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Conservative legal firm urges churches to seize opportunity to start homeschooling co-ops

‘We want to take advantage of this window’

Pacific Justice Institute, a conservative nonprofit legal defense organization based in California, is encouraging church leaders to start their own homeschooling co-ops as the coronavirus pandemic and resulting shutdown has likely caused an unprecedented number of families to consider making the leap to homeschooling.

Brad Dacus, founder and president of the institute, made the case in a recent Zoom meeting with church leaders and others in a discussion that also dealt with the legality of churches reopening.

During the call he emphasized what he said he believes is an extraordinary opportunity for churches to serve families and help provide a better alternative to the government-run public school system.

Dacus called the timing an “incredible situation.”

“I believe by God’s providence and how he works things out, we have an opportunity for parents to reconsider homeschooling, because every parent across the United States, in essence, is now homeschooling and considering it,” he said.

“So now we have this window,” Dacus said, “we want to take advantage of this window.”

Dacus criticized the public school system as being corrupted by a “perverted” sex education agenda that starts from the kindergarten level up, and he mentioned a film to be released that will delve into “how things are becoming very dangerous.”

“We have a spiritual genocide basically in process,” he said.

In response, he suggested churches can start a homeschooling co-op to “reach out to the kids and families in their community and, in so doing, possibly grow and see kids come to Christ.”

“It’s a great opportunity; the spiritual genocide is happening. And folks, we’re held accountable for the opportunity we have to reach out and save the children,” Dacus said. “It’s in times like now, we can’t ignore that, in just dealing with the emergency at hand. We need to also look at the opportunities that I believe God’s providence is opening up for us as we move ahead.”

Featured as the guest speaker to the institute’s Zoom meeting was Rebecca Kocsis from the Christian Home Educators Association of California, a nonprofit ministry that serves homeschooling families in California.

She said starting a homeschool co-op is something a church—even with small resources—can accomplish.

“Starting a homeschool group does not have to be terribly complicated, as many people tend to think. California’s laws for homeschooling are very, very accommodating,” she said.

She said many programs also do not require large staffs or budgets.

Kocsis said that homeschooling laws vary state by state, some with specific statutes for homeschoolers. In California, the state places homeschoolers under private school statutes. And in that case, churches in those states can essentially start a small private school for homeschoolers within their church, she said.

“Many of you have private day schools and I realize those are wonderful, wonderful options too. I view the two options—homeschooling through churches and day school through churches—as partners in raising and in discipling the young people,” she said.

Kocsis also said she agrees with Dacus’ point that homeschooling has eternal value.

“CHEA believes one hundred percent that there are going to be souls in heaven because they were homeschooled, as opposed to being put in government schools that are seeking to undermine parental rights,” she said.

She said public schools seek to undermine the Christian worldview.

“It really is a battle for the hearts and minds of the children and, honestly, in my experience, as a Christian myself, I know how much I look to our church leadership,” she said.

“If pastors and their staff are willing to do a little bit of research, we at CHEA are happy to work with each of you to establish a homeschool group. Your families—more families—are going to feel free to homeschool. They’ll have that security,” she added.

During the Zoom call, Kocsis shared her screen to show participants how to navigate CHEA’s website, www.homeschool411.com, and find the group’s resources regarding homeschooling, especially their page titled, “Starting a Homeschool Group,” as it contains useful information on how to get started.

Pacific Justice Institute’s list of homeschooling resources on its website also includes direct links to resources from CHEA, as well as other organizations, so those in other states can find resources relevant to where they live.

MORE: Harvard professor: Too much homeschooling freedom is ‘dangerous’

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About the Author
Sarah Imgrund -- Liberty University