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Homeschool Laws -- Updated

Posted by on Jan. 2, 2016 at 4:22 PM
  • 56 Replies

 I have searched up every State's Homeschool Law and the ones I am posting are the most up to date, current laws that are on the books.

 The Homeschool Laws are in alphabetical order.  

by on Jan. 2, 2016 at 4:22 PM
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by Sonja on Nov. 26, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Home Schooling in the United States:

A Legal Analysis

2014-2015 Edition



Compulsory Attendance Ages: “between 7 and 16.” A child who is six years old and enrolled in the first grade in public school is subject to the compulsory attendance law. A parent may withdraw such a child from public school within 60 days of enrollment, and the child will not be subject to the compulsory attendance law until age seven.

Alaska Statutes § 14.30.010(a) and (c).

Required Days of Instruction: None.

Required Subjects: None.

Home schools have five options, four of which are under alternative statutes:

Home School Statute:

Option 1. Alaska Stat. § 14.30.010(b)(12). If the child “is being educated in the child’s home by a parent or legal guardian,” the child is excepted from compulsory attendance. Under this option, there are no requirements to notify, seek approval, test, file forms, or have any teacher qualifications. The burden is on the state to prove that parents are not teaching their children.

Alternative Statutes:

Option 2. Alaska Stat. § 14.30.010(b)(1)(B). Tutoring by a certified teacher.

Option 3. Alaska Stat. § 14.30.010(b)(11). The child “is equally well-served by an educational experience approved by the school board,” after a written request for excuse from school attendance.

Option 4. A home school may qualify as a “religious or other private school” as long as it meets the following requirements:

a. the child’s parent must file an annual notice of enrollment (Private School Enrollment Reporting Form) with the local superintendent by the first day of public school. Alaska Stat. § 14.45.110(a);

b. before October 15 each year, file the “Private and Denominational Schools Enrollment Report” and “School Calendar” forms with the Department of Education;

c. the school must maintain monthly attendance records showing 180 days of school attendance each year. The school calendar and the number of students in each grade must be annually reported to the Commissioner of Education. Alaska Stat. § 14.45.110(b);

d. The definition of a private school is a school “that does not receive direct state or federal funding.” Alaska Stat. § 14.45.200(1);

Alaska AK-2

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e. The definition of a religious school is a “private school operated by a church or other religious

organization that does not receive direct state or federal funding.” Alaska Stat. § 14.45.200(2);

f. maintain and certify to department of education that permanent records on immunization, courses,

standardized testing, academic achievement, and physical exams are kept. Alaska Stat.

§ 14.45.130;

g. according to the Alaska Department of Education’s Guide for Establishing a Private or Religious

School, home schools are exempt from fire, safety, and asbestos regulations and developing a

corporal punishment policy.

h. If a school is not operated in compliance with this section, it is not exempt from other

requirements and must make monthly attendance reports and annual reports to the Commissioner

of Education. Alaska Stat. § 14.45.030

Teacher Qualifications: None.

Certification is required only if parents use a private tutor. Alaska Stat. § 14.30.010 (b)(1)(B) (tutors must

be certified); § 14.20.020 (certification requirements).

Standardized Tests: None. However, if operating as a religious or other private school (option 4),

testing is only required for fourth, sixth, and eighth grades. Standardized test results must be made

available to the Department of Education upon request. The parent may select any nationally

standardized achievement test that measures achievement in English grammar, reading, spelling, and

mathematics. See Guide. Alaska Stat. § 14.45.120.

by Sonja on Nov. 26, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Home Schooling in the United States:

A Legal Analysis

2013-2014 Edition



Compulsory Attendance Ages: Between 6 and 16. Arizona Revised Statutes § 15-802(A). If a child who will attend homeschool has not reached eight years of age by September 1 of the school year, the person who has custody may exempt that child from the compulsory attendance law by filing an affidavit of intent to not begin homeschool instruction. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 15-802(B)(3).

Required Days of Instruction: Does not apply to homeschools. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 15-802(B)(2).

Required Subjects: Reading, grammar, math, social studies, and science. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 15-802(A).

Home School Statute: Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 15-802.

1. The parent or guardian must file a notarized affidavit of intent to operate a homeschool program with the county school superintendent within 30 days after homeschooling begins. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 15-802(C).

