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School Choice

Regulations

Private schools and school choice programs are regulated, too.

Many opponents of school choice worry the government and taxpayers will have no insight as to how public funds are spent in private schools. By studying new and existing regulations, we can provide answers to those concerns. Find the details you need in our state-by-state breakdown below.

Wyoming

(As of June 25, 2013)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Day: K–12 private schools must be open during the entire time that the public schools are in session in the district in which the pupil resides in order to satisfy compulsory attendance law. (Public schools are required by statute to operate 175 days each school year unless an alternative schedule is approved by the state board.) W.S. §§21-4-102(a); 21-4-301.

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: No requirements.

Licensing: Mandatory. The Wyoming Department of Education is charged with the responsibility of licensing all private schools with the exception of religious K–12 schools. W.S. §21-2-401(c), §21-2-406 and Chapter 18, Section 3, Wyoming Department of Education Rules and Regulations.

A license issued to a private school permits the school to solicit (with agent license), offer, and maintain courses of instruction. Chapter 18, Section 5(c), Wyoming Department of Education Rules and Regulations.

The licensing provisions, W.S. §21-2-401 through W.S. §21-2-407, authorize minimum standards, degree, performance bond, and requirements.

The provisions do not apply to private K–12 parochial, church or religious schools, W.S. §21-2-406(a)(i)(A); home-based educational programs defined by W.S. §21-4-101(a)(v), See W.S. §21-2-406(a)(ii); aircraft flight training schools approved and authorized by the federal aviation agency of the United States of America W.S. §21-2-406(a)(iii); or a non–degree-granting school teaching techniques of outdoor recreation, leadership, ecology or conservation domiciled in the state of Wyoming. W.S. §21-2-406(a)(iv).

The private school must submit evidence of compliance with the licensing requirements stated in W.S. §21-2-401 through W.S. §21-2-407 and an application on such forms required by the Wyoming Department of Education. Each year, the private school must submit an application to renew the license and the school’s annual report by July 1, using the forms prescribed by the Wyoming Department of Education along with a $200 application or renewal fee. Chapter 18, Section 17, Wyoming Department of Education Rules and Regulations.

Curriculum: Applicable only to K–12 private schools, all students in licensed non-religious private schools must meet the student performance standards at the level set by the school in: (a) reading/language arts; (b) social studies; (c) mathematics; (d) science; (e) fine arts and performing arts; (f) physical education; (g) health and safety; (h) humanities; (i) career/vocational education; (j) foreign cultures and language; (k) applied technology; and (l) government and civics, including state and federal constitutions in accordance with W.S. §21-9-102. Chapter 18, Section 7, Wyoming Department of Education Rules and Regulations.

Applicable only to K–12 private schools, all students in licensed non-religious private schools must meet the student performance standards at the level set by the school in the following skills: (a) problem solving; (b) interpersonal communications; (c) keyboarding and computer applications; (d) critical thinking; (e) creativity; and (f) life skills, including personal financial management skills. Chapter 18, Section 8, Wyoming Department of Education Rules and Regulations.

Applicable only to K–12 private schools, Wyoming curriculum requirements “do not require any private school or home-based educational program to include in its curriculum any concept, topic or practice in conflict with its religious doctrines or to exclude from its curriculum any concept, topic or practice consistent with its religious doctrines.” W.S. §21-4-101 (a)(vi).

Licensed non-religious, K–12 private schools must provide “…instruction in the essentials of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Wyoming, including the study of and devotion to American institution and ideals.” Chapter 18, Section 9, Wyoming Department of Education Rules and Regulations.

Textbooks: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to textbooks for private schools.

Testing: Testing is not required under the private school licensing statutes.

Teacher Certification: Professional educational staff in non-religious private elementary and secondary schools must have a certificate with the necessary endorsements for the specific assignments assigned in accordance with the rules established by the Wyoming Department of Education. If any professional educational staff member does not qualify for certification or endorsement by the Professional Teaching Standards Board, a school must notify all parents and the public that the teacher is not certified by the state. Chapter 18, Section 12, Wyoming Department of Education Rules and Regulations. These rules do not apply to any parochial, church or religious school as defined by W.S. §21-4-101(a)(iv).

Professional Development: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to professional development for private schools.

Transportation: Applicable only to K–12 private schools, “Transportation used for students as part of the private school’s educational program shall comply with the most recent edition of Wyoming Pupil Transportation Manual.” Chapter 18, Section 13, Wyoming Department of Education Rules and Regulations.

Health and Safety Requirements: Students attending K–12 private schools must provide documentary proof of immunization within 30 days after the date of school entry. School administrators must not permit a student to attend school beyond that time without proper immunization. W.S. §21-4-309.

K–12 private schools are required to conduct a fire drill at least once every month. If a paid fire department is maintained in the area, the school must request a representative to attend and offer instruction and constructive criticism. W.S. §35-9-505.

It is illegal to operate a commercial oil field waste disposal facility within one mile of a private school without the consent of the school’s board of directors or trustees. W.S. §35-11-306 (a) (ii).

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to reimbursement for performing state and local functions in private schools.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Applicable only to K–12 private schools, private schools must provide an annual report to the State Board of Education that includes: (a) Number of students enrolled in the school on October 1st of the school year by grade (K–12); number of students dropping out of grades 9-12 during the school year; number of students completing high school and receiving a diploma issued by your school during the end of the school year; (b) Performance metrics on assessments; (c) Number of days students are in school; number of instructional hours each day; (d) The school’s recommended course of study for college-bound students and percent of students who have successfully completed the course of study; (e) The number of students involved in extra-curricular activities and events; (f) School improvement goals; and (g) Number of English learner Students enrolled in the school; name of English language proficiency assessment used to determine English language status; score for each student reported. Chapter 18, Section 15, Wyoming Department of Education Rules and Regulations.

Special Education: State law authorizes the public placement of children in a private agency, if the local school district cannot provide the necessary and appropriate programs and services. W.S. §21-2-502(a).

Nursing and Health: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to nursing and health for private schools.

Technology: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to technology in private schools.

 


Sources: Office of Non-Public Education, State Regulation of Private Schools, (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement, Office of Non-Public Education, 2009), http://www2. ed.gov/admins/comm/choice/regprivschl/regprivschl.pdf; “State Regulation of Private and Home Schools,” US Dept. of Education, last modified Nov. 25, 2015, http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ oii/nonpublic/regulation-map.html.

Wisconsin

(As of August 16, 2013)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Days: At least 875 hours of instruction each school year. Wis. Stats. §118.165(c).

Private schools participating in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) and the Parental Private School Choice Program (PPSCP) must provide at least 1,050 hours of direct pupil instruction for grades one through six and 1,137 hours of direct pupil instruction for grades seven through 12. Wis. Stats. §119.23(2)(a)8 and §118.60(2)(a)8.

State Approval: Optional. An institution may request the state superintendent to approve its educational program as a private school. The state superintendent must base his or her approval solely on whether the educational program meets the following criteria: (1) the primary purpose is to provide private or religious-based education; (2) the program is privately controlled; (3) the program provides at least 875 hours of instruction each school year; (4) the program provides a sequentially progressive curriculum of fundamental instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and health (a school is not required to “include in its curriculum any concept, topic or practice in conflict with the program’s religious doctrines or to exclude from its curriculum any concept, topic or practice consistent with the program’s religious doctrines”); (5) the program is not operated or instituted to circumvent the compulsory school attendance requirement; and (6) the pupils return home annually for not less than two months of summer vacation, or the institution is a licensed child welfare agency. Wis. Stats. §118.165.

State Accreditation: Optional, except for schools participating in one of the three voucher programs: MPCP, PPSCP, and the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (WPCP). Wis. Stats. §119.23(2)(a)7 and §118.60(2)(a)7:

  • Under 2011 Act 47, new schools interested in participating in the WPCP, MPCP, or PPSCP must be preaccredited by the Institute for Transformation of Learning at Marquette University, Wisconsin North Central Association, the Wisconsin Religious and Independent Schools Accreditation, the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod School Accreditation, National Lutheran School Accreditation, Wisconsin Association of Christian Schools, or the archdiocese or diocese within which the private school is located. Schools new to the program for the 2013–14 school year must apply for accreditation by December 31, 2013. Stats. § 119.23(2)(a) 7.b., amended by Act 47 sections 17.
  • Preaccreditation is not required if the school is fully accredited by the Wisconsin North Central Association, the Wisconsin Religious and Independent Schools Accreditation, the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod School Accreditation, National Lutheran School Accreditation, Wisconsin Association of Christian Schools, or the archdiocese or diocese within which the private school is located. Stats. § 119.23(2)(a) 7.b., amended by Act 47 sections 17.
  • All private schools participating in the WPCP, MPCP, or PPSCP are required to achieve accreditation by the Wisconsin North Central Association, the Wisconsin Religious and Independent Schools Accreditation, the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod School Accreditation, National Lutheran School Accreditation, Wisconsin Association of Christian Schools, the archdiocese or diocese within which the private school is located or any other organization recognized by the National Council for Private School Accreditation. Schools new to WPCP, MPCP, or PPSCP for the 2013–14 school year must be accredited by December 31, 2016. Stats. § 119.23 (2)(a)7.a. amended by Act 47 section 16.
  • Schools that were approved for scholarship funding for the 2005–06 school year by Partners Advancing Values in Education (PAVE) must be accredited by an approved agency no later than December 31, 2015.

Private schools that do not participate in the WPCP, MPCP, or PPSCP are not required to be accredited.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: According to Wisconsin’s statutory definition of a private school, the private school must provide a sequentially progressive curriculum of fundamental instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and health. That requirement does not mandate teachings in conflict with the school’s religious doctrines or exclude any teachings consistent with the school’s religious doctrines. Wis. Stats. §118.165(1)(d).

Private schools must display the U.S. flag during the school hours of each school day. Each private school must offer the pledge of allegiance or the national anthem in grades 1–12 each school day unless the governing body of the private school determines that the requirement conflicts with the school’s religious doctrines. No student may be compelled to recite the pledge or sing the anthem against his or her objections or those of his or her parent or guardian. Wis. Stats. §118.06.

Testing: Assessment is not required for pupils attending private schools with the exception of assessment requirements for pupils attending private schools under the three state choice programs: MPCP as set out in Wis. Stats. §119.23(7)e and both PPSCP and WPCP as set out in Wis. Stats. §118.60. MPCP, PPSCP, and WPCP schools are required to administer to MPCP, PPSCP, and WPCP pupils in grades three through eight and grade 10 the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE). Wis. Stats. §115.38(4).

MPCP, PPSCP, and WPCP schools report all scores from all standardized tests to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction annually.

Teacher Certification: Private schools are not obligated to employ licensed or certified teachers. However, the state superintendent of public instruction has the authority to license or certify teachers employed at private schools. Wis. Stats. §115.28(7)(b).

Teachers employed by a school participating in the MPCP and the PPSCP are required to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education. Wis. Stats. §119.23(2)(a)(6)a and Wis. Stats. §118.60(2)(a)(6)a.

Administrators at a school participating in the MPCP and the PPSCP must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education Wis. Stats. §119.23(2)(a)(6)b and Wis. Stats. §118.60(2)(a)(6)b.

MPCP and PPSCP teachers teaching courses only in rabbinical studies are not required to have a bachelor’s degree. MPCP and PPSCP administrators at a school that prepares and trains pupils in rabbinical studies are not required to have a bachelor’s degree. Wis. Stats. §119.23(2)(c) and §118.60(2)(c).

Any teacher’s aide employed by a private school in the MPCP and PPSCP must have graduated from high school or have been issued a GED or high school equivalency diploma (HSED). Wis. Stats. §119.23(7)(b)3 and §118.60 (7)(b)3.

Transportation: By April 1 of each year, each private school must submit its proposed attendance area for the next school year to the school board of each school district having territory within the proposed attendance area. If no proposal is submitted, the existing attendance area remains in effect. Wis. Stats. §121.54(2)(b)3.

The attendance areas of private schools affiliated with the same religious denomination may not overlap unless one school limits its enrollment to pupils of the same sex and the other school limits its enrollment to pupils of the opposite sex or admits pupils of both sexes. Wis. Stats. §121.51(1).

By May 15 of each year, each private school must notify the school board of the names, grade levels, and locations of all pupils, if any, eligible to have transportation for the next term. The deadline may be extended by the school board. Wis. Stats. §121.54(2)(b)4.

Private schools operating school buses must maintain an insurance policy covering bodily injury and property damage. Wis. Stats. §121.53.

Health and Safety Requirements: If a teacher, school nurse, or principal of any school or daycare center knows or suspects that a communicable disease is present in the school or center, he or she shall at once notify the local health officer. Wis. Stats. §252.21(1).

By the 15th and 25th day after admission to school, a private school must provide written notification to the parent or guardian of a pupil who has not met the state’s requirements for immunizations or received a waiver from the requirements. The school is required to notify the district attorney of the county in which the pupil resides of any minor student who fails to provide evidence of required immunizations or a written waiver within 60 days after being admitted to the school. Wis. Stats. §252.04(5)(a) and Wis. Stats. §252.04(6).

Private schools are required to conduct fire drills monthly unless inclement weather endangers the health of the students. Private schools are required to conduct tornado or other hazard drills at least twice annually. The governing body of the private school shall maintain for at least seven years a record of each fire drill and tornado or other hazard drill conducted. In each community having a recognized fire department, the private school shall annually file a report pertaining to such drills, on a form furnished by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, with the chief of the fire department. When no fire drill is held during any month, or when only one or no tornado or other hazard drill is held in a year, the person having direct charge of the school shall state the reasons in the report. Wis. Stats. §118.07(2).

The administrator of a private school is required to report to the state superintendent certain instances of engagement in immoral conduct by school employees and convictions of school employees of certain crimes. Wis. Stats. §115.31.

Private schools must maintain a standard first aid kit for emergencies. Wis. Stats. §118.07(1).

In consultation with one or more appropriate health care professionals, the governing body of a private school whose employees or volunteers may be authorized to administer drugs or prescription drugs to pupils under this section must adopt a written policy governing the administration of drugs to pupils. Wis. Stats. §118.29(4).

Recordkeeping and Reports: By October 15, private school administrators must report to the department of public instruction the school enrollment on the third Friday of September. Based on that information, the department will prepare reports to enable the private schools to make projections for school buildings, teacher supply, and necessary funds. In addition, private schools must report whether the school meets the criteria under Wis. Stats. §118.165(1).

Private schools must maintain records required under Wis. Stats. §115.30(2) and Wis. Stats. §120.18. Records must be open to inspection by school attendance officers at all reasonable times. When requested by a school attendance officer, the private school must provide information regarding any pupil enrolled. Wis. Stats. §118.16(3).

Private schools must provide all necessary information and reports to the local school board, when requested, to assist in coordinating public and private school bus transportation. Wis. Stats. §121.56.

West Virginia

(As of June 7, 2013)

In West Virginia, nonpublic schools are classified as either exemption (b) or exemption (k) based on WV Code §18-8-1 (b) and §18-8-1 (k). Exemption (b) schools operate based on agreement with the county in which they are located. Exemption (k) schools operate based on compliance with WV Code §18-28.

Registration: Optional only for exemption (b) nonpublic schools. Registration is required for exemption (k) schools.

Registration is one option for a nonpublic school to operate in West Virginia as noted in WV Code §18-8-1 (k), the first section of state law involved.

Schools shall (WV Code §18-28-5) “register” with the state superintendent of schools. If a school registers to operate, it follows Chapter 18, Article 28 and administers a comprehensive test of basic skills on an annual basis. If a school complies with Article 28, no other education provisions apply except requirements respecting fire, safety, sanitation and immunization. WV Code §18-28-6. See Curriculum and Testing.

Length of School Year and Day: “Approved” private and parochial schools serving students in lieu of public school must be open for a time equal to the county school term. WV Code §18-8-1.

Private, parochial or church schools that are “registered” must observe a minimum instructional term of 180 days with an average of five hours of instruction per day. WV Code §18-28-2.

State Approval: Optional and only relates to exemption (b) schools.

Approval is a second option for a nonpublic school to operate in West Virginia as noted in WV Code §18-8-1 (b), the first section of state law involved.

Schools may seek “approval” to operate from the local board of education. See CurriculumRecordkeeping/Reports, and Testing.

Attendance at an approved or registered private or parochial school exempts students from compulsory public school attendance. WV Code §18-8-1.

State Accreditation: Optional. The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) may recognize national or regional educational accrediting agencies. The WVBE will maintain a list of approved accrediting organizations. WV Code §§18-3-11, 18-2E-5, 18-2-6(d). Board of Education Policy 2330, §126-13C-2.

West Virginia nonpublic schools that are directly accredited by an organization that has been recognized by WVBE “shall be accepted to meet the criteria for West Virginia nonpublic school accreditation.” WV Code §§18-3-11, 18-2E-5, 18-2-6(d). Board of Education Policy 2330, §126-13C-2.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: All nonpublic schools (private, parochial, denominational) whether approved or registered are required to provide at least one year of instruction in West Virginia history prior to completion of the eighth grade. In addition, such schools must require regular courses in the history of the United States, in civics, the constitution and the government of both West Virginia and the United States by the completion of the twelfth grade. The boards of private, parochial and denominational schools have a duty to prescribe courses covering these subjects similar to those required in the public schools. WV Code §18-2-9.

Private, parochial and church schools, exemption (k) schools, must establish curriculum objectives and provide an instructional program to develop the students’ potential for becoming literate citizens. WV Code §18-28-3. See Testing below.

All nonpublic schools, private and parochial schools are required to use a state prescribed course of study in fire prevention. WV Code §18-2-8.

Driver education courses offered by all nonpublic schools, private, parochial, or denominational schools, must comply with minimum standards established by the State Board of Education. WV Code §18-6-3.

The basic language of instruction for all approved and registered private and parochial schools is the English language. WV Code §18-2-7.

County boards of education control the supervision and regulation of interscholastic athletic events and other extracurricular activities and may delegate authority to the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission. WV Code §18-2-25.

Textbooks: County boards of education may provide state-adopted textbooks for pupils enrolled in private schools whose parents are unable to provide textbooks. WV Code §18-5-21b.

Testing: Registered private, parochial and church schools, exemption (k) schools, shall administer a standardized test on an annual basis to every child registered between the ages six and 17 years. The school administrator may select the comprehensive test of basic skills, the California Achievement Test, the Stanford Achievement Test or the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills/Tests of Achievement and Proficiency. Student test results and the school composite test results must be made available to parents or guardians. Upon request, the school composite test results must be furnished to the state superintendent of schools. Each of these schools must establish curriculum objectives and provide an instructional program to develop the students’ potential for becoming literate citizens. If a school’s composite test results fall below the fortieth percentile, the school must initiate a remedial program. If the results are not raised above the fortieth percentile level after two consecutive calendar years, attendance at the school may no longer satisfy the compulsory school attendance requirement. WV Code §18-28-3. Private, parochial or church schools complying with these provisions may participate in any state operated program made available by law. WV Code §18-28-4.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is not required for teachers at private schools.

Professional Development: There is no state law at this time pertaining to professional development for private schools.

Transportation: County boards of education have the authority to provide at public expense transportation for all school age children who live more than two miles distance from school. WV Code §18-5-13(f)(1)(A).

Registered private, parochial, and church schools must comply with the West Virginia school bus safety regulations. WV Code §18-28-2(e).

Health and Safety Requirements: County boards of education may provide screening tests for vision, hearing, speech and language disabilities upon request for children entering nonpublic schools. WV Code §18-5-17(a).

Registered private, parochial and church schools are “subject to reasonable fire, health, and safety inspections by state, county, and municipal authorities as required by law….” WV Code §18-28-2.

The state fire marshal will inspect all private schools for fire exits and reasonable safety standards and report his findings and recommendations to the proper administrative heads. WV Code §29-3-12(d).

A person 18 or older who is sentenced to the custody of the commissioner of corrections for service of a sentence of incarceration and is convicted of a felony for distribution of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of the real property of a private elementary or secondary school, if incarcerated, is ineligible for parole for three years. WV Code §60A-4-406(a).

It is a felony to possess a firearm or other deadly weapon on a school bus or in or on any school building, structure, facility or grounds, except for law enforcement officers in their official capacity, persons authorized by the county board of education or school principal to conduct a program with a valid education purpose, and under some circumstances a person possessing or leaving locked-up an unloaded firearm or other deadly weapon in a motor vehicle. It is a felony to possess any firearm or any other deadly weapon with the intent to commit a crime. Revocation or denial of a motor vehicle license or instruction permit is among possible penalties. It is a misdemeanor for a parent, custodian or legal guardian of a minor, who knows that the minor has violated this provision, or has reasonable cause to believe that a violation is eminent, not to report the belief to the school or law enforcement officials. WV Code §61-7-11a.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state law at this time pertaining to reimbursement for performing state and local functions in private schools.

Recordkeeping and Reports: “Approved” exemption (b) private and parochial schools serving students in lieu of public school are required to furnish county boards of education any information and records requested regarding attendance, instruction, and progress of pupils under 17 years of age. WV Code §18-8-1 exemption (b).

Registered private, parochial and church schools are required to maintain annual attendance and disease immunization records for each pupil enrolled. Attendance records must be made available to parents or guardians. Upon request of the county superintendent of schools, the school must furnish a list of names and addresses of all students between six and 17 years of age. WV Code §18-28-2.

New schools operating under Chapter 18, Article 28, must send the state superintendent of schools a notice of intent to operate, name and address of the school, and name of the school’s chief administrator. Schools must also notify the superintendent upon termination. WV Code §18-28-5.

Special Education: The state superintendent of schools is responsible for assuring that all exceptional children including those in private schools receive an education in accordance with state and federal laws. WV Code §18-20-5(5). The state superintendent does not have authority for nonpublic schools.

Nursing and Health: There is no state law at this time pertaining to nursing and health for private schools.

Technology: There is no state law at this time pertaining to technology in private schools.

Washington D.C.

(As of July 15, 2015)

Registration: No requirements.

 

Length of School Year and Days: Schools must provide satisfactory evidence to the superintendent of schools that the amount of instruction, i.e. the number of hours per day, days per week, and weeks per year, is acceptable to the board. The instruction need not be given at the same time as the equivalent D.C. Public School Instruction program. 5-E District of Columbia Municipal Regulation (DCMR) §2100.2.

State Approval: Mandatory. Schools must provide satisfactory evidence to the superintendent of schools that the amount of instruction, character of instruction, qualifications of staff, and other conditions, such as class size, facilities, counseling services, and attendance record-keeping are acceptable to the board. 5-E DCMR §2100.2.

 

State Accreditation: Optional. Institutions that submit proof of accreditation or proof that they are undergoing the process of accreditation by an accrediting body identified in the District of Columbia regulations or are approved by the District of Columbia Board of Education (board) will be deemed to have presented satisfactory evidence that the amount of instruction, character of instruction, qualifications of staff, and other conditions, such as class size, facilities, counseling services, and attendance record-keeping are acceptable to the board. 5-E DCMR §2100.3.

Licensing: No requirements.

 

Curriculum: Schools must provide satisfactory evidence to the Superintendent of Schools that the character of instruction includes acceptable subject matter and time devoted to the subjects. 5-E DCMR §2100.2.

Textbooks: No municipal policy exists regarding textbooks at this time.

 

Testing: Students enrolled in nonpublic schools that receive educational services funded by the District of Columbia must participate in the annual academic assessments. Math and English language arts assessments are given in grades three, eight, and 10; science assessments in grades five and eight; and biology assessments in grades nine through 12. 5-A DCMR §2301.4..

 

Teacher Certification: A District of Columbia teaching certificate is not required. Schools must provide satisfactory evidence to the superintendent of schools that the qualifications of staff, i.e. the training and educational requirements for teaching and supervisory staff, are acceptable to the board. 5-E DCMR §2100.2.

Professional Development: No municipal policy exists regarding professional development at this time.

Transportation: The mayor may enter into agreements with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to provide transportation at reduced fares for students traveling to private and parochial schools and related educational activities in the District of Columbia. D.C. Code §35-232.

 

Health and Safety Requirements: Private school students from pre-K to 12th grade are annually required to submit certificates of health. The certificates of health must be signed by a physician or nurse practitioner upon examination within a 12-month period before the first day of school. D.C. Code §38-602(a).

 

The mayor establishes uniform health screening requirements for all children from birth to 21 years of age who are residents or wards of the District of Columbia. The mayor also establishes a uniform health assessment form for enrollment of children in educational programs, including private schools. D.C. Code §7-875.03.

 

An athlete (defined as a person who engages in athletic activity who is 18 years or younger) who is suspected of sustaining a concussion in an athletic activity (including private school-sponsored activities) must be immediately removed from physical participation in the athletic activity and may not return to participation in the athletic activity until evaluated and given written approval to return by a licensed or certified health-care provider. D.C. Code §§7-2871.01 and 7-2871.02.

 

School officials, teachers, athletic coaches, and social service workers who may be involved with children at a private, parochial, or independent school and who have reasonable cause to suspect, in their professional or official capacity, that a child has been or is in immediate danger of mental or physical abuse or neglect, shall report this to the Metropolitan Police Department or Child and Family Services Agency. D.C. Code §4-1321.02.

 

Private schools must report truancy (10 or 15 unexcused absences, as applicable) to the police department, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), Child and Family Services Agency, Court Social Services Division of the Superior Court and the Office of the Attorney General, as applicable. D.C. Code §38-208.

 

No student shall be admitted by a school unless the school has certification of immunization for that student unless otherwise exempt. A student must be permitted to attend school for no more than 10 days while the school does not have a certification of immunization for the student. D.C. Code §§38-502 through 38-506.

 

Private schools are required to report immunization history to the department of health in the manner and form required by the department. 22-B DCMR §129.2.

 

A child suspected of having ringworm of the scalp shall be excluded from school and shall not return until obtaining a certificate from the department of human services, a licensed physician, or clinic under the direction of a licensed physician. 22-B DCMR §204.1.

