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Maryland Home School Laws

Maryland homeschool law and requirements

Requirements to homeschool in Maryland. Maryland homeschooling laws. Ways to homeschool legally within Maryland homeschooling laws.

Compulsory attendance
Summary of Maryland Education Code Ann. 7-301
Education Article, s7-301

.01 Home Instruction Program.
.02 Voluntary Participation in Standardized Testing.
.03 Noncompliance with Requirements.
.04 Placement in Public School.
.05 Home Instruction Under Supervision of Nonpublic School.

*This is not intended to be legal advice and is distributed for information purposes only. Check for updates on the Maryland State Department of Education website.

Maryland Homeschool Regulatory Changes: Why You Should Be Concerned
MDHSA’s opinion on these proposed changes to the law. The Maryland Board of Education voted on September 22, 2015 to publish proposed changes to homeschool regulations. You can download and read a copy of the complete regulations. Words [marked in brackets] propose to remove that specific language from the current regulations. Highlighted words propose to add that new language.

Maryland Homeschool Group

Maryland Homeschool Group

Compulsory attendance – Between 5 and 17* years of age.

*Maryland Compulsory School Age – Important to read!
On July 1, 2012, a new Maryland law went into effect raising the compulsory school age. This law redefines the beginning and ending age for when a child must attend school. The new law staggers implementation of this drop-out age change over a number of years.


This Law Applies To Any Child Who Is:
16 years old on or after July 1, 2015
17 years old on or after July 1, 2017
If your child will be 16 years old on June 30, 2015 – or any date before that, this new compulsory school age law does NOT apply to them.

There are no teacher qualifications.

No testing is required, but you may volunteer to participate in the yearly standardized test administration carried out by your public school.

Required subjects are Language Arts (Language Arts does include reading instruction.), math, science, social studies, health, music, art, and PE.



Summary of Maryland Education Code Ann. 7-301

Parents may homeschool if at least fifteen days before the beginning of a home instruction program the parent signs a Notice of Intent form certifying that the homeschool will provide a regular, thorough instruction in the required subjects (English, math, science, social studies, art, music, health, and physical education) and that said instruction will be of “sufficient duration to implement the instructional program.”

Parents must maintain a portfolio of “relevant materials such as instructional materials, reading materials, and examples of the child’s writings, work sheets, workbooks, creative materials, and tests.” The local superintendent may review the portfolio, discuss the instructional program, and observe instruction at a mutually agreeable time and place not more than three times a year. If, after review, the superintendent decides that a child is not receiving a regular, thorough instruction in compliance with the regulations, the family will have 30 days to remedy the deficiencies or cease homeschooling.

Parents may homeschool their children if the instruction is offered through and supervised by a state-approved correspondence course or bona-fide church organization. These programs must supervise the homeschool with pre-enrollment conferences, textbooks and lesson plan review, annual homeschool visits, and periodic conferences with parents.

November 1991
Title l3A
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
SUBTITLE 10 HOME INSTRUCTION
13A.10.01 General Regulations
Authority: Education Article, s7-301,
Annotated Code of Maryland

.01 Home Instruction Program.

A. Purpose. The purpose of this regulation is to establish a procedure to be used by the superintendent of each local school system to determine if a child participating in a home instruction program is receiving regular, thorough instruction during the school year in the studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age.

B. Written Agreement.

(1) A parent or guardian who chooses to provide a home instruction program for his or her child shall initially sign a statement on a form prescribed by the State Department of Education which:

(a) Indicates consent to the requirements set forth in §§C, D, and E of this regulation; and
(b) Shall be submitted to the local superintendent at least 15 days before the beginning of a home instruction program.

(2) Annual Verification. Annually thereafter, before the beginning of the school year, a parent or guardian shall verify the continuation of home schooling for his or her child with the local school superintendent or with the supervising nonpublic school or institution described in Regulation .05 of this chapter.

(3) Change in Status. A parent or guardian shall notify the local school superintendent or the supervising nonpublic school or institution described in Regulation .05 of this chapter if a change occurs in the home school status of a child during the school year.

C. Instruction Program.

(1) The home instruction program shall:

(a) Provide regular, thorough instruction in the studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age;

(b) Include instruction in Englishmathematicssciencesocial studiesartmusichealth, and physical education; and

(c) Take place on a regular basis during the school year program and be of sufficient duration to implement the instruction program.

(2) The home instruction program may include enrollment on a part-time or full-time basis in courses offered by accredited or unaccredited colleges.

D. Education Materials.

(1) A parent or guardian who chooses to teach a child at home shall maintain a portfolio of materials which:

(a) Demonstrates the parent or guardian is providing regular, thorough instruction during the school year in the areas specified in sC (1) and (2).

(b) Includes relevant materials, such as instructional materials, reading materials, and examples of the child’s writings, worksheets, workbooks, creative materials, and tests.

(c) Shall be reviewed by the local superintendent or the superintendent’s designee at the conclusion of each semester of the local school system at such time as are mutually agreeable to the local superintendent or designee and the parent or guardian.

(2) A parent or guardian who chooses to enroll his or her child under §C(2) of this regulation may elect to provide to the local superintendent or the superintendent’s designee a copy of a report card or transcript from the accredited or unaccredited college at the conclusion of each semester of the accredited or unaccredited college in lieu of a portfolio of materials for the courses in which the child is enrolled under §C(2) of this regulation.