2. An affidavit of intent is not required thereafter unless the homeschool is terminated and then resumed. The parent or guardian shall notify the county school superintendent within 30 days of the termination of homeschooling that the child is no longer being instructed at home. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 15-802(C).

3. The affidavit of intent shall include the child’s name; the child’s date of birth; the current address of the school the child is attending; and the names, telephone numbers, and addresses of the persons who currently have custody of the child. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 15-802(B)(2).

4. The parent or person with custody must also provide the county school superintendent either a “certified copy of the child’s birth certificate” or “[o]ther reliable proof of the child’s identity and age . . . and an affidavit explaining the inability to provide a copy of the birth certificate.” Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 15-828(B).

5. A homeschool that operates under the home school statute is not a private school. A homeschool means a school “conducted primarily by the parent, guardian or other person who has custody of the child” or “instruction provided in the child’s home.” Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 15-802(G).

Teacher Qualifications: None. The parent/teacher’s test requirement was repealed in 1991.

Standardized Tests: The standardized test and optional evaluation requirement was repealed in 1995 by Arizona Senate Bill 1348.

Religious Freedom Act: Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 41-1493 to 41-1493.03.

by Sonja on Nov. 26, 2014 at 6:14 PM
1 mom liked this

Home Schooling in the United States:

A Legal Analysis

2014-2015 Edition



Compulsory Attendance Ages: 5 through 17, on or before August 1. There is an option for a kindergarten waiver if the child will not be 6 on August 1. However, the parent must file a kindergarten waiver form on a form prescribed by the Department of Education. Arkansas Code of 1987 Annotated §§ 6-18-201, -207.

Required Days of Instruction: No specified days.

Required Subjects: No specified requirements.

Home School Statute: Ark. Code Ann. §§ 6-15-501 to -508.

1. Parents or guardians may choose to provide a home school for their children by notifying the local public school superintendent in writing of their intent to home school no later than August 15 by parents beginning home schooling in the fall semester or by December 15 for those beginning in the spring semester. Parents deciding to begin home schooling after the start of a semester are permitted to do so by providing the notice of intent 14 days prior to withdrawing the child from public school and each year thereafter at the beginning of the school year. The superintendent or the local school board may waive the 14-day waiting period. Parents or guardians moving into the school district during the school year must give written notice within 30 days of establishing residency within the school district. Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-503(a).

(A public school student who is currently under disciplinary action for violation of any school policy is not eligible to begin home schooling unless (1) the superintendent or local school board chooses to allow the student to enroll in a home school; (2) the disciplinary action against the student has been completed or the school semester ends, whichever occurs first; or (3) the student has been expelled from public school.) Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-503(d).

Parents or guardians must deliver the notice in person to the local superintendent the first time notice is given. Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-503(a)(4). The notice must include:

(a) The name, date of birth, grade level of the children, and the name and address of the school last attended, if any, of each student involved;

(b) The location of the home school;

(c) The basic core curriculum to be offered;

(d) The proposed schedule of instruction; and

(e) The qualifications of the teacher/parents.

 Arkansas AR-2

Note: All this information “may be used only for statistical purposes and test administration.” Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-503(a-b).

2. Parents or guardians must sign a waiver acknowledging that the State of Arkansas is not liable for the education of their child during the time of home schooling. Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-503(a)(2).

3. A home school is not eligible for local, state, or federal funds allocated to a public school district. Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-507(a)(1).

4. The U.S. Court of Appeals declared the standardized testing requirement to be constitutional in Murphy v. Arkansas, 852 F.2d 1039 (8th Cir. 1988). When applying the “compelling interest test,” the court found the state’s testing requirement satisfied the “least restrictive means” analysis. The court said: “...we believe that the state has no means less restrictive than its administration of achievement tests to ensure that its citizens are being properly educated.” Murphy, 852 F.2d at 1043.

Teacher Qualifications: None.

Standardized Tests: “Each student enrolled in a home school program who is considered to be at a grade level, or no more than two (2) years beyond the normal age for the appropriate grade for which the State mandates norm-referenced tests for public school students shall be tested using a nationally recognized norm-referenced achievement test selected by the State Board of Education.” Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-504(a).

