Louisiana Laws and Regulations

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An overview of the homeschool laws and regulations of Louisiana, along with links to legislative source information, additional reference materials and government resources on homeschooling.

Louisiana State Legislature

From Louisiana Home Education Network

For your reference, here are statutes dealing with public school attendance, the state home-study option, and private school approval1 .

1Private school home educators do not submit for approval – instead a letter of intent is sent to the state.

LA. R.S. 17:236 DEFINITION OF A SCHOOL

For the purposes of this Chapter, a school is defined as an institution for the teaching of children consisting of an adequate physical plant, whether owned or leased, instructional staff members, and students. For such an institution to be classified as a school, within the meaning of this Chapter, instructional staff members shall meet the following requirements: if a public day school or a nonprofit school which receives local, state, or federal funds or support, directly or indirectly, they shall be certified in accordance with rules established by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education; if a nonpublic school which receives no local, state, or federal funds or support, directly or indirectly, they shall meet such requirements as may be prescribed by the school or the church. In addition, any such institution, to be classified as a school, shall operate a minimum session of not less than one hundred eighty (180) days. Solely for purposes of compulsory attendance in a nonpublic school, a child who participates in a home study program approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall be considered in attendance at a day school; a home study program shall be approved if it offers a sustained curriculum of a quality at least equal to that offered by public schools at the same grade level.

LA. R.S. 17:221 Subpart C. SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

A. (1) Every parent, tutor, or other person residing within the state of Louisiana, having control or charge of any child from that child?s seventh (7th) birthday until his seventeenth (17th) eighteenth birthday, shall send such child to a public or private day school, unless the child graduates from high school prior to his seventeenth eighteenth birthday. Any child below the age of seven (7) who legally enrolls in school shall also be subject to the provision of this Subpart. Every parent, tutor, or other person responsible for sending a child to a public or private day school under provisions of this Subpart shall also assure the attendance of such child in regularly assigned classes during regular school hours established by the school board.

LA. R.S. 17:154.1. LENGTH OF SCHOOL DAY AND YEAR; REQUIREMENTS (for public schools – listed here for information purposes only)

A.(1) The minimum school day for grades one through twelve in every public school in the state shall consist of three hundred sixty minutes of instructional time, exclusive of all recesses. The minimum school year shall consist of no less than one hundred seventy-five days of instruction. However, in order to provide teacher training, provide for the safety and well-being of students, or implement other educational reform efforts, any governing authority of a public elementary or secondary school may authorize some or all of its schools to modify the total number of instructional minutes per day and instructional days per year as long as the total number of instructional minutes per year is no less than the minimum number of instructional minutes per day multiplied by the minimum number of instructional days as required by this Section.

B. With the authorization of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the local school superintendent shall have the authority to dismiss any or all schools in his system due to emergency situations as defined by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in accordance with rules and regulations of the board which the board shall adopt as provided in the Administrative Procedure Act. Nothing herein shall be construed to allow a school year to be less than one hundred seventy-five days of instruction, except as provided in Subsection A of this Section.

This section applies only to those who register as a Home-Study School. Please note that the state will contact the local school district of your intent to homeschool.

LA. R.S. 17:236.1 APPROVAL OF HOME STUDY PROGRAMS

A. A parent or legal guardian shall apply to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for approval of a home study program. An initial application must be made within fifteen (15) days after commencement of the program. A renewal application must be made by the first (1st) of October of the school year, or within twelve months of approval of the initial application, whichever is later. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, upon receipt of such initial or renewal application, shall immediately notify the city or parish school superintendent within whose jurisdiction the home study is being conducted of such application and also shall notify said superintendent of subsequent actions taken by the board on the application.

B. An initial application for participation in a home study program shall be accompanied by a certified copy of the birth certificate of the child. The initial application or, during the 1984-85 school year, a renewal application, shall be approved if the parent certifies that the home study program will offer a sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to that offered by public schools at the same grade level.

