed, and we will have an opportunity to file reply briefs that argue against points in those other briefs.
The court had said that the hearing would be put on the June calendar, so we’re expecting that. We don’t know if the hearing will be open to the public, but if it is, those who are interested in the legal process and who can get to LA might find it interesting. Courts can take several months to reach a decision and write a new opinion after the hearing, so it will probably be fall before we hear more.
ACR 115, Joel Anderson’s resolution in support of homeschooling, is still alive. It has been assigned to the Assembly Education Committee. Right now, the committee is busy dealing with all of the bills that have a fiscal impact, as there is a firm deadline for either sending those to the full floor or killing them. The author’s office thinks that a hearing on ACR 115 will be scheduled some time in the weeks after that April 18 deadline. We have asked if the author would like for homeschoolers to attend the committee hearing, and have not yet heard back. But if the author does want people to attend, we will be asking those who can come to Sacramento to do so (with their reasonably well-scrubbed and well-behaved children, of course).
Some people in Sacramento seem to think that we don’t need ACR 115 any more given the rehearing, but we have been working hard to tell folks there that we still do, that it is still a good thing for the legislature to go on record supporting homeschooling.
The mood in the capitol has changed a lot since the rehearing was granted. Debbie Schwarzer [of HSC] and Karen Taylor of CHN spent a day lobbying the Assembly Education Committee members right before it was granted, and everyone was very, very tense. On April 14, Debbie and Leslie Buchanan, HSC’s President, spent the day lobbying the Senate Education Committee members, and the mood was palpably different. We mostly got words of support, everyone was calm, no one was talking about rushing legislation through. Thanks to all of you who have helped get the word to your representatives that no legislation was needed, other than supporting ACR 115.
HSC Legal Team
HSC Board of Directors
If and when there is something to attend here in CA, we’ll be there if we can. I’ll keep you all updated.