Florida Homeschooling Laws and requirements
Requirements to homeschool in Florida. Florida homeschooling laws. Ways to homeschool legally within Florida homeschooling laws.
*This is not intended to be legal advice and is distributed for information purposes only. Check for updates at the Florida Department of Education website for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for Home Schools.
Compulsory attendance in Florida Homeschooling Laws – Between 6 and 16 years of age by February 1.
Parental education requirement? – No
State required subjects/courses – “sequentially progressive educational activities.”
Required number of hours per day per year – None
Sections Relevant to Homeschoolers
(1) A “home education program” is defined in 1002.01. The parent is not required to hold a valid regular Florida teaching certificate.
(a) The parent shall notify the district school superintendent of the county in which the parent resides of her or his intent to establish and maintain a home education program. The notice shall be in writing, signed by the parent, and shall include the names, addresses, and birth dates of all children who shall be enrolled as students in the home education program. The notice shall be filed in the district school superintendent’s office within 30 days of the establishment of the home education program. A written notice of termination of the home education program shall be filed in the district school superintendent’s office within 30 days after said termination.
(b) The parent shall maintain a portfolio of records and materials. The portfolio shall consist of the following:
1. A log of educational activities that is made contemporaneously with the instruction and that designates by title any reading materials used.
2. Samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or creative materials used or developed by the student.
The portfolio shall be preserved by the parent for 2 years and shall be made available for inspection by the district school superintendent, or the district school superintendent’s agent, upon 15 days’ written notice. Nothing in this section shall require the district school superintendent to inspect the portfolio.
(c) The parent shall provide for an annual educational evaluation in which is documented the student’s demonstration of educational progress at a level commensurate with her or his ability. The parent shall select the method of evaluation and shall file a copy of the evaluation annually with the district school superintendent’s office in the county in which the student resides. The annual educational evaluation shall consist of one of the following:
1. A teacher selected by the parent shall evaluate the student’s educational progress upon review of the portfolio and discussion with the student. Such teacher shall hold a valid regular Florida certificate to teach academic subjects at the elementary or secondary level;
2. The student shall take any nationally normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher;
3. The student shall take a state student assessment test used by the school district and administered by a certified teacher, at a location and under testing conditions approved by the school district;
4. The student shall be evaluated by an individual holding a valid, active license pursuant to the provisions of s. 490.003(7) or (8); or
5. The student shall be evaluated with any other valid measurement tool as mutually agreed upon by the district school superintendent of the district in which the student resides and the student’s parent.
(2) The district school superintendent shall review and accept the results of the annual educational evaluation of the student in a home education program. If the student does not demonstrate educational progress at a level commensurate with her or his ability, the district school superintendent shall notify the parent, in writing, that such progress has not been achieved. The parent shall have 1 year from the date of receipt of the written notification to provide remedial instruction to the student. At the end of the 1-year probationary period, the student shall be reevaluated as specified in paragraph (1 )(c). Continuation in a home education program shall be contingent upon the student demonstrating educational progress commensurate with her or his ability at the end of the probationary period.
(3) A home education program shall be excluded from meeting the requirements of a school day.
(4) Home education students may participate in interscholastic extracurricular student activities in accordance with the provisions of s. 1006.15.
(7) Home education students are eligible for admission to community colleges in accordance with the provisions of s. 1007.263.
(8) Home education students are eligible for admission to state universities in accordance with the provisions of s. 1007.261.
(9) Home education program students may receive testing and evaluation services at diagnostic and resource centers, in accordance with the provisions of s. 1006.03(3).
(10) A school district may provide exceptional student education-related services, as defined in State Board of Education rule, to a home education program student with a disability who is eligible for the services and who enrolls in a public school solely for the purpose of receiving those related services. The school district providing the services shall report each student as a full-time equivalent student in the class and in a manner prescribed by the Department of Education, and funding shall be provided through the Florida Education Finance Program pursuant to s. 1011.62.
Sections referred to above – Details
Parent’s Right to Home Educate in order to meet compulsory attendance
(a) Compulsory school attendance.—The compulsory school attendance laws apply to all children between the ages of 6 and 16 years, as provided in s. 1003.21(1) and (2)(a), and, in accordance with the provisions of s. 1003.21(1) and (2)(a):
1000.02 (1)(f) Legislative Policy
1001.21 Governance-Office of Private Schools and Home Education Programs
The state recognizes the contributions of private schools and home education programs in providing alternatives to public school education. These nongovernmental educational systems serve the public but are not considered to be a part of the public system of education.
