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Homeschool has been recognized as a legal schooling option in Louisiana since 1980. Today parents who wish to educate their child(ren) at home can do so through a homeschool program or as a private school (a.k.a. non-public).
Age of Required Attendance
The state of Louisiana requires your child(ren) to attend school from the age of 7 to 18 years old. Legal schooling options include the following:
- public school
- private school (a.k.a. non-public school)
NOTE: Parents may choose to register their home as a private school and educate their child(ren) at home under the private school law.
(See legal references 1 and 2)
The Louisiana Private School Regulations are different from the homeschool regulations below.
NOTE: The Private School Law has less regulations for homeschoolers than the home study law. If you are looking to homeschool with more freedom then you will want to consider this option.
Notify The School District
The Louisiana Homeschool Law requires you to submit a Home Study Application to the Department of Education. Your first application must be made within 15 days of beginning your homeschool program. You must re-apply every year that you choose to homeschool. Each re-application must be made by October 1st or within 12 months of your initial application (whichever is later).
The Department of Education will notify your local superintendent of your decision and approval to homeschool. The first time you apply the Department of Education will ask you to submit a certified copy of each child’s birth certificate.
Each year that you re-apply the Department of Education will require you to submit a portfolio and/or test scores showing proof of adequate grade level achievement. If the Department of Education reviews your materials and finds any of them inadequate they may notify you and request additional materials.
NOTE: If you choose to send qualified test scores (see the section “Testing” below to find out what tests qualify) then you do not need to send a portfolio.
(See legal reference 3: A-C)
If You Need To Withdraw Your Child
If your child is already attending a Louisiana public school then you will need to officially withdraw them in order to begin homeschooling. Do not keep your child home without notifying the school; otherwise, the school may mark your child absent and charge you with truancy.
In order to officially withdraw your child you must send this Letter of Withdrawal to your child’s school. This letter will make the school aware of the changes and that you are applying for a Home Study program.
The Louisiana Homeschool Law does not require you to meet any specific qualifications in order to homeschool.
Hours Of Instruction
The Louisiana Homeschool Law requires you to teach a minimum of 180 days/year.
(See legal reference 4)
The Louisiana Homeschool Law requires you to teach a “sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to that offered in public schools at the same grade level”.
(See legal reference 3: C-3)
The Louisiana Homeschool Law does not require you to keep records of your homeschooling.
However you have the option to submit a portfolio of your child’s work to show proof of your child’s grade level achievement with your re-application each year. If you choose this option than you will need to keep the following items in your records:
- A complete outline of each of the subjects taught during the year
- Lists of books and materials used
- Copies of the student’s work
- Copies of standardized tests
- Statements by third parties who have observed the child’s progress
- Any other evidence of the quality of the program being offered
(See legal reference 3: C-1)
The Louisiana Homeschool Law requires homeschool students to participate in annual testing or assessments.
Each year that you re-apply with the Department of Education you will need to show proof that your child has met grade level achievement standards. This can be done by submitting test scores or an assessment report for each child. Acceptable tests include:
- A competency-based education examination (homeschool families may request this testing for their child(ren) through the local school)
- A Standardized Achievement Test
- A statement from a certified teacher (certified to teach at your child’s grade level) that your child has met the standard grade level achievement
(See legal reference 3: D (1-3))
Immunization Law For Louisiana Homeschoolers
The state of Louisiana does not require homeschool students to receive vaccinations. The immunization law only applies to students who attend school.
However there is one exception. Homeschool students that are 11 years old must submit proof (or a waiver), to the state Board of Education, of “current immunization against meningococcal disease”.
(See legal reference 5)
Helpful Websites For Louisiana Homeschoolers
For local support and information visit these Louisiana homeschool websites:
Christian Home Educators Fellowship of Baton Rouge (CHEF)
- Age of Required Attendance: Louisiana Revised Statute 17:221 (A).
- Definition of a School: Louisiana Revised Statute 17:236.
- Home Study Programs: Louisiana Revised Statute 17:236.1.
- Hours of Instruction: Louisiana Revised Statute 17:236 (A, B).
- Immunization Requirement: Louisiana Revised Statute 17:170.4 (A(1-c)).
This summary is for informational purposes only and is not given as legal advice. HomeschoolStateLaws.com does not endorse any of the links or organizations listed above.