CLF has made written submissions to Quebec’s Ministry of Education, urging respect for the autonomy of families who homeschool in accordance with their children’s specific needs and best interests, and with the family’s own convictions and beliefs.
As reported by the Homeschool Legal Defence Association (HSLDA), Quebec’s Ministry of Education recently proposed changes to the Homeschooling Regulation which would require homeschooled students to “acquire a body of knowledge and various skills” in relation to Ministry approved curriculum, and to submit to “any examination imposed by the Minister” to demonstrate same.
CLF’s submission explains why this is of concern to families who homeschool:
CLF stressed in its submission that, while “the government has a legitimate interest in ensuring that all students in Quebec receive an adequate education,” it does not have “the right to dictate every aspect of each child’s education – parents maintain a ‘measure of control’ in this respect” (citing E.T. v. Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, 2017 ONCA 893 at para. 47).
CLF’s submission surveys numerous legal protections in Quebec, Canadian, and international law, all of which support the fundamental rights of families to “determine the religious and moral education of their children, including determinations surrounding homeschooling”.
Endorsing the submissions of the Association of Christian Parent Educators of Quebec (ACPEQ) and HSLDA, CLF explains why “the existing Homeschooling Regulation reflects a more appropriate balancing of state interests with family autonomy by allowing the Ministry of Education to evaluate a student’s progress without disadvantaging pupils who have pursued an alternative, but academically sufficient, home education”.
CLF’s submission calls on the Ministry of Education to “revise the amendments and revert to the current Homeschooling Regulation, to ensure that the fundamental rights and freedoms of Quebec families are fully honoured and protected.”