Connecticut has one homeschool option.
- Alternative instruction provision: Connecticut law exempts children receiving instruction “elsewhere” from compulsory school attendance. Parents must offer “equivalent instruction in the studies taught in the public schools.” There are no notification, parent qualification, instruction time, bookkeeping, or assessment requirements.
Early on, the Connecticut Board of Education created guidelines for determining whether a homeschooled child is receiving equivalent instruction. While these guidelines include both annual notification and annual portfolio reviews, they are administrative suggestions rather than legal mandates and do not appear to be widely followed or enforced.
State law exempts students from compulsory attendance if the parent “is able to show that the child is elsewhere receiving equivalent instruction in the studies taught in the public schools.” See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-184. The Connecticut Board of Education created guidelines for governing homeschooling (“Revised Procedures Concerning Requests from Parents to Educate Their Children at Home”). These guidelines are listed as “suggested procedures” and do not have the force of law.
|Notification:||None. However, state law requires superintendents to report the name, age, and information about school attendance for each child of compulsory age, and levies a small fine on parents who refuse to provide this information. See Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-249 and §10-251. The guidelines suggest that parents be required to file a notice of intent form within ten days of beginning to homeschool, and annually thereafter, including the name of the teacher, the subjects taught, the days of instruction, the teacher’s method of assessment, and an assurance that equivalent instruction will be provided; the guidelines further suggest that should a parent fail to file a notice or file an incomplete notice, local school authorities should send the parent a certified letter giving ten days to comply.|
|Days or hours:||None.|
|Subjects:||Parents must offer “equivalent instruction in the studies taught in the public schools.” The guidelines suggest that parents be required to provide instruction in reading, writing, spelling, English grammar, geography, arithmetic, United States history, and citizenship, including a study of town, state, and federal governments.|
|Assessment:||None. The guidelines suggest that an annual portfolio review be held with parents and school officials.|
|Intervention:||None. The guidelines suggest that children whose parents refuse to file the notice of intent or who refuse to participate in the annual portfolio review be considered truant.|
Services Available to Homeschooled Students
|Part-time enrollment:||State law neither prohibits nor requires public schools to allow homeschooled students to enroll for individual classes, leaving the matter up to the local school district.|
|Athletics:||The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) requires student athletes to be bona fide students at the public school they represent, thus denying homeschooled students access to public school athletics. See CIAC Eligibility Rules.|
|Special needs:||Homeschooled students are eligible for special needs testing through their local public schools, but not entitled to special needs services offered through these schools.|
Connecticut’s compulsory education statute includes an exemption when parents are “able to show that the children are elsewhere receiving equivalent instructions in the studies taught in the public schools.” Connecticut has never passed a homeschool statute; from the earliest years of homeschooling to the present, parents have homeschooled under this “equivalent instruction” exemption. In 1982 the State Education Commissioner issued guidelines for school districts to follow when administering this exemption. New guidelines were issued in 1990, but neither set of rules ever had the force of law behind them, making them in effect voluntary. A 2002 bill to make the guidelines law failed to pass, as did a 2008 proposal.
For more, see A History of Homeschooling in Connecticut.
Because homeschooling tends to be handled on the local district level, if at all, the Connecticut State Department of Education does not have information on its website for homeschoolers.
This overview is for informational purposes only and does not constitute the giving of legal advice. Page last revised September 2015.