Indiana

  • Private school: Parents may operate homeschools as private schools. Parents must provide 180 days of “instruction equivalent” to that provided in public schools and must keep attendance records. There are no notification, parent qualification, or assessment requirements.

Private School

Homeschools operate as “non-accredited, nonpublic schools” (private schools). See Ind. Code § 20.33.2.

Notification: If a child has never been enrolled in a public school, no notification is required. If a child is being withdrawn from a public school to be homeschooled, the parent must notify the child’s public school. The Indiana Department of Education asks homeschool parents to register their homeschools through an online form, but this is voluntary.
Qualifications: None.
Days or hours: Parents must provide 180 days of instruction.
Subjects: Parents must provide children with “instruction equivalent” to that in public schools. However, homeschools are exempt from the curriculum requirements laid out for public schools, and “equivalent instruction” has never been defined. Instruction must be provided in the English language.
Bookkeeping: Parents must keep attendance records and provide them to the state superintendent or the superintendent of the local school corporation if asked in order to verify that the child is indeed being homeschooled. The state superintendent may ask for the number and grade levels of children who are homeschooled, but this request must be made on an individual basis and may not be made to homeschoolers in general.
Assessment: None.
Intervention: Child Protective Services has the jurisdiction to handle educational neglect, which covers any instance where a parent knowingly and intentionally denies a child the educational required by law. An investigation is carried out if a homeschool family is accused of educational neglect.
Other: N/A

Services Available to Homeschooled Students

Part-time enrollment: Whether or not homeschooled students may enroll part time or take individual classes at a public school is left to the discretion of the individual school. This is laid out in Ind. Code § 20.33.2.12(b).
Extracurriculars: In 2013, the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA)  changed its bylaws to allow homeschooled students to compete in high school athletics provided they are enrolled in at least one class at the school they represent and meet set academic requirements and otherwise qualify.
Special needs: Homeschooled students are granted the same access to federal special education funding as are students enrolled in private schools. Further, Indiana Administrative Code requires public schools to “make available special education and related services” to homeschooled students and specifies that state and local funds may used for this purpose. See 511 IAC 7-34-1(d) and 511 IAC 7-34-7(g).
Other: Homeschool parents may be eligible for a state tax deduction for educational expenditures of up to $1000 per homeschooled child of school age.

Background:

The legality of homeschooling in Indiana rests on State v. Peterman (1904). In that case, the Indiana Appellate Court defined a school as “a place where instruction is imparted to the young” and held that a school at home counts as a private school. In Mazanec v. North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation (1985), the Seventh Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals affirmed the legality of homeschooling and ended local school districts’ jurisdiction over homeschooling. The Indiana General Assembly has never legislated on homeschooling.

For more, see A History of Homeschooling in Indiana.

Resources:

Ind. Code § 20.33.2

Homeschool Information, Indiana Department of Education

Homeschool Help Sheet

Indiana, International Center for Home Education Research

This overview is for informational purposes only and does not constitute the giving of legal advice. Last updated Oct. 2015.

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