Oregon Laws and Regulations

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

Oregon State Legislature

The OR statute # is 339.030(5),.035

The officially codified and compiled Oregon Administrative Rules are published by the Secretary of State and portions of that published compilation have copyright status. The Oregon Administrative Rules presented on these pages are not the official version of the rules published by the Secretary of State.

Examination of Children Instructed by Parent or Private Teacher

The following definitions and abbreviations apply to OAR 581-21-026 through 581-21-028 unless otherwise specified within the rule:

(a) “Child” means a person between ages 7 and 18 whose parent or parents seek exemption from compulsory school attendance under ORS 339.030(3).

(b) “Department” means the Oregon Department of Education.

(c) “Neutral Person” means an individual selected by the parent or guardian of the child to be taught at home who has no relationship by bloodline or marriage to the child.

(d) “Notification” means written notice containing:

(A) the child’s and the parent’s name, address, telephone number,

(B) The child’s birthdate, and

(C) The name of the school the child is presently attending, or last attended, or if child has not attended         school, the name of the public school district in which the child resides.

(e) “Order” means to provide formal written notice in conformance with ORS 339.035(3)(d).

(f) “Parent” is the natural parent or legal guardian of a child whom the parent desires to be exempted from compulsory attendance under the provisions of ORS 339.030(3).

(g) “Qualified person” is an individual who:

(A) Holds a current personnel service certificate or teaching certificate from Oregon Teacher Standards and         Practice Commission, OR

(B) Has been licensed by the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners, OR

(C) Has met the publisher’s qualifications for purchase, and has purchased at least one test from the list set         forth in section (3) of this rule, OR

(D) Provides evidence of satisfactory completion of a graduate course in which test administration and         interpretation is included in the objective, OR

(E) Has previously qualified as a tester pursuant to Section (1)(g)(A) of this rule, and has during the         previous year administered at least one test from the list set forth in Section (3) of this rule.

(h) “Satisfactory Educational Progress” means that, compared to the norming group for a test selected from the list in section (3) of this rule, he student scores at or above the 15th percentile (Normal Curve Equivalent (NCE) Score + 28) on the composite score of the selected test or, if the student scores below the 15th percentile, the student’s composite score is equal to or greater than the composite score of the previous year.

(i) “Superintendent” is the executive officer of the education service district (ESD) or where there is no ESD, the county school district serving the school district of which the child is a resident.

The parent or private teacher shall give written notification of intent to withdraw the child from school to the Superintendent at least 10 calendar days prior to the intended date of withdrawal each school year or at least 10 calendar days prior to the beginning of each school year. The Superintendent, within 10 calendar days of receipt of the notification, shall acknowledge receipt of same in writing to the parent and inform the superintendent of the child’s resident district.

The parent must select the age-appropriate level of any The following tests to be administered to the child annually. A parent may choose to have a child initially tested beginning at age 7 with an oral or written first or second grade test. Test results used to satisfy the testing requirements of one year cannot be resubmitted in a succeeding year, nor may an equivalent test and norm be repeated to satisfy the testing requirements of the succeeding year except when a spring test score is used as the initial score. When the initial test is spring test administered on or after March 1, that test score may be submitted for both the initial reporting requirement and the following fall (October requirement contained in Section (6) of this rule.

(a) California Achievement Test, 1977, 1985, or 1992;

(b) Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills, 1981 or 1989;

(f) Stanford Achievement Test Battery, 1982 or 1989; and

(g) Tests adopted or approved by the State Board of Education that qualify for use in the required statewide assessment of students attending public schools.

(4) The State Superintendent and the Oregon Department of Education shall make available a list of the test publishers and their addresses.

(5) The Department shall make available a list of persons qualified to administer tests under subsection (1)(g) of this rule, such list to be updated by July 1 of each year. To be placed on the list, and applicant shall submit to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction evidence that satisfies requirements of subsection (1)(g) of this rule.

(6) If the test administrator scores the test, the administrator shall submit results of the test to the parents and provide a duplicate copy for the parent to submit to the Superintendent. If the test administrator does not score the test, the administrator shall submit the student answer sheet to the Superintendent whereupon after scoring, the Superintendent shall return the results of the examination to the parent. The documents required shall be submitted to the Superintendent:

(a) By October 31 of the school year if the child has received home schooling in the preceding school year.

(7) A test administrator shall certify that the administrator is qualified and neutral as defined in this rule with respect to a child being tested.

(8) All costs for the test instrument, administration, and scoring are the responsibility of the parent. If the completed but unscored response document is submitted to the Superintendent, the Superintendent shall have the test scored for which a fee may be charged.