C. (1) After the 1984-85 school year, a renewal application for participation in a home study program shall be approved if the parent submits the board satisfactory evidence that the program has in fact offered a sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to that offered by public schools at the same grade level. To substantiate this fact, the parent shall submit with the renewal application a packet of material which includes such documents as:

(a) A complete outline of each of the subjects taught during the previous year,

(b) Lists of books and materials used,

(c) Copies of the student’s work,

(d) Copies of standardized tests,

(e) Statements by third parties who have observed the child’s progress, and

(f) Any other evidence of the quality of the program being offered.

(2) If the material submitted is inadequate, the Department of Education shall notify the parent of the deficiencies and request additional materials.

(3) On the basis of all the information submitted, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall determine whether the program offers a sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to that offered in public schools at the same grade level and shall approve or disapprove the application accordingly.

D. After the 1984-85 school year, a renewal application shall be approved if, in lieu of submission of the packet of materials provided in the previous Subsection, the parent submits with the application any The following:

(1) Verification that the child has taken the competency-based education examination provided in R.S. 17:24.4 and scored at or above the passing level established by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for public school students at his grade level.

(2) Verification that the child has taken the California Achievement Test (CAT) or such other standardized examination as may be approved by the Board and the child has scored at or above his grade level or the child has progressed at a rate equal to one grade level for each year in home study program.

(3) A statement from a teacher certified to teach at the child?s grade level that the teacher has examined the program being offered and that, in this professional opinion, the child is being taught in accordance with a sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to that offered by public schools at the same grade level or, in the case of children with mental or physical disabilities, at least equal to that offered by public schools to children with similar disabilities. Any such teacher’s evaluation provided for in the Subsection shall be subject to review and approval of the State Board of Education.

E. (1) In May and September of each year and on such other dates as may be determined by the city or parish superintendent of schools, the local school board shall, upon request of a parent whose child is participating in a home study program, administer the competency-based education examination to the child. The test shall be administered with the same instructions and under similar conditions as provided children enrolled in the public schools.

(2) The local school board may charge a fee for this service not the exceed thirty-five ($35.00) dollars.

(3) The certified teacher administering the examination shall promptly provide the parent a statement indicating the child’s score and whether he passed the examination.

F. (1) In May and September of each year and on such other dates as may be determined by the state superintendent of elementary and secondary education the Department of Education shall upon the request of the parent, administer the competency-based education examination to any child enrolled in a home study program or enrolled in a private school. The test shall be administered with the same instructions and under similar conditions as provided children enrolled in the public schools.

(2) The Department of Education may charge a fee for this service not to exceed thirty-five ($35.00) dollars.

(3) The certified teacher administering the examination shall promptly provide the parent a statement indicating the child’s score and whether he passed the examination.

LA. R.S. 17:11 APPROVAL OF PRIVATE SCHOOLS BY BOARD

A. The board shall adopt standards and guidelines which shall be applied in determining whether a private or proprietary school applying for approval meets the requirements of a sustained curriculum or specialized course of study of quality at least equal to that prescribed for similar public schools. The board shall appoint an advisory committee of private and proprietary school representatives, who shall advise and counsel with the board relative to standards and guidelines affecting these schools. After initial approval the board shall periodically determine whether the private school is maintaining such quality and if not, shall discontinue approval of the school.

B. The board shall approve any private elementary, secondary, or proprietary school which makes application therefor on a form furnished by the board, if such school meets and maintains a sustained curriculum or specialized course of study of quality at least equal to that prescribed for similar public schools.

C. All certificates and diplomas issued by an approved private school shall carry the same privileges as one issued by a state public school.

——————————————————————————–

Attorney General Opinion 77-479 of March 21, 1977 Board of Elementary and Secondary Education can not either approve or disapprove any nonpublic schools on basis of criteria contained in regulations and standards applicable to public schools. Board may only evaluate private schools on the single consideration of whether the sustained curriculum of a private school is of quality at least equal to that of similar public schools.

Attorney General Opinion 89-321 of May 23, 1989 affirmed AG op. 77-479 and further stated that Board can not either approve or disapprove any nonpublic school on the basis of an exit exam.

1Private school home educators do not submit for approval – instead a letter of intent is sent to the state.”

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