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
Sample Paper Affidavit
Provided by Homeschool Association of California.
California Education Code, Section 48415
Compulsory Continuation Education-Pupils Exempt. Pertains to homeschoolers who are considered a private school.
California Education Code, Section 33190-33193
Verification of Private School Instruction. This section of the California Education Code addresses private schools in California. Home schools can be registered as private schools as one way to comply with the law.
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
Index to the entire California Education Code. Sections pertaining to home education include Sections 33190-33193, 44237, 48200, 48220, 48222, 48224, 48415, 51210, 51220, 51220.5, 51221, 51225.3, 51745, and 51747.3.
California Education Code, Section 51210
Required Courses of Study-Course of Study, Grades 1 to 6. Lists the requirements for grades 1 to 6, including English, reading, mathematics, social sciences, science, fine arts, health, and physical education.
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 Education Code, Section 44237
Commission on Teacher Credentialing. This section pertains to private schools requirement of submission of criminal record summary information.
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.
Public School Independent Study Programs
Enrolling your child in a public school independent study program is the legal equivalent to enrolling him in public school. These are the "home study" programs offered by many school districts. Public ISPs vary widely from school to school in the level of control they exert over their students and the services they offer. These programs can be appealing for a wide variety of reasons.
Homeschool Attorneys in California
These attorneys have indicated that they are willing to provide legal information, consult with or represent homeschoolers on homeschooling or other legal issues they may have in their states. Most of these attorneys homeschool or have homeschooled their own children.
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...
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...
California Education Code, Section 51745, -51749.3 51747.3
Authorized Classes and Courses of Instruction-Independent Study. Provisions for independent study.
California Department of Education
The website for the California Department of Education.
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