January 16, 2002

 

2002-R-0036

HOME SCHOOLING IN CONNECTICUT AND OTHER STATES

 

By: Judith Lohman, Chief Analyst

 

 

You asked for a comparison of Connecticut’s regulation of home schooling with that of other states.  You also asked how many students are home-schooled in the United States and Connecticut and how the number has increased. This report has been updated by OLR Report 2008-R-0292.

 

SUMMARY

 

Connecticut is the only state that does not have a state statute covering home schooling, according to a 1996 survey by the Education Commission of the States. Instead, its procedure for home instruction is embodied in a 1994 State Board of Education (SBE) policy.  The procedure, which is published in an education commissioner’s circular letter, is suggested rather than mandatory and is offered as a method for parents and school boards to ensure that home-schooled children receive an education that is “equivalent” to that offered in the public schools, as required by the state’s compulsory education law.

 

According to a state-by-state compilation of state home schooling requirements published by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), 29 states, including Connecticut, and the District of Columbia have one level of regulation for all types of home school operations, while 21 have varying requirements depending on the type of home school.

 

 

 

The most common state requirement on home schools, imposed by 44 states, including Connecticut, is that students receive instruction in specified subjects.  Other common requirements are that parents notify local or state school authorities that they will be providing home instruction, that students attend for a minimum number of days per year, and that home schools keep certain records.

 

Twenty-three states impose minimum teacher qualifications for home instruction.  But several apply them only to hired instructors acting as private tutors.  The most common requirement for parents teaching their own children is a high school diploma or GED.  Eleven states require home-schooled students to take statewide achievement tests.

 

Two states, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, require all home schools to be approved in advance by local school authorities.

 

There is a wide disparity in estimates of the number of children in the United States who are educated at home.  Two recently published totals for 1999-2000 differ by more than 100% (850,000 versus 1.7 million). But estimates agree that the national number of home-schooled children grew in the 1990s.  Home-schooled students appear to represent about 1.7% to 3% of all U.S. students aged five to 17.

 

The reported number of home-schooled students in Connecticut also grew every year over the last 12, increasing by about 622% from 1990 to 2001, according to State Department of Education (SDE) figures. Home- schooled students represent about 0.3% of all public and private K-12 students in the state.

 

CONNECTICUT’S REGULATION OF HOME SCHOOLING

 

State Law

 

     Connecticut law requires parents and others having control of any child aged five to 15 (17 starting July 1, 2002) to send him to public school in the district where he lives, unless they can demonstrate he is receiving “equivalent instruction” somewhere else. If the child is five, a parent may sign a form at the local school district office that he is holding the child out of school until age six or, if the child is six, until age seven.

 

Parents must instruct their children or have them instructed in reading, writing, spelling, English grammar, geography, arithmetic, and United States history and citizenship, including the study of federal, state, and local government (CGS § 10-184). Local school boards must make sure that school age children living in their districts are taught “in accordance with the provisions of § 10-184” (§ 10-220(a)).

 

     According to the SBE, children may be educated at home as long as their parents show they are receiving an education program equivalent to that specified in the law. (Circular Letter to School Superintendents from the Education Commissioner, #C-14, 1994-95 Series, July 15, 1994). 

 

SBE Policy

 

     The 1994 circular letter suggests procedures for parents and local school boards to follow when parents educate children at home. Under the suggested procedure, parents file a form with the local school superintendent stating their intention to teach their child at home and providing basic information about their educational program.  The information on the form includes the teacher’s name, the subjects to be taught, the days of instruction, and what the teacher’s assessment methods will be. The notice remains in effect for one year. The school district makes sure the form is complete and retains it as part of its permanent records. School officials hold an annual portfolio review with parents to determine if they have given the legally required instruction. 

 

     The circular letter states that, if the suggested procedure is followed, the requirements of Sections 10-184 and 10-220(a) will be satisfied. By filing the form, the parent acknowledges full responsibility for the child’s education according to the law.  By receiving the form, the school district does not signify its approval of the content or effectiveness of the home instruction. The children of parents who refuse to file the form or to participate in the annual portfolio review may be declared truant.

 

     Local boards must report the number of home-schooled children in their districts annually to the SDE along with other required education statistics.