 

Cafeterias in private schools fall under 25-A DCMR Food and Food Operations. 25-A DCMR §9901.
Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: See rate-setting provisions applicable to nonpublic special education schools providing special education services to students placed from the District of Columbia. D.C. Code §38-2561.12(a).
Recordkeeping and Reports: School approval for attendance purpose is contingent on the maintenance and submission of attendance records to the board. 5-E DCMR §2100.6.

 

Independent, private, or parochial school teachers must keep an accurate daily record of attendance of all enrolled students legally required to attend school. Those records must be open for inspection at all times by persons authorized to enforce the District’s compulsory school attendance law. D.C. Code §38-203(a).

 

Principals, head teachers, teachers who give private instruction, and school administrative officers have a duty to report to the board a student’s absence for more than two full-day sessions or four half-day sessions in any school month and the reasons for the absence. D.C. Code §38-203(b).

 

Within 60 days of the end of the school year, private, independent, and parochial schools must report data to the mayor and public, including unexcused absences of minors by grade, by days absent, by interventions (referrals to Child and Family Services Agency and the Court Social Services Division of the District of Columbia Courts) and the work of school-based student support teams to reduce unexcused absences. D.C. Code §38-203(i).

 

Principals must report to the board the name, address, sex, and date of birth of each minor who resides permanently or temporarily in the District who transfers between schools or who enrolls in or withdraws from his or her school. D.C. Code §38-205.

 

Private schools must maintain health files for each student. Each file must contain all health-related documents, including the certificates of health and dental health. D.C. Code §38-607.

 

Special Education: The mayor, or his or her designee, shall administer and implement a rate-setting process for the payment of tuition and related services to nonpublic special education schools and programs that provide special education and related services to students with disabilities funded by the District of Columbia. D.C. Code §38-2561.12(a).

Nonpublic special education schools and programs must meet all the requirements of 5-A DCMR 28 to be granted a certificate of approval. 5 DCMR 2803.1.

Nonpublic special education schools and programs that serve students with disabilities funded by the District of Columbia must ensure the instructional alignment with the learning standards, grades, promotion, and graduation requirements as defined in 5 DCMR. 5-A DCMR §2805.2.

Nonpublic special education schools and programs must ensure all students are included in statewide assessments, either through the general assessments or an alternate assessment approved by OSSE. 5-A DCMR 2805.3.

Nonpublic special education schools and programs that serve students with disabilities funded by the District of Columbia need to have a minimum of 180 regular instructional school days, except in the case of an extended school year period mandated in an IEP. Each school day, excluding pre-K, evening school, or other alternative programs, must have a minimum of six hours. 5-A DCMR §2806.

Nonpublic special education schools and programs that serve students with disabilities funded by the District of Columbia must provide all resources, materials, and facilities specified in the enrolled students’ IEPs. A school or program will not be eligible for a certificate of approval if it does not. 5-A DCMR 2807.

Nonpublic special education schools serving students with disabilities funded by the District of Columbia shall make reports of suspected neglect or abuse as defined in D.C. Code §§16-2301(9) and (23), respectively (including compliance with the law on compulsory school attendance) as required by all relevant federal, state, and local laws. 5-A DCMR §2811.1.

Nonpublic special education schools serving students with disabilities funded by the District of Columbia must allow students to initiate time away from structured activity as a means of regaining self-control. 5-A DCMR §2815.

The use of physical restraints is prohibited in nonpublic special education schools serving students with disabilities funded by the District of Columbia, except in cases of emergency. Such restraints may be performed only by trained staff and must be reported to the parent and the sending school or District of Columbia agency involved with the student’s placement within one day of the incident. 5-A DCMR §§2816 and 2820.

Prone restraints and mechanical restraints of students with disabilities funded by the District of Columbia are prohibited. Chemical restraints may be administered only to the extent they are determined to be medically necessary. 5-A DCMR §§2816.8, 2817, and 2818.

The seclusion of students with disabilities funded by the District of Columbia is prohibited except in cases of emergency. Seclusions must be conducted as required by regulations and must be reported to the parent and the sending school or District of Columbia agency involved with the student’s placement within one day of the incident. 5-A DCMR §§2819 and 2820.

Teaching and related services staff who are from nonpublic special education schools and programs and who serve students with disabilities funded by the District of Columbia must have a teaching certification from the state or district in which the school is located. This certification must be at the same level as required for teaching staff in public schools of that state or district. 5-A DCMR §§2823.2 and 2823.3.

Nonpublic special education schools and programs that serve students with disabilities funded by the District of Columbia must conduct child protective service and criminal background checks on school personnel consistent with District of Columbia requirements. 5-A DCMR §2823.5

Nonpublic special education schools and programs that serve students with disabilities funded by the District of Columbia must maintain policies and procedures required by regulation, provide professional development to staff, provide information to students, parents and the public, and maintain all required licenses. 5-A DCMR §§2824 through 2829.

Incidents involving physical injury to students with disabilities attending nonpublic special education schools funded by the District of Columbia, emergency situations, or material events must be reported to the sending school and OSSE. 5-A DCMR §§2830 through 2832.

Nursing and Health: The District’s family and medical leave laws apply equally to public school employees and private school employees. Special provisions are made for individuals employed in instructional capacities. Private school policies and practices control restoration of employment determinations. D.C. Code §32-506.

Technology: No municipal policy exists regarding technology at this time.

Washington

(As of April 15, 2015)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Day: The minimum school year consists of no less than 180 school days or the equivalent in annual minimum program hour offerings, i.e. 450 hours in kindergarten, and 1,000 hours in grades 1–12. The state requirements relating to assigned percentages of total program hour offerings prescribed for public schools do not apply to private schools and private sectarian schools. Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 28A.195.010, introduction, (1), (2).

State Approval: Mandatory. Private schools approved to operate in Washington must comply with the state’s compulsory school attendance statute by meeting the minimum requirements pertaining to (1) length of school year/day; (2) teacher certification; (3) safeguarding of permanent records; (4) compliance with reasonable health and fire safety requirements; (5) curriculum; and (6) an up-to-date policy statement regarding the administration and operation of the school. RCW 28A.195.010 and 28A.225.010(1)(a).

The state board of education grants private school approval pursuant to RCW 28A.305.130.

The state board of education denies approval to any private school engaging in a policy of racial segregation or discrimination. RCW 28A.195.040.

By statute, the state board of education has one member to represent the private schools, who is elected by the members of the boards of directors of approved private schools in the state that meet the minimum requirements of RCW 28A.195.010. RCW 28A.305.011.

By statute, the superintendent of public instruction must appoint a private school advisory committee with a broad representation of educators, legislators, and various private school groups in Washington. RCW 28A.195.050.

State Accreditation: Optional. The Washington State Board of Education must approve private schools before they can seek voluntary accreditation. To complete this process, the state requires that private schools seek third-party accreditors, such as the Association of Educational Services Districts and the Northwest Association of Independent Schools. A complete list of approved accreditors can be found at: http://www.sbe.wa.gov/faq/accreditation.php.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: The private school curriculum must include instruction of the basic skills of occupational education, science, mathematics, language, social studies, history, health, reading, writing, and spelling, and the development of appreciation of art and music, all in sufficient units for meeting state board of education graduation requirements. The administration of each private school is responsible for selecting all books, teaching materials, and the curriculum (except as provided above). RCW 28A.195.010(7),(8) et seq.

Private schools may voluntarily choose to have their students master Washington’s essential academic learning requirements, take state assessments, and obtain certificates of mastery, but the schools are not required to do so. RCW 28A.195.010.

By statute, Washington recognizes the rights of private schools to teach their religious beliefs, allow prayer, teach patriotism, require students to salute the flag, and require the parent/guardian to provide written consent before administering psychological testing or allowing group therapy. RCW 28A.195.020.

School districts must permit private school students to enroll part-time in the local public schools to take courses or receive ancillary services offered by the public schools and not available in the private school. RCW 28A.150.350 (1)(d).

Ancillary services include, but are not limited to, counseling, psychological services, testing, remedial instruction, speech and hearing therapy, health-care services, tutorial services, such as home or hospital instruction for students with physical disabilities, and sports activities. Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 392-134-005.

The educational service district boards may give private schools access to the depository and distribution centers for films, tapes, charts, maps, and other instructional materials so long as the schools pay the actual costs for services established by the board. RCW 28A.310.180.

Textbooks: Surplus texts and other education aids are available to private schools. RCW 28A.335.180.

Private schools have the same rights as any other person to submit bids for the rental, lease, or sale of surplus real property owned by the local school districts. RCW 28A.335.040 and 28A.335.120.

Testing: The state board of education must not require private school students to meet the student learning goals, obtain a certificate of academic achievement or a certificate of individual achievement to graduate from high school, master the essential academic learning requirements, or be assessed pursuant to RCW 28A.655.061. However, private schools may choose to allow their students to, on a voluntary basis, master these essential academic learning requirements, take the assessments, and obtain a certificate of academic achievement or a certificate of individual achievement. RCW 28A.195.010.

Teacher Certification: All classroom teachers must hold appropriate Washington state certification except those teaching religious courses, or courses for which no counterpart exists in the public schools. In exceptional cases, people of unusual competence without certification, as defined in WAC 180-90-112, may teach so long as a certified person provides general supervision. Annual written statements must be submitted to the superintendent of public instruction that report and explain the circumstances. RCW 28A.195.010(3).

Professional Development: A valid professional certificate may be renewed for additional five-year periods by completing 150 continuing education credit hours as defined in WAC 181-85 or by completing the professional growth plan as defined in WAC 181-79A-030. As of Sept, 1, 2014, four professional growth plans developed annually during the period in which the certificate is valid and in collaboration with the professional growth team as defined in WAC 181-79A-030 are required for renewal. WAC 181-79A-251(2).

Transportation: Local school district boards may jointly make purchases with private schools for supplies, equipment, and services, including, but not limited to, school bus maintenance services, as long as the private schools pay in advance or provide a surety bond for their proportionate share of the costs involved. RCW 28A.320.080.

Health and Safety Requirements: Attendance at private schools is conditional upon proof of either (1) full immunization; (2) the initiation of compliance with a schedule of immunization; or (3) a certificate of exemption. RCW 28A.210.080.

A private school’s chief administrator, or his designee, must (1) retain each child’s proof of immunization or certification of exemption while the child is enrolled; (2) retain records for three years of each child excluded from school for failure to comply with the immunization requirements; (3) file a written annual report on forms provided by the department of health on the immunization status of students enrolled; and (4) allow agents of the state and local health departments to access the records during business hours as needed to inspect and copy them. RCW 28A.210.110.

Prior to excluding a child, the private school must provide written notice to the parent/guardian concerning (1) the immunization requirements; (2) prohibited attendance until compliance; (3) procedural due process rights as required by the state; and (4) immunization services available through the local health department and other public agencies. RCW 28A.210.120.

State grants awarded to school districts for substance abuse awareness programs for drug and alcohol abuse prevention and intervention programs may be used to provide services for students enrolled in approved private schools. RCW 28A.170.090 (2).

The physical facilities of a private school must be adequate to meet the requirements of the program(s) the school offers. Each school building must meet reasonable health and fire safety requirements. RCW 28A.195.010(6).

The superintendent of public instruction, through a superintendent of schools of any school district or an office or board performing such functions, may appoint a school patrol from among the student body of a private school to help its students cross public highways. RCW 46.61.385.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: No state policy pertaining to reimbursement for performing state and local functions currently exists.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Principals of private schools or superintendents of private school districts must file a statement each year with the superintendent of public instruction certifying that minimum requirements are being met. (See Approval section.) If the private school notes any deviation from the minimum requirements, the state superintendent will notify the school or school district of the deviations that must be corrected. In case of major deviations, the school may request provisional status for one year to meet the requirements. RCW 28A.195.010 and WAC 180-90-139.

Private schools must report on the attendance and education work completed for all of their students to the educational service district superintendent by June 30 of each year on forms provided. RCW 28A.195.060.

Private schools must take appropriate measures to safeguard all permanent records against loss or damage. RCW 28A.195.010 (5).

Private schools must provide parents access to academic, attendance, and disciplinary records, absent a court order to the contrary. Neither parent may veto the access requested by the other parent. RCW 26.09.225.

The county governing authority and the development disability board must be eligible to obtain confidential information from private schools to provide requisite services for the developmentally disabled. RCW 71A.14.070.

Private schools must maintain up-to-date immunization records for each student in attendance. RCW 28A.210.080. See Health and Safety Requirements section.

Private schools must maintain up-to-date policy statements regarding the administration and operation of the school. The administration of a particular private school is responsible for all decisions of policy, philosophy, school rules, and administration, unless specifically regulated under RCW 28A.195.010. RCW 28A.195.010(8) et seq.

Private schools may appeal the actions of the state superintendent of public instruction or the state board of education. RCW 28A.195.030.

High school diplomas granted by approved private schools will meet the requirements of high school graduation if students meet the minimum requirements of graduation commensurate with their year entering 9th grade as listed in WAC 180-51-060, 061 and 066 through 068, not including state assessments and the high school and beyond plan. WAC 180-51-015. Details on year specific graduation requirements can be found at http://www.sbe.wa.gov/graduation.php#.VSUw5vnF98F.

Special Education: In addition to services to private school students who are unilaterally enrolled by their parents, private school students and homeschooled students are entitled to enroll part-time in their resident public school district and receive special education and related services for which they are enrolled, pursuant to WAC 392-134. WAC 392-172A-04000, 04005, 04010, and 04015, and 392-172A-04075.

Courses, ancillary services, and any combination of course and ancillary services must be provided to part-time public school students in any private sectarian site or facility. WAC 392-134-020.

Nursing and Health: Private K–12 schools may administer oral medication to students but are not required to do so. If a private school administers medication, the school must adopt policies, under the advice of a licensed physician or nurse, addressing (1) the designated responsible employees; (2) parental requests and instructions; (3) in the case of medication for more than 15 consecutive school days, a dentist’s or physician’s request and instructions; (4) identification of medicine; (5) safekeeping of medicine; and (6) maintaining records of the administration of medication. Parental and dentist or other physician requests must be in writing and current. Employees administering medication must be trained by a professional and take precautions to determine that the medication appears to be in its original container and properly labeled. RCW 28A.210.260.

Private school employees administering oral medication to a student in compliance with state requirements are not liable in any criminal action or civil action for damages. The administration of oral medication may be discontinued without liability provided that the school’s chief administrator or his or her designee has given notice in advance of the date of discontinuance to the parent/guardian. RCW 28A.210.270.

Private schools may provide for, but are not required to provide for, the catheterization of students without liability provided they comply with requirements adopted by the state nursing care quality assurance commission, the school’s own written policies, and state requirements including those in RCW 41.56 and 41.59. RCW 28A.210.280, 290, 295.

Technology: No state policy pertaining to technology currently exists.

Virginia

(As of September 23, 2014)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Days: 180 days or 990 teaching hours. Va. Code §22.1-254.

State Approval: Optional. Approval is one option to satisfy the licensing requirement for private schools serving students with disabilities. 8VAC20-670-40.

State Accreditation: Optional. The board of education does not accredit private schools; the Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE) does so. It is a private umbrella organization of associations whose membership is composed of associations that are approved to accredit private schools. The board recognizes accreditation by VCPE member organizations. Va. Code §22.1-19.

State law only guarantees that private school course credits will be recognized if they were completed at a state-recognized accredited school. Va. Code §22.1-19.

Licensing: Optional. Licensing by the board of education is mandatory for private schools serving students with disabilities unless otherwise approved or accredited. Va. Code §22.1-320 and 22.1-323.

The license of each school that continues to operate as such shall be renewed on or before the anniversary date set by the department. Every license that has not been renewed in accordance with these provisions shall expire and a new license shall be obtained from the board before such school may continue to operate, for which an original application must be submitted. The application shall be accompanied by such information deemed necessary by the board. Va. Code §22.1-328.

Licensing for preschools is mandatory unless the school qualifies for an exemption from the state. Va. Code §63.2-1717.

Curriculum: The state does not require a specific curriculum for private schools.

Textbooks: “With the approval of the local school board and the publisher, any private school within the school division that so requests may purchase from the local school board’s contract with the publisher. Such private school shall be fully responsible for ordering, purchasing, and receiving shipments of books to be provided from the publisher pursuant to this section. The local school board shall be immune from any civil liability as a result of a private school purchasing from the local school board’s contract.” Va. Code §22.1-241.D.

Testing: Private school students are not required to participate in state administered tests unless the student is a child with a disability who has been placed by a local school division or is placed for non-educational reasons by a Comprehensive Services Act team that includes the school division. Virginia Administrative Code, 8 VAC 20-81-150.A of the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is not required by the state; however, an approved accrediting association may set its own requirements for teacher credentials.

Professional Development: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to professional development with private schools.

Transportation: School bus drivers hired by parochial and private schools in Virginia must meet the qualifications and provide the same documentation required of public school bus drivers. Va. Code §§22.1-180, 22.1-178.

Health and Safety Requirements: For admittance to a school, a student or the student’s parents must submit documentary proof of immunization, an affidavit stating the immunizations conflict with the student’s religious tenets, or certification from a physician that the immunization is detrimental to the student’s health. Conditional admittance is allowed if a student’s immunizations are incomplete and she submits a schedule for completion within 90 calendar days. The state health commissioner has the authority to exclude children from school who are not immunized in the event of an outbreak, potential epidemic, or epidemic. Va. Code §§22.1-271.2, 32.1-47.

The state health commissioner has the authority to inspect dining accommodations of private schools upon presentation of credentials and consent by the owner or custodian. Va. Code §§35.1-1.9.a (includes school cafeterias in the definition of “restaurant”), 35.1-5 (gives the Virginia Department of Health the right to inspect).

Employees of private schools who have reason to suspect that a child is abused or neglected must report the matter immediately to the local social services department of the county or city where the child resides or where the alleged abuse occurred or to the Virginia Department of Social Services’ toll-free child abuse and neglect hotline. Va. Code §63.2-1509.

Virginia’s criminal code prohibits 1) the willful discharge of a firearm, unless justifiable by law; 2) brandishing a firearm in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear of being shot or injured; and 3) possession of a stun weapon, taser, or weapon other than a firearm, in any private or parochial elementary, middle or high school or within 1,000 feet of the school. Va. Code §§18.2-280B, 18.2-282A, 18.2-308.1.

The governing board of a private school must furnish protective eye devices, free or at cost, for students, teachers, and visitors participating in specified vocational or industrial arts shops or laboratories. Va. Code §22.1-275.

All applicants for full-time, part-time, permanent and/or temporary employment at an accredited private or religious K–12 school are required to submit to fingerprinting and to provide personal descriptive information to be forwarded along with the applicant’s fingerprints through the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the FBI for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information as a condition of employment. This is not a requirement for non-accredited schools. Va. Code §22.1-296.3.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to reimbursement for performing state and local functions with private school.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Every teacher in every school in Virginia must keep an accurate daily record of attendance for all children enrolled. The record must be open for inspection and may be admitted into evidence for prosecutions of violations of the compulsory school attendance laws. Va. Code §22.1-259.

Schools must record each student’s immunizations on the school immunization record provided by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) for the student’s permanent record. The record must be kept open for inspection by VDH and the local health department. Within 30 days of the start of school, private schools must file a report with the local health department stating the number of students admitted with documentary proof of immunization, the number of students admitted with a medical or religious exemption, and the number of students conditionally admitted. Va. Code §22.1-271.2.E.

Special Education: Private educational institutions that accept state funds may not deny admission, full and equal access, or the enjoyment of any educational or extracurricular program to an otherwise qualified person with a disability. Va. Code §51.5-42.

Nursing and Health: Effective July 1, 2013, any person seeking a first-time teaching license or license renewal to provide emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and use of an automated external defibrillator must submit written documentation that shows successful completion of a training or certification program that includes all three topics. Va. Code §22.1-298.1.D(4). [Note: This provision applies only to teachers seeking initial licensure or licensure renewal from the Virginia Department of Education.] Online training or certification that meets the standards of instruction for these topics may be accepted to meet this requirement. For license renewal, individuals must seek approval of activities for renewal from their school heads of accredited nonpublic schools in Virginia. Virginia Department of Education’s Attachment A, Memo No. 156-13; June 7, 2013.

Technology: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to technology with private schools.

Vermont

(As of October 6, 2014)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Days: At least 175 days. 16 Vermont Statutes Annotated (VSA) §1071.

School year is defined under Vermont’s general provisions as beginning July 1 and ending the next June 30. 16 VSA §11(12).

State Approval or Recognition: One of the two is. An independent school is defined by statute as “a school other than a public school, which provides a program of elementary or secondary education, or both.” 16 VSA §11(8).

The compulsory attendance requirement for a child between six and 16 is met by attendance at an approved or recognized independent school. 16 VSA §1121.

The state board of education is charged with adopting rules for approved independent schools. 16 VSA §164(14).

The state board of education approves independent schools if the school provides a minimum course of study pursuant to 16 VSA §906 and substantially complies with the board’s rules for approved independent schools. The board’s rules require at a minimum (1) adequate resources to meet the school’s objectives, including financial capacity; (2) faculty qualified by training and experience in the areas assigned; and (3) physical facilities and special services in accordance with state and federal law. Approval may be granted without state board evaluation if the school is accredited by a private, state, or regional agency recognized by the state board. Approval may be revoked or suspended, after opportunity for a hearing, for failure to comply with state requirements. 16 VSA §166(b).

Independent schools may apply for approval by the state board of education or file an enrollment notice as a recognized independent school. Tutorial programs, providing education to a pupil who is placed in a short-term program for evaluation and/or treatment, may also apply for state board of education approval. Per 16 VSA §828, approved schools are in the position to receive public tuition monies.

Distance learning schools located in Vermont may apply for approval but are not eligible to receive tuition from public funds. For approval, distance learning schools must meet the standards of the state board of education that can be applied to that type of school and any rules created specifically for this type of school. 16 VSA §166 (b)(6).

Independent schools that offer kindergarten, but no other graded education, may be approved by the state if the school substantially complies with the board’s rules for approved independent kindergartens. 16 VSA §166(b)(1).

A recognized independent school may operate in Vermont upon filing an enrollment notice with the state secretary of education. The notice must include a statement that the school will be in session an amount of time substantially equivalent to that provided in public schools; and a detailed description of the minimum course of study for each grade level and how the annual assessment will be performed. In addition, assurances are needed that the school will (1) maintain attendance records: (2), maintain annual assessments of each pupil’s progress that are reported to parents or guardians; (3) provide the minimum course of study as provided by 16 VSA § 906; (4) employ teachers and have materials sufficient to carry out the educational program; and (5), meet applicable state and federal laws concerning physical facilities and health and safety matters. An enrollment notice must be renewed annually unless the school has been recognized or accredited by an organization that the state has approved to conduct these functions. If a school is unable to comply with any requirement due to a deep religious conviction shared by an organized group, the secretary may waive the requirement if the educational purposes are being met. 16 VSA §166(c). See Curriculum.

If the Secretary has information that creates significant doubt about whether the school would be able to meet the recognition requirements, or once in operation is meeting the requirements, the secretary may call a hearing for a determination on the matter. If a school fails to establish that it can meet or has met the requirements, the secretary will require specific action to come into compliance, require the students to attend another recognized or approved school or course of study. 16 VSA §166(c)(2).

Religious schools may apply to be either approved or recognized independent schools and follow the state board of education rules and the Vermont Statute for Independent Schools. However, the schools are not eligible to receive tuition from public funds per Chittenden Town School District v. Vermont Department of Education, (1999), 169 Vt. 310, 738 A.2d 539.

The state board of education may approve tutorial programs if the program substantially complies with the board’s rules for approved tutorial programs. The board’s rules require, at a minimum, that the program meet general and special education requirements as described in the following areas: (1) instruction and methods of instruction must be age and ability appropriate and coordinate with those in the responsible school district; (2) sufficient financial capacity must exist to cover facilities, materials, and a professionally qualified staff; (3) teachers who provide or supervise special education instruction must have licensure and endorsement equivalent to that needed for the same work in a Vermont public school; (4) facilities and operations must comply with local, state and federal health and safety laws and requirements; (5) attendance must be registered daily and reported to the responsible school district; and (6) instruction must be provided for a minimum of 10 hours per week, unless inconsistent with medical and/or educational recommendations. State Board Manual of Rules and Practices 2230.3

Vermont has a council of independent schools to advise the secretary on policies and procedures with respect to independent schools. The secretary appoints the 11-member board. Nine members come from within the independent school’s community and two members from the community at large. At least three members must be representatives of recognized independent schools. 16 VSA §166(d).

State Accreditation: No requirements.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Approved and recognized nonpublic schools must provide a minimum course of study in the following fields: basic communication, including reading, writing, and the use of numbers; citizenship, history, and government in Vermont and the United States; physical education and comprehensive health education; English, American, and other literature; the natural sciences; and the fine arts. 16 VSA §906.

Independent schools must annually conduct exercises in commemoration of the birth, life, and services of Abraham Lincoln on the last school day before February 12. 16 VSA §907.

It is the secretary of education’s duty to distribute, at his or her discretion and upon request, forms and materials relating to the Vermont state basic competency program for elementary and secondary pupils to approved independent schools. 16 VSA §212(12).

Subject to the approval of the secretary, local school superintendents must arrange for the establishment of a driver education and training course for approved independent schools located within his or her supervisory jurisdiction if an independent school requests such a course. 16 VSA §1046.

Textbooks: The state librarian will deliver a published copy of the state papers of Vermont to the library of a private high school acting as a public high school, upon request. 3 VSA §117(i).

Testing: An approved independent school accepting students for whom the district of residence pays tuition under chapter 21 of this title must use the assessment or assessments required under 16 VSA §164(9) to measure attainment standards for student performance of those pupils. In addition, the school must provide data related to the assessment or assessments as required by the secretary. 16 VSA §166(g).