Unless alternate testing procedures are approved, the administration of the tests is the responsibility of the directors of the education service cooperatives. (The superintendents of the Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Pulaski County school districts act as these directors in their districts.) The cost of testing is the responsibility of the Department of Education unless an alternate testing procedure is approved, in which case the parents or guardians must pay for the testing. Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-504(b).

No minimum score must be achieved by the home school student who is tested, but any student who refuses to participate in the testing program may be prosecuted for truancy. Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-504(e).

PLEASE NOTE: Children enrolled in a virtual charter school, public on-line school, or public school independent study program are not eligible for HSLDA membership. Enrollment in these secular programs is enrollment in public school, which gives the public school authority over the student to impose state assessment, approval of curriculum, and supervision by a certified teacher. HSLDA membership extends only to students whose education is primarily administered and controlled by parents privately. If you have any questions please call our office.

by Sonja on Nov. 26, 2014 at 6:26 PM
1 mom liked this

Home Schooling in the United States:

A Legal Analysis

2014-2015 Edition


Compulsory Attendance Ages: “between the ages of 6 by September 1and 18 years.” California

Education Code §§ 48200, 48400, 48410, 48000, 48010.

Required Days of Instruction: 175 days, only for public schools.

Required Subjects: Homeschools must be taught in English and “offer instruction in the several branches of study required to be taught in the public schools.” Cal. Educ. Code §§ 48222, 48224. Specifically, in grades 1-6, the following courses must be taught: English, math, social science, science, visual and performing arts, health, and physical education. Cal. Educ. Code § 51210.

Homeschool Statute: None.

Alternative Statutes Allowing for Homeschools: Homeschools have four options:

Option 1. An individual home school can qualify as a private school by filing an annual private school

affidavit with the Superintendent of Public Instruction between October 1 and October 15 of each school year. Cal. Educ. Code §§ 33190, 48222.

a. The instructor(s) must be “capable of teaching.” Cal. Educ. Code § 48222.

b. Attendance “of the pupils shall be kept . . . in a register . . . .” Cal. Educ. Code § 48222.

Option 2. A child can enroll in a private school satellite program (PSP) and be “homeschooled” through

that private school. The PSP must comply with Cal. Educ. Code § 48222 (see Option 1 above) and may

enroll anywhere from two to several hundred families. Many homeschool families have organized and/or

enrolled in such private PSPs.

On August 8, 2008, the California Court of Appeals for the Second Appellate District ruled that

“California statutes permit home schooling as a species of private school education.” Jonathan L. v.

Superior Court, 81 Cal. Rptr. 3d 571, 576 (Cal. App. 2008).

The California Court of Appeal defined homeschooling as “full-time education in the home by a parent or guardian who does not necessarily possess a teaching credential.” Id. The Court concluded that the legislative history in California, although somewhat complicated, confirmed the Legislature’s intent that homeschools operate as private schools in California. The Court found it significant that education enforcement officials (including the governor of the State of California and the Superintendent of Public Instruction) at both the state and local levelsagreed that homeschool parents could “qualify as a private school and teach their children in their ownhome.” Id. at 591.

In reaching this conclusion, the Court held that the cases of Turner and Shinn that had been used against homeschoolers were no longer valid precedent and would, if followed, “undermine apractice that has been, if not actively encouraged, at least acknowledged and accepted by officials and the public for many years.” Id.

California CA-2

Option 3. A child can be privately tutored by a state-certified private tutor and instructed “for at least

three hours a day for 175 days each calendar year” between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Cal. Educ. Code § 48224.

Option 4. A child can be enrolled in an independent study program at home using the public school

curriculum. Under this option, the child is a public school student and has to abide by the rules and policy

of the public school. Cal. Educ. Code § 51745.

Teacher Qualifications: None, under Options 1 and 2. Certification is necessary only if the home school

parent chooses to qualify as a private tutor under Option 3.

Standardized Tests: Not required by statute.

by Sonja on Nov. 26, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Home Schooling in the United States:

A Legal Analysis

2014-2015 Edition


Compulsory Attendance Ages: “Every child who has attained the age of six years on or before August 1 of each year and is under the age of seventeen years.” Colorado Revised Statutes § 22-33-104(1)(a). For children in a home-based educational program (Option 1), the compulsory ages of instruction are from 7 to 16. However, under Option 1, a parent must submit a notice of intent beginning in the year a child is six by August 1. (Actual instruction does not have to begin until age seven.) Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-104.5(3)(e).