 

HOME SCHOOLING REGULATION IN OTHER STATES

 

     All states allow home schooling and all regulate it to some extent.  Some states have different requirements depending on how the home schooling is delivered and some prescribe how a home school must be organized in order to be legal.  In states that specify more than one legal home schooling option, requirements may apply only to some options.  The summaries and tables in this report are taken from HSLDA’s website. They cover legal home schooling options and requirements for attendance, subjects, teacher qualifications, notice, records, and student testing and evaluation.

States With Multiple Home Schooling Options

 

     Twenty-one states specify more than one legal method for home schooling and impose different levels of regulation depending on the method used. The states with more than one legal home schooling method are listed in Table A.

 

Required Attendance

 

     Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia require home-schooled students to be taught for a minimum number of days or hours per year.  Some also require a minimum number of hours per day (see Table B).  Connecticut is one of 11 states that have no specific attendance requirements. The other 10 are: Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Texas, and Vermont. 

 

Required Subjects

 

     Forty-four states, including Connecticut, either require home-schooled students to be taught particular subjects or impose some other curricular requirements (see Table B).  Six states and the District of Columbia have no subject or curriculum requirements. The six states are: Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Oregon.

 

Teacher Qualifications

 

     Twenty-three states impose minimum educational requirements for at least some kinds of home-school teachers, such as hired private tutors or home-schools operating under the supervision of school authorities (see Table B). Many of these same states also allow home school options that require no special teaching qualifications, such as home schools in which parents teach their own children.

 

Twenty-seven states, including Connecticut, require no special qualifications for any home-school teachers.  The others are: Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The District of Columbia also imposes no requirements in this area.

 

 

 

 

 

Notice

 

     Forty-one states and the District of Columbia require some notice when a parent intends to instruct a child at home.  Some states require annual notice.  The District of Columbia requires notice only if the child is being removed from public school, not if he never starts. States vary in whether the notice must go to the local superintendent or the state (see Table C).   Nine states, including Connecticut, do not require notice.  The other eight are: Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.

 

Records

 

     Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia require some or all kinds of home schools to maintain records on their students, such as attendance records and records of students’ academic work and progress (see Table C). 

 

Twenty-three states, including Connecticut, have no record-keeping requirements.  The other 22 are: Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

 

Testing and Evaluation

 

     Thirty states require some or all home-schooled students to be tested or evaluated periodically.  Of these, 11 require standardized tests.  The others require standardized tests, a portfolio, or another type of outside evaluation (see Table D).

 

     Twenty states, including Connecticut, and the District of Columbia have no mandatory evaluation or testing.  The other states are:  Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

 

NUMBERS OF HOME-SCHOOLED STUDENTS

 

National

 

There is no hard count of the number of children in the United States who are home-schooled. All published numbers are estimates. Among them are the following:

   

·         The National Home Education Research Institute estimates there were between 1.3 million and 1.7 million home-schooled students in grades K-12 in 1999-2000 and that the number is growing at the rate of 7% to 15% annually ("Facts on Home Schooling").

 

·         The U.S. Department of Education estimates that there were between 200,000 and 250,000 home-schooled children in 1990-91; 700,000 to 750,000 in 1995-96; and “possibly” 1 million by 1997-98.  The department also estimates the annual growth in home-schooled children at 7% to 15%  per year. (“Home Schoolers: Estimating Numbers and Growth,” Patricia M. Lines, U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Research and Improvement, Spring 1999).

 

·         A recent report by the National Center for Education Statistics estimates that there were 850,000 home-schooled students in spring 1999. This estimate is based on results from a national survey of parents. (Home Schooling in the United States: 1999, Stacey Bielick, Kathryn Chandler, and Stephen R. Broughman, National Center for Education Statistics, July 2001).

 

Connecticut

 

     The number of children in Connecticut who are home-schooled increased almost six times from 364 in 1990 to 2,266 in 2001, according to figures provided by the SDE. Annual numbers for the last 12 years are shown below

 

1990

364

1991

642

1992

860

1993

1,113

1994

1,461

1995

1,643

1996

1,771

1997

1,790

1998

1,880

1999

1,988

2000

2,193

2001

2,266

 

The numbers are from reports by local superintendents on annual ED-006 forms, which asks for the number of students in each district who would be attending school if they were not receiving equivalent instruction at home.  According to Katherine Nicoletti of the SDE, the department believes the actual number of home-schooled students in the state is higher than the numbers reported since not every home-school family notifies the local school superintendent.
Table A: States With Multiple Legal Home School Methods