Teacher Certification: Teachers at approved schools need to hold “a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in their field of instruction or substantially equivalent time in training and experience in their field of instruction.” State Board Manual of Rules and Practices 2226.5.1.

An approved independent school providing special education services must satisfy the state licensure requirements for personnel who are responsible for the provision or supervision of special education and related services. State Board Manual of Rules and Practices 2228.3.2.

Superintendents, principals, and teachers must subscribe to an oath prior to discharging their duties. The oath affirms their support for the constitutions and the laws of the United States and Vermont. Foreign citizens serving as superintendents, principals, or teachers are not required to take the oath. 16 VSA §12.

Quasi-public or private elementary or secondary schools that directly or indirectly receive support from public funds are considered municipal employers under the Vermont Municipal Labor Relations Act. 21 VSA §1735.

Professional Development: An approved independent school must have an adequate professional development program for its staff. State Board Manual of Rules and Practices 2226.6.

Transportation: Each board shall adopt a transportation policy for pupils required to attend school in accordance with the procedure specified in 16 VSA §563(1). 16 VSA §1222.

Health and Safety Requirements: No student may enroll in a Vermont school unless the appropriate person has received a record of certificate of immunization issued by a licensed physician or health clinic that the student has received immunizations appropriate to age as specified by the Vermont Department of Health. Exemptions to this requirement are allowed if the immunizations are in process, would be detrimental to the person’s health or are not appropriate, or if the immunizations are contrary to the person’s or parent or guardian’s religious beliefs. 18 VSA §§1121(a) and 1122 (a)(1) and (a)(2).

Approval for independent residential schools is contingent upon proof of the school’s satisfactory completion of an annual fire safety inspection by the department of public safety or its designee pursuant to 20 VSA §§2728 through 2767. 16 VSA §166(b)(7).

A certificate executed by the inspecting entity, declaring satisfactory completion of the inspection and identifying the date by which a new inspection must occur, must be posted at the school in a public location. The school must provide a copy of the certificate to the secretary of education after each annual inspection. The school must pay the actual cost of the inspection unless the amount is waived or reduced by the inspecting entity. 16 VSA §166(b)(7).

Independent schools must drill the pupils once each month during the school year so that students are able to leave the school building and clear the halls in the shortest possible time and without panic or confusion. A record of the date and time of the drill, as well as the time consumed in vacating the building must be kept in the official school register and be open at all times for inspection by the department of labor and industry or the Vermont Agency of Education. A principal who willfully neglects to comply will be fined not more than $500.00. 16 VSA §1481.

Independent schools must request a fingerprint-supported criminal record check on the person(s) recommended for any full-time, part-time, or temporary employment. The request must be conducted through the Vermont Crime Information Center (VCIC). A notice of any criminal record must be reported by VCIC to the independent school, except for a record relating to any crimes of a sexual nature involving children. Such a record is sent to the secretary of education who must notify the headmaster in writing, with a copy to the person about whom the request was made. Any information sent to a person by a headmaster or the secretary of education must be accompanied by a written notice of the person’s rights enumerated under the statute. 16 VSA §251-260.

The board of trustees of an independent school must adopt harassment-, hazing-, and bullying-prevention policies and establish procedures for carrying out these policies. 16 VSA §166(e)

Independent schools must adopt a gun-free school policy. 16 VSA §1166 and 18 U.S.C. §921.

Persons knowingly and unlawfully delivering or selling a regulated drug on a school bus or on real property comprising a private elementary, secondary, or vocational school will, in addition to any other penalty, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than ten years. 18 VSA §4237.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: No state policy pertaining to reimbursements for performing state and local functions currently exists.

Recordkeeping and Reports: An approved independent school must provide parents or guardians a statement of its status under Vermont’s approval requirements and a copy of 16 VSA §166 prior to accepting any tuition payments. 16 VSA §166(b)(3).

A recognized independent school must provide parents or guardians a copy of its currently filed statement of objectives and a copy of 16 VSA §166 upon enrollment or by September 1, whichever comes later. Failure to do so may create a permissible inference of false advertising. 16 VSA §166(c)(3).

Recognized independent schools and approved independent schools must provide the names and addresses of enrolled pupils to the commissioner on October 1 of each year. The school must also notify the commissioner of the names and addresses of any pupils withdrawing from the school within seven days of their withdrawal. 16 VSA §166(b)(4) and (c)(6).

Special Education: The secretary of education establishes (1) minimum standards of services for students receiving special education in independent schools; and (2) maximum rates to be paid by the agency of education and school districts for tuition, room, and board after consultation with Vermont independent schools, based on the level of services. The secretary may also advise independent schools as to the need to provide for certain special education services in Vermont. 16 VSA §2973.

Nursing and Health: Independent schools may participate in Vermont’s school lunch program operating under federal programs. 16 VSA §1261a; 1946-48 Op. Atty. Gen. 92.

Technology: No state policy pertaining to technology currently exists.

Utah

(As of June 24, 2015)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Days: There is no state requirement for private schools’ length of the school year.

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: Optional. The Utah State Office of Education (USOE) is responsible for facilitating accreditation of the Board for Utah public schools. The Board is not responsible for the accreditation of nonpublic schools, including private, parochial, or other independent schools. Utah Administrative Code (Utah Admin. Code) R277-410-3 (A).

Accreditation procedures and responsibilities for nonpublic schools through AdvancED Northwest are in Utah Admin. Code R277-410. Utah Admin. Code R277-410-2 (B).

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Private school students may enroll in public schools for dual enrollment purposes and participate in any academic activity subject to the same rules applicable to full-time students. Utah Code Annotated (Utah Code Ann.) §53A-11-102.5.

Private school students are eligible to participate in extracurricular or co-curricular activities of their residential public school if the student is taking courses comparable to traditional school courses or earning credit under the options outline in R277-700-6 in the minimum number of designated courses required by the local board of students for participation in that activity. Dual enrollment students are eligible under the same standards as traditional public school students. Utah Admin. Code R277-438-3.

A private school student is not eligible to participate in an extracurricular activity at a public school unless the activity is not provided at his or her private school. Utah Code Ann. §53A-11-102.6 (2)(b).

“A school district maintaining driver education classes shall allow pupils enrolled in grades nine to 12 of regularly established private schools located within the school district to enroll in the most accessible public school in the school district to receive driver education. Enrollment is on the same terms and conditions as applies to students in public schools within the district, as such terms and conditions relate to the driver education classes only.” Utah Code Ann. §53A-13-203.

A private or parochial school may exempt itself from the state prohibition of corporal punishment by adopting a school policy and notifying the parent or guardians of the exemption. Utah Code Ann. §53A-11-802.

A private school may participate in the work experience and career exploration programs by offering internships operated in accordance with the State Board of Education rules. Utah Code Ann. §53A-29-102.

Textbooks: No state policy concerning textbooks related to private schools exists currently.

Testing: Private school students who are Utah residents have the option to participate in U-PASS at a reasonable cost paid by the student or private school. A private school student who is not a Utah resident may participate in U-PASS if he or she pays the full cost of individual assessments as determined by local board policy in advance to participation in the U-PASS. State Board of Education Rule R277-604-3.

Private schools interested in participating in the U-PASS may do so at the discretion of the public school district in which the school is located. State Board of Education Rule R277-604-3.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is not required for private school teachers.

Transportation: The Standards for Utah School Buses and Operations and 2010 Standards Appendix are requirements for the design and operation of school buses, including those privately owned for use by a private school. Utah Admin. Code R909-3-2.

The Highway Patrol safety inspects biannually all school buses operated by private schools for the transportation of students. A private school can perform the inspection of a school bus that it operates after consultation with the State Board of Education. Utah Code Ann. §53-8-211.

Health and Safety Requirements: Students may not attend private PK–12 schools without certification of immunization unless exempted for personal, medical, or religious reasons. Required immunizations are listed under Utah Admin. Code R396-100. Utah Code Ann. §§53A-11-301; 53A-11-302; and Utah Admin. Code R396-100-1.

Private K–12 schools may administer medication to students if policies and procedures are adopted in consultation with the Department of Health. The policies must provide for the designation and training of employees who administer medication, proper identification and safekeeping of medication, and the maintenance of records of administration. Medication may be administered only if the parent or guardian has provided a written request and the student’s health professional has signed a statement describing the method, amount, and time schedule for the administration necessary during school hours. School employees in substantial compliance with the physician’s orders are not civilly or criminally liable for a student’s adverse reaction to the medicine or discontinuing the medicine following actual notice to the parent or guardian. Utah Code Ann. §53A-11-601.

Private school administrators have a duty to report the name and address of a person suspected of having a communicable disease, and the facts relating to the case, to the Department of Health. Utah Code Ann. §26-6-6.

Local health departments have the statutory authority to close private schools when necessary to protect the public health. Utah Code Ann. §26A-1-114 (1)(e).

Local health departments have the responsibility to enforce all ordinances, standards, and regulations pertaining to the public health of persons attending private schools; exclude any person who is likely to convey a communicable or infectious disease; and regularly inspect schools buildings and premises. Utah Code Ann. §26A-1-114 (3).

The Utah Fire Prevention Board establishes the minimum standards for the prevention of fire, the protection of life and property against fire, and panic in private schools. Utah Code Ann. §53-7-204.

Law enforcement agencies have a duty to notify the administrator of a private school if an employee has been arrested for a controlled substance or sex offense. Utah Code Ann. §53-10-211.

Private schools may require potential employees or volunteers to submit to a criminal background check through the Criminal Investigations and Technical Services Division of the Department of Public Safety as a condition for employment or appointment and, where reasonable cause exists, schools may require an existing employee or volunteer to submit to a criminal background check. Only job-related convictions should be considered by the school. The private school must pay the cost unless the applicant has passed an initial review; is one of a pool of five candidates or less; and, has not been the subject of a criminal background check during the preceding two years. If an individual is denied employment based on the background check, the person has a right to written notice of the reasons for the denial and an opportunity to respond. Utah Code Ann. §53A-3-410.

Private school students who participate in industrial education, physics laboratory, and chemistry laboratory activities that may endanger one’s vision, must wear quality eye protective devices. Utah Code Ann. §53A-13-103.

The owner of the building that contains a nonprofit elementary school is considered the Local Education Agency (LEA) and will be assessed penalties for violations of Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986 and 40 CFR Part 763, Subpart E, Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools; private nonprofit schools will be liable for up to $5,000, per day, per violation. Utah Admin. Code R307-135-4.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: No state policy concerning reimbursement for performing state and local functions related to private schools exists currently.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Private schools must retain official certificates of immunization for every student as part of the individual’s permanent school record. The Department of Health provides official certificate forms. Utah Code Ann. §53A-11-304.

Private schools have a duty to cooperate with employers by issuing age certificates or lists of current students or recent students showing their dates of birth according to school records. Utah Code Ann. §34-23-209.

The County Clerk may require accredited nonpublic schools to provide an estimate of the number of enrolled students who are high school seniors. The County Clerk will provide sufficient by-mail voter registration forms, to be disseminated to the students. Utah Code Ann. §§20A-2-302 and 53A-3-402.5.

The Superintendent of Public Instruction includes applicable private school data in his annual report to the Governor and the Legislature on the public school system. Utah Code Ann. §53A-1-301 (3)(d).

Special Education: The State Director of Special Education is responsible for the general supervision of all public programs offered through private agencies for students with disabilities and has a duty to cooperate with private schools and agencies concerned with education and training students with disabilities. Utah Code Ann. §53A-15-302.

Nursing and Health: No state policy concerning nursing and health related to private schools exists currently.

Technology: No state policy concerning technology related to private school exists currently.

Texas

(As of July 2009)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Day: Accredited private schools must meet or exceed the minimum seat time required of public schools.

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: Optional. The accreditation of nonpublic schools through the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC) became effective on Feb. 12, 1986.

Accreditation of nonpublic schools directly by the Texas Education Agency ceased after May 31, 1989. Through a Letter of Understanding, the commissioner of education recognizes the accreditation of nonpublic schools accredited by associations that are members of TEPSAC.

Teacher service in accredited private schools may be claimed for salary increment purposes. Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part II, §153.1021(h)(8)states: (A) For experience prior to the 1986–87 school year, accreditation by the Texas Education Agency or the Southern Association of

Colleges and Schools is required; (B) For experience in the 1986–87, 1987–88, and 1988–89 school years, service shall be acceptable if the school was accredited by the Texas Education Agency, or a recognized regional accrediting agency; (C) For experience in the 1989–90 school year and thereafter, service shall be acceptable if the school was accredited by the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission; (D) During the 1986–87, 1987–88, and 1988–89 school years, private schools accredited by the Texas Education Agency, a recognized regional accrediting agency, or an association recognized by the commissioner of education will be listed in the Texas School Directory; (E) Beginning with the 1989–90 school year and thereafter, private schools accredited by the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission will be listed in the Texas School Directory; and (F) Beginning with the 2004–05 school year and thereafter, private schools accredited by the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission will be listed on the Texas Education Agency Web site.” Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part II, § 153.1021(h)(8).

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Students attending a private or parochial school are exempt from compulsory attendance at a public school if the school includes in its course a study of good citizenship. Tex. Education Code Ann. §25.086(a)(1).

A school district must ensure that records or transcripts of a transfer student from a Texas nonpublic school are evaluated and that the student is placed in appropriate classes promptly. Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part II, §74.26(a)(2).

A transfer student from a Texas nonpublic school must complete all state requirements for graduation. Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part II, §74.11(f).

The district may use a variety of methods to verify the content of courses for which a transfer student has earned credit. Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part II, §74.26(a)(2).

A driver‘s education school shall receive approval from the Texas Education Agency prior to conducting a course at a private school. An application for a school license for a primary or branch driver education school shall be made on forms supplied by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part II, §176.1003.

Parochial and private schools are expected to observe Texas Week, the week of March 2. Tex. Civ. Stat. Art. 6144(a).

Textbooks: The State Board of Education may enter into an agreement with a private nonprofit school to provide special textbooks and instructional aids for the instruction of blind or visually impaired students, if state funds, other than for administrative costs, are not involved. Tex. Education Code Ann. §31.028(c).

Testing: A private school may administer the state assessment instrument required for all public schools. The private school must reimburse the agency for the cost of administering the assessment, not to exceed the cost for administering the same assessment to a student enrolled in a public school. Tex. Education Code Ann. §39.033.

A private school administering the state assessment instrument shall provide to the commissioner performance results on the academic excellence indicators adopted by the State Board of Education. Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part II, §101.1(j). The private school shall notify the student and his or her parents or guardian of test results. Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part II, §101.5.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is not required for private schools that are not accredited.

All teachers in accredited private schools must be ―highly qualified but each accrediting agency is allowed to define what that means as part of their approval process. The accrediting agency may choose to use the Texas state teacher certification or may develop its own standards that are higher than the Texas state teacher certification. The accrediting agency also has the option of recognizing out-of-state credentials.

Professional Development: There is no state policy at this time.

Transportation: Street railways or motor buses operating in cities of not less than 20,000 inhabitants are required to sell tickets to children attending private schools for one-half of the adult fare when school is in session. Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat. art. 4008b; Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat. Art. 6544.

Health and Safety Requirements: Children may not be admitted to any elementary or secondary school unless they have been immunized as required by the Texas Board of Health in Health Services, Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, §§97.61-97.72, present an affidavit signed by a physician stating the immunization would be injurious to the health of the student or his family, or present an affidavit that the immunization conflicts with the tenets of his or her church or religious denomination. A religious exemption does not apply in times of emergency or epidemic. Tex. Education Code §38.001.

The chief administrator of a private school must report the names of children suspected of having a communicable disease, i.e. diseases listed by the Texas Board of Health, to the local health authority or the Department of Health regional director. Tex. Health and Safety Code Ann. §§81.003(10); 81.042(c).

Municipalities with populations greater than 850,000 must provide school crossing guards to assist children going to or leaving a parochial or private elementary or secondary school. Tex. Government Code Chapter 343.014.

Private schools are entitled to access all criminal history record information that relates to employees, applicants for employment, and volunteers. The school may obtain this information from any law enforcement or criminal justice agency. Tex. Education Code Ann. §22.083.

Private schools are entitled to obtain criminal history records through the Department of Public Safety for employees, applicants, or volunteers, including those who drive or will serve as a monitor or aide on a bus in which students are transported. Tex. Government Code 411.097.

Private schools may participate in a missing child prevention and identification program in accordance with state provisions. Under the program, schools distribute program information to the parents and request written consent to take the child’s fingerprints. Schools may charge a reasonable fee to cover the costs not to exceed $3. Tex. Education Code Ann. §33.052.

Private primary schools are required to request records when enrolling a child under 11 years of age to verify the child‘s name, birth date, and previous school records. If documentation is not provided, the school shall notify the appropriate law enforcement agency to determine if the child has been reported missing. Law enforcement agencies shall immediately notify each school, including private primary schools, when a report of a missing child is received. Tex. Code of Criminal Proc. Ann. Chapter 63.

It is a criminal offense to possess or consume alcoholic beverages on a public street, alley, or sidewalk within 600 feet of a facility that the person knows is a private school offering K–12 instruction. Tex. Alco. Bev. Code Ann. §101.75.

Acts of hazing that occur on or off the campus of an educational institution, including a private high school, must be reported to the appropriate official of the institution. Tex. Education Code Ann. §37.151 et seq.

Reimbursement for performing state and local functions: There is no state policy at this time.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Private school administrators or designees have an obligation to report suspected criminal conduct occurring on school grounds or at school-sponsored activities to the local police/sheriff. Tex. Education Code Ann. §37.015.

Law enforcement agencies will notify the school principal of an arrest or conviction of delinquent conduct of an individual enrolled in a private school. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. §15.27(e).

Special Education: Local school districts may contract with approved private facilities for residential special education services. Facilities are considered for approval based on a programmatic evaluation of personnel qualifications, adequacy of physical plant and equipment, and curriculum content. Facilities may be approved in whole or in part. Tex. Education Code Ann. §29.008.

When a private school student with disabilities is referred to the local district, the district is not responsible for providing services unless the parent(s) choose to enroll the child in the public school full-time or request services under dual enrollment. All state requirements concerning referral, assessment, and determination of eligibility are applicable to students placed in private schools by their parents once the students are referred. Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part 2, §89.1095.

Nursing and Health: Private school students must be screened to detect vision and hearing disorders and any other special senses or communication disorders specified by the Board of Health. The Department of Health may coordinate screening activities of private schools with school districts, state agencies and volunteer organizations so that efforts are complementary and not fragmented or duplicative, and provide screening personnel, equipment, and services if the requirements cannot be otherwise met. Tex. Health and Safety Code Ann. §36.004.

Screening to detect abnormal spinal curvature is mandatory for private school children in grades 6 and 9. The Department of Health may coordinate screening activities and provide technical assistance and educational materials to assist private schools. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. §37.001.

Technology: There is no state policy at this time.

Tennessee

(As of July 2009)

Registration: No requirement. However, state law gives the commissioner of education authority and the duty to “inspect, approve and classify” private schools that request “such inspection, approval and classification.” TCA 49-1-201(19). See Approval, below.

Length of School Year and Days: Church-related schools must be conducted for the same length of term as public schools. TCA 49-50-801(c).

Schools in Categories I, II, and VII must be conducted for the same length of term as public schools (200 days with 180 student contact days). TCA 49-6-3004.

Tennessee Code Annotated does not address the length of school year or days in Category IV and V schools.

State Approval: Optional. In order for students to satisfy the compulsory attendance laws, they must attend a public school or a school that meets the standards of one of seven categories established by the State Board of Education.

Category I schools are approved by the State Department of Education.

Category II schools are approved by a private school accrediting agency which has been approved by the Tennessee State Board of Education.

Schools holding full accreditation status with an approved agency are approved by the State Department of Education.

Category III schools are approved by one of the five regional accrediting agencies (such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), now a part of Advance-Ed).

Category IV schools are Church-Related Schools as recognized by associations mentioned in TCA 49-50-801.

Category V schools are Acknowledged for Operation.

Category VI provides for International schools associated with a state university and currently has no members.

Category VII schools are Special Purpose schools encompassing some Pre-K programs and transient care facilities serving DCS students.

Church-related schools may voluntarily seek approval by the State Board of Education. TCA 49-50-801.

State Accreditation: Optional. Accreditation is never mandated by the department of education but schools must satisfy the accreditation standards of their affiliate association.

Church-related schools are required to meet the standards of accreditation or membership of the Tennessee Association of Christian Schools (TACS), the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), the Tennessee Association of Independent Schools (TAIS), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the Tennessee Association of Nonpublic Academic Schools, the Tennessee Association of Nonpublic Academic Schools (TANAS), or a school affiliated with Accelerated Christian Education, Inc. TCA 49-50-801. Therefore, church-related schools may fall into Category II if fully accredited or Category IV if only an affiliate member. Neither TAIS or SACS allow satellite schools. See Approval, below.

Licensing: No requirement. The Department of Children‘s Services or the Department of Human Services may require licenses for a Category VII school.

Curriculum: Private high schools which offer a four-year course must require every student to have one year of instruction in American history and government. TCA 49-6-1202.

Category I, II, and VII schools must the state‘s minimum graduation requirements for public schools. State Board of Education Rule No. 0520-7-2.

Textbooks: Tennessee Code Annotated does not prohibit nonpublic schools or students from borrowing textbooks from the local school district. It is not addressed by statute, so is therefore a decision of local school boards.

Testing: Category I schools must test in accordance with public school requirements. State Board of Education Rule No. 0520-7-2.

Category II schools test according to their affiliating agency policies. At least once every school year, each school shall give a nationally standardized achievement test covering the areas of reading, language arts, spelling, math, science, and social science to each pupil in grades 2 through 8 and grade 10, the results must be communicated to teachers and parents and kept on file at the school for one calendar year. State Board of Education Rule No. 0520-7-2.

Category III schools test according to the criteria established by the association. State Board of Education Rule No. 0520-7-2.

Category IV schools have no testing requirements. State Board of Education Rule No. 0520-7-2.

Category V schools must administer a nationally standardized achievement test covering the basic academic areas at grades 2 through 8 and grade 10. Students must be tested before reentering public schools and are places according to the results of the test. State Board of Education Rule No. 0520-7-2.

Category VII must test in accordance with public school requirements. State Board of Education Rule No. 0520-7-2.

Teacher Certification: Schools in Categories I and VII are considered to be state-approved schools; therefore their teachers must meet the same licensure and certification standards as those teaching in Tennessee public schools. Teachers serving in Categories II and III must meet the licensure and certification standards set forth by their agency/association.

Category IV teachers must satisfy association requirements. Category V teachers must hold a baccalaureate degree, but are not required to have a teaching certificate.

Professional Development: Schools in Categories I, II, and VI must meet the state public school requirements of five professional development days each school year. State Board of Education Rule No. 0520-7-2.

Schools in Category III must meet the professional development standards of the regional accrediting association. State Board of Education Rule No. 0520-7-2.

Schools in Category IV and V have no requirements. State Board of Education Rule No. 0520-7-2.

Transportation: Nonpublic schools in Tennessee are not required to furnish transportation. If, however, they do opt to provide such, then they are governed by the same statutes and regulations as public schools

Health and Safety Requirements: The commissioner of health is authorized, subject to the approval of the public health council, to designate diseases against which children must be immunized prior to attendance at any school of Tennessee. Parents may file a written statement with the school authorities that such immunizations conflict with their religious tenets and practices. TCA 49-6-5001.

Fire drills must be held at least twice a month in private schools. A record of all fire drills, including the time and date, must be kept in the respective school and made available upon request to the state fire marshal. TCA 68-102-137.

All doors serving as exits must be kept unlocked during the periods that a building is occupied. TCA 68-102-137.

It is a criminal offense in Tennessee for a student to carry a firearm, not for instruction or school-sanctioned ceremonial purposes, in a private school building, bus, campus or athletic field. Private school administrators must display in prominent locations a sign, at least six inches high and 14 inches wide, stating: FELONY. State law prescribes a maximum penalty of six years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $3,000 for carrying weapons on school property. TCA 39-17-1309.

The chief administrative officer of any private, denominational or parochial school, who has probable cause to believe that any person has committed a drug-related offense on school grounds has a duty to report such probable cause to the local law enforcement official. TCA 53-11-405(b).

Sentencing under a conviction for the sale of a controlled substance may be enhanced if the sale was to a minor within 1,000 feet of a private school building. TCA 40-35-114.

School personnel having knowledge of any child who is suffering from any physical or mental condition which reasonably appears to have been caused by brutality, abuse or neglect, must report the harm immediately. TCA 37-1-403.

School personnel who know or have reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been sexually abused must report such knowledge or suspicion. TCA 37-1-605.

Community residential facilities that accommodate state or federal adult prisoners on release programs are prohibited within 1,000 feet of a private school in counties with populations of 750,000 or more, or counties having a metropolitan form of government. TCA 41-22-128.

Annual inspections by the Fire Marshal’s Office and the Health Department are required for all categories of schools. State Board of Education Rule No. 0520-7-2.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Principals and teachers of private, denominational or parochial schools must report to the local superintendent the names, ages and residence of all pupils in attendance at their schools within 30 days after the beginning of the school year. TCA 49-6-3007(c). Pursuant to State Board rule, attendance is reported to the local education agency (LEA) in which the student resides. For a student attending a virtual school based in Georgia, for example, attendance would be reported to the Tennessee LEA where the student resides. State Board of Education Rule No. 0520-7-2.

All private and parochial schools shall keep daily reports of attendance, verified by the teacher making such record and open for inspection by the local superintendent. TCA 49-6-3007(d).

Private schools are under a duty to report promptly to the local superintendent the names of students who have withdrawn or who have been absent five days without adequate excuse. TCA 49-6-3007(e).

Each nonpublic school shall maintain cumulative records on each student. State Board of Education Rule No. 0520-7-2-.03.

