Homeschooling For Academic
Reasons - Legal Issues & Concerns
is legal in all 50 of the United States and many countries abroad.
When reviewing any law, remember that amendments can be made and
wording can be altered to affect the homeschooling community.
As a home educator, it is essential that you remain vigilant and
knowledgeable about the regional laws that affect homeschooling
in your area.
As of 2017, many of these contacts may be inaacurate. Verify the
content of the links at your own risk. They have been left here
for reference and as a starting point for you.
The ideas contained on this page are not intended to be
used as legal advice, but as an informative starting point.
It is essential that you verify any information that is
pertinent to decisions you make for yourself or your family.
Consult an attorney if you have unanswered questions.
Rules and Laws
Most states in the United States have laws regulating the attendance
of school aged children at the public schools. Typically the laws that
dictate the rules for homeschooling are found nearby or around these
rules in your state codified laws. The other place to check is in the
"Administrative Rules" for your state. Typically codified
law is written by state agencies. Statements written by state agencies
which have the effect of law are called administrative rules. By their
very nature, administrative rules have a direct effect on YOUR life
and homeschool. A third place to read about how government officials
may view your homeschooling activities is at the Department of Children
and Family Services Services for your area.
the laws and regulations with other homeschoolers who live in your state.
Your best resource are those already homeschooling, they will be knowledgeable
about homeschooling in your community.Two sources to preview state laws:
Help - The Organizations That Can Help You
The following organizations can provide you with some help. These are
offered in an attempt to help you be an informed consumer. You are encouraged
to gather accurate information, assess your individual needs and suits
your family's situation.
of Home School Attorneys - USA
AHA (description from their website)
a network of attorneys and legal experts that are concerned
with litigation pending and threatened against homeschoolers.
Its primary purpose is to exchange legal information within
the profession, and to educate and support attorneys and experts
involved in homeschool litigation. This is an email list with
restricted membership. You will be required to introduce yourself.
Introduce yourself! If you have trouble and need to submit a
question to this group immediately, the owner of this website
is a member, so you may contact us
and we can relay your question.
Home Education Legal Defense - NHELD
(description from their website)
National Home Education Legal Defense, or NHELD, grew out of
a statewide organization that began in Connecticut as Connecticut's
Citizens to Uphold the Right to Educate, or CT's C.U.R.E. CT's
C.U.R.E. was founded in 1989 and has been instrumental in maintaining
the rights of parents to homeschool without government interference
since that time. On more than one occasion, we helped unite
other statewide homeschool groups in coordinated efforts and
successfully defeated proposed state legislation designed to
"regulate" homeschooling. In 2002, CT's C.U.R.E. became
Home Education Legal Defense of Connecticut offering information,
consultation, mediation and legal assistance to those who joined.
Now, Home Education Legal Defense of Connecticut has become
National Home Education Legal Defense offering these same services
to parents nationwide.
Justice Institute (description
from their website)
"Pacific Justice Institute is a non-profit 501(c)(3) legal
defense organization specializing in the defense of religious
freedom, parental rights, and other civil liberties. Pacific Justice
Institute works diligently, without charge, to provide their clients
with all the legal support they need. "Through our dedicated
attorneys and supporters, we defend the rights of countless individuals,
families and churches...without charge." Pacific Justice
Institute's strategy is to coordinate and oversee large numbers
of concurrent court actions through a network of over 1,000 affiliate
attorneys nationwide. And, according to former United States Attorney
General Edwin Meese, “The Institute fills a critical need
on the West Coast for those whose civil liberties are threatened.”"
Institute (description from their
"Founded in 1982 by constitutional attorney and author John
W. Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute is a civil liberties organization
that provides free legal services to people whose constitutional
and human rights have been threatened or violated. The Rutherford
Institute has emerged as one of the nation's leading advocates
of civil liberties and human rights, litigating in the courts
and educating the public on a wide spectrum of issues affecting
individual freedom in the United States and around the world.
The Institute’s mission is twofold: to provide legal services
in the defense of religious and civil liberties and to educate
the public on important issues affecting their constitutional
freedoms. Whether our attorneys are protecting the rights of parents
whose children are strip-searched at school, standing up for a
teacher fired for speaking about religion or defending the rights
of individuals against illegal search and seizure, The Rutherford
Institute offers assistance—and hope—to thousands."
Sadly, this too is an aspect of homeschooling. If you are the parent
promoting homeschooling for your gifted student, arm yourself with information,
facts and the laws in your state. Remember that what happens in your
case can effect other homeschooling families especially if you agree
to requirements from the ex and the courts that are over and above what
the local laws require. In my opinion, if you were successfully homeschooling
before you considered divorce, chances are good that you’ll more
than likely be able to continue after the divorce; the courts generally
do not like to disrupt the lives of the children. It is a good idea
to keep excellent records if you are involved in a divorce, keep a journal,
photograph projects and trips. Make both of these priorities as they
may play into a court’s decision in the homeschooling issues.