State

Legal Home School Method

Alabama

Establish or enroll in a church school

Private tutor

 

Alaska

Home school

Private tutor

State-approved correspondence course

School board-approved alternate educational experience

 

California

Qualify as private school

Private tutor

Independent study through public school

Independent study through private school

 

Colorado

Home school

Private tutor

Private school allowing home instruction

 

Delaware

Home school that is part of home school organization or association

Home school providing instruction approved by state board of education and local superintendent

 

Florida

Home school

Private school corporation (legally incorporated group of home school families)

 

Hawaii

Home school

Superintendent -approved alternative education program

 

Iowa

Home school

Private tutor

Home school supervised by licensed teacher

 

Kansas

Nonaccredited private home school

Home school satellite of accredited private school

State board of education-approved religious exemption in high school grades

 

Louisiana

Home school approved by board of education

Home school operated as private school

 

Maine

Home school approved by local school board and state education commissioner

Home school operated as nonapproved private school with at least two unrelated students

 

Maryland

Home school

Supervised home instruction through church school or state-approved correspondence course

 

Michigan

Home education program

Home school operated as nonpublic school

 

North Dakota

Home school

Home school operating as county and state approved private school

 

Pennsylvania

Home education program

Private tutor teaching children in same family, providing a majority of instruction, and receiving pay or other consideration

Home school operated as satellite or extension of church or religious day school

 

South Carolina

Home school approved by local school board

Home school that is a member of the SC Assn of Independent Home Schools

Home school that is a member of a home school association with at least 50 members

 

Tennessee

Home school

 

Home school associated with church-related school

Satellite campus of church-related school

Satellite campus of nonrecognized religious school based on assertion that church-related school unconstitutionally excludes certain religions

 

Utah

Home school approved by local school board

Group of home school families operating as a private school

 

Virginia

Home school

Home school operating under religious exemption law

Private tutor

 

Washington

Home school

Extension program of an approved private school designed for parents to teach their children at home

 

West Virginia

Home school

Home school approved by local school board

 

Source: Home School Legal Defense Association

 

Table B: States With Attendance, Subject, or Teacher Qualification Requirements

State

Attendance

Subjects

Teacher Qualifications

Alabama*

 

 

 

Private tutor

140 days per year, 3 hours per day between 8 am and 4 pm

Reading spelling, writing, arithmetic, English, geography, US history, science, health, physical education, Alabama history

Teacher certification

Alaska*

 

 

 

Private tutor

180 days

Comparable to public school

Teacher certification

State-approved correspondence course

None

School board approved alternate educational experience

Arizona

None

Reading, grammar, math, social studies, science

None


 

State

Attendance

Subjects

Teacher Qualifications

California

 

 

 

Qualify as private school

None

Same as public school and in English language

Capable of teaching

Private tutor

175 days/ 3 hours per day

Teacher certification

Independent study through public school

As prescribed by program

As prescribed by program

None

Independent study through private school

Capable of teaching

Colorado

 

 

 

Home school

172 days, average 4 hours/day

US Constitution, reading, writing, speaking, math, history, civics, literature, and science

None

Private school allowing home instruction

None

As prescribed by program

None

Private tutor

None

US Constitution, reading, writing, speaking, math, history, civics, literature, and science

Teacher certification

Connecticut

None

Reading, writing, spelling, English grammar, geography, arithmetic, U.S. history, citizenship (including federal, state, and local government).

None

Delaware

 

 

 

Home school as part of home school organization or association

180 days

Same as public schools

None

Home school providing instruction approved by state board of education and local superintendent

District of Columbia

During the period public schools are in session

None

None

Florida*

 

 

 

Private school corporation (legally incorporated group of home school families)

180 days

None

None

Georgia

180 days per year, 4.5 hours per day

Reading, language arts, math, social studies, science

High school diploma or GED for parent; bachelor’s degree for private tutor

Hawaii

 

 

 

Home school

None

Structured curriculum, based on educational objectives and child’s needs; cumulative and sequential, provide range of up-to-date knowledge and needed skills; take child’s interests, needs, and abilities into account

None

Superintendent -approved alternative education program

As prescribed in approval process

As prescribed in approval process

Bachelor’s degree

Idaho

Same as public schools

Same as public schools

None

Illinois

None

Language arts, biological and physical science, math, social studies, fine arts, health and physical development, honesty, justice, kindness, moral courage

