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Freedom of Religion - Part 4

A federal court in Pennsylvania ruled that a state law regulating homeschooling was invalid. The law in question permitted homeschooling, but required "properly qualified private tutors" to provide the daily instruction. The term "qualified private tutor" was not adequately defined by the law, and this led to differing interpretations among the 501 school districts within the state. The court quoted one education expert who had testified that he "had heard everything that one can imagine, from persons qualified with an eighth grade education to Ph.Ds." Such a law, concluded the court, was so vague that a parent who educated his or her children at home could not determine in advance whether such instruction was lawful under the state homeschooling law. Such a law is "unconstitutional for vagueness." Jeffery v. O'Donnell, 702 F. Supp. 516 (M.D. Pa. 1988).

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  • May 1, 1989