All nonpublic schools in categories I and VII shall submit annually: 200 Day Accountability Report, Nonpublic Reporting Form; S-File (for student numbers); TFile (for teacher information). State Board of Education Rule No. 0520-7-2.

Special Education: Every school district must test and examine, or cause to be tested and examined, each Tennessee resident attending a private school within its boundaries to determine whether such child is handicapped. TCA 49-10-108.

The Department of Education is empowered to provide special schools and special classes in private schools, and transportation to and from school for physically handicapped, visually handicapped and crippled children. TCA 68-12-109.

Blind students have the option of attending any private school that teaches the course of study used in the public schools, or a course of study adapted for the blind and approved by the commissioner of education. TCA 49-6-3015(c).

A Special Education Services Association may make arrangements and pay private schools for services to handicapped children if the association is unable to provide satisfactory service with its own facilities or the facilities of member school districts. TCA 49-10-205.

Nursing and Health: Category I, III, and VII nonpublic schools: issue a health report card on each child enrolled in their school unless parents request exclusion; are encouraged to have staff or volunteer trained in CPR; are authorized to allow students to self-administer asthma medication; are authorized to train school personnel to assist students with diabetes care; are authorized to allow students with anaphylaxis to self-administer medication while on school property or at school events; shall promulgate rules to regulate items sold or offered for sale in vending machines; shall provide at least two hours of suicide prevention training; shall collect proof of immunization prior to admission to school. State Board of Education Rule No. 0520-7-2.

Category II nonpublic schools establish nursing and health policies according to their affiliating agency policies. State Board of Education Rule No. 0520-7-2.

Category IV and V nonpublic schools have no nursing or health requirements other than annual inspection by the State Health Department. State Board of Education Rule No. 0520-7-2.

Technology: There is no state policy at this time.

South Dakota

(As of November 25, 2015)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Days: Each local school board shall set the number of days in a school term, the length of a school day, and the number of school days in a school week. The local school board or governing body shall establish the number of hours in the school term for kindergarten programs. The number of hours in the school term for kindergarten may be no less than 437.5 hours, for grades one through five may be no less than 875 hours, and for grades 6–12 may not be less than 962.5 hours, exclusive of intermissions. An intermission is the time when pupils are at recess or lunch. South Dakota Codified Laws (S.D. Codified Laws) §13-26-1.

A school may conduct the regular school term on a year-round basis and to begin on a date established by the school board. “The Board of Education shall promulgate rules pursuant to chapter 1-26 governing the operation and scheduling of year-round schools.” Graduating high school seniors may be released from school before the end of the regular term by any school board or governing body. If make up time is needed and occurs after the graduating seniors are released, they do not need to make up the time. School days where classes are convened and then dismissed, or convened later in the day than normal because of inclement weather, count as full days as established in the local school district calendar for the year. S.D. Codified Laws §13-26-2.

School boards are encouraged to include in the regular school term time for curriculum and staff development. Such time will not be counted as instructional time. Each school board has the authority to determine the appropriate amount of time for this activity and how best to use the time based on local needs for program development, increased parent participation, student contact, teachers’ preparation, or other needs of the schools in the district. School is to be considered in session only when classes are held and as provided in S.D. Codified Laws §§13-26-4 and 13-26-4.1. “A school board may operate a special term during the summer months.” S.D. Codified Laws §13-26-2.

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: Optional. The secretary of the South Dakota Department of Education shall be responsible for the classification and accreditation of all public and nonpublic schools under the rules established by the South Dakota Board of Education pursuant to chapter 1-26 of the S.D. Codified Laws. S.D. Codified Laws §13-3-47.

The South Dakota Board of Education is responsible for establishing standards for the classification and accreditation of schools. S.D. Codified Laws §13-1-12.1.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: The secretary of the South Dakota Department of Education is responsible for preparing and submitting a standards revision cycle and content standards for K–12 to the South Dakota Board of Education. S.D. Codified Laws §13-3-48.

Instruction in any school must “promote a mastery of the English language in oral and written communications.“ S.D. Codified Laws §13-33-11.

All nonpublic schools must provide regular courses in the constitutions of the United States and the state of South Dakota beginning no later than eighth grade and continuing through high school as determined by the South Dakota Board of Education. S.D. Codified Laws §13-33-4.

Character instruction must be given in all nonpublic elementary and secondary schools on “the importance of citizenship, patriotism, honesty, self-discipline, self-respect, sexual abstinence, respect for the contributions of minority and ethnic groups to the heritage of South Dakota, regard for the elderly, and respect for authority.“ S.D. Codified Laws §13-33-6.1.

Nonaccredited nonpublic schools, including church sponsored programs, operating as “alternative education programs“ must provide instruction in the basic skills of language arts and mathematics for an equivalent period of time as in the public schools. S.D. Codified Laws §13-27-3.

A nonpublic school governing body may exercise the control, supervision, and regulation of interscholastic activities, including interscholastic athletic events of member schools, if they follow the regulations of S.D. Codified Laws §13-36-4. It may make reasonable uniform rules to make decisions and to provide and enforce reasonable penalties for the violation of such rules S.D. Codified Laws §13-36-4. If the school is approved and accredited by the secretary of the South Dakota Department of Education it may yearly delegate control, supervision, and regulation of high school interscholastic activities to a nonprofit association with voluntary membership. That association must: (1) be open to all approved and accredited high schools including those with students receiving alternative instruction as defined in S.D. Codified Laws §13-27-3, and (2) the governing rules of the association are subject to ratification by public school boards and nonpublic schools governing boards. S.D. Codified Laws §13-36-4.

South Dakota prohibits discrimination in private educational institutions based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, ancestry, disability or national origin. If there is the opportunity for both sexes to equally participate in athletic activities offered by an institution, segregation by sex in athletic activities does not constitute discrimination. Bona fide religious institutions that have a qualification based on religion are exempt if the qualification is related to a bona fide religious purpose. S.D. Codified Laws §§20-13-1 and 20-13-22.

Textbooks: A public school board must freely loan nonsectarian textbooks as are normally furnished to students enrolled in a district’s public schools to all students attending a nonpublic school in that district or participating in an alternative education program as per S.D. Codified Laws §13-27-3 within the board’s jurisdiction. S.D. Codified Laws §13-34-23.

Testing: Children who are excused from compulsory public school attendance by receiving alternative instruction in grades two, four, eight, and 11 must annually take a nationally standardized achievement test (basic skills). S.D. Codified Laws §13-27-3.

Teacher Certification: The South Dakota Board of Education is authorized to establish standards for certified personnel in all schools. S.D. Codified Laws §13-1-12.1.

Instructors do not have to be certified. In nonaccredited schools, instructors cannot teach more than 22 students. S.D. Codified Laws §13-27-3.

Professional Development: Elementary, secondary and vocational teachers employed by accredited nonpublic schools may attend undergraduate and graduate courses at state institutions for 50 percent of the tuition costs. Certain requirements apply, including 1) courses must be a condition of employment or necessary to maintain a certificate to teach; 2) space must be available; 3) the teacher must be a resident of the state; and 4) the teacher must maintain an average academic grade point average of 3.0. The maximum yearly credit hours for reduced tuition are six per year. S.D. Codified Laws §§13-55-24 through 13-55-28.

Transportation: Each school bus used for the transportation of school children that is owned by a school district, nonpublic school, or alternative education program or privately owned and operated under a contract with a school district, nonpublic school, or alternative instruction program must be inspected before each school year begins by an inspector approved by the Division of Highway Patrol. The vehicle must comply with state law, and rules of the South Dakota Board of Education, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, and the Division of Highway Patrol. If a school bus is purchased during the school year from a licensed motor vehicle dealer, the dealer may inspect and certify the compliance of the vehicle. A school bus must display the certificate certifying inspection was passed for the year Operation of a school bus that has not be certified is a petty offense. S.D. Codified Laws § 13-29-6 does not apply to federally regulated charter bus service operations“. S.D. Codified Laws §13-29-6.

Health and Safety Requirements: The governing body of a nonpublic school is under a duty to provide sanitary facilities and a supply of water suitable for drinking and to maintain sanitary conditions. Electrical services, adequate lighting, and a telephone must also be installed unless a school is operating for less than one term. S.D. Codified Laws §13-24-16.

Prior to admission for any pupil entering a school or an early childhood program is required to present to the appropriate school authorities certification from a licensed physician that the child has received or is in the process of receiving adequate immunization against poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis, rubeola, rubella, mumps, tetanus, and varicella, according to recommendations provided by the South Dakota Department of Health. “As an alternative to the requirement for a physician’s certification, the pupil may present: (1) Certification from a licensed physician stating the physical condition of the child would be such that immunization would endanger the child’s life or health; or (2) A written statement signed by one parent or guardian that the child is an adherent to a religious doctrine whose teachings are opposed to such immunization; or (3) A written statement signed by one parent or guardian requesting that the local health department give the immunization because the parents or guardians lack the means to pay for such immunization.“ S.D. Codified Laws §13-28-7.1

Nonpublic schools must be “constructed, equipped, operated and maintained in a safe condition“ with respect to “the type of construction and materials used, fireproofing, the number and types of ways of egress, aisles and passageways, stairs and fire escapes, wall openings, exits and exit signs, doors and doorways, shaft ways and other vertical openings, fire alarm systems, electrical equipment, flammable and explosive materials, heating systems and fuel storage, numbers of occupants, ventilation, and all other emergency protection“. S.D. Codified Laws §13-25-1.

The state fire marshal may make inspection of all nonpublic school buildings, auditoriums, gymnasiums, dormitories, shops, or other buildings operated as a part of or in conjunction with school activities, whether owned by the school or not. S.D. Codified Laws §13-25-3.

Any person who has contact with children while serving at a private school and suspects child abuse or neglect must notify the school principal, superintendent, or designee. The notified person must report the information orally and immediately to the state’s attorney of the county, the South Dakota Department of Social Services, or to law enforcement officers. S.D. Codified Laws §§26-8A-7 and 26-8A-8.

Nonpublic or parochial schools may develop a fingerprinting program for students. The program must ensure that 1) participation is voluntary; 2) the program is executed with parental consent; 3) the program is operated under the supervision of local law enforcement agencies; 4) all completed fingerprint forms are given to the parents, and no school maintains a copy of the completed fingerprint forms; and 5) identifying details for each student must be printed on the fingerprint card. S.D. Codified Laws §§26-15-1 and 26-15-2.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: No state policy relating to reimbursement for performing state and local functions regarding nonpublic schools currently exists.

Recordkeeping and Reports: A person enrolling a student in a nonpublic school must submit a certified copy of a birth certificate or an affidavit issued by the South Dakota Department of Health within 30 days of enrollment. S.D. Codified Laws §13-27-3.1.

The superintendent of any nonpublic school must regularly report to the state’s attorney the name and address of any child who has not presented a certified copy of a birth certificate. S.D. Codified Laws §13-27-3.3.

A child is eligible to enroll in nonpublic school kindergarten when 5 years old on September 1st. A transferring student from another state may enroll in a nonpublic school regardless of age to ensure continuous education. S.D. Codified Laws §§13-28-2 and 13-28-4.

South Dakota includes private school students in the school district’s average daily membership to calculate the apportionment among school districts of the school fund income. S.D. Codified Laws §§13-13-1 and 13-13.1.1.

Special Education: No state policy relating to special education regarding nonpublic schools currently exists.

Nursing and Health: No state policy relating to nursing and health regarding nonpublic schools currently exists.

Technology: No state policy relating to technology regarding nonpublic schools currently exists.

South Carolina

(As of July 2009)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Days: There is no state requirement for private schools’ length of the school year.

State Approval: Optional. Approval by the state board of education is one alternative to satisfy South Carolina’s compulsory school attendance statue. Attendance at a nonsectarian private school satisfies South Carolina’s compulsory school attendance statute if the state board of education has approved the school.

Attendance at parochial, denominational, and church-related schools also satisfies this requirement. S.C. Code §59-65-10(A).

The Attorney General has determined that the state board of education has authority to establish minimum standards for private school approval under the Compulsory School Attendance Act. 1967-68 Ops. Atty. Gen., No. 2585, p. 291; however, no standards have been developed at this time.

State Accreditation: Optional. Accreditation is one alternative to satisfy South Carolina’s compulsory school attendance statute. Attendance at a private school satisfies South Carolina’s compulsory school attendance statute if the school is a member school of the South Carolina Independent School Association or a similar organization. There are very few laws and regulations that address private schools in South Carolina. The schools accredited are governed by their accrediting organizations and may have to meet specific requirements regarding teacher certification, school term, curriculum, and other areas where state law does not specifically regulate with regard to private schools.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: There are no state requirements for the curriculum of private schools.

Testing: No requirements.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is not required for private school teachers.

Transportation: School buses owned and operated by private schools or under contract for a private school must conform to state laws and regulations of the state board of education. Buses failing to comply with the laws and regulations must be painted a color other than yellow and are not entitled to the privileges and protection of a school bus operating on the highways. S.C. Code §59-67-40.

Private school bus drivers must be certified by the state board of education. S.C. Code §59-67-108 (Supp. 2007).

Health and Safety Requirements: The department of health and environmental control has the authority to inspect private school lunchrooms and sanitary facilities. 1982 Op. Atty. Gen., No. 82-10, p. 12.

Potential staff members of a private school must be evaluated for tuberculosis prior to hiring. Applicants must present a health certificate certifying that they do not have tuberculosis in an active stage as a prerequisite to employment. S.C. Code §§44-29-150, 160.

No child shall be admitted to any public, private, or parochial school, grades kindergarten through 12, or any child development program under the control of the department of education without first presenting a valid South Carolina Certificate of Immunization. 24 S.C. Code Regs. 61-8.

The distribution of a controlled substance within a radius of one-half mile of a private elementary, middle, or secondary school is a criminal offense and punishable by fine or imprisonment. S.C. Code §44-53-445. S.C. Code §16-17-420 (Disturbing Schools);

S.C. Code §16-11-110 (Arson).

Recordkeeping and Reports: Private schools must report annually to the local superintendent of education the following information: (1) the number of students receiving instruction, (2) the number of students in regular attendance, (3) the number of teachers employed, and (4) such other facts demonstrating the grade and amount of educational work actually done in the private school. S.C. Code §59-13-130.

A private school failing to file the information within two weeks after the close of the regular session is subject to a fine not more than $25.00. S.C. Code §59-13-130.

Special Education: Handicapped students may be placed in private schools that maintain approved special education facilities if the school district cannot provide an appropriate education. S.C. Code §59-33-50.

South Carolina school districts place handicapped students in private schools provided the school accepts children into the program regardless of color, race, sex, or religion. S.C. Code §59-33-50.

All private school administrators must report the names of visually handicapped students to the Commission for the Blind. The commission may provide itinerant teachers to assist private school teachers who are responsible for teaching visually handicapped children. S.C. Code §43-25-60.

Rhode Island

(As of June, 25, 2013)

Registration: Mandatory. Registration with the office of the department of elementary and secondary education is required for all private schools. The registry must show the location, name, director or principal of school, grade span, enrollment, school approval status, and other pertinent facts. RIGL §§16-40-11, 16-97 et. seq.

Length of School Year and Days: At least 180 days annually. RIGL §16-2-2, §16-19-2.

The minimum amount of daily instructional time for public school students is five and one-half hours. Rhode Island Board of Education Regulations G-4-4, G-4-11.

State Approval: Mandatory. Approval by the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is required for private schools. RIGL §16-19-2.

The Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education approves private schools that comply with requirements for curriculum, teacher quality, and attendance to the length of school year and instructional time, student health and safety, record keeping, and compliance with state and municipal school site regulations. The commissioner of elementary and secondary education will grant a hearing to private schools that are denied approval. On appeal, the decision of the board of regents is final. RIGL §§16-19-2, 16-60-4 (10), 16-97 et. seq.

State Accreditation: No requirements.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Reading, writing, geography/social studies, arithmetic, the history of the United States and Rhode Island, civics education, and the principles of American government are required and must be taught in the English language. Instruction in the principles of popular and representative government under the Rhode Island and United States constitutions must be provided as well as instruction in health and physical education. RIGL §§16-19-2, 16-22-2, 16-22-4. Rhode Island Board of Education Regulations L-6-1.0(g).

Each school shall have a carefully planned program of study and activities consistent with its policy and objectives, which shall be approved by the commissioner of education. RIGL §16-19-2.

Testing: Private school students’ participation in state testing is voluntary. RIGL§16-22-9.

Teacher Certification: Certification is not required for private school teachers. In general, teachers are expected to maintain and develop up-to-date competencies with appropriate professional development in the content area or grade levels they teach. All teachers in private schools must have a national and state criminal records check. RIGL §§16-9-2, 16-2-18.1.

Health and Safety Requirements: Students entering private schools must furnish evidence of immunization as prescribed by regulation of the director of health and the commissioner of elementary and secondary education, or a certificate from a licensed physician stating the student is not a fit subject for immunization for medical reasons or a certificate signed by the parent or guardian stating that immunization is contrary to their beliefs. RIGL §16-38-2.

Private schools must comply with building code standards established by the state building code standards committee. By August 1 of each year, the local fire chief, local building inspector, the director of the state department of health, and the director of the state labor and training department must determine and notify the private schools as to whether the schools conform to state law and regulation. Private school officials must ensure that schools are not opened until notification is received; neglect is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500. RIGL §16-21-3, 3.1.

Private schools are subject to the Rhode Island Safe Schools Act on bullying—a statewide bullying policy, ensuring a consistent and unified statewide approach to the prohibition of bullying at school. RIGL §§16-21-33, 16-21-34.

Private schools must instruct and train the pupils by means of drills to leave school buildings and/or be locked down in an emergency in the shortest possible time and without confusion or panic. Fifteen drills are required annually, of which at least eight must be held during September, October, and November. At least four drills must be obstructed, i.e. at least one or more exits and stairways blocked; two of the obstructed drills must be held during September and October and four drills must exercise lockdown and evacuation procedures. Neglect by a private school to comply is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding $500. RIGL §16-21-4.

Private schools must provide students, teachers, and visitors approved eye protective devices for specified vocational or industrial arts classes and chemical laboratory classes. Students and teachers are required to wear protective devices at all times while participating in the courses. RIGL §16-21-15.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Private school teachers must keep a register of the names of all students, their sex and age, names of parents or guardians, the time when each student enters and leaves the school, and their daily attendance. Private schools are obligated to prepare reports required by the school committee or department of elementary and secondary education. RIGL §16-12-4.

Whenever a K–9 pupil fails to report to school and no indication has been received by the private school that the pupil’s parent or guardian is aware of the pupil’s absence, the school must make a reasonable effort to notify the parents of the child’s absence. School personnel or volunteers organized for that purpose are immune from any civil or criminal liability in connection with the notice to parents. RIGL §16-19-10.

Private schools that provide multiple kindergarten sessions must make every effort to give written notice to parents about which session their child has been placed 30 days before the start of the school year. RIGL §16-2-28.2.

Nursing and Health: Private schools are required to have a comprehensive health and physical education program. All private school students must participate in health screening requirements. Private schools have regulations for the investment of school nurses that ensure students quality services. RIGL §16-21 et. seq.

Private schools are subject to the Rhode Island Rules and Regulations for School Health Programs. RIGL §16-21-7.

Pennsylvania

(As of July 10, 2013)

Registration: Mandatory registration only applies to religious schools. Pennsylvania’s compulsory school attendance law requires K–12 schools that are owned or operated by, or under the authority of, bona-fide religious institutions to register with the department of education by filing a principal’s notarized certification or affidavit. The notarized document states that subjects prescribed by the PA Public School code will be taught or offered in the English language for the amount of time specified, that the governing religious body is a nonprofit organization, and that the school is otherwise in compliance with the provisions of the PA Public School Code. 24 P.S. §13-1327(b).

There is no accreditation or licensing requirement for religious schools; for those schools accreditation or licensing is optional. Non-religious, private schools (K–12) must be either licensed or accredited.

Length of School Year and Days: Instructional time for a child enrolled in a day school operated by a religious body must be a minimum of 180 days or 900 hours at the elementary level, or 990 hours at the secondary level. 24 P.S. §13-1327(b).

Licensed K–12 private academic schools must be in session a minimum of 180 days of instruction or the equivalent clock hour requirement with prior approval of the state board of private academic schools. Upon request, the board may approve a school year containing a minimum of 990 secondary or 900 elementary and 450 kindergarten hours of instruction as the equivalent of 180 days, when a meritorious educational program warrants. 22 Pa. Code §51.61.

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: Optional. Private academic schools may choose to become accredited rather than licensed. Schools accredited by accrediting associations approved by the state board of education do not need to be licensed. 24 P.S. §6705.

Only an accrediting organization approved by the Pennsylvania Board of Education will be approved to grant accreditation to private academic schools. Approved accrediting organizations report annually to the department with a summary of their accreditation activity, including a listing of schools that have been accredited, the fees collected, visitation schedule, and other information as the department deems appropriate. Accrediting organizations make an immediate, one-time report to the department regarding any educational institution that has gained or lost its accreditation.

Licensing: Pennsylvania mandates licensing for K–12 private academic schools, except schools owned or operated by or under the authority of bona-fide religious institutions, schools that are owned by colleges or universities, schools for the blind or deaf receiving Commonwealth appropriations, or schools accredited by accrediting associations approved by the state board of education. All exempted private schools may voluntarily choose to be licensed. The licensing requirements, enforced by the state board of private academic schools, govern health and safety, teaching and administrative staff, courses of study and instructional equipment, student attendance, records, fees, transportation, advertising, conditions of the premises, procedures for school closings, and financial responsibility. 24 P.S. §6701 et seq; 22 Pa. Code Chapter 51.

Private schools are prohibited from discriminating in enrollment based on race or color. 24 Pa. Cons. Stat. §15-1521.

Curriculum: Courses at an elementary day school operated by a religious body must be taught in: English, including spelling, reading, and writing; arithmetic; science; geography; history of the United States and Pennsylvania; civics; safety education, including regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires; health and physiology; physical education; music; and art. A principal’s notarized affidavit filed with the state department of education stating those subjects are offered in the English language, by a nonprofit school, and in compliance with the law, is sufficient evidence of compliance with this provision. Nothing in this provision empowers the Commonwealth and its officers to approve the course content, faculty, staff, or disciplinary requirements of any nonpublic religious school without its consent. 24 P.S. §13-1327(b).

Courses at a secondary day school operated by a religious body must be offered in: English, including language, literature, speech and composition; science, including biology and chemistry; geography; social studies, including civics, economics, world history, history of the United States and Pennsylvania; a foreign language; mathematics, including general mathematics and statistics, algebra and geometry; art; music; physical education; health and physiology; and safety education, including regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires. A principal’s notarized affidavit filed with the state department of education stating those subjects are offered in the English language, by a nonprofit school, and in compliance with the law, is sufficient evidence of compliance with this provision. Nothing in this provision empowers the Commonwealth and its officers to approve the course content, faculty, staff, or disciplinary requirements of any nonpublic religious school without its consent. 24 P.S. §13-1327(b).

Private elementary schools are required to teach the following subjects: English, including spelling, reading and writing; arithmetic; geography; the history of the United States and of Pennsylvania; science; civics, including loyalty to the state and national government; safety education, and the humane treatment of birds and animals; health, including physical education and physiology; music and art. 24 P.S. §15-1511.

Private high schools must provide during grades 7–12 four semesters in the history and government of the United States and Pennsylvania to develop an appreciation for the American republican representative form of government, the benefits of the American way of life, and the individual’s duty to exercise the right to vote. 24 P.S. §16-1605.

Instruction in the private schools must be in English and from English texts unless a foreign language is permitted by the secretary of education as a part of a foreign language study or bilingual education program. 24 P.S. §15-1511.

Private schools must display the United States flag, not less than three feet in length, in all school buildings during each day that school is in session. In addition, the schools must provide instruction to develop allegiance to the flag and to promote a clear understanding of the American way of life. 24 P.S. §7-771.

Testing: Optional. Nonpublic and private school may elect to participate in the use of the state testing used in public schools.

Teacher Certification: Only teachers holding a valid Pennsylvania professional certificate issued under Chapter 49 (relating to certification of professional personnel) of the state board of education regulation, a private academic teaching certificate, or a private academic temporary approval certificate may teach in a licensed private academic school. The Commonwealth is not empowered to approve the faculty or staff of any registered, non-licensed religious school. 22 Pa. Code §51.34.; 24 P.S. §13-1327(b).

Professional Development: Many private/nonpublic schools employ teachers with public school teaching certification. To stay in active status, Pennsylvania’s public school teaching certificate holders must obtain 180 hours of continuing professional education, or its equivalent in collegiate courses, every five years. Private/nonpublic schools may apply to the state department of education for approval of a professional education plan, which, if approved, enables the private/nonpublic school to provide in-service programs and activities that are creditable toward the five-year 180-hour requirement.

Transportation: School vehicles owned by or under contract with a parochial or private school that are used for the transportation of students must conform to department of transportation standards governing design, construction, equipment and operation. 75 P.S. §4551.

Private schools must ensure that every student is familiar with school bus emergency procedures and equipment and safe loading and unloading operations. The school must conduct a minimum of two emergency evacuation drills each year. 75 P.S. §4552.

Health and Safety Requirements: As directed by the secretary of health, private and parochial school administrators have a duty to ensure that every student, prior to admission to school, is immunized against diseases or parents have filed a request for exemption for religious or medical reasons. Certificates of immunization or exemption must be issued in accordance with regulations promulgated by the secretary of health. 24 Pa. Cons. Stat. §13-1303a.

Administrators of private schools have a duty to provide instruction and training in the proper procedures to exit school buildings in an emergency without confusion or panic. Drills must be conducted at least once a month when the schools are in session. All schools are required to provide some regular instruction in the dangers of fire and the prevention of fire waste during the school year. 24 P.S. §15-1518.

Private school administrators must require applicants for positions with direct contact with children to produce with their applications a criminal history report from the Pennsylvania State Police and a clearance statement resulting from a background check for employment conducted by the department of public welfare within the immediately preceding year. Persons not receiving a clearance statement are ineligible for employment. 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. §6355.