Required Days of Instruction: 172 days, averaging four hours per day. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-104.5(3)(c).

Required Subjects: Including, but not limited to, Constitution of the United States, reading, writing, speaking, math, history, civics, literature, and science. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-104.5(3)(d).

Parents have three legal options for educating their children at home:

Home School Statute: Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-104.5.

Option 1: “It is the primary right and obligation of the parent to choose the proper education and training for children under his care and supervision. It is recognized that home-based education is a legitimate alternative to classroom attendance for the instruction of children and that any regulation of nonpublic home-based educational programs should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate a variety of circumstances. The general assembly further declares that nonpublic home-based educational programs shall be subject only to minimum state controls which are currently applicable to other forms of nonpublic education.” Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-104.5(1).

a. Instruction in a non-public home-based educational program may be provided by a parent, guardian, or an adult relative designated by a parent. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-104.5(2)(a) and (b).

b. A home school “is not intended to be and does not qualify as a private and nonprofit school.” Colo. Rev. Stat § 22-33-104.5(2)(a).

c. Parents must give notice 14 days before starting home schooling and annually thereafter. The parents have the choice to file the notice in any school district in the state. A parent who intends to establish a nonpublic home-based educational program must provide written notification of this program to a school district for all children between the ages of six (by August 1) and 16 but is not required to establish the program until the child is seven years of age. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-104.5(3)(e).

d. The notice must include names, ages, residence, and hours of attendance of children taught. There is no requirement to use the local school district’s forms.

e. Parents must keep records of attendance, test and evaluation results, and immunization records which the school district which has the original notice of intent may see with fourteen days’ notice if the superintendent “has probable cause to believe” the home school program is not in compliance with the law. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-104.5(3)(g).

Colorado CO-2

Alternative Statutes Allowing for Educating a Child at Home:

Option 2: Parents can enroll their children in a Colorado “independent school” but teach them at home. The decisive case, People in Interest of D.B., 767 P.2d 801 (Colo. App. 1988), held that, according to Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-104(2)(b), children “enrolled in” (changed from the word “attending” in 1983) an independent or parochial school that provides a basic academic education can be allowed by that school to be taught at home. Such students are legally classified as private school students.

a. In the D.B. case, the Court of Appeals stated: “Since the district has not challenged the adequacy of the education provided by the academy, the matter of the sufficiency of the children’s attendance is between them [the home schoolers] and the independent school in which they are enrolled.” 767 P.2d at 802. In other words, children that are enrolled in a Colorado independent school are exempt from the compulsory school attendance and homeschool laws and can still be instructed by their parents at home. Registration with the public school is not required. No testing or evaluation is mandated.

b. Parents can establish an independent school by keeping minimal records and providing instruction in the required subjects, in addition to complying with other statutory requirements (see HSLDA’s memorandum on satellite schools). The independent school must be comprised of at least two homeschool families.

c. The administrator can be one of the parents. The teachers are the parents, and all teaching is done in separate campus sites in each home.

Option 3: If a home schooling parent or other person is certified in Colorado to teach, the home school in which they are providing instruction is exempt from all other requirements, including testing. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-104(2)(i)(I).

Teacher Qualifications: None, unless a child is taught by a private tutor, who must be certified.

Standardized Tests: Children enrolled in a home-based educational program must be tested or evaluated in grades 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-104.5(3)(f).

I. Testing: Must be with a national standardized achievement test. If test results show a composite score above the thirteenth percentile, the child will continue to be exempt from compulsory public school attendance requirements. If the child scores at or below the thirteenth percentile, “the school district shall require the parents to place said child in a public or independent or parochial school until the next testing period; except that no action shall be taken until the child is given the opportunity to be retested using an alternative version of the same test or a different nationally standardized achievement test selected by the parent from a list of approved tests.” Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-104.5(5)(a).


