Homeschooling in Louisiana: Know the Law
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  1. #1
    MamaToHerRoo's Avatar
    MamaToHerRoo is offline Senior Member
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    Default Homeschooling in Louisiana: Know the Law

    I am not going to list the laws, rules, and regulations here, but I am going to give you a couple of links.
    Don't forget to review the laws and ensure that you have done what you need to to do legally homeschool in Louisiana.
    Please find here Time4Learning's information page on homeschooling in Louisiana.
    Additionally, a place that is good to find information is A-Z Home's Cool Louisiana information page.
    If you have any questions or problems, or are unsure exactly what you need to do to homeschool in Louisiana you could consult the Louisiana Department of Education Home school information.
    I hope that you will find these resources informative and help you begin your school year on the right foot!
    Linda
    Rep, Moderator, and...
    Homeschooler of one!

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    BossierCityLAmom is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    I am planning on homeschooling my daughter very soon. I am just fed up with the school system, and I cannot imagine sending her to Middle School next year. I am trying to hang on until the end of the school year, but I don't think I will be able to. Has anyone had any problems with taking their child out of school during the middle of the year to start homeschooling?

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    Hi Bossier City Mom,
    In fact, I pulled my daughter at Christmas break and began homeschooling in January, five yars ago. There were no problems at all and the holidays gave a great break before beginning our new homeschooling venture. The biggest hassle I faced was that the school acted like they were insulted that I chose to homeshool when I took the letter in notifying them that she would no longer go to that school.
    Be prepared to face a bit of ugliness with the school. For some reason they take it personally when you make a decision regarding homeschooling. Hang in there, know it can be done, and do what you need to do for your child...Happy Homeschooling!
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

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    Default homeschooling in Louisiana: Know the law

    I am brand new to home schooling to start off. Currently, I did in fact sign my child out of our Parish school system but did not have time to go back to the school (they had already left for Christmas/New Years holidays) and officially sign my child from the school itself. However, my question is this...they instructed me to sign a promise/guarantee that I would register my child with State of Louisiana Department of Education....will they assign a curriculum or do I need to draft one? They offered to 'rent' me a set of books as their part to assist with my decision. Can you shed any light for me with this scenario please? Thanks so much! I have lost all faith with the school my child was attending and had to finally bite the bullet and take him out for his own good and well being.

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    Hi,
    The school does not want to lose track of your son. The system gets money for each child within the system, so losing a child means less money. There are two options for homeschooling your child in Louisiana. The first, is the ILE, where you answer to the state and they have some control over what you teach, this would probably be the option under which the school would like to rent you books. This keeps the child within the system, and means they can still get money. The second option, the one I use, and almost every homeschooler I know uses, is the private school option which makes you a "private school not seeking approval". Since you are fed up with the system, this would be the option that would give them the least control over your education of your son. You simply send the letter to the state stating that your (enter the name you choose for your private school) will begin classes on (Jan 1, or the date you choose to start) and will run for 180 days (which is the required number of days to educate in Louisiana). Your total enrollment will be (state number of students you will be homeschooling, but do not include their names, just the number). Sign it with your name, and contact information. Mail it to the address you can find on the department of education website, attn: private school not seeking accreditation. Mail it certified, return receipt requested so that you get proof that you mailed it. The dept of education will send you back a copy of the letter you send them with a date stamp, this is additional proof that you have done what you need to do.
    The one other thing you need to do is to notify the school in writing that your child will be changing from (the name of the public school) to a new school (the name you choose for your private school) and within that letter request a copy of his transcripts. That way you are killing two birds with one stone, notifying the school of the transfer, and requesting a copy of transcripts.
    I hope this answered your questions, but if not, please feel free to write back! Good luck!
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

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    BossierCityLAmom is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Question Question..

    Do you have to put the length of time as 180 days, if you are starting in January? I just figured I would put until July 31st, then send them another letter for August 1, 2012 to July 31, 2013. So do you do the dates on your letters to the State from January to December?

