State-Guaranteed Education vs. Homeschooling
Homeschooling laws vary from state to state. Each state has a mandate to provide an education for its students; many states delegate that authority to the state’s Board of Education. The state Board of Education wants to ensure that every child receives an adequate education. Because of this mandate, one Federal law was passed, Equal Education Opportunities Act of 1974. This law requires that no state can deny any child an education based on their race, color, sex, or national origin. In other words, every child within every state is guaranteed an education.
While states cannot deny a child an education, it is ultimately up to the parent to choose where that child will attend school – whether public school, private school, or homeschool. Public schools, and some private schools, are regulated by the state. However, since a large percentage of homeschool families do so for religious reasons, there are often few regulations for homeschools.
Peculiarities of Homeschooling Laws in the US
One state law that appears to be universal is the requirement for children to attend school in some fashion during set compulsory ages. However, in each state, these ages may be different. Depending on the states laws; some states require children to be in school from 7 to 16, others 5 to 17. To determine what your state’s compulsory ages are you can contact HSLDA, or search the internet.
National Home Education Network, Home School Legal Defense Association, and other websites on the Internet, list the homeschool laws for each state. It would be advantageous to learn your state’s laws if you choose to homeschool. You can go back to these sites to find the laws for the new state if you move to another state, especially if you are a military family who has begun to homeschool.
Military families, throughout the length of a soldier’s career, often move several times. One way to guarantee continuity in their children’s education is choosing to homeschool. Without fear of negative impact, a military family that homeschools can continue their child’s education rather than transferring a child from one school to another.