Considering homeschool? Here’s what you need to know

Updated: Jul. 29, 2020 at 10:27 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As more parents choose to take full control of their child’s education, WBRC is digging deeper into state homeschooling requirements.

Alabama is considered a low regulation state which gives parents considerable freedom when homeschooling but there are requirements that the parent must complete according to state law.

According to the State Superintendent of Education, Act 2014-245 removed the authority of the Alabama Department of Education to regulate non-public schools.

However, the state education code also says homeschooled students connected to private schools and tutors must register with the state Department of Education every year.

Alabama allows parents to homeschool as extensions of three types of schools:

  1. Church School: (Ala. Code 16-28-1; 16-28-7; 16-28-8; 16-28-16)
  2. Private School: (Ala. Code 16-28-1; 16-1-11; 16-28-7; 16-28-8; 16-30-3; 16- 30-4; 16-40-1)
  3. Private Tutor : (Ala. Code 16-28-5)

Each option has its own state requirements for reporting, record-keeping, fees, and even immunizations.

As for notifying your local school district, the homeschooling experts we spoke to recommend putting everything in writing to protect your family.

For example, if your child was enrolled in a district and is not formally withdrawn from that district, they could be marked as absent when the school year starts and that’s when you get into truancy issues, according to ALSDE communications director Michael Sibley.

“It’s just a small form that they fill out with the child’s name, age, grade level,” said Sibley.

Sibley says the form also helps local districts keep track of students.

“In the event that something happens to little Johnny or Sally and an individual needs to know the status of that student and they check with the local school, the school will have the ability to say if that student is registered as a private school student, someone who is taught at home or is a public school student,” Sibley explained.

According to ALSDE, The parent only has to notify the local school district once upon the initial decision to homeschool and it doesn’t have to be done every year.

Alabama Homeschool ALSDE FAQ.

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