Kentucky

  • Private school: Parents may operate homeschools as private schools. Parents must provide an annual notice of enrollment to the local board of education, keep attendance, and provide 185 days of instruction in the same branches of study as are required in public schools. There are no parent qualification or assessment requirements.

Private School

Homeschools operate under the law for private, parochial, or church schools. See Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §159.030(1)(b), §159.040, and §159.080.

Notification: The superintendent of the local school board must be notified in writing within ten days of the beginning of the school year of their intent to homeschool their child(ren) each year they homeschool. The letter must include the name, ages and residence of each child in attendance of the homeschool.  Children must be enrolled in school between the ages of six (6) and 18 (by August 1). See KRS 159.010 and KRS 159.160.
Qualifications: None.
Days or hours: Parents must offer a term not shorter than that of the local public schools. This means 1062 instructional hours in no less than 185 student attendance days.
Subjects: Subjects taught should include reading, writing, spelling, grammar, history, mathematics, science, and civics. It is the parents’ right to offer other subjects, as well.
Bookkeeping: A portfolio that contains samples of the best work done by each child in several areas of study for each year the student is homeschooled is recommended but not required.  This may be of assistance in documenting the existence of the homeschool or the transfer of the child to another educational setting.  Accurate attendance records and grades must be kept in a notebook, on a computer, or in another manner, but must be readily available in case of an inquiry. See Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §159.040.
Assessment: None.
Intervention: If parents do not notify their local boards of education within the first ten days of school as required, they may be investigated for truancy.
Other: n/a

Services Available to Homeschooled Students

Part-time enrollment: Whether or not to allow homeschooled students to enroll in individual public school classes is up to the school district.
Extracurriculars:  Some districts are willing to allow homeschools to participate, but this is decided by individual school districts.
Disabilities: Homeschooled students with disabilities have access to testing in their local public schools, and may also have access to services offered through these schools.
Other:  The Kentucky Department of Education does not officially recognize homeschool diplomas.

Background:

In 1979, in Ky. State Bd. for Elementary & Secondary Educ. v. Rudasill, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that the Kentucky Department of Education could not require private schools to comply with state textbook approval, teacher certification, and school accreditation requirements. The court held that the legislature could monitor the work of private schools through a standardized achievement testing program, but the legislature has never created such a program. While this case involved Christian schools rather than homeschools, it undergirds the legality of homeschooling to this day.

In 2018, HB 574 was introduced to require parents of homeschool students to submit an affidavit attesting a homeschool student received 1,062 hours of instruction and a portfolio of student work to the KDE annually. It included a requirement that the KDE review the portfolio to determine whether the student has achieved adequate academic growth and implement a remediation plan if a student has not achieved adequate academic growth. It wanted to establish an administrative procedure for terminating a student’s enrollment in a homeschool if the student has not achieved adequate academic growth after 24 months on the remediation plan and prohibit the enrollment of a habitual truant in a homeschool without approval of written curricula by the KDE. The bill died in the House.  See Kentucky General Assembly (2018) HB 574.

Resources:

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §159.030

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §159.040

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §159.080

Home School, Kentucky Department of Education

Kentucky Home School Information Packet, Kentucky Department of Education

Kentucky, International Center for Home Education Research

This overview is for informational purposes only and does not constitute the giving of legal advice. Page last updated September 2018.