Utah Education Code: Relevant Homeschool Laws
Compulsory attendance – Between 6 and 18 years of age.
This is not intended to be legal advice and is distributed for information purposes only. Check for updates at your public library.
53A-11-101. Responsibility for minor required to attend school — Penalty for violation.
(1) For purposes of this part:
(a) “Absence” or “absent” means, consistent with Subsection (1)(b), failure of a school-age minor assigned to a class or class period to attend the entire class or class period.
(b) A school-age minor may not be considered absent under this part more than one time during one day.
(2) “Habitual truant” means a school-age minor who:
(a) is at least 12 years old;
(b) is subject to the requirements of Section 53A-11-101.5; and
(i) is truant at least ten times during one school year; or
(ii) fails to cooperate with efforts on the part of school authorities to resolve the minor’s attendance problem as required under Section 53A-11-103.
(3) “Minor” means a person under the age of 18 years.
(4) “Parent” includes:
(a) a custodial parent of the minor;
(b) a legally appointed guardian of a minor; or
(c) any other person purporting to exercise any authority over the minor which could be exercised by a person described in Subsection (4)(a) or (b).
(5) “School-age minor” means a minor who:
(a) is at least six years old, but younger than 18 years old;
(b) is not emancipated.
(6) “School year” means the period of time designated by a local school board or local charter board as the school year for the school where the school-age minor:
(a) is enrolled; or
(b) should be enrolled, if the school-age
minor is not enrolled in school.
(7) “Truant” means absent without a valid excuse.
(8) “Truant minor” means a school-age minor who:
(a) is subject to the requirements of Section (5)”>53A-11-101.5 or 53A-11-101.7; and
(b) is truant.
(9) “Valid excuse” means:
(a) an illness;
(b) a family death;
(c) an approved school activity;
(d) an absence permitted by a school-age minor’s:
(i) individualized education program, developed pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, as amended;
(ii) accommodation plan, developed pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; or
(e) any other excuse established as valid by a local school board, local charter board, or school district.
Minors exempt from school attendance.
(a) A school-age minor may be excused from attendance by the local board of education and a parent exempted from application of Subsections 53A-11-101.5(2), (5), and (6) for any of the following reasons:
(i) a minor over age 16 may receive a partial release from school to enter employment, or attend a trade school, if the minor has completed the eighth grade; or
(ii) on an annual basis, a minor may receive a full release from attending a public, regularly established private, or part-time school or class if:
(A) the minor has already completed the work required for graduation from high school, or has demonstrated mastery of required skills and competencies in accordance with Subsection 53A-15-102(1);
(B) the minor is in a physical or mental condition, certified by a competent physician if required by the district board, which renders attendance inexpedient and impracticable;
(C) proper influences and adequate opportunities for education are provided in connection with the minor’s employment; or
(D) the district superintendent has determined that a minor over the age of 16 is unable to profit from attendance at school because of inability or a continuing negative attitude toward school regulations and discipline.
(b) Minors receiving a partial release from school under Subsection (1)(a)(i) are required to attend:
(i) school part-time as prescribed by the local school board;
(ii) a home school part-time.
(c) In each case, evidence of reasons for granting an exemption under Subsection (1) must be sufficient to satisfy the local board.
(a) On an annual basis, a school-age minor shall be excused from attendance by a local board of education and a parent exempted from application of Subsections 53A-11-101.5(2), (5), and (6), if the minor’s parent files a signed affidavit with the minor’s school district of residence, as defined in Section 53A-2-201, that the minor will attend a home school and receive instruction as required by Subsection (2)(b).
(b) Each minor who attends a home school shall receive instruction:
(i) in the subjects the State Board of Education requires to be taught in public schools in accordance with the law; and
(ii) for the same length of time as minors are required by law to receive instruction in public schools, as provided by rules of the State Board of Education.
(c) Subject to the requirements of Subsection (2)(b), a parent of a minor who attends a home school is solely responsible for:
(i) the selection of instructional materials and textbooks;
(ii) the time, place, and method of instruction, and
(iii) the evaluation of the home school instruction.
(d) A local school board may not:
(i) require a parent of a minor who attends a home school to maintain records of instruction or attendance;
(ii) require credentials for individuals providing home school instruction;
(iii) inspect home school facilities; or
(iv) require standardized or other testing of home school students.
(3) Boards excusing minors from attendance as provided by Subsections (1) and (2) shall issue a certificate stating that the minor is excused from attendance during the time specified on the certificate.
(4) Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit or discourage voluntary cooperation, resource sharing, or testing opportunities between a school or school district and a parent or guardian of a minor attending a home school.
Amended by Chapter 81, 2007 General Session
53A-11-102.5 Dual enrollment.
(1) A person having control of a minor under this part who is enrolled in a regularly established private school or a home school may also enroll the minor in a public school for dual enrollment purposes.
(2) The minor may participate in any academic activity in the public school available to students in the minor’s grade or age group, subject to compliance with the same rules and requirements that apply to a full-time student’s participation in the activity.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in Sections 53A-11-101.5 and 53A-11-102, a student enrolled in a public school may also be enrolled in a private school or a home school for dual enrollment purposes.
(4) A student enrolled in a dual enrollment program is considered a student of the district in which the public school of attendance is located for purposes of state funding to the extent of the student’s participation in the public school programs.
(5) In accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, the State Board of Education shall make rules for purposes of dual enrollment to govern and regulate the transferability of credits toward graduation that are earned in a private or home school.
(6) The State Board of Education shall determine the policies and procedures necessary to permit students enrolled under Subsection (1) to participate in public school extracurricular activities.
Amended by Chapter 382, 2008 General Session
Unsworn Declarations in Lieu of Affidavits
On April 30, 2007, Utah Code Annotated § 46-5-101, Self-authentication of documents, came into effect. Section 46-5-101 states:
(1) If the Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure, Civil Procedure, or Evidence, require or permit a written declaration upon oath, an individual may, with like force and effect, provide an unsworn written declaration, subscribed and dated under penalty of this section, in substantially the following form:
“I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under criminal penalty of the State of Utah that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed on (date).
Model Affidavit and Exemption Certificate
This version requires a notary to sign. They usually charge a fee. You may wish to refer to the “In Lieu of Affidavits” law above in order to avoid this additional cost and waste of your time.