A school employee who has reasonable cause to suspect, on the basis of professional or other training and experience, that a student coming before the employee in the employee’s professional or official capacity is a victim of serious bodily injury or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation by a school employee shall make a report to law enforcement officials and the district attorney. 23 P.S. §6352.

School administrators shall maintain updated records of all incidents of violence, incidents involving possession of a weapon and convictions or adjudications of delinquency for acts committed on school property by students enrolled therein. A statistical summary of those records shall be made accessible to the public for examination by the public during regular business hours. 24 P.S. §1307A.

Industrial quality eye protective devices are required for teachers, students, and visitors at private schools when engaged in dangerous activities; e.g., the use of hot liquids, solids or gases; milling, sawing, turning, or grinding of solid materials; and repairing or servicing vehicles. 24 P.S. §5301.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Private schools have an obligation to furnish district superintendents a list of the names and residences of all resident children between six and 18 enrolled in the school, to report the name and date of any pupil withdrawing, and the name of any child absent three days or the equivalent without lawful excuse. 24 P.S. §13-1332.

Student health records maintained by private schools are confidential and may be released only when necessary for the health of the child or at the request of the parent/guardian. Records must be transferred upon request when a student relocates to another school. Private schools must not destroy a student’s health record for two years after the child’s withdrawal, but may give them to the child’s parent or guardian if the child does not re-enroll in another Pennsylvania school. 24 P.S. §14-1409.

Special Education: Pennsylvania enrolls exceptional children in approved private schools when there is no public school special education program that meets the student’s needs. An exceptional child is defined as “blind or deaf, or has cerebral palsy and/or neurological impairment and/or muscular dystrophy and/or is mentally retarded and/or has a serious emotional disturbance and/or has autism/pervasive developmental disorder.” Costs are shared between the local school district and the state department of education. 24 P.S. §13-1376.

When requested, those schools must provide for administrative purposes, the names, ages, and residences of all pupils enrolled, specifying the school districts liable for part of the tuition and maintenance and the per capita cost of and maintenance of pupils to the state department of education. 24 P.S. §13-1377.

Oregon

(As of 1993)

Registration: Registration requirements are set out in detail at Or. Admin. R. 581-45-500 through 581-45-580. Representation by a private school that it is registered when it is not a registered private school is a misdemeanor. Or. Rev. Stat. §345.990(2). Registration is renewable annually on or before October 15. Or. Admin. R. 581-45-500.

Length of School Year and Day: Students attending a private or parochial school for a period equivalent to that required of children attending public schools are exempt from public school attendance. Or. Rev. Stat. §339.030(1).

State Approval: Private schools must be approved for the public placement of students for special education services. OAR 581-15-126.

State Accreditation: Private K–12 schools may, but are not required to be, registered as a private school with the Department of Education. The application for registration must demonstrate: 1) the teachers are qualified, but not necessarily licensed; 2) the owner or principal and employees are qualified by education and experience to provide instruction; 3) the facility is adequate to protect the health and safety of the children; 4) the curriculum considers the goals of modern education and the requirements of a sound, comprehensive curriculum with particular emphasis on the highest practical standards and in secondary schools establishment of academic standards necessary to attend institutions of higher education. Courses should be taught for an equivalent period of time as required for public school students. Or. Rev. Stat. §345.525.

Licensing: Private schools offering residential programs for children must be licensed by the Children’s Services Division. The standards for licensing encompass the physical health, care, and safety of the children. The superintendent of public instruction will advise on the education program conducted by the residential school. No licensing fees are charged. Or. Rev. Stat. §418.327.

Curriculum: Students being taught the courses of study usually taught in grades 1 through 12 in the public schools at a private or parochial school are exempt from public school attendance. Or. Rev. Stat. §339.030(1).

All private schools must provide courses of instruction in the Constitution and history of the United States from grade 8 through grade 12. Or. Rev. Stat. §336.057.

Private schools may offer courses in driver instruction. State reimbursement for costs however is provided for private school students only if they complete the course in a public school or other facility. Or. Rev. Stat.§§343.720; 343.730.

Teacher Certification: Teachers at registered private schools may demonstrate their qualifications by: 1) possessing a current teaching license; 2) teaching at least half-time in the subject field in which the bachelor’s degree was obtained while actively working toward an Oregon teaching certificate; or 3) possess relevant verifiable experience consistent with the educational goals of the school and the Department of Education. Or. Admin. R. 581-45-530.

Transportation: All children attending private or parochial schools under the compulsory school attendance laws are entitled to transportation along or near the designated routes when the district provides transportation for public school students. Or. Rev. Stat. §332.415.

Health and Safety Requirements: Oregon recognizes immunization as a parental responsibility. Prior to admission to school, students must provide evidence of immunization as required by the Health Division or a statement that they are being reared as an adherent to a religion opposed to immunization. Or. Rev. Stat. §§433.240; 433.267.

Private schools may adopt more stringent requirements for measles immunization if medical and religious exemptions are included and the requirements comply with the United States Public Health Service Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendations. Or. Rev. Stat. §433.284.

Private schools may not permit persons under 18 to possess tobacco products while present on school grounds unless lawfully prescribed. The school must have written policies prohibiting possession and written plans to implement the policies. Or. Rev. Stat. §339.865.

School administrators may exclude from school a child or employee suspected to be exposed to a “restrictable disease” as defined by the Health Division. Or. Rev. Stat. §§433.235; 433.260.

Private and parochial schools having an average daily attendance of 50 or more must provide instruction in exiting the building in an emergency and seeking shelter in case of an earthquake. Drills must be held at least once a month. Exit doors must be maintained so they can open from the inside without a key during school hours. Children in grades 1 through 8 must be instructed in fire and earthquake dangers and drills for 30 minutes in each school month. Or. Rev. Stat. §336.072.

Any private official school employee having reasonable cause to believe that a person with whom the official comes in contact in an official capacity has suffered abuse or has abused a child shall make a report immediately to the Children’s Services Division or to a law enforcement agency within the county. Or. Rev. Stat. §§418.740, 750, 755.

All painting or finish applied to interior combustible surfaces except floors and trim of private school buildings, must be of a fire-retardant material meeting flame spread regulations established by the State Fire Marshall. Or. Rev. Stat. §479.140.

It is illegal in Oregon to operate a methadone clinic within 1,000 feet of the real property of a private elementary, vocational, or secondary school. Or. Rev. Stat. §430.590.

Unless authorized by law, it is illegal to manufacture or deliver controlled substances within 1,000 feet of the real property of a private elementary, vocational, or secondary school attended by minors. Or. Rev. Stat. §475.999.

Oregon assists and regulates traffic patrols appointed by private or parochial schools to protect pupils crossing highways on their way to school. Members must be 18 or older or have parental consent, display a “traffic patrol badge,” and may display a directional sign or signal. Or. Rev. Stat. §§336.450; 470.480.

It is a criminal offense to possess a firearm in a private school building with some exceptions Or. Rev. Stat. §§166.360; 166.370.

Private or parochial schools through secondary level with a capacity greater than 250 individuals are subject to additional building code regulations for structures vulnerable to earthquakes. Or. Rev. Stat. §455.447.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Private elementary and secondary schools must transfer student progress records within ten days when notified of the student’s enrollment in another school. Or. Rev. Stat. §326.575.

Special Education: School districts must make available special education designed to meet the needs of resident handicapped children in private schools. Such special education must not be provided in the private school. School districts must provide such children with genuine opportunities for equitable participation in special education consistent with the number of children and their needs. Or. Admin. R. 581-15-166 (1978).

Private educational agencies furnishing special education to handicapped children pursuant to a contract with a public agency must have on file with the Oregon Department of Education a plan approved for the special education programs. The plan must 1) describe the population to be served and the instructional services to be provided; 2) include a staff roster indicating name, instructional qualification, and assignment of all special education personnel employed by the private educational agency; 3) describe facilities, equipment and materials to be furnished and utilized; 4) document compliance with state and local health, fire and safety standards; and 4) meet additional minimum standards set out by regulation. Or. Admin. R. 581-15-126 (1978).

Other: Instruction in all subjects in private and parochial schools must be conducted primarily in English, except instruction in foreign languages and bilingual education for pupils whose native tongue is other than English. Or. Rev. Stat. §336.074.

Church-operated parochial schools are exempt from unemployment compensation taxes. Emp. Div. v. Archdiocese of Portland, 600 P.2d. 926 (1979), but see, Salem College & Academy, Inc. v. Employment Division, 695 P.2d 25 (1985).

By statute, Oregon has a Private Elementary and Secondary School Advisory Committee to advise the State Board of Education on minimum criteria for private schools and private school registration. Six members are selected by the State Board from nominees of private school organizations and one member is a lay person not associated with private schools. Or. Rev. Stat. §345.575.

Representatives of private and parochial schools serve on the Health Division Advisory Committee to advise on regulations to promote disease control in schools. Or. Rev. Stat. §433.245.

Oklahoma

(As of July 2009)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Days: A school day shall consist of not less than six hours devoted to school activities, except that a school day for nursery, early childhood education, kindergarten, extended day program, and alternative education programs shall be as otherwise defined by law or as defined by the state board of education. Except for schools operating under an extended day schedule as provided for in Section 1-109 of this title, not more than one school day shall be counted for attendance purposes in any 24-hour period. Okla. Stat. Title 70, §1-111.

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: Optional. Private and parochial schools may apply to the state board of education for accreditation and classification in like manner as public schools. For accreditation, private and parochial schools must comply with the standards prescribed for public schools and members of the faculty must hold state certificates as required of teachers in public schools. Okla. Stat. Title 70, §3-104.

In addition, schools promulgate rules governing the classification, inspection, supervision, and accrediting of all public nursery, kindergarten, elementary, and secondary schools and onsite educational services provided by public school districts or state-accredited private schools in partial hospitalization programs, day treatment programs, and day hospital programs as defined by law for persons between the ages of three and 21 years of age in the state. However, no school shall be denied accreditation solely on the basis of average daily attendance. Any school district which maintains an elementary school and faces the necessity of relocating its school facilities because of construction of a lake, either by state or federal authority, which will inundate the school facilities, shall be entitled to receive probationary accreditation from the state Board of Education for a period of five years after the effective date of this act and any school district, otherwise qualified, shall be entitled to receive probationary accreditation from the state board of education for a period of two consecutive years to attain the minimum average daily attendance. The Head Start and public nurseries or kindergartens operated from Community Action Program funds shall not be subjected to the accrediting rules of the state board of education. Neither will the state board of education make rules affecting the operation of the public nurseries and kindergartens operated from federal funds secured through Community Action Programs even though they may be operating in the public schools of the state. However, any of the Head Start or public nurseries or kindergartens operated under federal regulations may make application for accrediting from the state board of education but will be accredited only if application for the approval of the programs is made. The status of no school district shall be changed, which will reduce it to a lower classification until due notice has been given to the proper authorities thereof and an opportunity given to correct the conditions, which otherwise would be the cause of such reduction. Okla. Stat. Title 70, §3-104.

Private and parochial schools may be accredited and classified in like manner as public schools or, if an accrediting association is approved by the state board of education, by procedures established by the state board of education to accept accreditation by such accrediting association, if application is made to the state board of education for such accrediting. Okla. Stat. Title 70, §3-104.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Proprietors of private and parochial schools have a duty to display the flag of the

United States of America during every school day either from a flagstaff or pole and, in inclement weather, within the school building. Okla. Stat. Title 25, §153.

As a condition of receiving accreditation from the state board of education, all students in grades nine through 12 shall enroll in a minimum of six periods, or the equivalent in block scheduling, of rigorous academic or rigorous vocational courses each day, which may include arts, vocal and instrumental music, speech classes, and physical education classes. Okla. Stat. Title 70, §11-103.6H.

Testing: No requirements.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is required for accredited private schools. Okla. Stat. Title 70, §6-189.

Health and Safety Requirements: Students may not be admitted to any public, private, or parochial school operating in the state unless and until certification is presented to the appropriate school authorities from a licensed physician, or authorized representative of the state department of health, that such child has received or is in the process of receiving, immunizations against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, haemophilus influenzae type B (HIB), measles (rubeola), (rubella), poliomyelitis, varicella, and hepatitis A or is likely to be immune as a result of the disease. Okla. Stat. Title 70, §1210.191.

An educational facility, which offers an early childhood education program or in which children in grades kindergarten through 12 are educated, shall prohibit smoking, the use of snuff, chewing tobacco, or any other form of tobacco product in the buildings and on the grounds of the facility by all persons including, but not limited to, full-time, part-time, and contract employees, during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., during the school session, or when class or any program established for students is in session. Okla. Stat. Title 63, §1-1523.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Private school principals have a duty to keep complete records of attendance for all children enrolled at the school and to notify the attendance officer of the district of absences and the reasons, if known. Principals have a duty to notify parents of a student’s absence unless the parent has already notified the school. Okla. Stat. Title 70, §10-106.

Administrators at private middle, junior high, and high schools accredited by the state department of education must notify the department of any pupil dropping out from school. Reports must be made on a monthly basis on forms provided. Okla. Stat. Title 70, §35e.

Nursing and Health: The school shall have a written description of the health services program. The program will function as an integral part of the total education program and provide a program of services for all students. Services of a nurse shall be available. Staff and patrons shall be made aware of program provisions. State Regulation 210:35-3-107.

Ohio

(As of April 7, 2015)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Days: Students enrolled in schools other than public schools must attend them for the equivalent hours and term of attendance required of public school students. Ohio DOE guidance states that, at a minimum, schools must provide instruction for not less than 455 hours in the case of pupils in kindergarten unless such pupils are provided all-day kindergarten, as defined in section 3321.05 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC), in which case the pupils shall be in attendance for 910 hours; that same minimum of 910 hours is required of pupils in grades one through six; and a minimum of 1,001 hours is required of pupils in grades seven through 12 (which can include up to two days for parent-teacher conferences) per the law under section 3313.48 of the ORC that applies to public school districts. ORC §3321.07.

Non-chartered, non-tax supported schools must be open for instruction 182 days each school year. Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) §3301-35-08.

Each school serving students in grades one through six shall provide at least five hours of instruction each school day, excluding the lunch period. The school day for students in grades seven through 12 shall consist of at least five and one-half hours, excluding the lunch period. OAC §3301-35-06.

For a chartered nonpublic school the length of the school day in OAC §3301-35-06 (E) and (F) for grades seven through 12, shall be at least five hours, excluding the lunch period. OAC §3301-35-12.

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: No requirements. The Ohio Department of Education (DOE) charters nonpublic schools on behalf of the State Board of Education, in place of a state accreditation. This process is optional. A nonpublic school has the option of seeking a charter from the State Board of Education. A chartered nonpublic school must assure that students are provided a high-quality general education by either 1) being accredited by an association approved by the State Board of Education and with standards reviewed by the state superintendent’s advisory committee on chartered nonpublic schools, or 2) completing the chartering process and showing compliance with the Operating Standards for Ohio’s Schools, OAC §3301-35-01 to 07 and 3301-35-11 to 12. (Note: what are referred to in other states as public charter schools, are in Ohio referred to as community schools)

“The superintendent of public instruction shall establish an advisory committee on chartered nonpublic schools to make recommendations to the State Board of Education concerning development and administration of regulations for chartered nonpublic schools.” OAC §3301-35-12 (C).

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: A non-chartered, non-tax supported school must provide courses in the following subjects: language arts; geography, the history of the United States and Ohio, and national state, and local government; mathematics; science; health; physical education; the fine arts, including music; first aid, safety, and fire prevention; and other subjects as prescribed by the school. OAC §3301-35-08.

A chartered nonpublic school that is in compliance with OAC §3301-35-04 (B)(1)(b) must have a curriculum that includes: language arts; geography, the history of the United States and Ohio, and national, state, and local government in the United States, including a balanced presentation of the relevant contributions to society of men and women of African, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and American Indian descent as well as other ethnic and racial groups in Ohio and the United States; mathematics; natural science; health education; personal safety and assault prevention in grades kindergarten through six; physical education; the fine arts, including music; and first aid. OAC §3301-35-12.

Nonpublic school students may participate in public school vocational education programs without a financial assessment other than charges paid by public school students. ORC §3313.90.

Principals of private and parochial schools must display the United States flag, not less than five feet in length, over, near, or within all schoolhouses when in session. ORC §3313.80.

Nonpublic school students may participate in Ohio’s College Credit Plus Program that begins in the 2015–16 school year. A student that is enrolled in a non-chartered nonpublic secondary school must meet the eligibility requirements of ORC §3365.03. The parent of a non-chartered nonpublic secondary school student must notify the department by April 1 prior to the school year of desired participation. Nonpublic schools must provide students with information about the program prior to March 1 each year. The chief administrator of a nonpublic school must counsel students before participation about the possible risks and consequences of participation. Students may elect to receive both college credit and high school credit. ORC §§3365.02-3365.04.

Textbooks: State allocations paid to local school districts for chartered nonpublic schools may be used for loaning textbooks or electronic textbooks to pupils attending nonpublic schools within the district or to their parents upon the request of nonpublic school pupils or parents. Requests must be submitted to the school district in which the nonpublic school is located. ORC §3317.06 (A).

Testing: Chartered nonpublic schools may participate in the administration of the Ohio achievement tests if the chief administrator submits a written request to the superintendent of public instruction prior to Aug. 1 each year. Ohio’s grade 3–8 achievement tests currently are in reading, mathematics, science, social studies and English language arts and aligned to Ohio’s academic content standards. These assessments measure students on what they know and are able to do in mathematics, reading, science, social studies and writing, and have replaced the previously used Ohio’s proficiency tests. OAC §3301-13-01.

Students attending chartered nonpublic schools must pass all five parts of the Ohio graduation tests (OGTs) in order to receive high school diplomas. These tests replace the Ohio ninth-grade proficiency tests, which were aligned to learning outcomes. The OGT are aligned to Ohio’s academic content standards, which were adopted by the State Board of Education in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. These standards have been carefully designed to ensure that students are armed with the knowledge they need to be successful in their pursuit of higher education as well as jobs and careers. OAC §3301-13-01 (B).

State allocations paid to local school districts for chartered nonpublic schools may be used for supplying pupils attending nonpublic schools within the district such standardized tests and scoring services as are in use in Ohio’s public schools. ORC §3317.06 (H).

Teacher Certification: Standards for teacher certification for non-tax-supported schools provide for certification without further educational requirements for individuals with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Standards for teacher certification in nonchartered non-tax-supported schools provide for certification without further educational requirements for individuals who have attended Bible colleges and Bible institutes. Teachers in nonchartered, non-tax-supported schools are exempt from certification fees. ORC §3301.071.

Health and Safety Requirements: Principals of private schools having an average daily attendance of 20 students or more must instruct and train the students to exit buildings by drills at least once a month. The doors and exits of school buildings must be unlocked during school hours. ORC §3737.73.

Upon request of any board of education in the state, Ohio’s missing child educational program, to be established by the attorney general, within Ohio’s missing child clearinghouse, will assist nonpublic schools in developing cooperative programs with local law enforcement agencies for fingerprinting children, and will disseminate periodic information bulletins of missing children to nonpublic schools. If the chief administrator of a nonpublic school is notified that a missing child is attending his school, the administrator must notify the missing children clearinghouse and the local law enforcement agency immediately. ORC §109.65.

The hiring officer of any chartered nonpublic school must request a criminal records check for any applicant for a position responsible for the care, custody, or control of a child. The request must be made to the superintendent of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. If the applicant was convicted or plead guilty to certain crimes listed, the school cannot employ the individual. The cost of the criminal records check is borne by the school, but may be passed on to the applicant if notified beforehand. ORC §3319.39.

Chartered nonpublic schools must comply with written requests for student records from entities investigating complaints of child abuse and neglect unless the school determines they are prohibited by law and files a motion with the court. ORC §2151.141.

Nonpublic school teachers, principals and administrators may use reasonable corporal punishment whenever such punishment is reasonably necessary to preserve discipline, subject to the school’s own policies. ORC §3319.41.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: The superintendent of public instruction is required to annually reimburse each chartered nonpublic school the actual cost for mandated administrative and clerical costs incurred by such school during the preceding school year “in preparing, maintaining, and filing reports, forms, and records, and in providing such other administrative and clerical services that are not an integral part of the teaching process as may be required by state law or rule or by requirements duly promulgated by city, exempted village or local school districts.” ORC §3317.063.

Recordkeeping and Reports: A school that is non-chartered or seeking a charter from the State Board of Education due to religious beliefs must submit a report to the parents of its pupils that the school meets Ohio minimum standards for non-chartered, non-tax supported schools annually. A copy of said report shall be filed with the Ohio DOE on or before Sept. 30 of each year. OAC §3301-35-08.

A student enrolling in a nonpublic school must present 1) records of prior school enrollment; 2) a certified copy of a court order allocating parental rights, if applicable; and 3) a certification of birth. Within 24 hours of enrollment, a school official must request the pupil’s official records from the sending school. If the school claims it has no records of attendance or the records are not received within 14 days, or if the pupil does not present a certification of birth, the school official must notify the local law enforcement agency of the possibility that the pupil is a missing child. ORC §3313.672.

Private and parochial schools must report to the treasurer of the local board of education the names, ages, and residences of all pupils under 18 within the first two weeks of school to facilitate carrying out the laws relating to compulsory education and the employment of minors. Reports must be updated within the first week of every subsequent school month. ORC §3321.12.

The State Board of Education submits annually a 10-year projection of nonpublic school enrollment, by year and by grade level, to the governor and general assembly. ORC §3301.07(F).

A student who has completed the high school curriculum of a chartered nonpublic school may receive an Ohio diploma recognized by the Ohio DOE if: the student entered ninth grade before July 1, 2014 and received passing grades in the Ohio graduation tests. ORC §3313.614 (B)(3); or the student entered ninth grade after July 1, 2014 and is remediation free on each of the nationally standardized assessments in English, mathematics, and reading; received specified scores on the end-of-course examinations described in ORC §3301.0712; or attained a score that demonstrates workforce readiness and employability on a nationally recognized job skills assessment selected by the State Board of Education. ORC §3313.618.

Special Education: The Ohio DOE will consult with chartered nonpublic schools regarding the provision of sign language interpreters for the instruction of hearing-impaired children. ORC §3323.17.

Nursing and Health: State allocations paid to local school districts for chartered nonpublic schools may be used for 1) speech and hearing diagnostic services; 2) physician, nursing, dental, and optometric services; 3) diagnostic psychological services; 4) therapeutic psychological and speech and hearing services; and 5) guidance and counseling services. ORC §3317.06 (B), (C), (D), (E) and (F).

No school district shall provide health or remedial services to nonpublic school pupils unless the same services are available to pupils attending the public schools within the district. ORC §3317.06 (O).

Nonprofit private schools eligible to participate in food service programs should apply to the State Board of Education for assistance. ORC §3313.813.

Technology: State allocations paid to local school districts for chartered nonpublic schools may be used to purchase or lease secular, neutral, and nonideological computer software (including site-licensing), digital video on demand, wide area connectivity and related technology as it relates to Internet access, mathematics or science equipment and materials generally used in the public schools. ORC §3317.06 (K).

Each school district shall label materials, equipment, computer hardware or software, textbooks, and electronic textbooks purchased or leased for loan to a nonpublic school, acknowledging that they were purchased or leased with state funds, unless the district determines they are consumable in nature or have a value of less than $200. ORC §3317.06.

North Dakota

(As of April 9, 2014)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Day: Elementary and secondary schools must provide for a school calendar of at least 182 days, which include one hundred seventy-five full days of instruction, three holidays, two parent-teacher conference days, and two days for professional development activities (which may be substituted by required or optional attendance at the North Dakota education association instructional conference). N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-06-04 (sections 3 and 6).

Attendance at a nonpublic school exempts students between the ages of seven and 16 from public education if the nonpublic school provides a school year that is for the same length of time as the calendar length of the public school year. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-20-02(section 1).

State Approval: Mandatory. The superintendent of public instruction must approve all nonpublic schools offering elementary or secondary education. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-06-06.

For those nonpublic schools that are not in compliance with the requirements for approval and do not then receive a certificate of approval, the superintendent of public instruction is to notify those nonpublic school students’ parents that they may be in violation of the compulsory attendance requirements. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-06-06.1.

The superintendent of public instruction may not approve a school unless each teacher is licensed or approved to teach by the education standards and practices board; teacher is teaching courses only in fields in which he or she is licensed or for which he or she has received an exception under section 15.1-09-57; students are offered all subjects required by law; the school is in compliance with all local and state health, fire, and safety laws; and the school has conducted criminal history record checks on employees who have unsupervised contact with children. N.D. Cent. Code §§15.1-06-06 and 15.1-06-06.1.

The superintendent of public instruction may approve a nonpublic secondary school with enrollment of fifty students or fewer if the school provides courses in all subjects required by law, complies with statutes regarding the length of the school year, and meets all health, fire, and safety standards. Curricular programs offered by schools that deliver courses by telecommunications or other electronic means must be prepared by individuals holding at least baccalaureate degrees and delivered by those with a North Dakota professional teaching license or who at least meet the average cutoff scores of states that have normed the national teacher’s examination. The school must have at least one state-licensed high school teacher for each twenty-five students. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-06-07.

State Accreditation: Optional. The superintendent of public instruction may adopt rules governing the accreditation of nonpublic schools. Any rule adopted must include measures of student achievement and its improvement. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-02-11.

Licensing: No requirements. Licensing of nonpublic pre-schools and day cares is done through the North Dakota Department of Human Services.

Curriculum: To be approved by the superintendent of public instruction, each public and nonpublic elementary and middle school shall provide students instruction in the following: English language arts, including reading, composition, creative writing, English grammar, and spelling; mathematics; social studies, including the United States Constitution, United States history, geography, government, and North Dakota studies, with an emphasis on the geography, history, and agriculture of the state, in grades 4 and 8; science, including agriculture; physical education; health, including physiology, hygiene, disease control, and the nature and effects of alcohol, tobacco, and narcotics. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-21-01.

