Alabama Homeschool Law

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Alabama Homeschool Law - Homeschool State Laws

Required Attendance Age

The state of Alabama requires your child to attend school from the age of 6 to 17 years old. Legal schooling options include:

  • public school
  • private school
  • church school
  • parochial school
  • religious school
  • private tutor

NOTE: Prior to the law change in 2014 you had two options for homeschooling your child; 1) hire a certified tutor (or become certified yourself), or 2) homeschool under the supervision of a church school (i.e. cover school).

In 2014 you were given a third option, 3) homeschool your child under the private school law. This third option allows you to homeschool with less regulation from the state.

(see legal reference #1, #2, #3, and #4)

The following information is a summary of the law for homeschooling under option #3, the private school at home option. 

Notify The School District

The Alabama Homeschool Law requires you to send an enrollment form to your local education authority (i.e. your local superintendent) by the 5th day of the beginning of the public school year. This report must be sent every year that you choose to homeschool. It must include the names of all the children you will be homeschooling and their address.

HSLDA provides an enrollment form (page 1 of the PDF file) for you to use. This form also has you include birth dates for all your children, although the law does not require that information. HSLDA also suggests that you use a cover letter (only available to members of HSLDA) when sending in your attendance report form, to explain why you are sending it.

(see legal reference #5)

If You Need To Withdraw Your Child

If your child already attends an Alabama public school then you must officially withdraw them in order to homeschool. First send in an attendance report to your local school authority to notify them that you will be homeschooling (see above). Then, fill out and send in an official withdrawal letter.

NOTE: A withdrawal form is also provided in the Alabama State Department of Education’s Attendance Manual (pg. 21). Simply print it off, fill it out, and send it in using certified mail with return receipt request.

Qualify 

The Alabama Homeschool Law does not require you to meet specific qualifications in order to homeschool.

Days of Instruction

The Alabama Homeschool Law requires you to teach the same amount of days as a public school; 180 days/year.

Required Subjects

The Alabama Homeschool Law does not require you to teach a specific list of educational subjects.

Keep Records

The Alabama Homeschool Law requires you to keep record of your child’s attendance throughout the year. HSLDA provides an attendance register (pg.2 of this PDF) for you to keep track of your child’s attendance. The state of Alabama does not require you to report your child’s attendance weekly. This is only for your records.

It is also a good idea to keep records of your child’s immunizations or exemption and any legal correspondence you have with the school.

HSLDA also suggests that you keep enough evidence to show that your child is in fact receiving an education, about 2-3 years worth of sample work for each child (not a full portfolio but relevant samples).

(see legal reference #5)

Testing

The Alabama Homeschool Law does not require homeschool students to participate in testing.

NOTESenate Bill 38 also states that 2 or 4 year colleges in Alabama cannot deny admittance to homeschoolers simply because they were homeschooled. Students no longer need a GED in order to apply to college. However it is advised that students have evidence of their schooling when applying.

Immunization Laws for Alabama Homeschoolers

The state of Alabama requires all children who attend public or private schools to receive vaccinations or file an exemption.

(see legal reference #6)

Helpful Websites For Alabama Homeschoolers

For local support and information visit these Alabama homeschool websites:

Alabama State Department of Education FAQ page (make sure to click on the tab for non-public schools)

Alabama Homeschool Expo

Cullman Homeschoolers

Legal References

  1. Required Attendance Age: AL Code § 16-28-3.
  2. Private Tutor Regulations: AL Code § 16-28-5.
  3. Church School Enrollment: AL Code § 16-28-7.
  4. Private School at Home: AL Code § 16-28-1.
  5. Reporting Enrollment: AL Code § 16-28-7Alabama Senate Bill 38 Section 1 (3).
  6. Immunizations: Rules of The State Board of Health 420-6-1.

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.


11 thoughts on “Alabama Homeschool Law”

    1. Thank you for this information Elizabeth. I received an email last night from Erin Wainwright on this issue as well. She did an interview with an HSLDA legal adviser about the confusion surfacing from the 2014 changes to the law. I will be updating this post with the correct information today.
      For anyone interested here is a link to the video that I mentioned. https://momssaturdayschool.com/2018/03/02/hslda-interview-alabama/
      It is very informative and worth watching. It is a bit long (about 1 hour) but has some good Q&A in the last 20-30 minutes.

  1. Your information for Alabama Homeschool Law is inaccurate. Families who do not decide to homeschool through private tutor or church school status and take the private school option ARE required to notify their local school district superintendent’s office of their decision to homeschool. Please refer to the Alabama Department of Education’s website regarding this option: https://www.alsde.edu/ofc/osp/Pages/faqs-all.aspx

    In regard to record keeping: Attendance keeping is a requirement.

    Homeschoolers have never been regulated by the state, but there are still requirements to be met as the local school superintendents are required by state law to keep track of every school age child’s (between the ages of 6-17) enrollment whether that child is enrolled in public, private, or homeschool.

    1. Thank you for clarifying this. I am working on updating this post with all the right information. I appreciate your help in keeping Homeschool State Laws up to date.

  2. I have update this post with all of the current and correct information for homeschooling in Alabama under the private school law. Thank you to all of those who brought it to my attention that the information was incorrect.
    Happy Homeschooling Alabama!

  3. I am confused. I was told told by my covering that I needed to contact the Board of Education to inform them of my decision to homeschool so i called the BoE to see which dept i needed to send the registration to and they told me I no longer needed to do that.

    1. Chasity, according to the Alabama Law (AL Code § 16-28-7) If your child is enrolled in a church school (i.e. cover school), which I am assuming that is the case for you (correct me if I’m wrong), then you are required to file a church school enrollment form with your local public school superintendent. You are only required to file this form one time to notify the public school that you are educating your child through a church school, it is not required every year. The form is supposed to be provided by your local public school superintendent and must be signed by your church school administrator and yourself.
      If your public school has an adept website I would check there first for the form. They may have it available online for you to download/print off.
      I hope this information is helpful.

    1. Miriam, I see that you run an online private schooling program out of the state of UTAH. I had to do a bit of research on you to understand your question. Here is my best answer…
      If an Alabama parent chooses to educate their child at home under the private school law then the answer to your question is “no”. As long as the parent follows the regulations outlined in this post then they can use any curriculum or program from anywhere for their child’s education. All that is required is that they keep records of their child’s attendance throughout the year and school at least 180 days/school year.

  4. I didn’t think Alabama residents had to have a cover or private tutor any more. Could you clarify that for me? Also, if not what do you need to do to let the state know you are homeschooling with a cover? What do you have to turn into the state each year?

    1. Cheryl,
      Of course I am happy to try and clarify it for you.

      You are right, Alabama residents do not have to use a cover school or a private tutor in order to homeschool anymore. You have a third option which is to homeschool your child at home under the private school law. However, the first two options are still legal options to homeschooling. But no, you don’t have to use either one of them to homeschool, you can choose the third option instead. The homeschool law in this post is for the third option, homeschooling under the private school option.

      If you choose to homeschool under the cover school option then you will need to file a church school enrollment certificate with your local superintendent. This notifies them that you are homeschooling under a cover school. This form is only filed once when you first enroll.

      If you choose to homeschool under the private school option then you will need to send an enrollment form to your local superintendent with the information for the children who will be homeschooling as part of you new “private school” at home. This form is sent every year that you choose to homeschool under the private school law.

      I hope this was helpful. If you have any further questions feel free to ask.

      Liza

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