II. Evaluation: Must be evaluated by a “qualified person” who is “selected by the parent” and is a Colorado certified teacher or a teacher employed by a private school or a licensed psychologist or a person with a graduate degree in education. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-104.5(2)(c). The evaluation must “show that the child is making sufficient academic progress according to the child’s ability. . . . If the evaluation results show that the child is not making sufficient academic progress, the school district shall require the child’s parents to place the child in a public or independent or parochial school until the next testing period.” Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-104.5(5)(a)(II).

“The test or evaluation results, whichever is appropriate, shall be submitted to the school district that received the notification . . . . or an independent or parochial school within the state of Colorado. If the test or evaluation results are submitted to an independent or parochial school, the name of such school shall be provided to the school district that received the notification required by paragraph (e) of this subsection (3).” Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-104.5(3)(f).

Colorado CO-3

PLEASE NOTE: Children enrolled in a virtual charter school, public online school, or public school independent study program are not eligible for HSLDA membership. Enrollment in these secular programs is enrollment in public school, which gives the public school authority over the student to impose state assessment, approval of curriculum, and supervision by a certified teacher. HSLDA membership extends only to students whose education is primarily administered and controlled by parents privately. If you have any questions please call our office.

by Sonja on Nov. 26, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Home Schooling in the United States:

A Legal Analysis

2014-2015 Edition



Compulsory Attendance Ages: “five years of age and over and under eighteen years of age . . . unless such child is a high school graduate . . . .” Parents may elect not to send a five or six year old child to school by personally appearing at the school district office and signing an option form. Connecticut General Statutes § 10-184.

Required Days of Instruction: None.

Required Subjects: Reading, writing, spelling, English grammar, geography, arithmetic, United States history, and citizenship, including a study of the town, state, and federal governments. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-184.

Home School Statute: No specific statute, but the Department of Education has adopted specific home school “procedures” which are described below.

A home school may operate if the parent “is able to show that the child is elsewhere receiving equivalent instruction in the studies taught in the public schools.” Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-184. The duty of the local school board is to “cause each child [of school age] … to attend school in accordance with the provisions of § 10-184.” Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-220(a).

On November 7, 1990, the Connecticut Board of Education implemented “Revised Procedures Concerning Requests from Parents to Educate Their Child at Home.” (These procedures are optional.)

1. “The State Board of Education acknowledges the right of parents to instruct their children at home as an alternative to public school attendance.”

2. Within 10 days of the start of a home instruction program, parents must file a “Notice of Intent” form with the local superintendent.

3. Among other things, this form must include “name of teacher, subjects taught, days of instruction, and the teacher’s method of assessment.”

4. “A parent, by filing a notice of intent, acknowledges full responsibility for the education of their child in accordance with the requirements of state law. Receipt of a notice of intent in no way constitutes approval by a school district of the content or effectiveness of a program of home instruction.”

5. “Any continued refusal by the parent to comply with the reasonable request of the school district for completion and filing of the notice of intent, or to participate in an annual portfolio review may cause the child to be considered truant.”

Teacher Qualifications: None.

Connecticut CT-2

Standardized Tests: Not required by statute or regulation. However, “an annual portfolio review will be held with the parents and school officials to determine if instruction in the required courses has been given.” (“Revised Procedures,” p. 3).

Religious Freedom Act: Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-571b.

by Sonja on Nov. 26, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Home Schooling in the United States: A Legal Analysis

2014-2015 Edition


Compulsory Attendance Ages: “between 5 [on or before August 31] and 16 years of age,” unless the local school authorities determine that beginning school is not “in the best interest of the child.” Delaware Code Annotated title 14, § 2702(a)-(b).

Required Days of Instruction: None, but homeschools must submit attendance reports annually to the Department of Education. Id. § 2704.

Required Subjects: None, except under Option 3, in which case the homeschool must provide “regular and thorough instruction . . . in the subjects prescribed for the public schools of the State.” Id. § 2703A(3).

Home School Statute: Delaware Code Annotated title 14, § 2703A.

Home schools have three options from which to choose:

Option 1: “Single-family homeschool” “means the education of one’s own child(ren) primarily by the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of such child(ren) mainly in their own residence.” Id. § 2703A(2).

Option 2: “Multi-family homeschool” “means the education of children, primarily by the parents(s) or legal guardian(s) of such children mainly in one or several residences, or other facilities, when such children are not all related to each other as brother or sister. A person shall act as a liaison to the Department of Education for reporting enrollment and attendance information for all families involved.” Id. § 2703A(1).