None

Indiana

Same as public schools (generally 180 days per year)

None

None

Iowa

 

 

 

Home school

148 days/year, 37 days/quarter

None

None

Home school supervised by licensed teacher

None for teaching parent, license for supervising teacher

Private tutor

Teaching license

Kansas

 

 

 

Nonaccredited private home school

Substantially equivalent to public schools (186 days or 1,116 hours per year; 1,086 hours for 12th grade)

None

“Competent” teacher

Home school satellite of accredited private school

Prescribed by supervising private school

Prescribed by supervising private school

State board of education-approved religious exemption in high school grades

Prescribed during approval process

Prescribed during approval process

Prescribed during approval process

Kentucky

185 days per year or the equivalent of 175 six-hour days

Reading, writing, spelling, grammar, history, mathematics, civics

None

Louisiana

 

 

 

Home school approved by board of education

180 days

At least equal to quality of instruction in public schools including Declaration of Independence and Federalist Papers

None

Home school operated as private school

Maine

 

 

 

Home school approved by local school board and state education commissioner

175 days

English, language arts, math, science, social studies, physical and health education, library skills, fine arts, Maine studies (in one grade between grade 6 and 12), computer proficiency (in one grade between grade 7 and 12)

None

Home school operated as non-approved private school with at least two unrelated students

None

Maryland

 

 

 

Home school

Sufficient duration to implement instructional program

Same as public schools including English, math, science, social studies, art, music, health, physical education

None

Supervised home instruction through church school or state-approved correspondence course

Prescribed by supervising program

Prescribed by supervising program

None

Massachusetts

None (900 hours at elementary and 990 at secondary level are expected)

Reading, writing, English language and grammar, geography, arithmetic, drawing, music, history, US Constitution, duties of citizenship, health (including CPR), physical education, good behavior

None

Michigan

 

 

 

Home education program

None

Reading, spelling, math, science, history, civics, literature, writing, English grammar

None

Home school operated as nonpublic school

Comparable to public school

Teaching certificate unless claiming religious exemption

Minnesota

None

Reading, writing, literature, fine arts, math, science, history, geography, governments, health, physical education

None

Mississippi

Number of days that home school requires for promotion from grade to grade

None

None

Missouri

1,000 hours per year, at least 600 in required subjects, 400 of which must occur at the “regular home school location”

Reading, math, social studies, language arts, science

None

Montana

180 days per year, 4 hours per day in grades 1-3 and 6 hours per day in grades 4-12

Same “basic instructional program” as public schools

None

Nebraska

1,032 hours per year for elementary; 1,080 for high school

Language arts, math, science, social studies, health

None unless family employs a teacher

Nevada

180 days per year, 240 minutes per day for grades 1-2; 300 minutes for grades 3-6; 330 minutes for grades 7-12

Equivalent to kind and amount of instruction provided by the state board of education; US and Nevada constitutions

(1) teaching certificate for grade level taught, (2) consult with licensed teacher or three-year home school veteran, (3) use an approved correspondence course, or (4) obtain a waiver.  First three waived after one year.

New Hampshire

None

Science, math, language, government, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, US and New Hampshire constitutional history, art and music appreciation

None

New Jersey

None

US and New Jersey history, citizenship, civics, geography, safety, physical education. May opt out of sexual assault prevention and health.

None

New Mexico

Same as public school

Reading, language arts, math, social studies, science

High school diploma or equivalent

New York

Substantial equivalent of 180 days per year, 900 hours per year for grades 1-6, 900 for grades 7-12

K-12: patriotism, citizenship, substance abuse, traffic and fire safety

1-6: arithmetic, reading, spelling, writing, English, geography, US history, science, health, music, visual arts, physical education

7-8: English, history and geography, science, math, physical education, health, art, music, practical arts, library skills

9-12: English, social studies (including American history, participation in government, and economics), math, science, art or music, health, physical education, electives

Competent

North Carolina

Nine calendar months per year, excluding reasonable holidays and vacations

None

High school diploma or GED


 

State

Attendance

Subjects

Teacher Qualifications

North Dakota

 

 

 

Home school

175 days, 4 hours/day

English language arts, including reading, composition, creative writing, English grammar, spelling; math; social studies, including US Constitution and history, geography, and government; science, including agriculture; physical education; health, including physiology, hygiene, disease control, and nature and effects of alcohol, tobacco, and narcotics

