How to Find Homeschool Laws
The first step to a successful homeschooling experience is to find the home school laws for the state in which you hope to home school. In this article, we review two ways to find homeschool laws for your state.
Your State’s Education Department
All states have a web site for their education department, but they style them differently. It may be referred to as:
- State Education Department
- Department of Education
- Department of Education and Early Development
- Superintendent of Public Instruction
- Department of Public Instruction
- Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
- Department of Education and Cultural Affairs
- Education Agency
- Office of Education
It will not necessarily be easy to find information about home school law on the web site, but some states have very good and complete information, making it a good place to start. A good way to begin is by finding the homepage of your state agency. Once you’re on the website, you may be able to quickly find what you’re looking for in a drop-down menu or in the frame. Some states, like Colorado and Vermont, have consolidated their home school information into a section of the site, making it easy to access.
If it’s not immediately apparent to you where the information is, you can try several approaches:
- Do a search on home school or home school or home study (there can be variations in the spelling as well as the words used);
- If there is no search function, use the find function in your browser.
- Check options like nonpublic schools which cover homeschooling in some states;
- Look for sections that cover legislation or forms
- Look for Contact Us to find a phone number, mailing address, or in some cases, an e-mail address to allow you access to further information.
If you contact the department and cannot find a person designated as the home school contact, your best approach may be to begin with a general information contact, and ask to have the proper contact identified.
Home School Law Summaries
If you end up in a situation in which you need to wait to receive the information about home school laws, or if you prefer to begin your research in a spot that’s guaranteed to give you information (albeit, not legally binding), you can choose to view the summaries of the state home school laws on the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) site.
HSDLA | Homeschool Laws [online] offers access to both a summary and a legal analysis for every state, the District of Columbia, and the territories (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands).
HSDLA | State Legislation [online] offers information about recent and/or pending legislation, and may help you learn if there are any important legal issues concerning home school laws currently undergoing consideration in your state.
Written by Mary Elizabeth