(1) The Office of Private Schools and Home Education Programs is established within the Department of Education. The Department of Education and the Commissioner of Education have no authority over the institutions or students served by the office. The office shall:
(a) Serve the interests of students and the parents of students in private schools and home education programs.
(b) Serve the interests of private institutions.
(c) Provide general information to the public about private and home education delivery systems.
(2) The Commissioner of Education shall appoint an executive director for the office who shall:
(a) Serve as a source of communication between private schools, home education programs, the Commissioner of Education, and the State Board of Education.
(b) Evaluate pending policy to ensure that the policy does not subject private schools and home education programs to additional regulation or mandates.
(c) Establish a clearinghouse of information for the public.
(d) Foster a collaborative spirit and working relationship among private schools, home education programs, and the public sector.
(e) Identify and convey the best practices of private schools and home education programs for the benefit of the public and private education delivery sectors.
(f) Represent issues and concerns relating to home education programs and private schools on all applicable ad hoc advisory bodies.
(1 ) A “home education program” means the sequentially progressive instruction of a student directed by his or her parent in order to satisfy the attendance requirements of ss. 1002.41, 1003.01(13), and 1003.21(1).
(2) A “private school” is a non public school defined as an individual, association, co-partnership, or corporation, or department, division, or section of such organizations, that designates itself as an educational center that includes kindergarten or a higher grade or as an elementary, secondary, business, technical, or trade school below college level or any organization that provides instructional services that meet the intent of s. 1003.01(13) or that gives pre-employment or supplementary training in technology or in fields of trade or industry or that offers academic, literary, or career and technical training below college level, or any combination of the above, including an institution that performs the functions of the above schools through correspondence or extension, except those licensed under the provisions of chapter 1005. A private school may be a parochial, religious, denominational, for-profit, or nonprofit school. This definition does not include home education programs conducted in accordance with s. 1002.41.
1002.20(2) Attendance Parent’s Right to Home Educate in order to meet compulsory attendance
(a) Compulsory school attendance.—The compulsory school attendance laws apply to all children between the ages of 6 and 16 years, as provided in s. 1003.21(1) and (2)(a), and, in accordance with the provisions of s. 1003.21(1) and (2)(a):
1. A student who attains the age of 16 years during the school year has the right to file a formal declaration of intent to terminate school enrollment if the declaration is signed by the parent. The parent has the right to be notified by the school district of the district’s receipt of the student’s declaration of intent to terminate school enrollment.
2. Students who become or have become married or who are pregnant and parenting have the right to attend school and receive the same or equivalent educational instruction as other students.
(b) Regular school attendance.–Parents of students who have attained the age of 6 years by February 1 of any school year but who have not attained the age of 16 years must comply with the compulsory school attendance laws. Parents have the option to comply with the school attendance laws by attendance of the student in a public school; a parochial, religious, or denominational school; a private school; a home education program; or a private tutoring program, in accordance with the provisions of s. 1003.01(13).
1002.20(6) (c) Home education as an Educational Option
1002.20(18) Home Education Students are eligible to participate in Extracurricular Activities
(18) EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES.—In accordance with the provisions of s. 1006.15:
1002.33(3)(b) A private school, parochial school, or home education program shall not be eligible for charter school status.
1002.37(b)(1) Home education students eligible for FVHS
(b) The mission of the Florida Virtual School is to provide students with technology-based educational opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed. The school shall serve any student in the state who meets the profile for success in this educational delivery context and shall give priority to:
1003.01(13) Regular School Attendance means the actual attendance of a student during the school day as defined by law and rules of the State Board of Education.
(13) “Regular school attendance” means the actual attendance of a student during the school day as defined by law and rules of the State Board of Education. Regular attendance within the intent of s. 1003.21 may be achieved by attendance in:
1003.21(2)(b) School attendance
1. All children who have attained the age of 6 years or who will have attained the age of 6 years by February 1 of any school year or who are older than 6 years of age but who have not attained the age of 16 years, except as otherwise provided, are required to attend school regularly during the entire school term.
2. Children who will have attained the age of 5 years on or before September 1 of the school year are eligible for admission to public kindergartens during that school year under rules adopted by the district school board.
