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Georgia's Homeschool Law

Georgia’s Homeschool Law

20-2-690. Requirements for Homeschooling Parents

(a) This subpart recognizes the existence of public schools, private schools, and home study programs as educational entities ...
(c) Parents or guardians may teach their children at home in a home study program which meets the following requirements:
(1) The parent, parents, or guardian must submit within 30 days after the establishment of a home study program and by September 1 annually thereafter a declaration of intent to utilize a home study program to the superintendent of schools of the local school district in which the home study program is located;
(2) The declaration shall include a list of the names and ages of the students who are enrolled in the home study program, the address where the home study program is located, and a statement of the 12 month period that is to be considered the school year for that home study program. Enrollment records and reports shall not be used for any purpose except providing necessary enrollment information, except with the permission of the parent or guardian of a child, pursuant to the subpoena of a court of competent jurisdiction, or for verification of attendance by the Department of Public Safety for the purposes set forth in subsection (a.1) of Code Section 40-5-22;
(3) Parents or guardians may teach only their own children in the home study program, provided the teaching parent or guardian possesses at least a high school diploma or a general educational development diploma, but the parents or guardians may employ a tutor who holds a high school diploma or a general educational development diploma to teach such children;
(4) The home study program shall provide a basic academic educational program which includes, but is not limited to, reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science;
(5) The home study program must provide instruction each 12 months to home study students equivalent to 180 school days of education with each school day consisting of at least four and one-half school hours unless the child is physically unable to comply with the rule provided for in this paragraph;
(6) Attendance records for the home study program shall be kept and shall be submitted at the end of each month to the school superintendent of the local school district in which the home study program is located. Attendance records and reports shall not be used for any purpose except providing necessary attendance information, except with the permission of the parent or guardian of a child, pursuant to the subpoena of a court of competent jurisdiction, or for verification of attendance by the Department of Public Safety for the purposes set forth in subsection (a.1) of Code Section 40-5-22;
(7) Students in home study programs shall be subject to an appropriate nationally standardized testing program administered in consultation with a person trained in the administration and interpretation of norm reference tests to evaluate their educational progress at least every three years beginning at the end of the third grade and records of such tests and scores shall be retained but shall not be required to be submitted to public educational authorities; and
(8) The home study program instructor shall write an annual progress assessment report which shall include the instructor´s individualized assessment of the student´s academic progress in each of the subject areas specified in paragraph (4) of this subsection, and such progress reports shall be retained by the parent, parents, or guardian of children in the home study program for a period of at least three years.
(d) Any person who operates a private school without complying with the requirements of subsection (b) of this Code section or any person who operates a home study program without complying with the requirements of subsection (c) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $100.00.
(e) The State Board of Education shall devise, adopt, and make available to local school superintendents, who shall in turn make available to administrators of private schools and parents or guardians with children in home study programs, such printed forms and procedures as may be reasonably necessary to carry out efficiently the reporting provisions of this Code section, but such printed forms and procedures shall not be inconsistent with or exceed the requirements of this Code section.

20-2-690.1. Compulsory Attendance

(a) Every parent, guardian, or other person residing within this state having control or charge of any child or children between their sixth and sixteenth birthdays shall enroll and send such child or children to a public school, a private school, or a home study program that meets the requirements for a public school, a private school, or a home study program ...

20-2-698. Children Found Away From Home

Any peace officer may assume temporary custody, during school hours, of any child subject to compulsory school attendance who is found away from home and who is absent from a public or private school or a home study program without a valid written excuse from school officials or from the parent or guardian in charge of the home study program.

20-2-701. Reporting of Failure to Comply.

(a) Local school superintendents as applied to private schools and home study programs or visiting teachers and attendance officers as applied to public schools, after written notice to the parent or guardian of a child, shall report to the juvenile or other court having jurisdiction under Chapter 11 of Title 15 any child who is absent from a public or private school or a home study program in violation of this subpart. If the judge of the court places such child in a home or in a public or private institution pursuant to Chapter 11 of Title 15, school shall be provided for such child.

 

Case Law & Legal Opinions

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Attorney General Interprets Homeschool Law

In 1986, the Georgia Attorney General issued an opinion stating that local superintendents could "request" that homeschoolers provide documents related to their home study program, but had no legal basis to "require" the production of those documents.

Pierce v. Society of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary

In Pierce v. Society of the Sisters, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that "the fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments of this Union repose excludes any general power of the state to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the creature of the state."

Roemhild v. Georgia (251 Ga. 569, 308 S.E.2d 154 (Ga. 1983))

This case concerns the constitutionality of OCGA 20-2-690 (Code Ann. 32-2104), the Georgia compulsory school attendance law, which provides that every parent having control of a child between the ages of seven and sixteen shall enroll the child in and send the child to a public or private school. The appellants, Terry and Vickie Roemhild, are the parents of three school-age children. In late September of 1981 they were arrested for violating the compulsory attendance law by allegedly failing to enroll their children in a public or private school for the period August 24 to September 18, 1981. The Roemhilds moved to dismiss the charges on various constitutional grounds, and also defended on the basis that the children were being taught at home in a private school operated by the appellants. The trial judge ruled that the Roemhilds had not sufficiently raised the constitutional issues, and were not operating a "private school" within the meaning of OCGA 20-2-690 (Code Ann. 32-2104). Accordingly, the judge found the Roemhilds guilty of nineteen violations of the compulsory school attendance law, which was an assessment of one violation for each school day the children were kept at home. This was reversed on appeal. In this case, the Georgia Supreme Court declared Georgia's compulsory attendance law "unconstitutionally vague." The court reasoned: "...we conclude that the statute is not sufficiently definite to provide a person of ordinary intelligence, who desires to avoid its penalties, fair notice of what constitutes a "private school....Furthermore, the statute violated a second due process value in that it impermissibly delegates to local law enforcement officials, judges, and juries the policy decision of what constitutes a private school."

 

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The Association will serve and assist any home schooling family or support group in Georgia, however, GHEA is a Christian organization and the counsel and direction of the organization will be Christian.


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