(1) teaching certificate, (2) bachelor’s degree, (3) high school diploma or GED and be monitored by a certified teacher for first two years of home instruction (monitoring must continue if student scores below 50th percentile on required standardized achievement test), or (4) meet or exceed the cut-off score of the national teacher exam

Home school operating as county- and state- approved private school

Same as public schools

Teacher certification

Ohio

900 hours per year

Language arts, geography, US and Ohio history, government, math, health, physical education, fine arts, first aid, science

High school diploma, GED, test scores showing high school equivalence, or work under a person with a bachelor’s degree until child’s test scores show proficiency or parent earns diploma or GED

Oklahoma

180 days

Reading, writing, math, science, citizenship, US Constitution, health, safety, physical education, conservation

None

Pennsylvania

 

 

 

Home education program

180 days; 900 hours at elementary level, 990 for high school level

Elementary: English, spelling, reading, writing, arithmetic, science, geography, US and Pennsylvania history, civics, safety, fire prevention, health and physiology, physical education, music, art

Secondary: English; literature; speech and composition; biology; chemistry; geography; civics; economics; world, US, and Pennsylvania history; foreign language, general math and statistics, algebra, and geometry; art; music; physical education; health and physiology; safety and fire prevention

High school diploma or equivalent

Private tutor teaching children in same family, providing a majority of instruction, and receiving pay or other consideration

Teacher certification

Home school operated as satellite or extension of church or religious day school

None

Rhode Island

“Substantially equal” to public schools

Reading, writing, geography, arithmetic, US and Rhode Island history, principles of American government, English, health and physical education, US and Rhode Island constitutions in high school

None

State

Attendance

Subjects

Teacher Qualifications

South Carolina

 

 

 

Home school approved by local school board

180 days; 4.5 hours/day

Reading, writing, math, science, social studies and, in grades 7-12, composition and literature

High school diploma, GED, or bachelor’s degree

Home school that is a member of the SC Assn of Independent Home Schools

180 days

High school diploma or GED

Home school that is a member of a home school association with at least 50 members

South Dakota

Equivalent to public schools (generally 175 days per year)

Language arts, math

None

Tennessee

 

 

 

Home school

 

180 days, 4 hours/day

Grades K-8:  None

Grades 9-12: College prep courses required for admission to state-operated four-year colleges or general studies courses as required by the state for high school graduation

Grades K-8:  High school diploma or GED

Grades 9-12: College degree or exemption from education commissioner

Home school associated with church-related school

As prescribed by the church school

As prescribed by the church school

None

Satellite campus of church-related school

Satellite campus of nonrecognized religious school based on assertion that church-related school unconstitutionally excludes certain religions

As prescribed by the religious school

As prescribed by the religious school

Texas       

None

Reading, spelling, grammar, math, good citizenship

None

Utah*

 

 

 

Home school approved by local school board

Same as public schools

Language arts, math, science, social studies, arts, health, computer literacy, and vocational education

Local school board may consider teacher’s ability in approval

Vermont

None

Reading, writing, math, citizenship, history, US and Vermont government, physical education, health, English, American and other literature, science, fine arts

None

Virginia*

 

 

 

Home school not operating under religious exemption

Same as public schools (180 days)

If operating under teacher qualification #4, math and language arts.  Otherwise, none.

(1) Bachelor’s degree, (2) teaching certificate, (3) use an approved correspondence course, or (4) submit evidence that parent can teach and use curriculum that includes state objectives for math and language arts

Private tutor

None

None

Teacher certification

Washington

 

 

 

Home school

Kindergarten: 450 hours

Grades 1-12: 1,000 hours

Occupational education, science, math, language, social studies, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, music, art appreciation, US and Washington constitutions

(1) be supervised by certified teacher, (2) have 45 college credit hours, or (3) be deemed qualified by local superintendent

Extension program of an approved private school designed for parents to teach their children at home

Supervised by certified teacher employed by private school

West Virginia

 

 

 

Home school

None

English, grammar, reading, social studies, math

High school diploma and formal education at least four years higher than the most academically advanced child to be taught (waived through 2002-03 academic year)

Home school approved by local school board

Same as public school (180 days)

Deemed qualified to teach by local superintendent and school board

Wisconsin

875 hours of instruction per year

Sequentially progressive curriculum of fundamental instruction in reading, language arts, math, social studies, science, health. Curriculum need not “conflict with program’s religious doctrine”

None

Wyoming

175 days per year

Basic academic educational program providing sequentially progressive instruction in reading writing, math, civics, history, literature, science

None

*These states have other legal options with no requirements.