(b) Any child who has attained the age of 6 years on or before September 1 of the school year and who has been enrolled in a public school or who has attained the age of 6 years on or before September 1 and has satisfactorily completed the requirements for kindergarten in a private school from which the district school board accepts transfer of academic credit, or who otherwise meets the criteria for admission or transfer in a manner similar to that applicable to other grades, shall progress according to the district’s student progression plan. However, nothing in this section shall authorize the state or any school district to oversee or exercise control over the curricula or academic programs of private schools or home education programs.
(c) A student who attains the age of 16 years during the school year is not subject to compulsory school attendance beyond the date upon which he or she attains that age if the student files a formal declaration of intent to terminate school enrollment with the district school board. The declaration must acknowledge that terminating school enrollment is likely to reduce the student’s earning potential and must be signed by the student and the student’s parent. The school district must notify the student’s parent of receipt of the student’s declaration of intent to terminate school enrollment.
Attendance records not required for home ed. students
1003.23(2) Attendance records and reports.
(1) The attendance of all public K-12 school students shall be checked each school day in the manner prescribed by rules of the State Board of Education and recorded in the teacher’s register or by some approved system of recording attendance. Students may be counted in attendance only if they are actually present at school or are away from school on a school day and are engaged in an educational activity which constitutes a part of the school-approved instructional program for the student.
(2) All officials, teachers, and other employees in public, parochial, religious, denominational, and private K-12 schools, including private tutors, shall keep all records and shall prepare and submit promptly all reports that may be required by law and by rules of the State Board of Education and district school boards. Such records shall include a register of enrollment and attendance and all persons described above shall make these reports therefrom as may be required by the State Board of Education. The enrollment register shall show the absence or attendance of each student enrolled for each school day of the year in a manner prescribed by the State Board of Education. The register shall be open for the inspection by the designated school representative or the district school superintendent of the district in which the school is located. Violation of the provisions of this section shall be a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided by law. This section shall not apply to home education programs provided in s. 1002.41.
1003.26(f) Truancy law
1. If the parent of a child who has been identified as exhibiting a pattern of nonattendance enrolls the child in a home education program pursuant to chapter 1002, the district school superintendent shall provide the parent a copy of s. 1002.41 and the accountability requirements of this paragraph. The district school superintendent shall also refer the parent to a home education review committee composed of the district contact for home education programs and at least two home educators selected by the parent from a district list of all home educators who have conducted a home education program for at least 3 years and who have indicated a willingness to serve on the committee. The home education review committee shall review the portfolio of the student, as defined by s. 1002.41, every 30 days during the district’s regular school terms until the committee is satisfied that the home education program is in compliance with s. 1002.41 (1)(b).
The first portfolio review must occur within the first 30 calendar days of the establishment of the program. The provisions of subparagraph 2. do not apply once the committee determines the home education program is in compliance with s. 1002.41 (1)(b).
2. If the parent fails to provide a portfolio to the committee, the committee shall notify the district school superintendent. The district school superintendent shall then terminate the home education program and require the parent to enroll the child in an attendance option that meets the definition of “regular school attendance” under s. 1003.01 (13)(a), (b), (c), or (e), within 3 days. Upon termination of a home education program pursuant to this subparagraph, the parent shall not be eligible to re-enroll the child in a home education program for 180 calendar days.
Failure of a parent to enroll the child in an attendance option as required by this subparagraph after termination of the home education program pursuant to this subparagraph shall constitute noncompliance with the compulsory attendance requirements of s. 1003.21 and may result in criminal prosecution under s. 1003.27(2). Nothing contained herein shall restrict the ability of the district school superintendent, or the ability of his or her designee, to review the portfolio pursuant to s. 1002.41(1)(b).
Extracurricular Activities “The Craig Dickinson Act”
1006.15 – Student standards for participation in interscholastic extracurricular student activities; regulation.-
(1) This section may be cited as the “Craig Dickinson Act.”
(2) Interscholastic extracurricular student activities are an important complement to the academic curriculum. Participation in a comprehensive extracurricular and academic program contributes to student development of the social and intellectual skills necessary to become a well-rounded adult. As used in this section, the term “extracurricular” means any school-authorized or education-related activity occurring during or outside the regular instructional school day.
(a) To be eligible to participate in interscholastic extracurricular student activities, a student must:
1. Maintain a grade point average of 2.0 or above on a 4.0 scale, or its equivalent, in the previous semester or a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or above on a 4.0 scale, or its equivalent, in the courses required by s. 1003.43(1).