Option 3: “Single-family homeschool coordinated with the local school district” means the education of child(ren) primarily by the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of such child(ren) mainly in their own residence using a curriculum approved by the local superintendent or his/her designee. The local superintendent shall determine in writing that the student is or will be provided with regular and thorough instruction by the student’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) in the subjects prescribed for the public schools of the State and in a manner suitable to children of the same age and stage of advancement. Id. § 2703A(3).

Under all three options above, homeschools must report end of the year attendance information to the Department of Education on or before July 31 of each year. On or before October 31, homeschools must also submit an annual statement of enrollment as of the last school day in September. Both reports must be on forms prescribed by the Department of Education. Id. § 2704.

Teacher Qualifications: None.

Standardized Tests: None.

by Sonja on Nov. 26, 2014 at 6:39 PM
1 mom liked this

Home Schooling in the United States:

A Legal Analysis

2014-2015 Edition


Compulsory Attendance Ages: “All children who have attained the age of 6 years or who will have attained the age of 6 years by February 1 of any school year or who are older than 6 years of age but who have not attained the age of 16 years . . . are required to attend school regularly during the entire school term.” Florida Statutes § 1003.21(1).

Required Days of Instruction: 180 days for public and private schools. Fla. Stat. § 1003.02(1)(g)(1). However, homeschoolers operating under Option 1 are specifically excluded from this requirement. Fla. Stat. § 1002.41(3).

Required Subjects: None.

Homeschools have three options:

Option 1: Homeschools can operate under the home education law. Fla. Stat. § 1002.41.

1. The definition of a “home education program” is “sequentially progressive instruction of a student directed by his or her parent (or guardian)”. Fla. Stat. § 1002.01(1) and Fla. Stat. § 1000.21(5).

2. The parent must meet the following requirements:

a. notify the county superintendent in writing within 30 days of establishing the home education program (not required to be filed annually);

b. give the names, addresses, and birth dates of the homeschool students; and

c. maintain a portfolio of records and materials consisting of a log of educational activities made contemporaneously with the instruction and designating by title any reading materials used, along with samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or creative materials used or developed by the student. The portfolio must be preserved for two years and made available for inspection by the superintendent or the superintendent’s agent upon 15 days’ written notice. The school district has no authority to enter the home to inspect the portfolio. Nothing in this section shall require the superintendent to inspect the portfolio. Fla. Stat. § 1002.41(1)(b)(2)

Option 2: More than one homeschool can operate as a private school. Any child who “attends” a private, parochial, religious, or denominational school is exempt from compulsory attendance. Fla. Stat. § 1002.01(2). Florida’s intermediate appellate court ruled in State v. Buckner, 472 So. 2d 1228 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1985) that one homeschool does not qualify as a private school by itself. However, groups of homeschools can file as private schools under Fla. Stat. Ch. 623 (the Private School Corporation Law of 1959) [25 or more persons], Ch. 617 (the Florida Not for Profit Corporation Act) [one or more persons may be an incorporator], or Ch. 607 (the Florida Business Corporation Act).

Florida FL-2

Ch. 623 schools must file a charter with their local circuit court and file an annual database form. In some localities, they may be required to obtain a business license. Although in practice these schools have operated for years, the Deputy General Counsel for the Board of Education has issued a non-binding memorandum dated November 2, 1988, stating that homeschools cannot satellite with Ch. 623 private schools because they must be in “attendance” at the school.

The memorandum, however, did not deal with Ch. 607 and 617 schools, which must merely incorporate and file an annual database form. The memorandum also ignored the fact that children enrolled in Ch. 623 schools are actually “in attendance” at various classroom sites located in each home and that the Ch. 623, Ch. 607, and Ch. 617 schools meet all the statutory requirements for private schools. Thousands of students are educated at home by their parents and legally enrolled in these schools throughout the state. The Florida Department of Education acknowledges this as a legal option and states that it does not matter “where, or by whom, they receive instruction.”

Option 3: Homeschools can operate under the private tutor law. Fla Stat. § 1002.43. A person may teach a child if the person meets the following requirements:

a. Holds a valid Florida certificate to teach the subjects or grades in which instruction is given;

b. Keeps all records and makes all reports required by the state and district school board; and

c. Requires students to be in actual attendance for 180 days or the equivalent on an hourly basis.