Source: Home School Legal Defense Association

 

Table B: States with Notice or Record Requirements

State

Notice

Records

Arizona

File an affidavit with local superintendent within 30 days of start or end of home schooling.

None

Arkansas

File written notice with superintendent by 8/15 for fall, 12/15 for spring semester, or 14 days before withdrawing student mid-semester. Thereafter, annually at beginning of school year.

None

California*

 

 

Qualify as private school

Annual affidavit with county superintendent between 10/1 and 10/15.

Attendance register

Independent study through public school

Part of enrollment process.

As prescribed by program.

Independent study through private school

None

Colorado*

 

 

Home school

Notice of intent with local superintendent within 14 days before start of home school and annually thereafter.

Attendance and immunization records, test and evaluation results.

Delaware

 

 

Home school as part of home school organization or association

Association or organization must register with state education department. Both types of schools must report enrollment, student ages, and attendance to department annually by 7/31, and submit annual statement of enrollment as of last school day of September in form prescribed by the department.

Report annual enrollment, student ages, and attendance.

 

Home school providing instruction approved by state board of education and local superintendent

District of Columbia

None, unless the child is being removed from public school.

Accurate daily attendance record.

Florida*

 

 

Home school

Notice of intent with local superintendent within 30 days of establishing.

Portfolio of records and material (log of texts and sample work sheets).

Georgia

Declaration of intent to superintendent within 30 days after beginning home schooling and by 9/1 annually thereafter.

Attendance records submitted monthly to superintendent; write and retain annual progress report.

Hawaii*

 

 

Home school

File prior notice with principal of public school child would otherwise attend; notify same principal within five days after ending home school.

Record of planned curriculum.

Iowa

(same for all home schooling methods)

File two copies specific form with local school district by first day of school or within 14 days of withdrawing from school.

None

Indiana

None unless specifically request by state education superintendent.

Attendance records.

Kansas*

 

 

Home school operated as a nonaccredited private school

Register name and address of school with state board of education.

None

Kentucky

Notice to local school board within two weeks of start of school year.

Attendance register and scholarship reports.

Louisiana

 

 

Home school approved by board of education

Application and copy of child’s birth certificate to board of education within 15 days after start of home school and annually thereafter.

Documentation needed to satisfy testing requirement.

Home school operated as private school

Notify state education department within first 30 days of the start of the school year.

None

Maine*

 

 

Home school approved by local school board and state education commissioner

Complete state form, submit copy to local school board and state education commissioner 60 days prior to start of home school.

None


 

State

Notice

Records

Maryland

 

 

Home school

Notice to state education department at least 15 days before starting.

Portfolio of relevant materials reviewable by local superintendent up to three times a year.

Supervised home instruction through church school or state-approved correspondence course

As prescribed by supervising program.

Massachusetts

Operation of home school requires advance approval by local school committee or superintendent, so no additional notice is required.

None

Michigan*

 

 

Home school operated as nonpublic school

Submit statement of enrollment to local superintendent at start of each school year.

Enrollment, courses, teacher qualifications to be submitted to state education department on request.

Minnesota

File name, age, and address of each student with local superintendent by October 1 annually.

If teaching parent not at least a college graduate, submit quarterly reports to local superintendent showing achievement of each child in required subjects.

Mississippi

File certificate of enrollment with district attendance officer by 9/15 annually.

None

Missouri

None

Record of subjects taught, activities, samples of child’s academic work, and evaluations or credible equivalent.

Montana

File annual notice with county superintendent.

Attendance and immunization records; must be available for inspection by county superintendent on request.

Nebraska

Annual notice of intent with state education commission by 8/1 annually or 30 days before start of home school.

None

Nevada

Annually file satisfactory written evidence with local school board that child is receiving home instruction equivalent to that approved by state board of education.

None

New Hampshire

Within 30 days of withdrawing from public school or moving into the district, file a written notice of intent with private school principal, state education commissioner, or local superintendent.