2. Execute and fulfill the requirements of an academic performance contract between the student, the district school board, the appropriate governing association, and the student’s parents, if the student’s cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0, or its equivalent, on a 4.0 scale in the courses required by s. 1003.43(1) or, for students who entered the 9th grade prior to the 1997- 1998 school year, if the student’s cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0 4 on a 4.0 scale, or its equivalent, in the courses required by s. 1003.43(1) that are taken after July 1, 1997. At a minimum, the contract must require that the student attend summer school, or its graded equivalent, between grades 9 and 10 or grades 10 and 11, as necessary.
3. Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or above on a 4.0 scale, or its equivalent, in the courses required by s. 1003.43(1) during his or her junior or senior year.
4. Maintain satisfactory conduct and, if a student is convicted of, or is found to have committed, a felony or a delinquent act which would have been a felony if committed by an adult, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld, the student’s participation in interscholastic extracurricular activities is contingent upon established and published district school board policy.
(b) Any student who is exempt from attending a full school day based on rules adopted by the district school board for double session schools or programs, experimental schools, or schools operating under emergency conditions must maintain the grade point average required by this section and pass each class for which he or she is enrolled.
(c) An individual home education student is eligible to participate at the public school to which the student would be assigned according to district school board attendance area policies or which the student could choose to attend pursuant to district or interdistrict controlled open enrollment provisions, or may develop an agreement to participate at a private school, in the interscholastic extracurricular activities of that school, provided the following conditions are met:
1. The home education student must meet the requirements of the home education program pursuant to s. 1002.41.
2. During the period of participation at a school, the home education student must demonstrate educational progress as required in paragraph (3)(b) in all subjects taken in the home education program by a method of evaluation agreed upon by the parent and the school principal which may include: review of the student’s work by a certified teacher chosen by the parent; grades earned through correspondence; grades earned in courses taken at a community college, university, or trade school; standardized test scores above the 35th percentile; or any other method designated in s. 1002.41.
3. The home education student must meet the same residency requirements as other students in the school at which he or she participates.
4. The home education student must meet the same standards of acceptance, behavior, and performance as required of other students in extracurricular activities.
5. The student must register with the school his or her intent to participate in interscholastic extracurricular activities as a representative of the school before the beginning date of the season for the activity in which he or she wishes to participate. A home education student must be able to participate in
curricular activities if that is a requirement for an extracurricular activity.
6. A student who transfers from a home education program to a public school before or during the first grading period of the school year is academically eligible to participate in interscholastic extracurricular activities during the first grading period provided the student has a successful evaluation from the previous school year, pursuant to subparagraph (3)(c)2.
7. Any public school or private school student who has been unable to maintain academic eligibility for participation in interscholastic extracurricular activities is ineligible to participate in such activities as a home education student until the student has successfully completed one grading period in home education pursuant to subparagraph (3)(c)2 to become eligible to participate as a home education student.
Home ed. parent can report child for non-enrollment & nonattendance
(b) Each public school principal or the principal’s designee shall notify the district school board of each minor student under its jurisdiction who accumulates 15 unexcused absences in a period of 90 calendar days. Each designee of the governing body of each private school, and each parent whose child is enrolled in a home education program, may provide the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles with the legal name, sex, date of birth, and social security number of each minor student under his or her jurisdiction who fails to satisfy relevant attendance requirements and who fails to otherwise satisfy the requirements of s. 322.091
Home ed. students are eligible for testing and diagnostic services at public schools
(3) Diagnostic and resource centers may provide testing and evaluation services to private school students and other children who are not enrolled in public schools.
Admission to State University for Home education students
(1) (a) State universities; admissions of students.- Each university board of trustees is authorized to adopt rules governing the admission of students, subject to this section and rules of the State Board of Education.
(1) Minimum academic standards for undergraduate admission to a university include:
(a) Each student must have received a high school diploma pursuant to s.
1003.43, or its equivalent, except as provided in s. 1007.271 (2)-(5) or completed a home education program according to s. 1002.41.
Home Ed. student not required to document 19 credits
(1) (b) Each student must have successfully completed a college-preparatory curriculum of 19 credits, as defined in rules of the State Board of Education, including at least 2 credits of sequential foreign language at the secondary level or the equivalent of such instruction at the post-secondary level. A student who completes a home education program according to s.1002.41 is not required to document completion of the 19 credits required by this paragraph.