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    I have been homeschooling my kids for 5 years now, my kids have never been in the system. I was never aware that I had to send them a letter to get stamped?? My sisters and friends have homeschooled their children and put them back in school * a private christian one* and have never had to have any papers or proof.... So do I have to notify them?

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    Bossier City,
    My homeschool runs all year long, so when I send the letter in in August, it says 180 days, because that is what the format of the letter says, specifically mentioning the 180 days, because that is the law. My advice, and it is worth what you paid for it is to make your "private school" conform to the law. Have the letter state 180 days because that is what they want to see. If you put something different, you will draw attention to your letter because it is different. Besides, starting in January, if you educated through end of July you could just about get in 180 days. The reality is your child has to be educated for 180 days of instruction and so if you add the days he was in school Aug 2011 to Dec 2011, plus the days you will educate him from Jan 2012 to May-ish 2012, you will have 180 days, and will therefore be in compliance. When I pulled my daughter out of public school 5 years ago, this month, I just used the 180 day wording, and there have been no problems at all.
    I would say that your private school began operation on whatever date you chose to begin, and not put an end date. Then in August I would send the new letter for the new 2012-2013 school year.
    Last edited by MamaToHerRoo; 01-18-2012 at 12:31 PM.
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

  9. #9
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    LRichard,
    I can't technically give you legal advice since I am not a lawyer. My understanding of the law regarding Homeschooling in Louisiana is that even if your children were never in the system, you must submit the letter stating your homeschool's name, start date, number of children attending and number of days your school will be operational. (This is assuming that you use the "private school" option, which is the option I am familiar with. By definition, if you choose the other option, the Independent study program administered by the public school system, you may not be homeschooling. By virtue of the fact that the ISP is administered by the public school system, you might be in compliance of the law without having to invoke the private school clause, and therefore might not need th letter at all). Additionally, if your children are enrolled in a distance learning school, where that organization behaves like a school and not a curriculum, you may be in compliance of the law because your children are already enrolled in a "private school".
    If you do not indicate that your children are enrolled somewhere, at some school, they are truant. I don't know how old your kids are, but they don't hit the education radar until they are 7 years old, which is the age of mandatory attendance in Louisiana. Because things are notoriously slow at the department of education, it might take them a long time after that 7 year mark to figure out that your kids are not being counted in the system, either in public school, private school, or homeschool.
    The letter is to the Department of Education, and is not "proof" for the public or private school they might attend on returning to the system. It is up to the individual school they begin attending what that school will require to acknowledge your sister's kids were educated prior to the point they enrolled in the private school. The letter is "proof" to the Department of Education that your children are being "educated". My response to those who pull their children from school to homeschool seems a little more complicated because they not only have to inform the dept of education, but also the school the child was attending. There are two places that have to be notified in writing if your child was ever in the system.
    Because you have already been doing it the way you have, without declaring a private school, for 5 years, I'm not sure what the legal ramifications of sending the letter now will be. It might go without a hitch, or they might decide to say you have been in violation of the law for 5 years.
    Your situation, where you have been homeschooling for 5 years, kids never in system, without declaring to the state what you are doing with your kids is way above my pay grade. I simply don't know what to tell you.
    My recommendations are 1)see the links in the first post of this thread. In them, you will find the law and requirements for homeschooling in Louisiana.
    By reading that information yourself, you will be able to make your own interpretations and decisions. I'm sure you have heard the phrase, "ignorance of the law is no excuse."
    2) If you still need further advice, you might consider checking with HSLDA. This is the Homeschool Legal Defense Association and they are legal advocates for homeschooling in the United States and across the world. Perhaps they can tell you what to do, though they may require a membership fee before giving you advice.

    If anyone out there as a different take on the law, or my interpretation, or stories they want to share on this subject, please jump right in and tell us!
    Last edited by MamaToHerRoo; 01-18-2012 at 01:24 PM.
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

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