- Alternative instruction provision: Oklahoma law exempts students for whom “other means of education are provided” from compulsory school attendance. Parents must provide 180 days of instruction, but there are no notification, parent qualification, subject, bookkeeping, or assessment requirements.
“It shall be unlawful for a parent . . . to neglect or refuse to cause or compel such child to attend and comply with the rules of some public, private or other school, unless other means of education are provided for the full term the schools of the district are in session or the child is excused as provided in this section.”See Okla. Stat. tit. 70, § 10-105(A).
|Days or hours:||180 days.|
Services Available to Homeschooled Students
|Part-time enrollment:||Yes, at the district’s discretion.|
|Extracurriculars:||Yes, at the district’s discretion.|
|Special needs:||No. While public schools must offer special needs evaluations to all students within their districts regardless of what school they attend or whether they are homeschooled, public schools in Oklahoma have no obligation to provide additional services to homeschooled students with special needs.|
Oklahoma’s constitution is often interpreted as having a “constitutional provision” mandating the right to homeschool. The actual text says in article XIII, § 4, “Legislature shall provide for the compulsory attendance at some public or other school, unless other means of education are provided, of all children in the State who are sound in mind and body, between the ages of eight and sixteen years, for at least three months in each year.” That parents may find other means of education for their children, outside of public or private schooling, was upheld by a 1909 Oklahoma Supreme Court decision. (See School Bd. Dist. No. 18 v. Thompson, 103 P. 578 [Okla. 1909]).
A court case in 1957 placed the burden of proving that “no other means of education was provided” upon the state. See Sheppard v. Oklahoma, 306 P.2d 346 (Okla. Crim. App. 1957). An Attorney General opinion in 1973 clarified that parents could educate their children at home “so long as the private instruction is supplied in good faith and is equivalent in fact to that afforded by the state.” See Okla. Att’y Gen. Op. No. 73-129 (Feb. 13, 1973). This equivalence is not required by law and has never been asserted by a decision of the courts.
This preference toward a loose mandatory school attendance requirements and parental control is further buttressed in Oklahoma state law, where “No child who has been adjudicated deprived upon the basis of noncompliance with the mandatory school attendance law alone may be placed in a public or private institutional facility or be removed from the custody of the lawful parent, legal guardian or custodian of the child.”
This overview is for informational purposes only and does not constitute the giving of legal advice.