Law Professor—Constitution Requires Homeschoolers To Teach Children Liberal Pieties
November 08, 2007, 12:06 AM
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Kimberley Yuracko, [Send her mail] a blonde feminist law professor at Northwestern, has written a paper called Education Off the Grid: Constitutional Constraints on Homeschooling which suggests that the Constitution requires states to regulate what parents teach their children, to prevent racism or sexism.

The paper relies on federal state action doctrine and state constitution education clauses to argue that states must — not may or should — regulate homeschooling to ensure that parents provide their children with a basic minimum education and check rampant forms of sexism. This paper argues, in other words, that while there is an upper limit on how much states can constitutionally regulate and control children's education, there is a lower limit as well. There is a minimum level of regulation and oversight over children's education that states may not with constitutional impunity avoid.

This, of course, is nonsense on stilts. The Constitution doesn't mention education. But that's not all.

Paul Horwitz at Prawfsblog describes it:

But she also argues that the state may be obliged to "preclude the teaching of certain counterfactual claims such as the natural superiority and inferiority of the races or the danger to women's health of intellectual development. In addition, the basic minimum [educational standard required by the state and federal constitutions] may limit the extent to which parents may teach their children idiosyncratic and illiberal beliefs and values without labeling or framing them as such." So, in Yuracko's argument, there is a constitutional obligation for the state to ensure not just that homeschooled kids receive at least a minimally competent education, but also to ensure that they receive at least a minimally liberal education. That is controversial. PrawfsBlawg: "Teach Your Children Well"....Or Else!

Of course it was the part about "counterfactual statements" about race and gender that got my attention.

There isn't as much as an even chance that the State could get those facts right in their regulation of homeschooling. Children in public schools aren't being taught the facts now, are they? It's Galileo all over again, with his "counterfactual" claim that the earth went round the sun.