Many states require parents to submit a form when they begin homeschooling, and annually thereafter. This form notifies education officials that a child is being homeschooled and may provide additional information as well. Requirements for providing notice of homeschooling vary drastically from state to state. Click on a state above to learn more about its requirements.
Twenty-five states (AR, CA, CO, DE, GA, KY, LA, MD, MN, MS, MT, NE, NH, NM, NY, ND, OH, PA, SC, TN, VT, VA, WA, WI, WY) require parents to file annual notice of homeschooling. An additional fourteen states (AL, AZ, FL, HI, KS, MA, ME, NC, NV, OR, RI, SD, UT, WV) require parents to file a one-time notice when first beginning to homeschool. The remaining eleven states (AK, CT, ID, IA, IL, IN, MI, MO, NJ, OK, TX) do not require parents to provide notice of homeschooling. Homeschooling parents in these states may have no contact with education officials whatsoever.
What information must be included on the required notice varies from state to state. In some states the notice of intent to homeschool need only include the name of the homeschool and its administrator while in other states it must include a basic curriculum plan. Similarly, some states simply require the students’ names while others also require their grades and ages or a copy of each student’s birth certificate.
Several states allow parents to choose between several legal options for homeschooling and do not require notice for all options. For example, parents homeschooling under the supervision of an umbrella schools generally need only enroll their children in a private or church-related school, which may or may not be required to report attendance information to the local school district or state department of education.
In some states this notice is filed with the state department of education and in other states it is filed with the local school district. In some states local school districts report the names or number of homeschooled students to the state department of education, and in other states the state department of education shares this information with the local school districts. In most states, however, the names and number stay at either the state or local level.
In all but two states—MA and RI—acceptance of parents’ notice of intent to homeschool is automatic (provided all information is complete), and does not require approval.
We recommend requiring parents to provide annual notification of their intent to homeschool. This notice should include at a minimum children’s names, ages, and grade levels, as well as the names of the parents and the family’s address. Wisconsin requires that this notice be filed with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction while Floridarequires it to be filed with the local superintendent; either is acceptable. We recommend that local school districts and state departments of education communicate to ensure that no homeschooled student goes unaccounted for. In the cases of umbrella schools, notification may be fulfilled through enrollment. Umbrella schools should be required to notify state or local officials of the enrolled homeschooled students, as is currently required in states such as Maryland and South Carolina.