(9) The parent shall submit the results of the examination, the name of the test administrator and the test administrator’s statement certifying qualification and neutrality to the Superintendent by October 31 of the school year in which the child is withdrawn or within eight weeks of notification to the Superintendent of withdrawal of the child, whichever date is later.

(10) A child who turns seven after September 1 shall not be required to be tested nor shall the parent be required to notify the superintendent, until the beginning of the next school year.

(11) Failure to submit the test results or completed test in accordance with section (9) of this rule, shall be a basis for the Superintendent to notify the child’s resident district that the parent has not met the requirements of ORS 339.035.

Determination of Satisfactory Educational Progress

  1. Upon receipt of a child’ test results, the superintendent shall provide a copy of the results to parents and shall make a determination whether satisfactory educational progress is being made by the child as defined in OR 581-21-026(1)(I). No parent shall be ordered to send the child to school for the remainder of the school year based upon results of the first annual examination submitted by the parents for their child to meet requirements under ORS 339.035(3).
  2. In the event that the superintendent finds that the child is not showing satisfactory educational progress, the superintendent shall provided the parent with a written statement of the reasons for the finding, based on the tests results and may:(a) Order the parent to send the child to school for the remainder of the school year; or

    (b) Allow, with the consent of the parent, the child’s education to be supervised by a person who holds a current Oregon teaching certificate for the remainder of the school year. The parent shall be responsible for the cost of services of the certified person.

    (c) The child’s test results shall be submitted to the superintendent by October 31 of the succeeding school year. If, upon receipt of the test results, the superintendent finds that the child has failed to achieve satisfactory educational progress as defined in OAR 581-21-026(1)(I), the superintendent may send the child to school for the remainder of the school year.

Administrative Review of Education

Service District or County School District Decision Made Under OAR 581-21-027

  1. The parent may appeal the order of the superintendent to send the child to school for the remainder of the school year to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction by filing a written statement of appeal with the State Superintendent, and a copy of the appeal to the superintendent who issued the order within 30 calendar days of the date of the order. The parent shall submit with the appeal to the State Superintendent a copy of the test results for the current school year and prior school year(s), and the superintendent’s statement of reasons for finding satisfactory educational progress was not being made by the child.
  2. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction shall review the record and issue an order affirming, reversing, or modifying the superintendent’s decision within 30 calendar days of receipt of the appeal. During the pendency of the appeal to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the parent may continue to home school the child or send that child to a private school.

    If the parent appeals the decision of the State Superintendent to the circuit court, the parent may petition the Superintendent to stay enforcement of the order as provided in OAR 137-03-090 to 137-03-092.

  3. Violation of ORS 339.020 or the requirements of ORS 339.035 is punishable, upon conviction, by a fine of note more than $100, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 30 days, or both, as set forth at ORS 339.990.

Home Schooling for Handicapped Students

  1. The following definitions apply to OAR 581-21-029:

    (a) “District”; means the school district of the parent’s residence on the date of the notification of the superintendent by the parent or guardian of the intent to teach the child at home.(b) “Resident district superintendent”; means the superintendent of the district as defined in subsection (1)(a) of this rule.

    (c) “Superintendent”; means the executive officer of the Education Service District or, where there is no ESD, the county school district serving the school district of which the child is a resident.

    (d) “Parent”; means the natural parent or legal guardian of a child whom the parent desires to be exempted from compulsory attendance under the provisions of ORS 339.030(5).

    (e) “Handicapped child”; means a child meeting the eligibility criteria for their specific handicapping condition as set forth in OAR 581-15-051.

  2. When a parent notified the superintendent, as provided in OAR 581-21-026, that he/she intends to teach the child at home, the superintendent, in accordance with OAR 581-21-026, shall notify the resident district superintendent.
  3. If the child is identified as handicapped, the district shall offer, and document to the parent, opportunities for the child to receive or continue to receive special education and related services. Such services, however, shall not be provided in the home.
  4. If the child has been identified as handicapped and the parent refuses special education services, the district shall:(a) Record the parent’s refusal;

    (b) Document to the parent the availability of special education services for their child; and

    (c) For the students in a special education program, send a notice of change of placement to the parent stating that the parent has elected to withdraw the child from public school under ORS 339.030(5). The notice shall include the statements that:

    (A) The district has the responsibility to offer a free appropriate public education;

    (B) The district has offered the free appropriate public education;

    (C) The parent may request a due process hearing as provided under OAR 581-15-081; and

    (D) The child is entitled at any time to re-enroll in the public school.