1007.263 Community colleges; admissions of students.
Each community college board of trustees is authorized to adopt rules governing admissions of students subject to this section and rules of the State Board of Education. These rules shall include the following:
(2) Admission to associate degree programs is subject to minimum standards adopted by the State Board of Education and shall require:
(a) A standard high school diploma, a high school equivalency diploma as prescribed in s. 1003.435, previously demonstrated competency in college credit postsecondary coursework, or, in the case of a student who is home educated, a signed affidavit submitted by the student’s parent or legal guardian attesting that the student has completed a home education program pursuant to the requirements of s. 1002.41.
1007.27 Articulated accelerated mechanisms
(4) It is the intent of the Legislature to provide articulated acceleration mechanisms for students who are in home education programs, as defined in s. 1003.01(11), consistent with the educational opportunities available to the public and private secondary school students. Home education students may participate in dual enrollment, career and technical dual enrollment, early admission, and credit by examination. Credit earned by home education students through dual enrollment shall apply toward the completion of a home education program that meets the requirements of s. 1002.41.
(5) Early admission shall be a form of dual enrollment through which eligible secondary students enroll in a post-secondary institution on a full-time basis in courses that are creditable toward the high school diploma and the associate or baccalaureate degree. Students enrolled pursuant to this subsection shall be exempt from the payment of registration, tuition, and laboratory fees.
(6) Advanced placement shall be the enrollment of an eligible secondary student in a course offered through the Advanced Placement Program administered by the College Board. Post-secondary credit for an advanced placement course shall be limited to students who score a minimum of 3, on a 5-point scale, on the corresponding Advanced Placement Examination. The specific courses for which students receive such credit shall be determined by the department. Students of Florida public secondary schools enrolled pursuant to this subsection shall be exempt from the payment of any fees for administration of the examination regardless of whether or not the student achieves a passing score on the examination.
(7) Credit by examination shall be the program through which secondary and post-secondary students generate post-secondary credit based on the receipt of a specified minimum score on nationally standardized general or subject-area examinations. For the purpose of the statewide application, such examinations and the corresponding minimum scores required for an award of credit shall be delineated by the State Board of Education in the statewide articulation agreement. The maximum credit generated by a student pursuant to this subsection shall be mitigated by any related post-secondary credit earned by the student prior to the administration of the examination. This subsection shall not preclude community colleges and universities from awarding credit by examination based on student performance on examinations developed within and recognized by the individual post-secondary institutions.
1007.271 Dual enrollment programs.
(1) The dual enrollment program is the enrollment of an eligible secondary student or home education student in a post-secondary course creditable toward a career and technical certificate or an associate or baccalaureate degree.
(a) Dual enrollment program for home education students consists of the enrollment of an eligible home education secondary student in a post-secondary course creditable toward an associate degree, a career or technical certificate, or a baccalaureate degree. To participate in the dual enrollment program, an eligible home education secondary student must:
1. Provide proof of enrollment in a home education program pursuant to s. 1002.41.
2. Be responsible for his or her own instructional materials and transportation unless provided for otherwise.
(b) Each technical center, community college, and state university shall:
1. Delineate courses and programs for dually enrolled home education students. Courses and programs may be added, revised, or deleted at any time.
2. Identify eligibility criteria for home education student participation, not to exceed those required of other dually enrolled students.
(14) Instructional materials assigned for use within dual enrollment courses shall be made available to dual enrollment students from Florida public high schools free of charge. This subsection shall not be construed to prohibit a community college from providing instructional materials at no cost to a home education student or student from a private school. Students enrolled in post-secondary instruction not creditable toward a high school diploma shall not be considered dual enrollments and shall be required to assume the cost of instructional materials necessary for such instruction.
CS/CS/HB 731: Home Education (effective 7/1/2018 )
Home Education; Specifying that a home education program is not a school district program and is registered with the district school superintendent only for the purpose of complying with the state’s attendance requirements; prohibiting a district school superintendent from requiring certain evidence relating to a child’s age from children enrolling in specified schools and programs; requiring the department to provide certain teacher and student ACT and PreACT information for the evaluation of certain services and activities, etc.
Florida Homeschooling Laws
FL had an Educational Rewrite, and all these numbers, and some verbiage, changed. It is much easier to access home ed. related statutes, because their links are all listed at the end of the general statute (formerly 232.0201 – now 1002.41) Home Education Foundation.
The 2013 Florida Statutes Regarding Home Education, Private Schools, and Other Education Options
Includes K-8 Virtual Home School program, private
tutoring programs, and school district virtual instruction programs.