Portfolio of records and materials including log of reading materials used, samples of writing, worksheet, workbooks or creative materials used or developed by the child.

New Mexico

File notice of intent with state superintendent within 30 days of establishing and by 4/1 of each subsequent year.

Immunization records.

New York

File annual notice of intent with local superintendent by 7/1 or within 14 days if home schooling starts mid-year; complete and submit Individualized Home Instruction Plan form provided by district.

Attendance records (available on request of local superintendent); file quarterly reports with superintendent showing hours of instruction, material covered in each subject, and a grade or narrative evaluation in each subject.

North Carolina

File notice of intent with state division of nonpublic education upon starting home school.

Attendance and immunization records and results of standardized tests.

North Dakota

 

 

Home school

Annual notice with local superintendent within 14 days before start of school year or of establishing home school. For autistic children, also file a copy of the child’s diagnosis from a licensed psychologist along with an individualized education program developed and followed by the child’s school district and parent or by a team selected and compensated by the parent.

Annual record of courses and each child’s academic progress assessments, including standardized achievement test results. For autistic children, also file with the local superintendent progress reports from an individualized education program team selected by the parent on or before 11/ 1, 2/1, and 5/1 of each school year.

Home school operating as county- and state- approved private school

Part of approval process.

None

Ohio

Annual notice to local superintendent.

None

Oregon

Notify education service district in writing when home schooling starts.

None

Pennsylvania

 

 

Home education program

Notarized affidavit with local superintendent before starting home school and by 8/1 annually.

Portfolio of materials used, work done; test results in grades 3, 5, and 8; and written evaluation prepared by June 30 each year.

Private tutor teaching children in same family, providing a majority of instruction, and receiving pay or other consideration

Copy of certification and criminal history record to local superintendent.

None

Home school operated as satellite or extension of church or religious day school

School principal files notarized affidavit with state education department.

None

Rhode Island

Requirement for home school approval by local school board serves as notice.

Attendance register.

South Carolina*

 

 

Home school approved by local school board

None

Maintain evidence of regular instruction, including record of subjects taught, activities in which student and parent engage, portfolio of student work, record of academic evaluations with semi-annual progress report.

Home school that is a member of a home school association with at least 50 members

None

Same as above except records of academic evaluations are not required.

South Dakota

Submit notarized application to local superintendent using form provided by state education department.

None

Tennessee*

 

 

Home school

Notice to local superintendent by 8/1 each year.

Attendance records, available for inspection and must be submitted to the local superintendent at the end of each year.

Home school associated with church-related school

Grades 9-12: Register with local school district each year.

None

Vermont

Written notice of enrollment with education commissioner any time after 3/1 for following year.

None

Virginia*

 

 

Home school not operating under religious exemption law

File an annual notice of intent with local superintendent by 8/15; if starting mid-year, file notice as soon as practicable.

None

Private tutor

Letter to local superintendent asking him to recognize that parent (tutor) has the required credentials (i.e., teacher certificate).

None

Washington*

 

 

Home school

Annual notice to superintendent by 9/15 or within two weeks of the start of any public school quarter.

Standardized test scores, academic progress assessments, and immunization records.

West Virginia*

 

 

Home school

File notice with local superintendent two weeks ahead.

None

Wisconsin

File statement of enrollment with state education department by 10/1 annually.

None

Wyoming

Annually submit to local school board a curriculum showing basic education program is being provided.

None

* These states have other legal options with no requirements.

Source: Home School Legal Defense Association

 

Table D: States Requiring Testing for Students Taught at Home

State

Testing

Arkansas

State-mandated norm-referenced tests given to public school students in grades, 5, 7, and 10 or approved alternate tests.

California*

Independent study programs

As prescribed by the program.

Colorado*

Home schools

Administer standardized test for grade 3,5,7,9,and 11 or have the child evaluated by a “qualified person. . .selected by parent.”

Delaware*

Home schools approved by local superintendent and state board of education

Written exams as prescribed during approval process.

Florida*

Home schools

Annually (1) administer any standardized test or state student assessment test (must be given by a certified teacher); (2) have the child evaluated by a certified teacher or licensed psychologist; or (3) have the child evaluated by another valid, mutually agreed-upon tool.

Georgia

Administer and retain the results of a standardized test every three years beginning at the end of the 3rd grade.

