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State Homeschooling Laws

State Homeschooling Laws

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Homeschooling Regulations: State Breakdown

Regulations Breakdown: No Notice Required (20%), Low Regulation (27%), Moderate Regulation (41%), High Regulation (12%)

Even though homeschooling is legal in all 50 states here in the USA, each state regulates this type of education for their residents. From no notice necessary to highly regulated states that have special requirements needing to be met. Take a look to see how homeschooling friendly your state is.

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According to the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) you’ll want to follow the state homeschooling laws for the state you are “physically present“. When you are physically within a state you are bound by their state laws, like when you get to avoid sales tax in Oregon.

This is extremely important for fulltimers with children homeschooling (or roadschooling more appropriately).

Jump Below to States

Homeschooling Laws in the United States

Homeschooling is not regulated by the Federal Government. Each state is different and this is why it’s important to understand your specific state’s laws regarding a home education. Diversity would be expected within the 50 states which are basically divided into four categories; no notice, low regulation, moderate regulation, and high regulation.

Laws change. While we try to keep this information updated to the current laws, please double check with your state to confirm you meet their home education laws.

Notifying the State of Intent to Home Educate

While some states are more relaxed with home education laws requiring no notice of indent, there are other states that are much more strict going so far as to require a credentialed teacher to supervise.

Be aware that some states have laws pertaining specifically to homeschools in their state. These states use the terms ‘homeschool’, ‘home school’, ‘home education’, or another similar term. Other states allow home education under their private school laws. Usually this offers several options for parents to choose from, such as Colorado and Florida, in how they wish to operate their homeschool.

Some things to be aware of when you make your decision:

  • Requirements pertaining to filing paperwork with the state or keeping school records
  • General privacy from the state by operating under the private school statutes
  • Federal funding available, including special education
  • Access to the public school systems, including classes and extracurricular activities

Standardized Testing

Certain states (less than half) still require state assessment and standardized testing to be submitted, some allowed to be sent in and others require the evaluation be done by a qualified teacher.

Curriculum Requirements

Again varying state to state, some will require you to send your curriculum (or lesson plans) to the state. Others might just require you to cover specific subjects throughout your lesson plans.

State Resources Accessible

Homeschooling often gets a bad rap for not giving children the same experiences as a public education in regards to libraries, computer labs, certain academic courses, or extracurricular activities. However, many of these are already available in public libraries, college campuses, online virtual classes, and more, but will generally be at your own cost.

If you are looking for help from your state and local public school systems, then you will want to look at this information regarding the accessibility of their resources for home education.

There are some states that give homeschoolers access to public school resources and to join in with extracurricular activities. Florida allows homeschoolers resident in the public school attendance area to access their athletics and other extracurricular activities, like they did for Tim Tebow (currently New York Jets quarterback). Then there are others that completely ban you away, like the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.

 

State Homeschooling Laws Map

Homeschooling Laws: State by State

Each state is linked to its respective Department of Education. Some state education websites have areas specific to homeschooling, while others are the main website. There are also additional resource links that could be helpful.

 No Notice Required

No state requirement to send notice of indent.

 Low Regulation

State requires parental notification only.

 Moderate Regulation

State requires parents to send notification, test scores, and/or professional evaluation of student progress.

 High Regulation

State requires parents to send notification or achievement test scores and/or professional evaluation, plus other requirements.

Sources:
Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)
Wikipedia

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About Brianne

Brianne
Born and raised in Orange County, California, I am definitely a "summer" girl at heart. Today I am a full-time mother to a rambunctious two-year old living in a RV. Together Branndon and I are learning how to become financial and location independent.

8 comments

  1. You’ve been doing your home work while thinking about Spirits future (Y) <3

  2. You’ve been doing your home work while thinking about Spirits future (Y) <3

  3. The HSLDA opinion can’t possibly be taking the needs of full-time travelers into account. We are full-time travelers and may be in a state for 2 nights or 6 months. There is no way on God’s Green Earth that we are going – or practically could – be bound by the laws of the state that we are in. The work of re-validating ourselves for every new state would simply be overwhelming.

    • Brianne

      I completely agree with you. I think it’s because HSLDA is a legal defense association (aka lawyers) and are offering the safest legal advice (read: protecting themselves from lawsuit). ;)

      I mean how would a state even know you are there? I’m thinking you could easily say you are taking a vacation if anyone asked anyways. So is it really that big of a deal to worry about?

      Brianne

      • I know several friends who road-school to varying degrees, and I would agree that HSLDA has likely not considered road-schoolers’ needs at all. My friends who road-school do maintain a state of legal residency in most cases, and they comply with the law in their state of residency. I think there may be different rules for how to obtain residency – but one friend was recently saying that it may only require the purchase of a PO box. If that’s the case, it seems logical that a road-schooling family might aim to establish residency in a non-reg state and simply go from there.

  4. From what I’ve read, the state’s laws you follow if you travel would be the state in which your main residence is. So if you pay rent or mortgage, pay taxes, and have a license or state ID in Kentucky, you use Kentucky’s laws.

    • Brianne

      I see your point, Kim, and think that makes perfect sense, especially if you have a residence in one of the more strict home school states like Pennsylvania or New York. This would be even easier in a less regulated state like Texas.

      When researching the topic I’ve seen a lot of differing opinions on the topic and chose to share the HSLDA’s recommendation as they are a group of lawyers working to protect home schooling. I figured that would be the absolute safest legal option (as I’m not a lawyer).

      Having said that: I’ve seen some suggesting 1) you should follow your state of residency, 2) follow the state you are currently in, and 3) follow the state you are currently in IF you have lived there for longer than 3 months. It’s hard to say exactly, but seems to come down to where (by law) your main residence or dwelling is. And it can be a little tricky to determine that sometimes.

      It’s hard to say exactly what to do with all the differences of opinion. I believe (since I’m not a lawyer), the idea of following the state you are currently in is the safest ‘legal’ route. It’s not practical and I doubt anyone would ever prosecute (or even find out). But a state ‘may’ still be legally allowed to prosecute you ‘if’ they wanted to after finding out. The chances of this happening are probably pretty slim, but I don’t know statistics. (I mean they would think we are traveling already as we are in an RV… Right?)

      I hope that made sense… I’m a little tired this morning. ;)

      But I’m thinking what we will personally do is follow our state of residency (will probably be Texas) for home schooling and not the state we are currently in. However, I will make sure we have copies of the home schooling laws and legal proof that we are traveling and another state is our home state in case we were ever questioned by a police officer or truant officer. (Again… is this really likely? I doubt it.)

      Brianne :)

  5. Sending in a notification of intent to homeschool in any state that requires it, that you may only be in for even a few days or weeks, is pretty ridiculous actually. I think that suggestion is really more for homeschoolers in the military. They may maintain official residency in their home state but they generally reside in a non moveable home and are not considered on vacation or a field trip. Honestly, where would they actually expect you to send a letter of intent? What ps district would you fall under with no address in the state? I would actually like to see road schoolers and homeschoolers on field trips calling HSLDA every time they cross state lines to get “advice” on what they should do. Then maybe HSLDA might figure out that detail a bit more clearly.

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