Course offerings for high school must include the following number of units of study: English language arts (four, including literature, composition and speech); mathematics (four, including one unit of algebra II and one unit for which algebra II is a prerequisite); science (four, including one of physical science and one of biology); social studies (four, including world history, United States history, and one unit of problems of democracy or one-half unit of United States government and one-half unit of economics); health (one-half), physical education (one-half each year, provided that once every four years the unit must be a concept-based personal fitness class that focuses on assessment, improvement, and maintenance); fine arts (two, including at least one in music); foreign or Native American language (two of the same language); advanced placement or dual-credit (one); and, career and technical education (two). Further, each public and nonpublic school must, at least once every two years, make available to each student one-half unit of North Dakota studies with an emphasis on the geography, history, and agriculture of the state. Each of the above-named units offered within a school’s curriculum must meet or exceed state content standards. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-21-02.

The minimum requirements for high school graduation are four units of English language arts, including literature, composition and speech; three units of mathematics; three units of science, including one of physical science and one of biology; three units of social studies, which may include combined half units of various topics; one unit of physical education, which may include a half unit of health; three units of a foreign or Native American language, fine arts, or career and technical education; and any five additional units. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-21-02.2.

Beginning in the 2012-13 school year, nonpublic schools must address the risks associated with adolescent sexual activity and the benefits of abstinence in the sexual health portion of the health curriculum. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-21-24.

Textbooks: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to textbooks for private schools.

Testing: Nonpublic school grade 11 students must take the ACT, including the writing test, or three WorkKeys assessments recommended by the career and technical education department and approved by the superintendent of instruction who is responsible for the cost of securing and then administering a student’s one summative assessment decided upon by the student. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-21-19.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is mandatory. Elementary school (grades 1–6 or 1–8) teachers must be licensed or approved to teach by the education standards and practices board and have a major in elementary education or its equivalent. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-18-07.

Middle school teachers (grades 5–8) must be licensed or approved to teach by the education standards and practices board and have a major in middle-level education with content in areas specific to the courses he or she is teaching or its equivalent. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-18-08.

High school teachers (grades 7–12) must be licensed or approved to teach by the education standards and practices board and have a major in the areas taught by the individual or its equivalent. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-18-09.

Transportation: Nonpublic school students may receive transportation to school on public school buses running on public school routes if authorized by the local school board, passenger room is available. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-30-15.

Health and Safety Requirements: Each nonpublic school must be inspected at least once every three years by the state fire marshal. The state fire marshal will prepare an inspection report and provide copies of the report to the administrator of the school and the superintendent of public instruction. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-06-10.

If a nonpublic school is found deficient in the fire marshal’s inspection report, the school administrator must submit a plan of correction to the state fire marshal or designee and remedy the deficiency within an acceptable time period. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-06-10.2.a.

Private school teachers, administrators, parents, and guardians are prohibited from permitting children with significant contagious or infectious diseases, or those residing in any house in which any such disease exists or has recently existed, to attend school until permitted to do so under the regulations of the local board of health. N.D. Cent. Code §23-07-16.

Plans and specifications for all new private school buildings and for additions and remodeling for existing school buildings must be submitted to and approved by the state fire marshal. N.D. Cent. Code §§18-12-03, 18-12-05.

Nonpublic schools may organize and supervise school safety patrols and appoint students to the safety patrol. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-19-11.

Nonpublic schools shall conduct fire, tornado, and other emergency or disaster drills, including lockdown drills. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-06-12.

If a nonpublic school runs or permits athletic programs in the state involving students who practice, train, or compete in, the school must follow the requirements of a concussion management program. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-18.2-04.

For a nonpublic school implementing a bullying policy, similar to that outlined for public schools in §15.1-19-8, and substantially obeying that policy, the school and its employees are immune from any liability that might be incurred as a result of a student having been a recipient of bullying. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-19-22.3.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to reimbursement for performing state and local functions.

Recordkeeping and Reports: The superintendent of public instruction is required by law to include information regarding the state’s approved nonpublic schools in the annual report submitted by the end of February to the governor, legislative council, and the secretary of state. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-02-09.

Students enrolled in nonpublic schools must be registered in their legal surname for all records regarding the students maintained by the school and in all communications requiring the use of a surname. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-19-01.

Each nonpublic school must submit data regarding school attendance to the superintendent of public instruction. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-20-03.1.

The school administrator for a nonpublic school must report to the superintendent of public instruction the number of 11th-grade students who took the ACT, including the writing test; the number who took the three WorkKeys assessments; and those that were exempted from these requirements along with the reason for each exemption. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-21-19.

The superintendent of public instruction may examine the records of any nonpublic school upon request. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-06-06.3.2.b.

Special Education: If there are no public schools in the state with the necessary facilities, school districts must contract with accredited, private, nonsectarian, nonprofit corporations within or outside the state or out-of-state public schools for the education of students with disabilities that are unable to attend public schools in the district because of their disability. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-32-15.

If a student’s individualized education program or services plan requires the provision of transportation services, the student’s school district of residence must provide it by any reasonably prudent means, including a regularly scheduled school bus, public transit, commercial transportation, chartered or other contracted transportation, and transportation provided by the student’s parent or other responsible party. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-32-16.

Nursing and Health: A nonpublic school may establish a program for providing medication to students. This program includes authorizing a teacher or classified staff member to provide a student with his or her medication once this teacher or staff member has been trained to do so. Written consent from a student’s parent or guardian must also be on hand. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-19-23.

Technology: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to technology for private schools.

Other: Any nonpublic school that sponsors or sanctions any athletic activity in the state and requires a participating student to practice or train and compete is subject to the terms of a concussion management program. Each nonpublic school official, coach, and individual having direct responsibility for students during practice, training, or competition must receive biennial training about the nature and risk of concussion. N.D. Cent. Code §15.1-18.2-04.

North Carolina

(As of January 28, 2013)

Registration: Mandatory. A new school must send to a duly authorized representative of the state of North Carolina a notice of intent to operate, name and address of the school, and name of the school’s owner and chief administrator. Similarly, a school that is closing must notify a duly authorized representative of the state of North Carolina upon termination of the school. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§115C-552, 553 and N.C. Gen. Stat. §115C-560, 561.

Length of School Year and Days: Attendance at a private church school or school of religious charter satisfies the compulsory school attendance requirements provided the school operates on a regular schedule, excluding reasonable holidays and vacations, during at least nine calendar months of the year. N.C. Gen. Stat. §115C-548.

Attendance at a qualified nonpublic school satisfies the compulsory school attendance requirements provided the school operates on a regular schedule, excluding reasonable holidays and vacations, during at least nine calendar months of the year. N.C. Gen. Stat. §115C-556.

To satisfy the compulsory attendance statute, attendance at an approved nonpublic school must be for a period equal to the time the local public school is in session. The state’s private school attendance statute defines that as “a school term of at least nine calendar months on a regular schedule excluding reasonable holidays and vacations.” North Carolina’s Division of Nonpublic Education, within the North Carolina Department of Administration, advises that the school term have at least 180 instructional days per year with typical school days of at least five and one-half hours in length and typical class periods of 50 minutes for grades nine through 12. N.C. Gen. Stat. §115C-378 and N.C. Gen. Stat. § 115C 548.

State Approval: Optional. Private church schools or schools of religious charter and qualifying nonpublic schools that comply with the provisions of N.C. Gen. Stat. §§115C-547 through 562 are not subject to any other educational provisions except requirements regarding fire, safety, sanitation, and immunization. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§115C-554, 562.

State Accreditation: Optional. Qualified nonpublic schools shall have one or more of the following characteristics: (1) accredited by the state board of education, (2) accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, (3) active members of the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools, and/or (4) schools that receive no funding from the state of North Carolina. N.C. Gen. Stat. §115C-555.

The state board of education ceased accrediting schools on June 30, 2000. All school accreditation is now done by accrediting organizations, which are independent of direct governmental control.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: There are no curriculum requirements for nonpublic schools; however, nationally standardized testing in certain subject areas is mandated. N.C. Gen. Stat. §115C- 549 and Gen. Stat. §115C-557.

Testing: Private church schools or schools of religious charter, and other qualified nonpublic schools, must administer a nationally standardized test to students in grades three, six, and nine at least once each school year. The test must measure achievement in English grammar, reading, spelling, and mathematics. The results of the test must be made available for one year after the testing for inspection by an authorized representative of the state of North Carolina. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§115C-549, 553, 557, 174.

Private church schools or schools of religious charter, and other qualified nonpublic schools, must administer a nationally standardized test to students in grade 11 to measure competencies in the verbal and quantitative areas. The school must establish a minimum score for graduation. Test results must be made available for one year after the testing for inspection by an authorized representative of the state of North Carolina. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§115C-550, 558, 174.

Nonpublic schools participating in the Opportunity Scholarship program must administer a nationally standardized test to all scholarship students enrolled in grades three or higher at least once a year. The test must measure performance in the areas of English grammar, reading, spelling, and mathematics, and scores must be reported to the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA) each year by July 15. Schools enrolling more than 25 scholarship students must report test performance data in the aggregate.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is not required of nonpublic schools. Nonpublic schools participating in the Opportunity Scholarship program must conduct a criminal background check for the staff member with the highest decision-making authority to make sure he or she has not been convicted of any crime.

Health and Safety Requirements: Private church schools or schools of religious charter and qualifying nonpublic schools are subject to the state requirements respecting fire, safety, sanitation, and immunization. N.C. Gen. Stat. §115C-554, 562.

No child may attend a K–12 private or religious school unless a certificate of immunization is presented to the school or the child has received a medical or religious exemption. If a certification of immunization is not presented on the first day of classes, the principal must present a notice of deficiency to the parent or guardian. The parent or guardian has 30 days from the first day of the child’s attendance in school to obtain the required immunizations and additional days if needed upon certification of a physician. Upon termination of the 30 days or the extended period, the principal shall not permit the child to attend the school unless the child has been immunized or has obtained the necessary exemption. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§130A-155, 156, 157.

Children entering kindergarten in private church schools, schools of religious charter, or qualified nonpublic schools are exempt from the state’s statutory requirement for health assessments. Note: Kindergarten students enrolled in approved nonpublic schools must receive a health assessment prior to admission. The assessment must include a medical history and physical examination with screening for vision and hearing, and if appropriate, testing for anemia and tuberculosis. N.C. Gen. Stat. §130A-440.

Private church schools or schools of religious charter and qualifying nonpublic schools are subject to reasonable fire, health, and safety inspections by state, county, and municipal authorities as required by law. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§115C-548, 554, 556, 562.

Private schools must conduct at least one fire drill every month during the regular school session in each building where children are assembled. The commissioner of insurance, the superintendent of public instruction, and the state board of education are under a duty to provide printed instructions for properly conducting fire drills. October 9 of every year is set aside as Fire Prevention Day. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§58-79-35.

Private schools must provide eye protective devices free of charge to students and teachers participating in shop or laboratory classes involving hazardous materials as defined by statute. Students and teachers are required to wear the devices at all times when participating in such a program. N.C. Gen. Stat. §115C-166.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Private church schools or schools of religious charter and qualifying nonpublic schools must make and maintain annual attendance and disease immunization records for each student. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§115C-548, 556.

Private church schools or schools of religious charter and qualifying nonpublic schools must make and maintain student nationally standardized test result records every year for each student enrolled in grades three, six, nine, and 11 for at least one year and make them available for annual inspection in the school’s office by the duly authorized representative of the state of North Carolina. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§115C-549, 550, 557 and 558.

Qualified nonpublic schools must send a notice of intent to operate, the name and address of the school, and the name of the school’s owner and chief administrator to the duly authorized representative of the state designated by the governor. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 115C-560(a), 561.

Qualified nonpublic schools that comply with the requirements under N.C. Gen. Stat. §115C-555 et seq., are not subject to any other educational provision except requirements respecting fire, safety, sanitation, and immunization. N.C. Gen. Stat. §115C-562.

Private church schools or schools of religious charter must send a notice of intent to operate, the name and address of the school, and the name of the school’s owner and chief administrator to the duly authorized representative of the state designated by the governor. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§115C-552(a), 553.

Private schools operated by any church or other organized religious group that complies with the requirements under N.C. Gen. Stat. §115C-547 et seq. are not subject to any other educational provision except requirements respecting fire, safety, sanitation, and immunization. N.C. Gen. Stat. §115C-554.

Special Education: A North Carolina local education agency may place a student requiring special education in a private school having a special education program approved by the state board of education without cost to the parents. The private schools must meet standards that apply to state and local education agencies and secure the rights the students would have if served by the state or local education agency. N.C. Gen. Stat. §115C-111.2.

Other: Nonpublic schools participating in the Opportunity Scholarship program must provide the NCSEAA with documentation for tuition and fees charged to the student, graduation rates of scholarship students, and must contract with a CPA to perform a financial review if they accept students who receive a collective total of more than $300,000 in scholarship grants.

New York

(As of October 6, 2015)

Registration: Optional. The commissioner of education governs the registration of nonpublic high schools. 8 Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (CRR-NY) §13.1.

Nonpublic schools are permitted to register. Only registered nonpublic high schools may issue diplomas and administer Regents Examinations. 8 CCR-NY 100.2(p).

A nonpublic school may be registered as a nursery school and/or kindergarten. Change in ownership nullifies the registration. 8 CCR-NY 125.10. Requirements for those schools are found in 8 CCR-NY Part 125.

Registration may be placed under review when students in a registered nonpublic school scores are below the criteria list in 8 CCR-NY 100.2(p)(13).

A nonpublic school must submit information and allow an on-site visit to the school by a staff member in the New York State Education Department’s Bureau of School Registration in order to register with the Board of Regents per New York State Education Department Manual for New Administrators of Nonpublic Schools, State Requirements and Programs.

Length of School Year and Day: Unless shorter instruction has been approved by school authorities as substantially equivalent in amount and quality, students attending nonpublic schools must attend for at least as many hours as required in public schools. In addition, permitted absences must follow the general rules and practices of the public schools. Absence for religious observances and education are permitted under rules established by the Commissioner. Holidays and vacations must not exceed the amount allowed by public schools. New York Education Law (N.Y. Edn. Law) §3210.2.

A full-time day school must be in session for not less than 190 days each year, inclusive of legal holidays during the term and exclusive of Saturdays. Accounting for the 10 state public holidays, schools must be session 180 days. N.Y. Edn. Law. §3204.4.

Nonpublic schools receiving state aid must have a minimum of 2.5 instructional hours for half-day kindergarten, five instructional hours for full-day kindergarten and grades 1–6, and 5.5 instructional hours for grades 7–12. 8 CCR-NY 175.5.

State Recognition: Optional. An entity seeking authorization or approval to operate a nonpublic school in New York State must incorporate in the following manner, depending on school type. A religious nonpublic school that is affiliated with a religious institution is considered incorporated under the auspices of the religious institution; a religious school that wishes to become independent may obtain a charter and have separate incorporation as an educational corporation, but this is not required. An independent school may be either not-for-profit or for-profit. An independent not-for-profit school must obtain a provisional charter from the Board of Regents, which serves as incorporation as an education corporation. An independent for-profit entity must incorporate with the New York State Department of State after being approved by the education department through a commissioner’s consent per New York State Education Department’s website.

State Accreditation: No requirements.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Instruction given to a minor elsewhere than in a public school must be substantially equivalent to the instruction given at the local public school. N.Y. Edn. Law §3204.2.

The course of study for the first eight years of public school must include arithmetic, reading, spelling, writing, the English language, geography, United States history, civics, hygiene, physical training, the history of New York state, and science. Beyond the first eight years, instruction must include the English language and its use, civics, hygiene, physical training, American history including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, and may include a course in communism and its methods and its destructive effects. N.Y. Edn. Law §3204.3.

English is the language of instruction, and textbooks used must be written in English, except for a limited time (3–6 years) for students with limited English proficiency. N.Y. Edn. Law §3204.2.

As part of health education, all schools must provide instruction to discourage the misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; and promote attitudes and behavior that enhance health, well-being, and human dignity. N.Y. Edn. Law §804.

Students may be excused from health and hygiene if it conflicts with their parent or guardian’s religion and is certified by a representative of their religion. N.Y. Edn. Law §3204.5.

Private schools offering instruction deemed substantially equivalent to public schools must offer courses of instruction in patriotism, citizenship, and human rights issues (with particular attention to the study of the inhumanity of genocide, slavery, and the Holocaust) for students over 8 years old, and instruction in the Constitution of the United States and New York and the Declaration of Independence for students in grades eight through 12. N.Y. Edn. Law §801.1, 2.

Similar physical education courses to those required of public schools shall be prescribed and maintained in private schools in the state, and all pupils in grades kindergarten through 12 shall attend such courses. 8 CCR-NY 135.4.

Private and parochial schools must provide instruction in fire and arson prevention as prescribed by the commissioner of education. Instruction must be given at least 45 minutes every month while school is in session. N.Y. Edn. Law §808.

Private schools offering instruction deemed substantially equivalent to public schools must offer instruction in highway safety and traffic regulations, including bicycle safety. N.Y. Edn. Law §806.1.

The New York State Theatre Institute offers guidance and consultation on arts and education programs in private elementary and secondary schools. New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law (N.Y. Arts & Cult. Aff. Law) §9.07.

A registered nonpublic school operating prekindergarten and/or kindergarten programs must adopt and implement curricula aligned with the state learning standards that provides continuity to the instruction of early elementary grades and through grade 12. Information on the standards to be included can be found in 8 CRR-NY 100.3.

Textbooks: Upon request, local school districts have the power and the duty to loan textbooks free of charge to children enrolled in nonpublic schools. Textbooks must be designated for use by public schools or approved by school authorities. School districts must loan textbooks to public and nonpublic schools on an equitable basis. N.Y. Edn. Law §701.3,4.

The loan of free textbooks to parochial schools does not violate the New York Constitution. Bd. of Education v. Allen, 228 N.E.2d 791 (1967).

School districts have the power and duty to loan school library materials to pupils attending private schools. The materials must be designated for use in any public elementary or secondary school of the state or approved by the board of education, trustees or other school authorities. N.Y. Edn. Law §712.

Testing: Students at a registered nonpublic high school are eligible to receive a Regents Diploma or a local diploma if they complete the curriculum described in 8 CCR-NY 100.5.

Alternative testing can be used for students determined by the committee on special education as having a handicapping condition or students whose native language is other than English, with restrictions concerning the Regents Competency Tests in reading and writing. Nonpublic schools must report the use of alternative testing procedures to the New York State Department of Education. 8 CCR-NY 100.2 (g).

A nonpublic school, not including a registered high school, will be placed under department review when the school scores below one or more of the review criteria discussed in 8 CCR-NY 100.2(p). These criteria include results of assessments. 8 CCR-NY 100.2 (z).

Teacher Certification: Instruction may only be given by a competent teacher. N.Y. Edn. Law §3204.2.

All professional instructional and supervisory personnel at private schools providing public placements for children with disabilities must be appropriately certified. 8 CCR-NY 200.7(b)(6).

Coaches of high school extra-class nonpublic school athletic activities must meet and stay current in training requirements in first aid and adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation. N.Y. Edn. Law §3001-c.

The department of education has established a teacher career recruitment clearinghouse, which provides nonpublic schools with (1) an applicant database; (2) information regarding financial assistance for students interested in careers in education or employment opportunities in education; and (3) information about certification and licensure requirements. N.Y. Edn. Law §3034.

Professional Development: No state policy currently exists.

Transportation: The New York Constitution allows the state legislature to provide transportation for students to and from private schools. New York Constitution Art. XI, Sec. 3.

Non-city school districts are required to provide transportation up to 15 miles, is provided for all children residing within the school district who are in need i.e. K–8 students residing more than two miles from school and those in grades 9–12 residing more than three miles from school. City school districts are not generally required to provide transportation; but if provided, transportation must be offered equally to all children in like circumstances. Transportation from centralized pickup points at public schools may be provided to pupils attending nonpublic schools under certain circumstances. Superintendents of cities in excess of one million, must notify nonpublic school officials who have requested transportation of the school calendar for the following year by June 1. N.Y. Edn. Law §3635.1.a-c; 2-a.

The commissioner of transportation has authority to regulate all motor vehicles transporting passengers to and from schools, for hire or owned and/or operated by any private school. N.Y. Transp. Law §140.2.a.(i).

Nonpublic school vehicle operators may apply for reimbursement of motor vehicle tax expended exclusively in educational related activities. N.Y. Tax Law §289-c.3.e.

Health and Safety Requirements: Students attending private schools must have certificates of immunization unless a physician certifies than the immunization is detrimental or if immunization is contrary to the genuine and sincere religious beliefs of the parents or guardians. School principals may not admit students in excess of 14 days who do not have a certificate. (The period may be extended to 30 days if plans for the immunization are in progress.) School principals have a duty to inform parents or guardians of the necessity of immunization and the availability of free immunizations through the local health officer. If students are excluded from school for lack of immunization, principals must notify the local health authority and the parents or guardians and provide an opportunity for immunization through the local health authority if the parent consents. New York Public Health Law (N.Y. Pub. Health Law) §2164.

Private school authorities may ask students to be examined for drug abuse and submit to a urine analysis upon written consent of the parents. N.Y. Edn. Law §912-a.

Private school administrators have a duty to train pupils to exit the building in a sudden emergency. Fire drills must be conducted at least 12 times each school year; eight of the drills must be held between September 1 and December 1; one-third of the drills should use fire escapes on buildings if provided; and at least one drill should instruct students how to leave the building during lunch period. With regard to boarding schools and summer programs, additional drills are prescribed in N.Y Edn. Law §807. An administrator failing to comply with this provision is guilty of a misdemeanor. N.Y. Edn. Law §807.

Private schools must submit the most current plan and specification of their school building to the local fire and law enforcement officials. N.Y. Edn. Law §408-b.

Administrators of private schools (i.e. those with a kindergarten with six or more pupils and establishments other than public schools with 25 or more pupils) must have the school buildings inspected annually for fire hazards. Inspections must be conducted prior to December 1, and a report must be filed with the state fire administrator on forms provided by the commissioner of education. The provision is inapplicable for school authorities in New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Yonkers. N.Y. Edn. Law §807-a.

Private schools located in areas with local fire departments unequipped with electronically operated fire alarm reporting systems may have their internal school firm alarms interconnected with the fire alarm reporting location or system. Installation and maintenance costs must be apportioned to the school authorities. N.Y. Edn. Law §807-c. Private schools having a central annunciator panel identifying activated alarms must locate the panel so it can be read without entering the building. N.Y. Edn. Law §807-d.

Private and parochial schools must have a pesticide notification procedure for staff and parents or guardians if pesticide application occurs on school grounds. If parents or guardians wish, they can register with the school to receive notification 48 hours prior to application. The schools must also provide the staff and parents or guardians an accounting of pesticide applications during the year within 10 days of the end of the school year and within two days of the end of winter and spring recess. N.Y. Edn. Law §409-h.

The commissioner of general services in consultation with others must establish and amend guidelines of what environmentally sensitive leaning and maintenance products should be used in elementary and secondary schools, including private and parochial schools. N.Y. Edn. Law §409-i.

The Division of Criminal Justice Services must disseminate a missing children’s bulletin to the state education department for public and private school use. The division will help the private schools develop education and prevention programs concerning child safety. N.Y. Exc. Law §837-f.

Administrators of private schools must arrange for every participant in shop or laboratory classes involving dangerous activities, as specified, to wear eye safety devices in accordance with state regulations. N.Y. Edn. Law §409-a.

Nonpublic school administrators must require that batboys and bat girls participating in baseball and softball competitions wear protective headgear when on the field and the game is in play. N.Y. Edn. Law §409-c.

New York State has a healthy and safe school environment grant available to nonpublic schools. N.Y. Edn. Law §549.

Nonpublic schools are permitted to have licensed registered professional health care personnel train unlicensed personnel to inject prescribed glucagon or epinephrine auto injectors in emergency situations, where an appropriately licensed health professional is not available, when there is written permission of a physician and written parental consent. N.Y. Edn. Law §921.

The commissioner must develop rules and regulations to require fingerprinting of prospective employees of nonpublic schools. The nonpublic schools that elect to fingerprint have the responsibility to inform the prospective employee of requirements for fingerprinting and a background check. N.Y. Edn. Law §305.30.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: The state commissioner of education annually apportions to qualifying schools (nonprofit, nonpublic schools providing instruction in accordance with N.Y. Edn. Law §3204) the actual cost incurred by each school for compliance with state requirements of the pupil evaluation program, basic educational data system, Regents Examinations, the statewide evaluation plan, uniform procedure for pupil attendance reporting and other similar state-prepared examinations and reporting procedures. 1974 N.Y. Laws, chapter 507, as amended by chapter 508. The current list of mandated actions that are eligible for reimbursement is found here.

Recordkeeping and Reports: The commissioner of education is under a statutory duty to establish procedures for a statewide system of assigning unique student identification numbers for all students in public and nonpublic schools for student tracking and state reporting purposes. N.Y. Edn. Law §305.22.

Teachers are required to keep an accurate record of attendance as prescribed by the commissioner of education. Principals must ensure attendance records are maintained and produced if requested by school authorities. The principal must notify school authorities in writing of any student transfers or discharges. Additionally, the nonpublic school must have a comprehensive attendance policy as elaborated in 8 CCR-NY 104.1 (i). 8 CCR-NY §104.1 and N.Y. Edn. Law §3211.

Boards of Cooperative Educational Services of New York State are authorized to enter into contracts with nonpublic schools to provide data processing service for pupil personnel records and other administrative records of the nonpublic schools. N.Y. Edn. Law §1950.4.h.4.