  5. If the parent, resident district superintendent or superintendent believes a child is handicapped, the district shall follow procedures under OAR 581-15-039 to obtain parent consent for evaluation to determine the child’s eligibility to receive special education and related services. If the child is eligible, the district shall notify the parent and shall offer the child a free appropriate public education.
  6. If a parent of a child refuses consent for evaluation of the child, the district shall document the refusal and initiate due process hearing procedures under ORS 343.165 and OAR 581-15-080 through OAR 581-15-096:(a) If the parent participates in the hearing but refuses to comply with the decision of the hearing officer, the district shall document, in the hearing record, its attempt to evaluate, identify and offer the child a free appropriate education.

    (b) If the parent does not participate in the hearing, the district shall document, in the hearing record, its attempt to evaluate, identify and offer the child a free appropriate education and the parent’s lack of consent thereto.

    (c) A child who has not been evaluated and identified, shall be considered nonhandicapped by the district.

  7. Notwithstanding OAR 581-21-027 in determining satisfactory education progress for a handicapped child, the district shall direct the multidisciplinary team to evaluate the child as required under OAR 581-15-072 to determine whether satisfactory educational progress appropriate to the age and handicapping condition of the child has been made:(a) In place of the child’s regular teacher as specified in OAR 581-15-072(a)(A), the mulidisciplinary team shall include the parent, and the person teaching the child when such is the case.

    (b) The multidisciplinary team report shall state whether the child has made satisfactory educational progress, and the superintendent shall consider that report in determining the child’s progress. The student need not complete all IEP goals in order for the superintendent to make a determination that the child is making satisfactory educational progress.

    (c) If the parent refuses the annual evaluation or refuses to arrange to have a test administered as required in ORS 339.035 and OAR 581-21-026 for nonhandicapped students, the superintendent shall follow procedures set out in OAR 581-21-026(10). The local district may take action against the parent for violation of ORS 339.035 or ORS 339.020.

  8. The superintendent may order the child back to school if the child has not made satisfactory educational progress. The parent may appeal the order of the superintendent following procedures under OAR 581-21-028.

Interscholastic Activities Eligibility

  1. A home school student may participate in interscholastic activities in his or her resident district’s attendance area if the student meets all of the requirements of ORS 339.460 and:(a) Achieves a composite score that is not less than the 23rd percentile on any of the annual achivement test listed in OAR 581-21-026; and

    (b) Submits the student’s composite test score to the district prior to participation in an interscholastic activity.

  2. Notwithstanding subsection (1)(b) of this rule, any public school student who chooses to be home schooled may participate in interscholastic activities while awaiting test score results.
  1. Children are exempt from public school if the children are being taught for a period equivalent to that required of children attending public schools by a parent or private teacher the courses of study usually taught in grades one through twelve in the public schools.
  2. The parents must notify the superintendent of the ESD ten calendar days before the beginning of the school year. The notice must contain the child’s and parents’ name, address, telephone #, the child’s birth date, and the name of the school the child is presently attending. Within another ten days the superintendent is required to acknowledge receipt of the notice of intent and inform the local school. The notification must be received and acknowledged before a child is withdrawn from school and thereafter before the start of each school year.
  3. A home school is not a private school.
  4. In “Pierce v. Society of Sisters” 268 US 1076 (1925) the US Supreme Court struck down an Oregon law which required all children to attend public school. The Court emphasized “the liberty of parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education of children under their control” is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

There is no requirement that the parents need be certified teachers.

Testing: Parents must choose one of six standardized tests specified in OR Adm. Rules Ch. 581-21-026 through 028 which must be administered by a neutral person (no relationship through blood or marriage). The person needs to qualify as a tester.

The test results, the name of the test administrator, and the test administrator’s certifying qualifications and neutrality must be submitted to the ESD superintendent by Oct. 31 or within eight weeks of withdrawal of the child, whichever is later.

Homeschooled children must at least achieve a composite score in the 15th percentile or be equal or greater than the year before’s score.

If the ESD superintendent determines the child is not showing “satisfactory educational progress,” the superintendent shall provide the parent with a written statement of the reasons and may order the parent to send the child to school for the remainder of the school year or allow the child to be taught by a certified teacher for the remainder of the school year.

If the ESD superintendent disapproves of the test results, the parents can appeal within 30 days to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and then to the circuit court of the county. Rules 581-21-028.

Homeschooling in Oregon: The Handbook

by Ann Lahrson

Available from:

Out of the Box Publishing – (503) 284-6741

POB 80214-B Portland, Oregon 97280

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