Teacher Qualifications: None for parents.

Standardized Tests: Only required for parents homeschooling under the homeschool law in Option 1 above. The parent must file a copy of the evaluation with the local district school superintendent annually. There is no specific statutory deadline. Fla. Stat. § 1002.41(1)(c). Each student must do one of the following each year:

1) Have educational progress evaluated by a teacher holding a valid regular Florida teaching certificate and selected by the parent. The evaluation must include review of a portfolio and discussion with the student;

2) Take any nationally normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher;

3) Take “a state student assessment test used by the school district and administered by a certified teacher, at a location and under testing conditions approved by the school district”;

4) Be evaluated by a Florida licensed psychologist or school psychologist; or

5) Be “evaluated with any other valid measurement tool as mutually agreed upon by the… superintendent of the district in which the student resides and the student’s parent.”

“The district school superintendent shall review and accept the results of the annual educational evaluation…. If the pupil does not demonstrate educational progress at a level commensurate with her or his ability, the district school superintendent shall notify the parent, in writing…. The parent shall have 1 year…. to provide remedial instruction to the student.” At the end of the 1 year probationary period, the student’s annual evaluation has to verify that he or she has shown “educational progress commensurate with her or his ability.” Fla. Stat. § 1002.41(2).

Religious Freedom Act: Fla. Stat. §§ 761.01–.05.

by Sonja on Nov. 26, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Home Schooling in the United States:

A Legal Analysis

2014-2015 Edition



Compulsory Attendance Ages: “Between their 6th and 16th birthdays.” Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 20-2-690.1. However, if a child is under 7 and has attended more than 20 days in a Georgia public school, he is subject to the compulsory attendance laws. Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-150(c).

Required Days of Instruction: 180 days. Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-690(c)(5).

Required Subjects: A basic academic educational program that includes, but is not limited to, reading, language arts, math, social studies, and science. Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-690(c)(4).

Home School Statute: Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-690(c).

1. Parents must submit a declaration of intent to utilize a home study program to the Georgia Department of Education within 30 days after the establishment of the home study program and by Sept. 1 every year thereafter. The Department of Education shall provide for written or electronic submittal of the declaration. This declaration must include the names and ages of students, the location of the home study program, and the 12-month period for the school year of the home study program. Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-690(c)(1)-(2).

2. The home study program must provide “a basic academic educational program.” Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-690(c)(4). (See “Required Subjects” above.)

3. Each school day must consist of four and one-half hours. Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-690(c)(5).

4. Parent must write an annual progress report for each child in the required subjects and retain it for three years. Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-690(c)(8).

5. “Parents or guardians may teach only their own children in the home study program ... but the parents or guardians may employ a tutor who holds at least a high school diploma or a GED equivalency diploma to teach such children.” Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-690(c)(3).

6. The parent or guardian has the authority to execute any document required to evidence enrollment of a child in a home study program, the student’s full-time or part-time status, the student’s grades, or any other educational information. This includes verification of attendance by the Department of Driver Services, documents relating to the employment of minors, and documents to apply for state or federal public assistance.

7. According to the Attorney General of Georgia, the local superintendent does not have the authority to require parents to affirmatively produce evidence of their continuing compliance with the law in the operation of home study programs or require the production of documents. Although the superintendent has the authority to “request” such materials, he cannot require parents to submit them. 1986 Op. Att’y. Gen. No. U86-19. Georgia GA-2

8. This statute resulted from a home school decision by the Georgia Supreme Court, Roemhild v. Georgia, 251 Ga. 569, 308 S.E.2d 154 (Ga. 1983), which found the former law to be “unconstitu-tionally vague.” Roemhild, 308 S.E.2d at 159. The Court reasoned: “We conclude that the statute is not sufficiently definite to provide a person of ordinary intelligence, who desires to avoid its penalties, fair notice of what constitutes a ‘private school’.” Roemhild at 158. “Furthermore, the statute violated a second due process value in that it impermissibly delegates to local law enforcement officials, judges, and juries the policy decision of what constitutes a private school.” Id.

