Legal/Homeschool Laws
Laws that regulate home education vary from state to state. It is important to understand the legal requirements in your state and to be aware of legislative and other legal issues that affect homeschoolers in your community. We've compiled resources that will help you become informed. Although homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, and the vast majority of homeschoolers face no problems, you may find that you need legal assistance at some point in your homeschooling career. We've compiled a list of resources to help you find the support you need. And if you'd like to become more involved in working towards homeschooling freedoms, we discuss some of the issues facing homeschoolers that we hope you find compelling.
State Laws
Read the laws regulating home education in California and browse through the case law and legal opinions relating to those laws, along with government publications relating to homeschooling and summaries of the laws.
Forms
Which forms do you need to fill out? Where can you get them? Here is a list of useful forms for homeschooling in California.
Legal Support
If you need legal information or have run into a legal situation regarding your decision to homeschool, these resources will be helpful.
Lobbying Groups
A listing of local and national lobbying groups and information on how you can become involved in the political process to ensure the freedom to homeschool is protected.
Attorneys
When searching for an attorney, it is helpful to know whether he or she has experience working with homeschoolers and is interested in protecting the right to homeschool.
Legal Issues
Is homeschooling legal? Which laws pertain to homeschoolers and which don't? How do homeschoolers protect their rights to freely educate their children and to preserve their privacy?
Government Resources
A listing of local and state government resources, including your state's Department of Education, school districts, and Senate and House of Representative information.
What's Popular
California Education Code, Section 48200
Admission-Persons Included. Section relating to compulsory education requirements.
HomeSchool Association of California
The HomeSchool Association of California supports and promotes the entire spectrum of homeschooling. They provide information, monitor and influence legislation, offer networking opportunities for homeschooling families, and more.
Legal Issues - Special Needs Children
Many homeschoolers are reluctantly drawn to homeschooling because the schools failed their children. This trend is expanding to include children in special needs programs, resulting in an increasing number of questions from parents choosing to homeschool their children who are interested in continuing or obtaining special needs help from the schools. In many instances a special needs child shows tremendous gains just by being removed from the public school situation and educated at home by lovin...
Tutoring
Parents with a valid teaching credential can act as tutors for their children, or parents may employ a credentialed teacher. However, tutors and parents who choose to tutor their own children must fulfill all of the requirements of §48224.
California Home School Laws
The Home School Legal Defense Association provides a brief summary of the homeschooling laws in California. Includes a link to a legal analysis of laws relating to homeschooling in California.
California Homeschool Network Legal Rights Committee
California Homeschool Network's volunteer legal committee doesn't give legal advice, but they can share information about the experiences of other homeschoolers who have asked those same questions, and they can help you understand current homeschool laws and regulations. The CHN Legal Defense Fund was established in 2000 to benefit families who do not qualify, for any reason, for assistance from one of the other legal services organizations.
Special Situations
This article takes a look at the effect of California law on certain special circumstances, including withdrawing your child from school mid-year, homeschooling after a divorce, contact by truancy officers, contact by Children's Protective Services, welfare benefits, and communities with curfews.
The Legality of Private-School Homeschooling in California
The primary point of this essay is to explain--as thoroughly as possible--why homeschooling under California's private school exemption is perfectly legal. It includes as much basic legal information as possible, to serve as a foundation to analyses which are at times complex.
A New Charter for Homeschooling?
Discusses some of the issues relating to homeschoolers in North Carolina placing their children in public charter and virtual charter schools for some or all of their education. Using examples from Alaska, California, and other parts of the country, author Dr. Karen Palasek examines why homeschooling parents need to be informed about the implications of this type of enrollment.
California Department of Education
The website for the California Department of Education.
California Education Code, Section 51745, -51749.3 51747.3
Authorized Classes and Courses of Instruction-Independent Study. Provisions for independent study.
Protecting Ourselves from Truancy and CPS Investigations: Avoiding Referrals
Although some government employees oppose homeschooling, most notably in the Department of Education's Legal Counsel's office, there is no indication that there is a systematic effort by the government to prevent homeschooling. First, compliance with one of the legal ways to homeschool is crucial. Second, the following factors may result in a referral: Pulling children out of public or private school after a dispute with the school (i.e.: ongoing truancy problems); custody battles; welfare refer...
The Legality of Homeschooling Using the Private School Option
In California, families can legally homeschool their children by establishing a private school in their home and complying with the private school requirements of the California Education Code. Parents who have established and enrolled thier children in a home-based private school cannot be prosecuted for truancy. This legal brief provides a basis for understanding the laws in California relating to home education.
The Private School Option
Children are exempt from compulsory attendance if they "are being instructed in a private full-time day school by persons capable of teaching." (§48222) A private school has been defined as "any school, whether conducted for profit or not, giving a course of training similar to that given in a public school at or below the twelfth grade, including but not limited to schools owned or operated by any church." (Vehicle Code §492.) This broad definition includes home-based private schools as well as...
California Education Code, Section 51220, 51220.5, 51221, 51225.3
Required Courses of Study-Course of Study, Grades 7 to 12. Lists the requirements for grades 7 to 12, including English, reading, social sciences, foreign language, physical education, science, mathematics, fine arts, applied arts, vocational-technical education, automibile driver education, and other studies. Section 51220.5 addresses the requirement of a course in parenting skills for grades 7 or 8, along with the requirements for exemption. Section 51221 adds the teaching of conservation (wis...
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