E. A parent or guardian shall agree to permit a representative of a local school system to review the portfolio of education materials, discuss the instructional program, and observe instruction provided that all of the following requirements are met:

(1) The review is at a time and place mutually agreeable to the representative of the local school system and the parent or guardian;

(2) The purpose of the review is to ensure that the child is receiving regular, thorough instruction as set forth in §C; and

(3) There are not more than three reviews during a school year.

F. Additional Requirements. A local school system may not impose additional requirements for home instruction programs other than those in these regulations.

.02 Voluntary Participation in Standardized Testing

Upon request of a parent or guardian, a child receiving home instruction may participate in the regularly scheduled standardized testing programs that are administered in the public school the child is eligible to attend.

.03 Noncompliance with Requirements.

A. Failure to Consent. If a parent or guardian does not agree to the requirements of Regulation .01B, C, and D, above, a child shall be enrolled promptly in a public school or nonpublic school as defined in COMAR 13a.09.09.02.B(4) (a).

B. Deficiencies in the Program. If a local superintendent determines on the review of the home instruction program or inspection of the portfolio that a child is not receiving a regular, thorough instruction program in conformity with Regulation .0lC and D, the local superintendent shall notify the parent or guardian in writing of any deficiencies in the program. The following apply:

  1. Within 30 days of receipt of notification of any deficiencies, the parent or guardian shall provide evidence to the local superintendent that the deficiency has been or is being corrected.
  2. If a local superintendent determines there is not a satisfactory plan to correct a deficiency or if a deficiency is not corrected, a child shall be enrolled promptly in a public school or a nonpublic school as defined in COMAR 13A.09.09.02B(4) (a).

.04 Placement in Public School.

Upon application of a child for admission to a public school from a home instruction program, the local superintendent shall determine by an evaluation the placement of the child and any credits to be awarded toward high school graduation. The evaluation may include administration of standardized tests and examinations and interviews with the child.

.05 Home Instruction Under Supervision of Nonpublic School.

A parent or guardian may provide instruction for a child at home without compliance with the requirements of this regulation, other than the requirements of Regulations .01B(2) and .04, if that instruction is offered through correspondence courses and is under the supervision of a:

A. School or institution offering an educational program operated by a bona fide church organization, and the supervision includes at a minimum all of the following components:

  1. Pre-enrollment conferences with parents or guardians,
  2. Textbooks, lesson materials, and other instructional materials or equipment designed to be used independently by the pupil at a site other than the school,
  3. Annual visits by supervisory personnel to the site where the pupil is receiving instruction, and
  4. Conferences with parents or guardians at appropriate intervals during the period of enrollment; or

B. Nonpublic school with a certificate of approval from the State Board of Education, and the supervision includes at a minimum all of the following components:

  1. Textbooks, lesson materials, and other instructional materials or equipment designed to be used independently by the pupil at a site other than a school, and
  2. Assignment of a school-based teacher to assist the home teacher in using the correspondence courses and to assist the pupil by issuing progress reports, marking papers, and grading tests.

Effective Date: December 1991


On the issue of continuing reporting to the county after age 16, the Department of Education is clear that in no way do they want to send the message to home schoolers to stop reporting for reviews or that the county will no longer review you after age 16.

You must specifically write a notarized letter that you no longer want to continue being reviewed in order for them to take you off their homeschool list.

You may discontinue oversight of instruction after age 16, but the Department of ED. suggest if you do choose to do this you should request or let them know you are continuing your homeschooling program so they can make note of that fact. They suggest you have someone continue to review your program after 16 just so you have documentation you didn’t stop education at age 16. They cannot however force parents to review after age 16 and suggest you really contemplate the benefits for and against continuing to reporting after age 16. They stress they want to help the homeschool child have all the resources and benefits for continued reporting, especially for some institution who may require such documentation of a completed high school program such as the military, police etc… Another reason to continue to report for a review is if your child decides to return to PS in the 11 or 12 grade. If you continue reviewing with the county, there would not be a gap in their review process and they could more easily assist a student to receive all their credits should they return to public school. It was noted that many home schoolers are bouncing back and forth between public school and homeschool and private school.

As far as reporting homeschoolers as drop outs … this simply is not the case. Homeschoolers are not reported as a dropouts as they were never reported in the numbers for PS. Only a child that was enrolled in public school and leaves public school and does not register as a homeschooler would be considered a drop out. They want homeschoolers to continue to home school or at least report their continued homechooling program, so they can report the correct number of home schoolers.

On the issue of tutoring and how much or use of alternative resource a homeschoolers uses, this is a huge NON issue. As long as the parents are overseeing the homeschooling program there is no issue or fear of using educational services.

Dawn M. Bero
President
HAHSA – Homeschool Association of Harford & Surrounding Areas

Annotated Code of Maryland
Resource for this code from Chesapeake Home Educators.

COMAR 13A.10.01
Copy of laws from the Maryland State Department of Education.


s7-301 Annotated Code of Maryland
Additional resource for this code from MHEA

Homeschooling in Maryland

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One Response to Maryland Home School Laws

  1. Maryland Homeschooling | A2Z Homeschooling on April 18, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    […] Maryland Education Code For Homeschooling AN A TO Z RESOURCE Not intended as legal advice. Laws for your information only. […]

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