Nonpublic schools that are members of the University of the State of New York must complete verified reports as prescribed by the regents or the commissioner of Education. N.Y. Edn. Law §215. In addition, these schools must provide information to the regents for their annual report to the governor and the legislature concerning the schools of the state. N.Y. Edn. Law §215-a.

Nonpublic schools must maintain individual pupil records. If a nonpublic school discontinues operation, it must notify the commissioner and the chief school administrator in the district where the school is located. If the pupil academic records are not transferred to another school or agency, the nonpublic school that has discontinued its operation must transfer the records to the school district in which the school is located, and the chief school administrator will be responsible for permanently maintaining such records. 8 CCR-NY 104.2.

Nonpublic schools may make purchases, except of printed material, through the State Division of Standards and Purchase, Office of General Services. Boards of education may permit nonpublic schools to make purchases through the local school district provided administrative costs are paid by the nonpublic schools. N.Y. Gen. Mun. Law §109-a.

The commissioner of education is under a statutory duty to give timely notice to nonpublic schools of alternate sources of funding, including competitive grants. N.Y. Edn. Law §305.2.

Nonpublic schools must provide a comprehensive assessment report for the three school years prior to the reporting school year. The report must include student test data, student enrollment, data on diplomas and certificates, information on the number of students transferred to alternative high schools, high school equivalency preparation programs as described in 8 CCR-NY 100.7, and additional information the chief administrative office of the nonpublic school finds relevant or the commissioner requests. 8 CCR-NY 100.2 (m)(5).

Special Education: Upon a parent or guardian’s written request, nonpublic schools students may receive services for gifted pupils, occupational and vocational education, and education for students with disabling conditions and related services provided the instruction is given to public school students. Transportation is provided if the distance between the nonpublic school and the public school exceeds one-quarter mile, except students with disabilities receive transportation according to their needs. Students are considered dually enrolled for the purposes of receiving the services. N.Y. Edn. Law §3602-c.

School districts may provide students with disabilities special services or programs through contracts with private residential and nonresidential schools approved by the commissioner. N.Y. Edn. Law §4401.2 (e), (f), and (g).

All professional instructional and supervisory personnel at private schools providing public placements for children with disabilities must be appropriately certified. 8 CCR-NY 200.7(b)(6).

School boards must provide suitable transportation up to a distance of 50 miles to and from a nonpublic school which a child with disabilities attends to receive special education services. N.Y Edn. Law §4402.4 (d).

The state department of education has a duty to audit nonpublic schools receiving public money for services to children with disabilities. N.Y. Edn. Law §4403.5.

A nonpublic school may issue a high school individualized diploma to a pupil with a disability as defined in 8 CCR-NY 200.1(mm). 8 CCR-NY 100.9.

Nursing and Health: Upon request, local school districts must provide all health and welfare services and facilities that are available to public school students to students attending schools other than public ones. Services may include, but are not limited to, those performed by a physician, dentist, dental hygienist, nurse, school psychologist, social worker, or speech therapist; maintenance of health records; and emergency care programs for ill or injured pupils. N.Y. Edn. Law §912.

Private schools are eligible to apply to the office of mental health for education grants for the identification and treatment of adolescents who are at high risk for suicide. N.Y. Mental Hyg. Law §41.49.

Nonpublic secondary schools must have a guidance and counseling program for students in grades seven through 12. 8 CCR-NY 100.2 (j)(2).

In New York City, the department of education must provide at least one full-time nurse to a private primary or intermediate school with at least 200 students that submits a written request and has a suitable medical room. NYC Admin Code §17-187.

Technology: Upon request, local school districts will loan computer software to private school students free of charge. Software programs must be designated for use in any public school or approved by school authorities. 8 CCR-NY 752.

Upon request from an individual or group of individual nonpublic school students, local school districts must loan smart schools classroom technology free of charge. N.Y. Edn. Law §755.

Twenty-first century (public) schools cannot be exempted from the part of the state education regulation that requires teacher, staff, and parent participation and involvement; maintenance of effort; or equitable participation of students and staff in nonpublic schools. N.Y. Edn. Law §309-a.

The commissioner of education may approve applications from school districts and boards of cooperative educational services for funding for approved learning technology programs, including services benefiting nonpublic school students pursuant to §550 of Chapter 170 of the N.Y. Laws of 1994. 8 CCR-NY 144.8(a).

New Mexico

(As of July 2009)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Day: Persons subject to the Compulsory School Attendance Law must attend school for at least the length of time of the school year that is established in the school district in which the person is a resident. 22-12-2 NMSA 1978.

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: Optional. The Public Education Department has a duty to assess and evaluate private schools that desire state accreditation and to prescribe courses of instruction, graduation requirements and standards for private schools seeking state accreditation. 22-2-2 D, G. NMSA 1978.

Nonpublic schools that seek accreditation must be accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency that has been approved by the secretary of education. 22-2-2 NMSA 1978.

The State Department of Education is authorized to monitor the operation of a nonpublic school seeking and/or holding a Public Education Department accreditation. 22-2-2 NMSA 1978.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: The Public Education Department regulates minimum standards for approved driver-education and motorcycle driver-education courses. 22-13-12 NMSA 1978.

The Public Education Department‘s authority to approve courses of instruction in private schools does not extend to supervision, control or management over private schools. Santa Fe Community School v. State Bd. of Education, 518 P.2d 272 (N.M. 1974).

Textbooks: Students enrolled in an approved private school, grades 1–12, are entitled to the free use of instructional material. Under the state’s Instructional Material Law, private schools may select materials for the students’ use from the multiple list adopted by the Public Education Department. 22-15-1 through 22-15-14 NMSA 1978.

Testing: There is no state policy at this time.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is not required for private school teachers.

Professional Development: There is no state policy at this time.

Health and Safety Requirements: No person with a communicable disease in a transmissible state dangerous to the health of students may be employed in a private school. Private school employees, including bus drivers, must present upon employment a certificate from a licensed physician stating that the person is free from such communicable diseases. 22-10A-34C NMSA 1978.

Children attending private or parochial schools are required to be immunized according to rules and regulations promulgated by the Health Services Division, Health and Environment Department, unless exempt due to medical contraindications or religious beliefs. 24-5-1; 24-5-3 NMSA 1978.

The Health Services Division, Health and Environment Department, maintains a program to educate the general public, including private school students, on the nature and inheritance of sickle cell anemia. 24-3-1 NMSA 1978.

Private schools are required to conduct at least one fire drill each week during the first four weeks of the school year and at least once each month thereafter for the remainder of the school year. If a paid fire department is maintained in the area, a member of the department must be requested to be in attendance to give instruction and constructive criticism. 22-13-14 NMSA 1978.

The state fire marshal is required by statute to prescribe rules, regulations and programs, for teaching the proper methods of fire prevention and control to all school children. 59A-52-7 NMSA 1978.

It is a misdemeanor to willfully interfere with the educational process of any private school by an act that would disrupt the functioning of the school. 30-20-13 NMSA 1978.

Transportation: There is no state policy at this time.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time.

Recordkeeping and Reports: The Public Education Department is under a statutory duty to require periodic attendance reports from private schools on forms prescribed. 22-2-2I NMSA 1978.

The governing authority of a private school is responsible to initiate the enforcement of the compulsory school attendance law for its enrolled students. The private school must give written notice of noncompliance by certified mail or personal service on the parent or guardian. If violations continue after written notice, the student must be reported to the probation services office of the judicial district where the student resides for an investigation. 22-12-7 NMSA 1978.

The school superintendent of a private and parochial school must prepare a record showing the immunization status of every child enrolled in his or her school. The record must be current and available to the public health authorities. The superintendent must report the name of any parent or guardian neglecting to immunize his child to the director of the Health Services Division, Health and Environment Department. 24-5-4 NMSA 1978.

Special Education: Local school boards may publicly place exceptional children in private, nonsectarian, nonprofit educational training centers. Payment for education and services are made by the local board of education from funds available. Agreements between local school boards and private schools must provide for diagnoses and educational programs that meet state standards. 22-13-8 NMSA 1978.

Nursing and Health: The governing board of a private school may request family services on behalf of a family if a child is absent from school without an excuse for more than 10 days during a semester and the school submits an affidavit documenting the attempts to resolve the situation. Any person referring a family for family services is immune from civil or criminal liability unless the person acted in bad faith or with malicious purpose. 32A-3A-3D NMSA 1978.

Technology: There is no state policy at this time.

New Jersey

(As of July 2009)

Registration: No requirements, generally.

Length of School Year and Day: The New Jersey Department of Education does not regulate the length of school year for students attending nonpublic schools.

State Approval: No requirements, generally. New Jersey law places registration requirements on a limited category of private schools that are not operated by charitable institutions or religious denominations, i.e. for-profit nonsectarian private boarding schools established after 1920 and private schools charging tuition for certain vocational education. This limited category of schools must obtain a certificate of approval from the commissioner of education to legally operate within the state. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:69-1 et seq.

State Accreditation: No requirements.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: The Compulsory Education Law requires attendance at a public school or a day school in which there is given instruction equivalent to that provided in the public schools for children of similar grades and attainments. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:38-25.

Private schools must provide regular courses of instruction in the constitution of the United States from the 7th grade and through high school. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:6-3.

Private schools must provide regular courses of instruction in accident and fire prevention. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:6-2.

The Educational Services Commission may enter into contracts to provide educational services and programs to nonpublic schools. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:6-63.

The local boards of education have a duty to loan educational materials developed by the commissioner of education on the nature and effects of drugs, alcohol, anabolic steroids, tobacco and controlled dangerous substances to pupils attending nonpublic schools. N.J. Rev. Stat. §§18A:40A-5, 40A-17.

The New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education provides assistance and advice to private schools on the implementation of Holocaust education and awareness programs. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:4A-3.

The New Jersey Constitution makes games of chance legal for educational or religious organizations when the net proceeds are devoted to educational or religious uses. New Jersey Const. Art. 4, 7, par. 2A.

The Office of Financial Assistance prepares an annual report listing all sources of financial assistance available to New Jersey students attending any institution of higher education. The report is distributed to each private secondary school in the state. N.J. Rev. Stat. §§18A:3-14.1, 3-14.2.

Private school officials must provide a voter registration form and related nonpartisan materials to each eligible high school pupil in conjunction with the voter registration drive. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:36-27.

Private secondary school students are eligible to participate in the Legislative Internship Program operated in cooperation with the New Jersey Association of High School Councils.

A local education agency will establish information and resource centers that will provide the following services: a lending library of educational and instructional materials; preparation of media and materials for informational and instructional purposes; an educational information storage and retrieval system; special topic seminars and conferences; and consultant advice, information and expertise. To the extent permitted by law, the educational information and resource center shall also provide support and service to nonprofit, nonpublic schools. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:6-95.1.

Textbooks: “The New Jersey Nonpublic School Textbook Law requires the board of education in each public school district in New Jersey with state funds to purchase and loan textbooks, upon individual request, to all students attending a nonpublic school located in the public school district. The students are enrolled full-time in grades kindergarten through twelve in a nonpublic school in New Jersey that complies with compulsory school attendance requirements and with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A: 58-37.1.

To the extent permitted by law, the Educational Information and Resource Center provides support and services to nonprofit, nonpublic schools. The services provided by the center include: a lending library of educational and instructional materials; preparation of media and materials for informational and instructional purposes; an educational information storage and retrieval system; special topic seminars and conferences; and consultant advice, information and expertise. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:6-95.1.

Testing: There is no state policy at this time.

Teacher Certification: The New Jersey Department of Education does not regulate the certification of teachers in nonpublic schools.

Professional Development: By statute, nonprofit, nonpublic schools are represented by two members on the board of directors governing the Educational Information and Resource Center. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:6-97.

Private school educators are included in the steering committee for the Governor’s Teaching Scholars Loan Program. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:71-82.

Transportation: The New Jersey Constitution declares that the state legislature may, within reasonable limitations as to distance, provide student transportation (ages 5–18) to and from any school. New Jersey Constitution Art. 8, 4, Par. 3.

Pupils attending nonprofit nonpublic schools not more than 20 miles from their residence are entitled to transportation if the school district provides transportation for public school pupils. If the cost of the transportation exceeds a set amount ($675 in 1992–93), the allocation will be given to the parent or guardian toward the cost of the transportation. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:39-1.

The governing body of a nonpublic school may authorize personnel or parents to transport school children to related school activities in a private vehicle with a capacity of eight or less. The transportation will be exempt from all the additional requirements imposed on the transportation of pupils by school bus. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:39-20.1.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time.

Recordkeeping and Reports: “Private school” is defined under New Jersey’s education provisions as “a school, under college grade, which does not derive its support entirely or in part from public funds.” N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:1-1.

Private schools must report statistics relating to the conduct of the institution as required by the commissioner, annually on or before August 1. No private schools may be required to report expenses or finances; nor shall any such report prepared by the school be made public. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:6-4.

Parents of any minor who injure any public or nonpublic school property are liable for damages for the amount of injury. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:37-3.

Health and Safety Requirements: Private schools must insure compliance with the State Sanitary Code governing immunizations required for attending school. N.J. Rev. Stat. §26:1A-9.

A child is exempt from pertussis vaccine as a condition for admission to a private school if the child’s physician states in writing that the vaccine is medically contraindicated. N.J. Rev. Stat. §26:2N-4.

Private schools may close due to an epidemic. N.J. Rev. Stat. §26:4-5.

The administrator of a nonpublic school must develop a policy governing the emergency administration epinephrine via an auto-injector to a pupil for life threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. N.J. Rev. Stat. §§18A:40-12.5–12.6.

Schools of two or more rooms, or of one room located on a second floor, must have at least two fire drills each month. If provided, fire escapes must be part of the drill.

Teachers must keep all doors and exits of their rooms and buildings unlocked during the school hours. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:41-1.

Schools having furnace room, hallway, or stair-tower fire or smoke doors must keep them closed when the building is occupied. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:41-2.

Nonpublic schools may require applicants for positions involving regular contact with pupils to have a criminal history record check for information that would disqualify the individual for employment. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:6-4.13.

Substitute employees rehired annually at nonpublic schools that require a criminal history record check need only undergo a record check upon initial employment. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:6-4.17.

Any private school personnel who in good faith reports a person in an attempt to help cure his dependency on a controlled substance will not be liable for civil damages. N.J. Rev. Stat. §§2A:62A-4; 18A:40A-14.

School bus drivers used by private schools for transportation to and from school must submit to a medical exam for the presence of alcohol, narcotics or habit-producing drugs. N.J. Rev. Stat. §39:3-10.1a.

A municipality may authorize the chief executive officer to close any portion of a street within a block of a private school to resolve a safety problem for ingress and egress to the school or for the provision of recreational facilities for children attending the school. Closure must not exceed one hour between 7:30 and 10:00 A.M., two hours between 11:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. and one hour between 2:30 and 4:30 P.M. when school is in session. N.J. Rev. Stat. §40:67-16.7.

Employees of private schools are prohibited from inflicting corporal punishment upon a pupil attending school. However, employees may use reasonable and necessary force to quell a disturbance, threatening physical injury to others, to obtain weapons, for self-defense and for the protection of persons or property. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:6-1.

It is illegal for a municipality or county to discriminate between public and private nonprofit day schools of elementary or high school grade accredited by the State Department of Education by zoning ordinances governing the use of land. N.J. Rev. Stat. §40:55D-66.

Special Education: Local boards of education must provide for the identification of nonpublic school students, ages 5–21, who cannot be accommodated through the school facilities usually provided because of handicaps. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:46-6.

The examination and classification of nonpublic school children occurs in a location determined by the local board and approved by the commissioner. N.J. Rev. Stat. §§18A:46-8, 46-19.1.

New Jersey provides for the public placement of handicapped children in accredited nonpublic schools if a child study team determines: 1) that a suitable special education program cannot be provided otherwise; 2) the nonpublic school is the most appropriate placement for the child; 3) services are nonsectarian; 4) the school is not specifically approved for the education of handicapped pupils; and 5) the board of education places the child with the consent of the commissioner, or by a court order. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:46-14 and N.J. Admin. Code title 6A: 14-6.5, 4.2.

Tuition rates at private schools may not exceed the actual cost per pupil determined under rules prescribed by the commissioner and approved by the State Board of Education. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:46-21 and N.J. Admin. Code title 6A: 14-7.8.

Nonpublic school students requiring the services of a certified speech-language specialist are entitled to receive services through the local board of education.

Services require the consent of the parent or guardian and are provided in a location determined by the local school board, pursuant to the rules and regulations of the State Board. (Nonpublic schools are defined within this provision as schools offering K–12 education, fulfilling compulsory school attendance requirements, and complying with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.) If student transportation is necessary to receive services, the local board of education will provide the transportation. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:46-19.1 et seq.

Boards of Education may sell tracts of land no longer desirable for public school purposes to nonprofit private schools for the handicapped at the fair market price. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:20-9.2.

Nursing and Health: Local boards of education provide nursing services for pupils enrolled full-time in nonpublic schools. The services include, but are not limited to, medical examinations, dental screening, hearing examinations, and maintenance of student health records. In addition, the emergency care provided public school pupils is extended to nonpublic school students who are injured or become ill at school or during athletic activities.

Nonpublic schools may decline the nursing services by submitting written notification to the local board of education. Students are not compelled to receive services if their parent or guardian objects, except for a physical or medical examination to determine whether the pupil is ill or infected with a communicable disease. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:40-23 et seq and N.J. Admin. Code Title 6A 29-8(a).

Nonprofit nonpublic schools participating in the National School Lunch Program will be reimbursed with federal funds, and if insufficient for the cost, may be supplemented with state funds. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:58-7.1 et seq. (Nonpublic schools are defined within this provision as schools offering K–12 education, fulfilling compulsory school attendance requirements, and complying with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.)

Technology: The County Educational Audiovisual Commissions may contract with nonprofit private schools within the county to provide educational audiovisual aids to the private schools. N.J. Rev. Stat. §18A:51-6.

New Hampshire

(As of November 17, 2015)

Registration: Mandatory. Every sole proprietor doing business in the state under any name other than the sole proprietor’s own name, and every partnership, trust, or association doing business in the state shall register the trade name of such business, trust, or association in the manner provided in 349:5 and 349:6. New Hampshire Revised Statute Annotated (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann.) §349:1.

Length of School Year and Days: A nonpublic school must maintain a school year consisting of 450 hours for kindergarten students, 945 hours for students in grades 1–6, and 990 hours for students in grades 7–12. Each school must build in an additional 30 hours for time lost due to inclement weather or other circumstances. The commissioner pursuant to RSA 189:2 may reduce the required minimum hours of instruction due to extraordinary circumstances that would place an unreasonable burden on the school or students. New Hampshire Code of Administrative Rule Education (NH Code Admin. Rule Ed.) 401.03.

State Approval: Mandatory. Attendance at an approved private school fulfills the compulsory attendance requirements. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann §193:1.

The approval of private schools as a substitute for public school attendance is a reasonable exercise of the state’s power whereby it can be known by reasonable means that the required teaching is given. State v. Hoyt, 146 A. 170 (1929).

The board of education is charged with adopting rules relative to reasonable criteria for approving nonpublic schools for the purpose of compulsory attendance requirements as authorized by N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann §186:11, XXIX.

A nonpublic school must have some combination of grades K–12 and either (1) be approved for status of attendance and program as laid out in N.H. Code Admin. Rule Ed. 404 or (2) be approved for status of attendance as set forth in N.H. Code Admin. Rule Ed. 403. N.H. Code Admin. Rule Ed. 401.02.

State Accreditation: Optional. Schools accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges or an accrediting body approved by the nonpublic school advisory committee are designated as approved for attendance and program for five years. N.H. Code Admin. Rule Ed. 401.02(c) and 405.01.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Private schools must provide courses in the history, government, and constitutions of the United States and New Hampshire, including the organization and operation of New Hampshire municipal, county and state government, and of the federal government. The instruction must begin no later than eighth grade and continue in high school as an identifiable component of a year’s course in the history and government of the United States and New Hampshire. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann §189:11.

The English language must be used exclusively in private schools for instruction and general administration. Bilingual education programs are permitted with the approval of the board of education and the local school district. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann §189:19.

Devotional exercises in private schools may be conducted in a language other than English. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann §189:21.

The governing board of a private school must supply a United States flag, not less than five feet in length, with a flagstaff and appliances for display outdoors. Failure to comply is a violation. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann §189:17.

Textbooks: The school board of any school district may provide textbooks and instructional materials for pupils in nonpublic schools. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §189:49.

The secretary of state will provide one copy of the state’s annual legislative manual to every private secondary school library in the state without charge. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §20:5.

Testing: Private schools may contact the department of education to participate in the statewide assessment under the Statewide Education Improvement and Assessment Program. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann §193-C:6.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is not required for teachers at private schools.

Professional Development: No state policy pertaining to professional development currently exists.

Health and Safety Requirements: Nonpublic schools shall comply with applicable state, local, and federal fire and health requirements and shall provide documentation from federal, state, or local officials for such compliance. N.H. Code Admin. Rule Ed. 403.01(c).

“Within 2 years of the effective date of this section (eff. July 1, 2007), every public and nonpublic school shall develop a site-specific school emergency response plan which is based on and conforms to the Incident Command System and the National Incident Management System. The plan shall provide that at least 2 of the currently required number of fire evacuation drills shall be emergency response drills. The plan shall address hazards including but not limited to acts of violence, threats, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, structural fire, wildfire, internal and external hazardous materials releases, medical emergencies, and any other hazard deemed necessary by school officials and local emergency authorities. The first emergency response drill shall be conducted within one year of the completion of the plan.” N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann §189:64.

No child shall be admitted or enrolled in any private school unless the child is immunized as required, partially immunized relative to the age of the child, or exempt from immunization. A child is exempt if a physician certifies that the immunization may be detrimental to the child’s health or a parent or guardian signs a notarized statement that the child has not been immunized because of religious beliefs. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann §§141-c:20-a, c.

All children shall be examined prior to school entrance and periodically during the school years as often as deemed necessary by the local school authority. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann §§200:32, 200:38.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: An independent high school that contracts with a school district or districts to provide education services can be considered a “public academy” and maintained by the district. The public academy must (1) offer a curriculum including subjects determined by the contracting school districts and those listed in statute including “history, government, and constitutions of the United States and New Hampshire and of the organization and operation of New Hampshire municipal, county, and state government”; (2) follow standards of the state board of education; and (3) qualify a pupil to receive a diploma. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§194.22 and 194.23.

Recordkeeping and Reports: The governing body of every school district, city, joint maintenance agreement, chartered public school, or approved public academy, shall, on or before August 1 in each year, submit to the department of education those statistical reports necessary to compute the average daily membership of pupils attending each school district, and the average daily membership of pupils resident in each school district. Information relating to the fall enrollment, dropouts, staffing census, and average teacher salary, as of October 1 of each school year, shall be submitted to the department of education on or before October 15. Private schools shall submit average daily membership in attendance, fall enrollment, and teacher staff census. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann §189:28.

All elementary and secondary educational institutions, upon request of a private school or a school district as authorized by a parent, student, or former student, must furnish a student record to any elementary or secondary educational institution. There shall be no charge for any record furnished pursuant to this section. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann §194:31-a.

Special Education: No state or federal funds may be paid to a nonpublic school for the education and training of children with disabilities that have not been approved by the State Board of Education. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §198:20-a.

The New Hampshire legislature has authorized the school board of any school district to provide nonpublic schools the following special education services: 1) health and welfare services including speech correction and remedial and diagnostic services; 2) programs for the deaf, blind, emotionally disturbed, children with disabilities; and 3) programs for the improvement of the educational studies of pupils with disabilities. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §189:49.

Nursing and Health: The school board of any school district may provide the following child benefit services for pupils in nonpublic schools: school physician, nurse, and health services; school guidance and psychologist services; health and welfare services including speech correction and remedial and diagnostic services; programs for the deaf, blind, emotionally disturbed, children with disabilities and audio-visual aids and programs for the improvement of the educational studies of pupils with disabilities; physical education; and, a hot lunch program. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §189:49.

Technology: The school board of any school district may provide educational television services for pupils in nonpublic schools. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §189:49.

Nevada

(As of July 2009)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Day: A licensed private school must have a school year of at least 180 school days. NAC 394.215.

A licensed private school must have a school day in session consistent with the following minimum daily periods for each grade, including recess and time between activities, but not including the time allowed for lunch: 120 minutes for kindergarten; 240 minutes for grades 1–2; 300 minutes for grades 3–6; and 330 minutes grades 7–12. NAC 387.131.

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: Optional. Accreditation by national or regional accrediting agencies recognized by the United States Department of Education may be accepted as evidence of compliance with the minimum standards. NRS 394.241.

Licensing: Mandatory. Nevada defines license as “the written authorization of the Board or Commission to operate or to contract to operate a private elementary, secondary or postsecondary educational institution.” NRS 394.075.

Under the Private Elementary and Secondary Education Authorization Act, private schools must be licensed according to minimum criteria established by the Board of Education. The criteria must be sufficient to effectuate the purpose of the act but not unreasonably hinder legitimate educational innovation. The minimum standards ensure that the quality and content of instruction achieves the stated objective of the program; the school has adequate space, equipment, instructional materials and personnel to provide good quality education; the school complies with health and safety regulations; and, the institution is financially sound and capable of fulfilling its commitments. NRS 394.241.

Elementary and secondary educational institutions operated by churches, religious organizations and faith-based ministries may claim an exemption to the provisions of the Private Elementary and Secondary Education Authorization Act. Institutions claiming an exemption must file with the Board of Education the exemption on forms provided by the Department of Education or in a letter containing the required information. The exemption expires two years after the last day of the calendar month in which the filing is made. NRS 394.211.

In order to operate in the state of Nevada, private schools must apply to the superintendent on forms provided by the State Department of Education. The application must include a “catalog or brochure published or proposed to be published by the institution.” The State Board of Education grants a license it must include: the date of issuance, effective date and term of the license; the correct name and address of the institution licensed to operate; the authority for approval and conditions of operation; any limitations of the authorization, as considered necessary by the Board. License authorization may be given for a term of not more than four years. NRS 394.351.

