Louisiana Homeschooling Laws
The law in Louisiana requires all students between ages 7 and 18 to attend school. Families who choose homeschooling must comply with the following requirements:
1. Either register the homeschool as a private school that is home-based or as a non-public school that does not seek approval by the state
2. Register the homeschool as a home study program approved by the Board of Elementary and High School education.There are 2 methods of homeschooling. Each option has different requirements and regulations to be observed.
This page provides information on:
· The requirements to homeschool in Louisiana
· Recordkeeping for homeschoolers in Louisiana
· Tax deduction for Louisiana homeschools
· The requirements for graduation
· Switching from a homeschool to a public school
*This information is by no means intended as legal advice; its purpose is merely informational. It is each parent’s responsibility to get informed and understand the applicable homeschooling laws which regulate homeschooling in his or her state.
Requirements and Laws on Homeschooling in Louisiana
The requirements to homeschool in Louisiana depend on the option of homeschooling the parent chooses.
Approved Home Study Program
This option has several benefits and more regulations to be observed. The laws include:
· Submit the application to home school your child to the Department of Education in Louisiana either via certified mail or online. A certified copy of the child’s birth certificate must be attached with the application; not a photocopy.
· The application must reach the Board of Elementary and High School education in 15 days, counting from the day the program begun. It shall be renewed before 1st October of every school year or after 12 months counting from the 1st approval date, whichever is later.
· The homeschool will only be approved after proving that the instruction and the curriculum intended for use is equivalent to the instruction given in public schools.
· For students enrolled in a public school, parents are advised to provide a copy of the approval letter to the local school to avoid truancy complications.
· The application should be renewed after 12 months. Approval will be determined by the quality of instruction given. It should be equal to that given to public school students who are at the same grade.
· The required subjects must be included in the curriculum. The quality of instruction given should be equivalent to that offered in public schools and have specific subjects taught in the same grade as in public schools. For example, have the Declaration of Independence included in elementary school curriculum and the Federalist Papers in secondary school curriculum.
· Instruction should be given for 180 days every year.
· Unless you have a waiver for medical, religious or personal reasons, proof of meningococcal disease immunization must be given to the Board of Elementary and High School education when the child turns 11 years.
· Students who start homeschooling before the 10th grade are eligible to apply for a Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS). Acceptance to this program is determined by the student’s ACT scores.
Complying with the rules benefits the student in several ways including:
· The student can buy or borrow textbooks from the board of the local school
· Diplomas awarded will be recognized by the state
· The student is allowed to take part in the extracurricular activities available in the public school or any other non-public school approved by the state
Homeschools Registered as non-public schools
The requirements under this method are: apply online and submit the form to the Department of Education of Louisiana. The application must provide information on the homeschool including the name of the school, the contact details of the individual in charge of the school and the number of students attending the program.
Students who were enrolled in public schools should be formally withdrawn via a letter within the first 10 days of homeschooling. The application should be renewed every year. No other information is needed to be submitted, and all other decisions regarding the operation of the homeschool, the student’s progress and keeping records are entirely up to the parent.
Additional requirements include:
1. Submit a written notice of enrollment to the public school the student was previously enrolled in.
The notice must be given within 10 days of beginning the homeschool program.
2. Provide instruction for 180 days every school year
3. Notice of attendance must be submitted every year
The parent must report the home-based private school cumulative attendance to the Department of Education in Louisiana every year by the 30th day of the term.
4. Allow no grants from the state or federal governments
If you receive any state or federal grants whether directly or indirectly, the school may not count under this act.
Tax Deductions for Homeschools in Louisiana
Louisiana residents who home school their children all year are entitled to deduct 50% of qualifying education expenditures from their taxable income up to $5, 000 per dependent.
Recordkeeping for Homeschoolers in Louisiana
Maintaining accurate records of the student’s academic progress and homeschool activities is beneficial when creating homeschool transcripts, returning to public or private school after homeschooling, applying to colleges, universities, and workplaces, as well as the military. Some of the things parents should include in the homeschool portfolio are:
- A detailed high school transcript for students in high school
- A report of the progress made each year
- A record of the standardized tests taken, if any, and the results thereof
- Details of subjects and courses covered. Lernsys Homeschooling makes it easy to keep and print a summary of the curriculum relied on and the completed assignments, quizzes and tests, grades, as well as the topics and subject matter covered.
Requirements for Graduation in Louisiana
The homeschool administrator in Louisiana determines the requirements to graduate, the courses to be taught as well as the credits to be assigned. They also decide when the homeschoolers will receive the diploma. Homeschool diplomas are accepted by all public schools, agencies, commissions, boards, state departments and all other local and state entities. The Department of Education makes available the general requirements to graduate on their website for comparison.
The chart below shows the comparison between graduation requirements in public school and homeschool in Louisiana.
Diploma requirements in Louisiana
To graduate, the student must complete 23 credits for a TOPS Tech diploma or 24 units for a TOPS University diploma.
Parents in Louisiana have the liberty to determine when their student will graduate. They then proceed to award the high school diploma under their own terms.
|Testing requirements in Louisiana||N/A||
There is no law in Louisiana that compels or forces homeschoolers to undertake a test as a requirement in order to graduate high school.
Louisiana high school transcripts
Transcripts shall include particulars of the student, information on the attendance of the student, the totals of the credits taken, the test scores, a conclusive history of records that includes the grades awarded, the titles of the courses and the overall grade for each course taken.
Parents in Louisiana can create the homeschoolers’ transcripts which may include information they considered relevant to institutions the homeschoolers may intend to apply to. This may include schools, colleges, workplace organizations, or the military.
High school course credits in Louisiana
To graduate in Louisiana, high school students must complete the following:
Many parents in Louisiana choose to specify or assign academic credits to the courses taken during the homeschooling period as this may aid during the transcript creation process.
Eligibility for GED in Louisiana
To take the Louisiana GED test, and you are between 16 and 18 years of age, you must meet certain requirements to take the test including being enrolled in an approved WorkReady U literacy program. Individuals 19 and older may take the test without these additional requirements.
Homeschoolers in Louisiana are eligible if the meet the same criteria as public school students.
Homeschool High School Transcript Template
Track your homeschooler’s credits, courses, and accomplishments with this free homeschool high school transcript template.
Switching from Homeschooling to Public School in Louisiana
Each school has different regulations for grade placement and enrollment of students from homeschool programs. Some schools may require the child to take a test that would determine the appropriate grade he/she will be placed, others may prefer to inquire from the parent which grade their child should be placed in while others may require records of the child’s progress to determine the grade that best fits the child.
Lernsys Homeschooling makes it easy to keep a summary of the curriculum used including grades, topics covered, quiz and test scores, teacher credentials, etc.
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Louisiana
Have other questions about homeschooling in Louisiana? You may find the following pages helpful.