This is not legal advice. As someone who lives in a state that is highly regulated, I cannot emphasize enough the need for you to advocate for yourself and make a point to know your state laws. While the school district will most likely provide you with a printed copy of the laws and regulations for home schooling, a local home schooling group can be a valuable asset when it comes to navigating your way through the system.
Louisiana offers two options for home schooling your child. You may 1) operate a home school as approved by the board of education OR 2) operate a home school as a private school.
To qualify as a home school approved by the board of education, parents must do the following:
1) You must get your home school approved within 15 days of starting, by getting submitting an application to the board of education.
2) In your initial application, you must include a certified copy of your child’s birth certificate. (A copy of your child’s birth certificate is not required for renewing your application.) The law says that your application will be approved as long as you certify that your curriculum or plan of study is at least equivalent to that of a public school’s.
If you plan to continue home schooling your children, a renewal application must be submitted by Oct. 1 of each year. The laws says that your renewal application will be approved as long as you provide satisfactory evidence that your curriculum and plan of instruction is at least equal to that of a public school.
The second option, to qualify as a home school under the private school law, only requires that if your child was attending public school last year, that you submit a letter of withdrawal to the public school he was attending within 10 days of starting to home school.
Compulsory Age: From age 7 until a child’s 18th birthday, the child is under the compulsory attendance law.
Attendance: Both a home school, and a home school operating under the private school statute must be in session for at least 180 days in the year.
Subjects: While there are no specific subjects mentioned, it is stated that with either option, the parents must use a curriculum that is comparable to that of a public school curriculum for children in the same grade.
Qualifications: There are no teacher qualifications.
Notice: For home schooling as a home school, parents must apply to the board of education within 15 days of starting to home school. For home schooling under the private school statute, parents must report to the State Department of Education their total number of attendance by the 30th day of school. (Or 30 days after starting to homechool.)
Furthermore, if you have withdrawn your child from public school, you must send a letter to the child’s public school that states the following: Student’s legal name, date of birth, gender and race. In addition, the notice can include a request of the student’s transcript.
Renewal applications under the home school law must include the following documents:
a) a complete outline of each subject taught
b) a list of books and materials
c) copiess of the students’ work
d) copies of standardized test results
e) statements of third parties who have observed the child’s progress
Standardized Test: Parents only need to do standardized testing if they are operating under the home school statute. In lieu of submitting the above documents, you can renew your application to home school if:
a) a child receives a passing score on the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) test OR
b) the child scored at (or above) his grade level on the California achievement test or another nationally standardized test as approved of by the Louisiana Board of Education OR
c) can demonstrate that the child has progressed the equivalent of one grade level in one school year OR
d) a teacher who is certified to teach at that grade level writes a statement certifying that the child is being taught near to the equivalent of what they’d be taught in public school.
State Support Groups:
Here is a list of regional support groups for home schooling in Louisiana.