Teacher Qualifications: The “teaching parent” or tutor must have at least a high school diploma or a GED diploma. Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-690(c)(3).

Standardized Tests: Children must take a nationally standardized achievement test every three years beginning at the end of the third grade. The test must be administered in consultation with a person trained in the administration and interpretation of norm reference tests. Since science and social studies are required subjects and the testing is required to evaluate the student’s “educational progress,”

HSLDA is of the opinion that the complete battery form of the standardized test should be used. Test scores must be retained but are not required to be submitted to public school authorities. Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-690(c)(7).

by Sonja on Nov. 26, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Home Schooling in the United States:

A Legal Analysis

2014-2015 Edition


Compulsory Attendance Ages: “Age five on or before July 31” to “age eighteen years, by January 1.” Hawaii Revised Statutes § 302A-1132(a). The lowering to age 5 became effective July 1, 2014.

Required Days of Instruction: None.

Required Subjects: Curriculum must “be structured and based on educational objectives as well as the needs of the child, be cumulative and sequential, provide a range of up-to-date knowledge and needed skills, and take into account the interests, needs, and abilities of the child.” An elementary school curriculum “may include” language arts, math, social studies, science, art, music, health, and physical education. A secondary school curriculum “may include” social studies, English, math, science, health, physical education, and guidance. Hawaii Administrative Rules § 8-12-15.

Home School Statute: Haw. Rev. Stat. § 302A-1132(a)(5)

Home schools have two options:

Option 1. A child is exempt from public school attendance if “notification of intent to home school has been submitted to the principal of the public school that the child would otherwise be required to attend in accordance with department rules adopted to achieve this result.” Haw. Rev. Stat. § 302A-1132(a)(5).

According to Haw. Admin. R. §§ 8-12-1 to 8-12-22,

a. Parents must provide a notice of intent to home educate “before initiating home schooling.” The notice of intent may be submitted on a department developed form or in a letter containing the following items: name, address, telephone number, birthdate, and grade level of the child and the parent’s signature. Haw. Admin. R. § 8-12-13.

c. “A parent teaching the parent’s child at home shall be deemed a qualified instructor.” Haw. Admin. R. § 8-12-19.

d. Parents must keep “a record of the planned curriculum” which must include the commencement date and ending date of the program, the number of hours per week of instruction, the subjects to be covered, the method used to determine mastery of materials and subjects in the curriculum, and a list of textbooks or other instructional materials. Haw. Admin. R. § 8-12-15.

e. “The parent shall notify the principal if home schooling is terminated. A child shall be re-enrolled in the local public school or licensed private school unless a new alternative educational program is presented within five school days after the termination of home schooling.” Haw. Admin. R. § 8-12-16.

Hawaii HI-2

Educational neglect charges cannot be based on the refusal of parents to comply with any requests by public school officials that exceed the requirements of this chapter. Haw. Admin. R. § 8-12-17.

Option 2. A child is exempt from compulsory attendance when “enrolled in an appropriate alternative educational program as approved by the superintendent.” Haw. Rev. Stat. § 302A-1132(a)(5).

Teacher Qualifications: None for parents under Option 1. Instructors under Option 2 must have a bachelor’s degree.

Standardized Tests: At the end of each school year, an “annual report of child’s progress” must be submitted to local principal. This report may comprise one of the following:

1. a score on “a nationally-normed standardized achievement test which demonstrates grade level achievement appropriate to a child’s age”;

2. “progress on a nationally-normed standardized achievement test that is equivalent to one grade level per calendar year”;

3. “a written evaluation by a teacher certified to teach in the State of Hawaii”;

4. “a written evaluation by the parent which shall include

(A) A description of the child’s progress in each subject area included in the child’s curriculum;

(B) Representative samples of the child’s work; and

(C) Representative tests and assignments including grades for courses if grades are given.” Haw. Admin. R. § 8-12-18(b).; or

5. the results of Hawaii’s Statewide Testing Program if a parent chooses “to have the child participate in the school’s testing program” for grades 3, 5, 8, and 10. Haw. Admin. R. § 8-12-18(c).

In grades 3, 5, 8 and 10, children must take a criterion or norm-referenced standardized achievement test of the parent’s choice in lieu of the annual progress report. Haw. Admin. R. § 8-12-18.

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