Texas Supreme Court to Decide Christian Couple's Home-Schooling Case

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By Tana Ganeva / AlterNetThis article was first published on AlterNet.

On Monday, the Texas Supreme Court will hear arguments over whether Christian parents of homeschooled children have to follow basic educational standards or if they’re allowed to keep their kids blissfully free of knowledge as they wait to be whisked off to heaven.

Texas couple Michael and Laura McIntyre homeschooled their nine children in a motorcycle shop, where the kids did little by way of school work besides play instruments and sing songs, according to witnesses. One relative overheard a child say that there was no point in doing real school work because, “they were going to be raptured,” the AP reports.

The family got on school officials’ radar when their oldest daughter ran away and tried to enroll in school. The El Paso school district demanded they show proof the kids were getting a proper education, prompting the couple to sue the district for displaying anti-Christian bias and a “startling assertion of sweeping governmental power,” the AP reports.

A lower court ruled against them, and now the Texas Supreme Court will decide whether religious parents should be forced to comply with educational standards.

Three percent of school-aged children were homeschooled in 2012, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Parents might take over their kids’ education for a variety of reasons, including concern over school environment, but the wide majority keep their kids at home for religious reasons; 64 percent of homeschooled parents say they want to mold their kids’ education according to religious ideals, the New Republic notes. Many states, including Texas, do not have concrete rules in place to track the progress of homeschooled children, leading to the potential for abuse of the system and subpar schooling.

Tana Ganeva / AlterNet

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