Parents wanting to educate their children at home suffered setbacks in two recent state court decisions.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a state law requiring parents to obtain the local public school superintendent's approval of a home education program did not violate parents' constitutional right of religious freedom. State v. Schmidt, 505 N.E.2d 627 (Ohio 1987).
In a similar case, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that guidelines adopted by the state for approval of home education programs did not violate the right of parents to freely exercise their religion. The court agreed that parents have a fundamental right to direct the education of their children, but concluded that "such a right is not absolute but must be reconciled with the substantial state interest in the education of its citizenry." Care and Protection of Charles, 504 N.E.2d 592 (Mass. 1987).