Louisiana

  • Homeschool statute: Parents must submit annual notice to the Louisiana Department of Education, and must include either a packet of materials or an assessment (by standardized test or portfolio evaluation) with each subsequent year’s notice. Approval may be denied if a child is not making appropriate progress. Parents must offer 180 days of instruction and provide a “sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to that offered by public schools.” There are no parent qualifications or bookkeeping requirements.
  • Private school: Parents may operate homeschools as private schools. Parents must submit an annual enrollment report to the state Louisiana Department of Education and are required to provide 180 days of instruction. There are no parent qualification, subject, bookkeeping, or assessment requirements.

(1) Homeschool Option

Any child “who participates in a home study program approved by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education” is considered to be in attendance at a day school for the purposes of compulsory attendance laws. See La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:236. For the law governing home study programs, see La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:236.1.

Notification: (1) Parents must apply to the Board of Education within 15 days of beginning to homeschool. This application includes basic student and contact information and “shall be approved if the parent certifies that the home study program will offer a sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to that offered by public schools at the same grade level.” This initial application must also include the child’s birth certificate. (2) Parents must submit an annual renewal application to the Board of Education; this renewal application must include an assessment for each child. A renewal application “shall be approved if the parent submits to the board satisfactory evidence that the program has in fact offered a sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to that offered by public schools at the same grade level.” Both initial and renewal applications may be submitted either online or through the mail. (3) “The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, upon receipt of such initial or renewal application, shall immediately notify the city or parish school superintendent within whose jurisdiction the home study is being conducted of such application and also shall notify said superintendent of subsequent actions taken by the board on the application.” See La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:236.1(A, B, C, D).
Qualifications: None.
Days or hours: 180 days. See La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:236.
Subjects: Home study programs must “offer a sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to that offered by public schools at the same grade level.”
Bookkeeping: None.
Assessment: Parents must submit an assessment to the Board of Education with each year’s renewal application. This must consist of (a) “a packet of materials” that demonstrates “a sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to that offered by public schools at the same grade level”; (b) verification that the child has taken a competency-based education examination or standardized achievement test and scored at grade level or progressed the equivalent of one grade level for the year; or (c) a statement from a teacher certified to teach at the child’s grade level that the child is being provided a sustained curriculum of quality equal to that offered by the public schools at that grade level or, in the case of a child with special needs, equal to that offered by public schools for such children (such teacher evaluations will be “subject to review and approval” by the Board of Education). See La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:236.1(C, D).
Intervention: Renewal applications will only be approved by the Board of Education if the parent submits the required assessments, which must show that the parent is offering “a sustained curriculum of quality” or that the child is at grade level or making appropriate progress. If a renewal application is denied, the Board of Education is required to notify the child’s city or parish school superintendent.
Other: (1) At the parent’s request, schools must allow children in home study programs to take competency-based education examinations in the public school for a small fee. At the parent’s request, the Department of Education is required to administer competency-based education examinations to any child in a home study program or private school for a small fee. See La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:236.1(E, F)(2) When a child is 11 years old, the parents must submit “satisfactory evidence of current immunization against meningococcal disease” (or a waiver stating religious, medical, or personal objections) to the Board of Education. See La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:170.4(A)(1)(c).

(2) Private School Option

Parents may choose to classify their homeschools as “registered nonpublic schools” rather than as home study programs. State law requires that a school be “an institution for the teaching of children” that consists of “an adequate physical plant . . . instructional staff members, and students.” The Department of Education accepts operating as a private school as a valid homeschool option. See La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:236.

Notification: (1) Parents must “report to the state Department of Education their total attendance as of the thirtieth day of their school term or session.” This can be done online or through the mail and must include the school’s name, the school year, contact information, and the total number of students enrolled. See La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:232(C)(2) If a child is withdrawn from public school to attend a homeschool operating as a private school, whether in the middle of or at the end of a school year, the homeschool parents (in the role of private school administrators) must provide written notice of the child’s enrollment in said homeschool operating as a private school to the child’s previous public school within ten days of enrollment. This notification must include the child’s name, date of birth, gender, and race. See La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:221.3(B)(2).
Qualifications: None.
Days or hours: 180 days. See La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:236.
Subjects: None.
Bookkeeping: None.
Assessment: None.
Intervention: None.
Other: When a child is 11 years old, parents must submit “satisfactory evidence of current immunization against meningococcal disease” (or a waiver stating religious, medical, or personal objections) as a condition of enrollment in a nonpublic school. This simply means that homeschool parents operating their homeschools as nonpublic schools must keep these immunization records on file. See La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:170.4(A)(1)(b).

Services Available to Homeschooled Students

Part-time enrollment: No.
Extracurriculars: Yes, at the district’s discretion, for those educated at home under the homeschool law. No, for those educated at home under the private school law.
Special needs: No, for those educated at home under the homeschool law. Yes, for those educated at home under the private school law. Any student may be assessed for special needs at their local public school. A portion of federal special needs funding received by public schools is set aside for private school students.
Other: “Notwithstanding any rule, regulation, or other provision of law to the contrary, a high school diploma awarded by a home study program approved by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall be deemed by all public postsecondary educational institutions, all state departments, agencies, boards, and commissions, and all other state and local governmental entities to have all of the rights and privileges afforded to a high school diploma awarded by a state-approved nonpublic school.” See La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:236.1(G).

Resources:

Home Study Programs, Louisiana Statute

Home Study, Louisiana Department of Education

Home Study Guidelines

Registered Nonpublic Schools, Louisiana Department of Education

Registered Nonpublic Schools Guidelines

Louisiana, International Center for Home Education Research

This overview is for informational purposes only and does not constitute the giving of legal advice.

Comments are closed