Hawaii

Home school

Administer a standardized test of the parent’s choice in grades 3, 6, 8, and 10 or submit to the local school principal an annual report of the child’s progress consisting of (1) the standardized test results, (2) a written evaluation by a certified teacher, or (3) a written evaluation by the parent.

Superintendent-approved alternative educational program

Participate in statewide public school testing program.

Iowa*

Home school

Complete by May 1 and submit to the local district by June 30 (1) test results from an acceptably administered standardized test or (2) a portfolio for review.

Home school supervised by licensed teacher

Meet with supervising teacher at least twice per quarter (one meeting may be by phone).

Kansas*

Home school satellite of accredited private school

As prescribed by the supervising private school.

State board of education-approved religious exemption in high school grades

As prescribed in the approval process.

Louisiana*

Home school approved by board of education

Submit with renewal application documentation that program is at least equal to that offered in public school.


Maine*

Home schools approved by local school board and state education commissioner

Annually, (1) administer a standardized test, (2) take a local test, or (3) have the child’s progress reviewed by a certified teacher, a superintendent-selected local advisory board, or a home school support group that includes a certified teacher.

Maryland*

Supervised home instruction through church school or state-approved correspondence course

As prescribed by the supervising program.

Massachusetts

Annually, (1) have a neutral party administer a standardized test or (2) submit progress reports to the school district.

Minnesota

Administer an annual standardized test agreed to by the local superintendent.

New Hampshire

By July 1, file (1) the results from a standardized test or from a state student assessment test used by the local district, (2) a written evaluation by a certified teacher, or (3) results from another measure agreeable to the school board.

New York

Annual assessment.  Must be from a standardized test every other year for grades 4-8 and every year for grades 9-12.  For other years, the requirement may be met by a standardized test or a written narrative evaluation prepared by (1) a certified teacher, (2) home instruction peer review panel, or (3) other person chosen by the parent with the superintendent’s consent.

North Carolina

Annual standardized test that measures achievement in English, grammar, reading, spelling, and math. Results must be available for inspection.

North Dakota

Standardized achievement test in grades 4, 6, 8 and 10.  Test must be administered by a certified teacher and results supplied to the superintendent.  A composite score below the 30th percentile requires a professional assessment for learning problems and a plan of remediation submitted to the superintendent.

Ohio

Annual standardized test, written narrative showing satisfactory academic progress, or an approved alternative assessment.

Oregon

Participate in an approved comprehensive test in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10 administered by a qualified neutral person.  If the child is withdrawn from public school, the first test must be administered within the first 18 months of home instruction.  Children with disabilities must be evaluated according to their individualized education plan.

Pennsylvania*

Home school

Administer standardized test in grades 3, 5, and 8 and submit results as part of a portfolio.

Rhode Island

As prescribed in the approval process; may require report cards

South Carolina*

Home school approved by local school board

Participate in the annual statewide testing program and the Basic Skills Assessment Program.

South Dakota

Standardized test administered in same grade levels tested under state testing program (grades 2, 4, 8, and 11).

Tennessee

Home school

 

Standardized tests in grades 5, 7, and 9.  Must be given by education commissioner, his designee, or a professional testing service approved by local school board.

Home school associated with church-related school

Administer the same annual standardized achievement test or Sanders Model assessment used by the local school district for grades 9-12.

Satellite campus of church-related school

As prescribed by religious or church-related school.

Satellite campus of nonrecognized religious school based on assertion that church-related school unconstitutionally excludes certain religions

Vermont

Submit (1) an annual assessment from a certified or approved Vermont independent school teacher, ( 2) a report from a commercial curriculum publisher together with a portfolio, or ( 3) the results of an acceptably administered standardized test.

Virginia*

Home school not operating under religious exemption statute

For those six years or older on 9/ 30, administer a standardized test or have child otherwise evaluated every year; submit results to local superintendent by 8/1.

Washington

Home school

Annual state-approved standardized test administered by qualified person or have the child evaluated by a certified teacher currently working in education.

Extension program of an approved private school designed for parents to teach their children at home

Progress must be evaluated by a certified teacher employed by the approved private school.

West Virginia

Home school

Annually (1) administer an acceptable standardized test, (2) be evaluated by a certified teacher, or (3) assess progress by another agreeable means.

Home school approved by local school board

As prescribed in the approval process.

*These states have other legal options with no requirements.

Source: Home School Legal Defense Association

 

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