Historically, Community Care Licensing is the agency that governs facilities that care for children who DO NOT have parents or legal guardians. Such facilities include group homes and foster care. Never in the history of California has CCLD been allowed to dictate the supervision of children who do have parents or legal guardians. Until now.
Community Care Licencing does not allow entities under their supervision to be exclusively Christian or any other religion. Not only does Community Care Licencing prevent schools from exercising their religious freedom, but they enforce extremely restrictive rules that would be contrary to many parent’s wishes.
If this bill is allowed to go on uncontested, it will also set a precedent for future bills to force private day schools out from the Department of Education and under CCLD’s authority.
Currently, SB524 affects all boarding schools in California. The regulations state that any residential school that provides “behavior based services” is a group home and under the authority of Community Care Licencing. The problem is that the term “behavior based services” is not in any way defined. Is providing a structured environment a behavioral based service? Is giving detention? What about a class about how to live based on Biblical principles?
This lack of definition gives CCLD carte blanche to claim almost anything is a behavior based service and force any boarding school into CCLD’s licencing structure.
Private Day Schools
The enforcement of SB524 will set a precedent to begin restricting the religious freedom of all private schools. Removing one word from the bill is all that it will take to begin targeting private day schools. If your school is a religious day school, you should be extremely concerned about how they will control your ability to teach your convictions and faith.
Parents, you should also be very concerned about the infringement on your right to choose a faith based school for your child. The Fourteenth Amendment grants you the right to direct the education of your child and instill the moral standards and religious beliefs of your choosing. The state should not be impeding your right to choose a school where your child will be taught according to your beliefs and values.
Religious Care Facilities
This bill also creates a monopoly where only the state will be permitted to care for children in any way, shape or form. Any facility that cares for children medically, socially, behaviorally, or psychologically, will be forced under CCLD’s purview and the state will have full control of these areas. This will be the case even when there is a parent or guardian involved and will supersede any parental rights. Parental decisions would be overruled by the state of California in spite of the parent’s wishes.
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Please contact your church, school, local government officials and express your concern over this abuse of power. And please consider donating.