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Home School Frequently Asked Questions

What are the basic provisions of the compulsory attendance law?
Every parent, guardian or other person residing within this state having control or charge of any child(ren) between their sixth and sixteenth birthdays must enroll and send such child(ren) to a public school, a private school or a home study program that meets requirements.
Who can operate a home study program?
Parents or guardians may operate a home study program for their child(ren) only, provided the parents or guardians meet specific requirements of the law.
Who is responsible for the enforcement of the law?
It is the duty of the local board of education and each local school superintendent to contact juvenile authorities if the forms are not sent to the superintendent as required by law.
According to the law, what is the first step in establishing a home study program?
Within 30 days after a program is established and by September 1 annually thereafter, the parents or guardians must file a Declaration of Intent with the local school superintendent. This Declaration must include the names and ages of the students, the address where the program is located and the dates of the school year. Upon request, the local school superintendent should provide the parent with the proper form
Are there any qualifications required for the parent who teaches the child?
Yes. If the teacher is a parent or guardian, s/he must have a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma (G.E.D.).
Can the parents or guardians employ someone else to teach in a home school program?
Yes, any employed tutor must have a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED).
Does the law address curriculum requirements for home study programs?
Yes. The program must provide a basic academic educational program which includes (but is not limited to) instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies and science.
Is a home study program to be operated within specified hours?
No. The law only requires the program to operate the equivalent of 180 days or at least 4.5 (four and one-half) hours of instruction per day unless the child is physically unable to comply with this requirement.
Does the law specify any promotion requirements, testing or record keeping by the home study program?
The law does not specify any promotion requirements. However, it does stipulate that an "appropriate" nationally standardized testing program be administered in consultation with a person trained in the administration and interpretation of norm-referenced tests. The law further states that the student must be evaluated at least every three years, beginning at the end of third grade. Nationally-normed assessments must be given at the end of grades 3, 6, 9, and 12. Additionally, the records of such tests must be retained for three years.
Are progress reports or report cards required of home study programs?
The law states that the instructor must write an annual progress assessment report in each required subject area for each student and that the reports must be retained for at least three years.
Are home study programs required to keep attendance records?
Yes. The law requires that monthly attendance reports be submitted to the local school superintendent at the end of each month. Forms are available from your local school superintendent.
Should officials of the local public school system attempt to monitor the curriculum, the test program, student assessment process, student records or instruction time of home study programs?
Are there any requirements in the law pertaining to facilities or health and safety standards?
Are public school systems required by law to furnish for home study programs instructional materials, textbooks or services such as testing?
Are there any state rules, regulations or guidelines concerning the grade placement of students or validation of credits earned by students in home study programs who are entering or returning to the public schools?
Local boards of education are required to adopt policies and procedures for validating credit for courses taken in a home study program. The procedures at a minimum must include the following:
  • probationary placement and satisfactory performance for one or more grading periods or
  • acceptable scores on tests focused on group placement, subject area and/or grade level.
Will high school students entering the public schools from home study programs be required to meet all state board rules concerning graduation requirements?
Yes. All students graduating from any state-supported Georgia high schools must meet all state requirements in regard to attendance, Carnegie Units and passing scores on the state assessment requirements.
What is the process for a home school student entering public school?
The public school may either test the student to place at the appropriate level OR the school may accept the school records to place for a probationary period of at least one grading period to see if the student is successful.
What is the penalty for being violation of this law?
Any person in violation of this law is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $100 (one hundred dollars).
What steps should a local school superintendent take when a violation occurs?
The law requires the local school superintendent to notify the parent or guardian of the child and then to report to the juvenile or other court having jurisdiction.

The mandate placed on the public education system calls for each local school superintendent to enforce the compulsory attendance of all children between the ages of six and 16 in a public school, a private school or a home study program that meets legal requirements. Therefore, the declaration of intent form and the monthly attendance form must be completed for each student enrolled in a home school and submitted to the office of the local superintendent. The Declaration of Intent must be submitted by September 1st each year. The monthly attendance report must be submitted at the close of each month.