This is not intended to be legal advice and is distributed for information purposes only. Check for updates on the OCHEC website.
The state of Oklahoma recognizes your right to “in good faith” home educate your children and asks only that you provide 175 days of instruction.
Compulsory attendance – over 5 and under 18 years of age.
Parental Qualifications – None.
Testing – Not required
Curriculum – an equivalent course offering to that offered in the public schools. See below.
Reporting – None
Article XIII Section 4 Compulsory school attendance
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(Previous Law, still on the books) The Legislature shall provide for the compulsory attendance at some public or other school, unless other means of education are provided, of all the 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.
Title 70 O.S. 10-105 Neglect or refusal to compel child to attend school – Exceptions
(Newer law. Follow this.) A. It shall be unlawful for a parent, guardian, or other person having custody of a child who is over the age of five (5) years, and under the age of eighteen (18) years, 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.
Attorney General of Oklahoma – Opinion
Hearing Date: February 13, 1973
It is, therefore, the opinion of the Attorney General that your questions be answered as follows: The Oklahoma Compulsory Attendance Statute does not require that a private school be accredited by the State Department of Education or that a private tutor hold an Oklahoma teaching certificate so long as the private instruction is supplied in good faith and is equivalent in fact to that afforded by the State. While a board of education has discretion to classify students as it deems appropriate and require examinations relative thereto, credit for private instruction may not be denied solely because the private instructor did not hold an Oklahoma teaching certificate. A board of education is not required to furnish textbooks or other materials to a child residing in the district not attending a district-operated school.
Title 70 O.S. 11-103. Approved Courses of Instruction
A. Courses of instruction approved by the State Board of Education for use in school years prior to 1993-94 shall be those courses that are necessary to ensure:
2. The teaching of citizenship in the United States, in the State of Oklahoma, and in other countries, through the study of the United States Constitution, the amendments thereto, and the ideals, history, and government of the United States, other countries of the world, and the State of Oklahoma and through the study of the principles of democracy as they apply in the lives of citizens. In study of The United States Constitution, a written copy of the document itself shall be utilized.
The public school districts of this state shall ensure that each child enrolled therein is provided with adequate instruction in the basic skills as set out in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this subsection.
Each local board of education shall annually evaluate the district’s curriculum in order to determine whether each child in the district is receiving adequate basic skill instruction as set out in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this subsection. The evaluation process shall provide for parental involvement. Effective July 1, 1990, each district shall submit its annual evaluation of the district’s curriculum to the State Board of Education. The State Board shall make this information available to the Oklahoma Curriculum Committee and, beginning with the 1996-97 school year, shall utilize such information in its periodic evaluation of curriculum.
B. Courses approved by the State Board of Education for instruction of pupils in the public schools of the state for use in school years prior to 1993-94 may include courses that are approved by a local board of education and are necessary to ensure:
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1. The teaching of health through the study of proper diet, the effects of alcoholic beverages, narcotics and other substances on the human system and through the study of such other subjects as will promote healthful living and help to establish proper health habits in the lives of school children;
2. The teaching of safety through training in the driving and operation of motor vehicles and such other devices of transportation as may be desirable and other aspects of safety which will promote the reduction of accidents and encourage habits of safe living among school children;
3. The teaching of physical education to all physically able students during the entire school year from first through sixth grade, through physical education, a weekly minimum of seventy-five (75) minutes per student, exclusive of recess activity, supervised play, intramurals, interschool athletics or other extracurricular activities; provided, any student participating as a member of any school athletic team shall be excused from physical education classes; provided further, that certified physical education instructors shall not be required to administer the programs required for grades one through six. An elective program of instructional physical education designed to provide a minimum of one hundred fifty (150) minutes per week per student shall be provided for all students in the seventh grade through the twelfth grade. The State Board of Education shall prescribe qualifications for physical education instructors. Provided, however, that the State Department of Education shall be empowered to exempt all or a portion of this requirement if an undue hardship would result to the school district. Provided, further, that any student who has exceptional talent in music may, with the approval of the superintendent of schools in independent districts or in elementary districts, substitute a course in music for the above-required physical education course;
4. The teaching of the conservation of natural resources of the state and the nation that are necessary and desirable to sustain life and contribute to the comfort and welfare of the people now living and those who will live here in the future, such as soil, water, forests, minerals, oils, gas, all forms of wildlife, both plant and animal, and such other natural resources as may be considered desirable to study;
5. The teaching of vocational education, by the study of the various aspects of agriculture, through courses and farm youth organizations, such as FFA and 4-H clubs, homemaking and home economics, trades and industries, distributive education, mechanical and industrial arts and such other aspects of vocational education as will promote occupational competence among school children and adults as potential and actual citizens of the state and nation; and
6. The teaching of such other aspects of human living and citizenship as will achieve the legitimate objectives and purposes of public education.
A. An attendance officer, any school administrator, or designee of the school administrator who is employed by the school, or any peace officer may, except for children being home schooled pursuant to Section 10-105 of the Oklahoma Statutes, temporarily detain and assume temporary custody of any child subject to compulsory full-time education, during hours in which school is actually in session, who is found away from the home of such child and who is absent from school without lawful excuse within the school district that such attendance officer, peace officer or school official serves, if said school district has previously approved the temporary detention and custody pursuant to this section.