A school must apply for license renewal at least 60 days before the expiration of a license. NRS 394.351.

When a private school applies for a license or a license renewal, the superintendent must inspect the school to ensure it “operates in accordance with the provisions of all laws, regulations and ordinances relating to the health and safety of persons on the premises,” “maintains the records required by the regulations of the Board relating to administrators, supervisors, instructors and other educational personnel,” and has the insurance coverage required by the State Board of Education. NRS 394.245.

License application fees are $300; renewal fees are $250. Schools applying for a license must file a surety bond for not less than $5,000 or a certificate of deposit for the same amount to provide indemnification for anyone suffering damage from the school resulting from a violation of the act. Documents of indebtedness for tuition payments are governed by state statute. NRS 394.351, 394.271.

The superintendent of public instruction maintains a list of private elementary and secondary schools authorized to operate in the state and investigates complaints brought against the schools. NRS 394.221, 394.231, 394.241, 394.271, 394.331, 394.351, 394.590.

Curriculum: Private schools must provide instruction for private school students in the subjects required by law for public school students, either under the prescribed regular state courses or through courses prepared by private schools and approved by the state board of education. Nothing in this section may be construed to interfere with the right of private schools to give religious instruction. NRS 394.130.

All private schools must provide instruction in the Constitution of the United States and the state of Nevada, including the origin and history, and the study of and devotion to American institutions and ideals. At least one year of instruction is required at the elementary level and high school level. Private school students may not receive a certificate or diploma without having passed an examination on the constitutions. NRS 394.150.

Textbooks: Licensed private schools must meet the minimum criteria established by the Board of Education with regards to the adoption of textbooks. NAC 390.040.

Testing: There is no state policy at this time. The Nevada Department of Education encourages private schools to participate in the state‘s testing program, particularly the High School Proficiency Exams. For additional information on the testing program, see NAC 389.048–398.083.

Teacher Certification: “The education and experience qualifications of directors, administrators, supervisors and instructors reasonably ensure that the students will receive education consistent with the objectives of the course or program of study.” This is a minimum standard that must be maintained by elementary and secondary educational institutions in Nevada. NRS 394.241(1)(c)

A full-time administrator in a licensed private school must: hold an administrator‘s license issued by the Department or by another state or territory of the United States; hold a bachelor‘s degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association that is approved by the United States Department of Education and have five years of verified experience in educational administration; or hold a master’s degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association that is approved by the United States Department of Education and have three years of verified experience in educational administration. NAC 394.050(1).

An instructor in a licensed private school must: hold a teacher‘s license issued by the Department or by another state or territory of the United States that is appropriate for his assignment; hold a bachelor‘s degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association that is approved by the United States Department of Education and have three years of verified full-time or supervised experience in teaching the appropriate grade level; or hold a master‘s degree in an area that is appropriate for his assignment from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association that is approved by the United States Department of Education and have one year of verified full-time or supervised experience in teaching the appropriate grade level. NAC 394.050(2).

Teachers responsible for giving instruction must show satisfactory evidence of the necessary knowledge of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the state of Nevada by examination or credentials. NRS 394.160.

Exempt private schools have no requirements for instructional personnel qualifications.

Professional Development: There is no state policy at this time.

Transportation: School districts with less than 100,000 in population who provide transportation for public school students may also provide transportation for resident students attending nonprofit private schools on established public school bus routes. NRS 392.300.

Private schools are subject to the Nevada laws regulating the condition, equipment and identification of vehicles used for pupil transportation. All vehicles are subject to inspection at all times. NRS 394.190.

Health and Safety Requirements: Students may not enroll in a private school without a certificate of immunization unless excused based on a religious belief or medical condition. Students may conditionally enter a private school if a parent or guardian submits a certificate that the child is currently receiving the required immunizations. Immunizations must be completed within 90 days or the child must be excluded from school until the immunization requirement has been met. NRS 394.192(1)–(4); 394.193.

If a dangerous contagious disease exists in a private school, a child excused from the immunization requirements must be immunized or excluded from school and the local health officer notified. NRS 394.198.

Private schools must conduct fire drills at least once each month during the school year to instruct students in proper procedures. Not more than three drills may include instruction in the procedures in the event of a chemical explosion, related emergencies and other natural disasters. The state fire marshal prescribes regulations governing fire drills. Copies of this section shall be kept posted in every classroom of every private school. NRS 394.170.

Each private school must establish a committee to develop a plan to be used by the school in responding to a crisis. The development committee must include at least one member of the governing body; at least one administrator of the school; at least one teacher of the school; at least one employee of the school who is not a teacher and who is not responsible for the administration of the school; at least one parent or legal guardian of a pupil who is enrolled in the school; and at least one representative of a local law enforcement agency in the county in which the school is located. NRS 394.1685.

The development committee must, at least once each year, review and update the crisis plan as appropriate and provide an updated copy of the plan to the governing body of the school. NRS 394.1691.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Private schools are required to furnish periodic reports of enrollment, attendance, and general progress within each school to the Superintendent of Public Instruction. NRS 394.130.

Private elementary and secondary schools may not permanently admit a student until the parent or guardian furnishes a birth certificate or other proof of the child’s identity, and if applicable, the student‘s prior school records. Children must be admitted to a school under the name appearing in the identifying documents, unless the parent or guardian furnishes a court order to the contrary or the child is in the custody of the welfare division. If the parent or guardian fails to furnish identifying documents within 30 days of conditional admission, the principal must notify the local law enforcement agency and request a determination whether the child has been reported missing. NRS 394.145.

Before December 31 of each year, private schools must report on a form provided the number of students fully immunized to the Health Division of the Department of Human Resources. NRS 394.192(5).

Private elementary and secondary educational institutions discontinuing operations must file original or true copies of all student academic records with the Superintendent of Public Instruction. NRS 394.341.

Special Education: Private schools that provide instruction to students with disabilities must create an education program for staff that provide services to the students with disabilities.

“The program of education must provide instruction in positive behavioral interventions and positive behavioral supports that: includes positive methods to modify the environment of pupils with disabilities to promote adaptive behavior and reduce the occurrence of inappropriate behavior; includes methods to teach skills to pupils with disabilities so that the pupils can replace inappropriate behavior with adaptive behavior; includes methods to enhance the independence and quality of life for pupils with disabilities; includes the use of the least intrusive methods to respond to and reinforce the behavior of pupils with disabilities; and offers a process for designing interventions based upon the pupil that are focused on promoting appropriate changes in behavior as well as enhancing the overall quality of life for the pupil.” NRS 394.372.

Nursing and Health: There is no state policy at this time.

Technology: Licensed private schools must meet the minimum criteria established by the Board of Education with regards to the Nevada State Educational Technology Plan.

Nebraska

(As of September 15, 2013)

In Nebraska, a nonpublic school must be (a) accredited; (b) approved; or (c) receive an exemption from the Commissioner of Education from the requirements for the operation of approved private schools.

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Day: Under Nebraska’s compulsory education statute, a school term (year) must be no less than 1,032 instructional hours for elementary school and 1,080 instructional hours for high school. Kindergarten‘s school term must be at least 400 clock hours. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-211; 92 Nebraska Administrative Code (NAC) 10 §003.06 and 14 §004.01.

State Approval: Mandatory. Approval is required unless a school chooses to operate under the provisions for exempt schools in 92 NAC 12 or 13. 92 NAC 14 §001.02.

The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) is authorized to establish rules and regulations regarding the governance and standards for private, denominational, and parochial schools which elect, pursuant to procedures prescribed in Nebraska Revised Statute §79-1601 (2) to (6), not to meet all state accreditation or approval requirements. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-318(5)(c).

Schools exempt from the approval and accreditation requirements are not considered either approved or accredited by the NDE and are not entitled to any of the benefits, privileges, or services accorded or provided to approved or accredited schools by  92 NAC 12 §001.02 and 13 §001.02.

State Accreditation: Optional. Approved private or parochial schools are eligible to apply for and maintain accreditation. Title 92, NAC, 10 §001.03.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Approved and accredited private, denominational, and parochial schools, K–5, must devote at least one hour per week to reciting stories of American history and American heroes, singing patriotic songs and memorization of the “Star Spangled Banner” and “America,” and the development of reverence for the flag and instruction in proper conduct in its presentation. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-724(3).

In at least two grades from grades 5–8, approved and accredited private, denominational, and parochial schools must devote at least three periods per week to the teaching of American history from approved textbooks, taught so as to make the course interesting and attractive and to develop a love of country. In at least two grades of every high school, three periods per week must be devoted to civics, including the constitutions of the United States and Nebraska; the benefits and advantages of our form of government; the dangers and fallacies of Nazism; communism, and similar ideologies; and the duties of citizenship. Appropriate patriotic exercises must be held for Lincoln’s birthday, Washington’s birthday, Flag Day, Memorial Day, and Veteran’s Day. Nebraska requires that all of these history courses stress the contributions of all ethnic groups to the growth of America, art, music, education, medicine, literature, science, politics, government, and war service. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-724(4)–(6).

Approved and accredited private schools must provide regular periods of instruction on fire dangers and fire prevention. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-706.

Approved and accredited private, parochial and denominational school teachers must give special emphasis in their instruction to common honesty, morality, courtesy, obedience to law, respect for the national flag, the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of Nebraska, respect for parents and the home, the dignity and necessity of honest labor, and other lessons which promote an upright and desirable citizenry. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-725.

Accredited and approved schools must have a core curriculum which includes language arts, social studies, science, mathematics, career and technical education, world language, visual and performing arts, and personal health and physical education. More detailed requirements depending on grades in the school are listed in 92 NAC, chapter 10 for accredited private schools and chapter 14 for approved private schools. 92 NAC 10 §002.05 and 14 §002.03.

Each accredited and approved four year high school shall require at least 200 credit hours for graduation, with 80 percent being from the core curriculum. 92 NAC 10 §003.05 and 14 §004.01D.

Accredited nonpublic high schools may provide up to 200 instructional units of the total 400 requirement through the following course options: (1) synchronous multi-site or distance learning; (2) instructional units provided through contractual or cooperative arrangements with other school systems, educational service units, and/or postsecondary institutions provided at the school’s expense; or (3) asynchronous multi-site or distance learning. For the instructional units to count, at least one student must be enrolled, a certified teacher must monitor or teach, and the course must be listed on the course schedule. 92 NAC 10 §004.04D.

Approved nonpublic high schools may provide up to 100 instructional units of the total 200 required through the following course options: (1) instructional units provided through contractual or cooperative arrangements with other school systems, educational service units, and/or postsecondary institutions; (2) distance learning can represent up to 60 instructional units; or (3) correspondence courses available through Independent Study High School, University of Nebraska-Lincoln can account for 30 instructional units. For any instructional unit to count, at least one student must be enrolled, a certified teacher must be monitor or teach, and the course must be listed on the course schedule. 92 NAC 14 §007.01A.

Prior to the date that an exempt school begins operation, each representative must submit a chart or written summary showing the scope and sequence of the sequential program of instruction designed to lead to basic skills in the language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and health to the Commissioner of Education. 92 NAC 12 §004 and 13 §004.

Instruction must be given in the English language in private, denominational and parochial schools. Nebraska Constitution Art. I, Sec. 27.

Textbooks: Public school Boards of Education have a duty to loan textbooks, upon request, to children attending K–12 private schools approved for legal operation under Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-318(5)(c) when funds are specifically appropriated by the state legislature. The textbooks must be designated for use in the public schools and loaned to students free of charge. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-734.

An approved private elementary school must have at least one set of encyclopedias which has a copyright date within six years of the current school year. Each approved private secondary school has two sets of encyclopedia from different publishers with copyright dates from within the past five years. Required encyclopedia may be in print or electronic format. 92 NAC 14 §004.02D.

Testing: Accredited private schools are required to administer a standardized norm-referenced test in at least one grade in each of the following three levels: grades 4–6, grades 7–9, and grades 10–12. Each school must submit a written performance report annually.  92 NAC 10 §005.01B–005.02.

Approved nonpublic schools are required to administer a standardized norm-referenced assessment instrument in at least one grade in each of the following three levels: grades 4–6, grades 7–9, and grades 10–12. Each school must submit a written performance report including school demographics annually. Also at least once every three years, each approved private high school must conduct a follow-up study of its graduates. 92 NAC 14 §004.02E.

Teacher Certification: Private, denominational, and parochial school teachers in accredited and approved schools must hold a valid Nebraska certificate or permit issued by the commissioner of education. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-802.

Administrators in accredited nonpublic schools and approved private schools that are composed of K–12, or each secondary school with grades 10–12 or high school, must have a Nebraska administrative certificate. Approved nonpublic schools may share an area or diocesan head administrator. 92 NAC 10 §003.01 and 14 §004.02C.

Employees of schools electing not to be accredited or approved (exempt schools) need not be certified, but must complete appropriate subject matter components of a nationally recognized teacher competency examination or offer evidence of competence through informal methods of evaluation developed by the state board of education. These methods are described in the regulations 92 NAC 12 §004.02 and 13 §004.02. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-1601(5).

In an accredited nonpublic school, the ratio of pupils to certified staff members as computed on a full-time equivalency shall not exceed 25 to 1. 92 NAC 10 §012.01C.

Accredited nonpublic schools must have a principal who holds a Nebraska administrative supervisory certificate with an endorsement for serving as principal for the appropriate level of grades or for superintendent. The principal is assigned at least one-half of his/her working hours for administration and supervision when there are 10 or more full-time equivalency teachers; and full-time when there are 20 or more. For each accredited private school having grades 10–12, the head administrator must have the endorsement for serving as a superintendent. Nonpublic school systems may share an area or diocesan head administrator. 92 NAC 10 §008.

In accredited nonpublic schools with elementary grades, a minimum of 95 percent of teachers, computed on a full-time equivalency basis, must hold certificates with the appropriate endorsements for the area to which they are assigned. Those with the middle grades must have, computed on a full-time equivalency, at least 90 percent of teachers holding either a middle grades endorsement or an appropriate secondary endorsement; those with an elementary endorsement may teach in grades seven and eight if they acquire six credit hours per year toward the middle grades endorsement or participate in staff development; and those with a content area endorsement at the secondary level may teach grade six in that content area if they acquire six credit hours per year toward the elementary or middle grades endorsement. In a secondary school, at least 80 percent of the instructional units offered must be assigned to teachers who have certificates with the appropriate endorsements. 92 NAC 10 §007.

Accredited K–12 or secondary nonpublic schools and schools with 300 or more students in the middle, secondary, or high school grades must have at least one-half time equivalency person to conduct a guidance and counseling program. If there are over 400 students in the K–12 or secondary school there must be at least one full-time equivalency appropriately endorsed person. If there are 450 or more students in the middle, secondary, or high school grades there must be at least one full-time equivalency appropriately endorsed person. An additional one-half time equivalent of an appropriately endorsed person is assigned for each 225 students at any of those levels. In nonpublic schools, clergy holding a Nebraska teaching or administrative certificate may fulfil the requirement. Other exceptions are listed in the section. 92 NAC 10 §007.05

In an approved nonpublic school, the ratio of pupils to certified staff members, as computed on a full-time equivalency basis, shall not exceed 30 to 1. 92 NAC 14 §004.02C4.

Approved nonpublic elementary schools having more than one and less than 10 full-time equivalency teachers must have a principal or designate one teacher as head teacher. The head teacher holds at least a Nebraska initial, standard, or professional teaching certificate issued with an appropriate endorsement for elementary education. The principal must hold a Nebraska standard or professional administrative certificate issued with an endorsement for principal or superintendent. When the number of full-time equivalency teachers reaches 10 or more, a principal holding a Nebraska standard or professional administrative certificate with an endorsement for principal or superintendent must be assigned at least one-half time for administration and supervision. Two or more schools may jointly contract with a person holding a Nebraska standard or professional administrative certificate with an endorsement for principal or superintendent. 92 NAC 14 §§005.02B, 005.02C, 006.02B, and 006.02C.

In approved nonpublic schools with elementary grades, a minimum of 90 percent of teachers, computed on a full-time equivalency basis, must hold certificates with the appropriate endorsements for the areas to which they are assigned. Those with middle grades must have, computed on a full-time equivalency, at least 80 percent of teachers holding either a middle grades endorsement or an appropriate secondary endorsement; those with an elementary endorsement may teach in grades seven and eight if they acquire six credit hours per year toward the middle grades endorsement or participate in staff development; and those with a content area endorsement at the secondary level may teach grade six in that content area if they acquire six credit hours per year toward the elementary or middle grades endorsement. In a secondary school, at least 70 percent of the instructional units offered must be assigned to teachers who have certificates with the appropriate endorsements. 92 NAC 10 §§006-007.

Professional Development: Accredited nonpublic school systems must annually conduct or arrange staff development sessions. Each teacher must participate in at least 10 hours of staff development activities each year. 92 NAC 10 §007.07A.

Approved nonpublic school teachers must participate in at least 10 hours of staff development activities each year. 92 NAC 14 §004.02C5.

Transportation: School boards providing transportation for children attending public schools must also provide transportation on the regular public school bus routes without cost for children attending nonprofit private schools within the district that are approved for legal operation under Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-318(5)(c). The transportation shall extend only from some point on the regular public school route nearest or most easily accessible to their homes to and from a point on the regular public school route nearest or most easily accessible to the school or schools attended by such children. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-601.(The Nebraska Supreme Court determined that Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-487, the source of Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-601, does not violate the constitution of Nebraska. State ex rel. Bouc v. School Dist. of City of Lincoln, 320 N.W.2d 472 (1982).)

Nonprofit private schools must certify to the public school district the names, addresses, days of school attendance, and other useful information, on forms provided by the State Department of Education. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-601.

Nonpublic schools must have transportation vehicles inspected by a motor vehicle mechanic before school opens in the fall and every 80 days during the school year. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-602.

Health and Safety Requirements: Each private, denominational, or parochial school, (including exempt schools that are not exempt for religious reasons) shall require each student to be immunized against measles, mumps, rubella, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus prior to enrollment. On and after July 1, 2010, every student entering the seventh grade shall have a booster immunization containing diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and an acellular pertussis vaccine. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-217 and 92 NAC 12 §013.

Exceptions to the immunization requirement can be found in Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-221 through 222, and 92 NAC 12 §013.

The second Friday of May is designated as State Fire Day to be observed by approved and accredited private and parochial schools to create awareness of fire damage. e§79-705.

Approved and accredited private, denominational and parochial schools must provide monthly fire drills. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-706.

Approved and accredited private schools must conduct regular fire drills in accordance with adopted regulations and keep all doors and exits unlocked during school hours. Neb. Rev. Stat. §81-527.

Accredited schools must maintain safe, orderly, and healthy conditions, both in the school facilities and general environment. This includes a safety and security plan and committee, a policy on bullying, and a policy on dating violence that includes a statement that dating violence will not be tolerated. 92 NAC 10 §011.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Private schools must notify in writing persons enrolling new students that within 30 days they must provide (a) a certified copy of the student’s birth certificate or (b) other reliable proof of the student’s identity and age with an affidavit explaining why the birth certificate is inaccessible. Exempt schools (homeschools) provide the commissioner of education this same documentation. Neb. Rev. Stat. §43-2007(2)(3).

On the third day of classes, in private, denominational, and parochial schools, the teachers shall send to the superintendents or administrator of the school a list of the pupils enrolled in his or her school with the age, grade and address of each. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-205.

Private, denominational, and parochial school teachers must keep a record of (1) the name, age, and address of each child enrolled, (2) the number and county of the school district, (3) the number of days present and absent, and (4) the cause of absence. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-205.

The head administrator of approved or accredited nonpublic schools must report the number of students who dropped out, were suspended, or excluded from school to the commissioner of education annually. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-527.

Student records must be provided at no charge to any public or private school, upon request, when the student transfers. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-2,105.

When notified that a student currently or previously enrolled is a missing person, private schools must flag the student’s records and report immediately any request for the records or knowledge of the person’s whereabouts to the local law enforcement agency. Schools must not forward a copy of the student’s flagged record to a requesting school. Neb. Rev. Stat. §43-2007.

Nonpublic schools shall have a school record that is signed by the teacher and principal of the school which such child has attended and shall be furnished on demand to a child entitled thereto. It shall contain a statement certifying that the child has regularly attended the public school, or school’s equivalent, or parochial school for no less than three-fourths of the school year prior to applying for such school record, and is able to read and write simple sentences in the English language. It shall also state the amount of work completed by such child, measured by the grade of the public day schools in the city or county. Such school record shall also give the age and residence of the child as shown on the records of the school, and the name of his/her parent, guardian, or custodian. Neb. Rev. Stat. §48-306.

The head administrator of an accredited nonpublic school or the head administrator, or head teacher, or presiding officer of the governing body of each approved nonpublic school must submit electronically, via the Nebraska Student and Staff Record System (NSSRS) portal, the following: by Sept. 15 of each school year, a fall personnel report, with additions of certified staff after that date being reported to the department; by the last day of February of each school year, a curriculum report; data elements with individual student demographics, including race, poverty status, high mobility status, attendance, and limited English proficiency; individual student achievement including data for assessments; and individual educational input characteristics including class size, teacher education, teacher experience, special education, early childhood programs, federal programs, and targeted education programs. These must be submitted by June 30 of each school year for the accredited nonpublic school. 92 NAC 10 §003.08 and §005.02 and 14 §004.01G.

Approved nonpublic schools must annually prepare a written report, which includes, at minimum, student performance and student demographics. No public reports of students’ performance are provided for any grades having fewer than five students. 92 NAC 14 §004.02E2.

The parent representative of each exempt school must file a statement annually, by July 15, containing names and ages of all children in the school and the names of their parents or guardians and assurances regarding submission of information on enrollment and attendance, signed in the presence of and acknowledge by a notary public upon oath or affirmation. This statement must be accompanied by a parent or guardian’s statement signed by each parent of all children who attend the exempt school. 92 NAC 12 §003.02A and 13 §003.02A.

The parent representative of each exempt school must submit an information summary to the commissioner or designee prior to the date that the exempt school begins operation, and annually thereafter July 15, that includes: (1) a calendar of the school year indicating the hours of operation; (2)a list of all instructional monitors including their address, age, highest level of education complete, educational institutions attended and years of attendance, and a summary of prior teaching or monitoring experience; (3) a chart or written summary showing the scope and sequence of the curriculum; and (4) the names of the residential public school district and counties of the students. 92 NAC 12 §004 and 13 §004.

A copy of the certificate or permit of each staff member of an approved private school who is required to have a certificate must be on file in the school or school system’s administrative office. 92 NAC 14 §004.02C3.

Special Education: School districts are permitted to contract with private institutions for the education of disabled students (Nebraska Constitution Art. VII, Sec. 11) provided that the referral meets the regulatory requirements of NDE as provided in 92 NAC 51 §015.

Nursing and Health: Private schools may request assistance, including vaccines, serums, services and guidance, from the Department of Health in establishing immunization clinics. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-218.

An approved or accredited private, denominational, or parochial school shall allow a student with asthma or anaphylaxis to self-manage his or her asthma or anaphylaxis condition upon written request of the student’s parent or guardian and authorization of the student’s physician, upon receipt of a signed statement and pursuant to an asthma or anaphylaxis medical management plan. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-224.

An approved or accredited private, denominational, or parochial school shall allow a student with diabetes to self-manage his or her diabetic condition upon written request of the student’s parent or guardian and authorization of the student’s physician, upon receipt of a signed statement and pursuant to a diabetes medical management plan. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-225.

Private schools may request materials for a comprehensive health education course prepared by the commissioner of education. Neb. Rev. Stat. §79-713.

Technology: Accredited and approved nonpublic elementary schools are required a minimum of 25 new library media resources in print format, not including textbooks and encyclopedias, of different titles, per teacher, per year, of up to 150 titles in one year. For accredited private schools, 75 of the new titles must be in print format if the library media resources are also available through electronic format. For the approved private schools, 100 of the new titles must be in print format if the library media resources are also available through electronic format. 92 NAC 10 §006.01B and 14 §004.02D2.

In accredited nonpublic schools, technology staff and services must be available locally or in collaboration with other agencies to provide support, maintenance, consultation, and training for meaningful use of technology resources. 92 NAC 10 §007.04

Montana

(As of June 5, 2013)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Days: Attendance at a nonpublic school exempts a student from public education if the nonpublic school provides at least the minimum aggregate hours of pupil instruction in accordance with. Mont. Code Ann. §§20-1-301, 20-1-302 and 20-5-109(2).

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: Optional. Nonpublic schools may be accredited upon request to the superintendent of public instruction in the same manner as public schools. Mont. Code Ann. §20-7-101.

The three categories of accreditation are: regular accreditation, accreditation with advice, and deficiency accreditation. “Nonaccredited status means that a school on deficiency status fails to meet the requirements of intensive assistance and is out of compliance with the Board of Public Education standards of accreditation.” Administrative Rules of Montana 10.55.605, established by the Montana Board of Public Education as authorized by Mont. Code Ann. §20-7-101.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Attendance at a nonpublic school exempts a student from public education if the nonpublic school provides “an organized course of study that includes instruction in the subjects required of public schools as a basic instructional program pursuant to 20-7-111. Mont. Code Ann. §20-5-109(4).

Accredited schools must comply with specified class size requirements in accordance with Administrative Rules of Montana10.55.712, established by the Montana Board of Public Education as authorized by Mont. Code Ann. §20-7-101.

Accredited schools must meet the Content and Performance Standards in the Administrative Rules of Montana 10.54.2501, established by the Montana Board of Public Education as authorized by Mont. Code Ann. §20-7-101.

Private accredited schools’ curricula must be reviewed every five years at the local level in accordance with the Administrative Rules of Montana 10.55.603(4)(b).

“The content and performance standards shall be used by school districts to develop local curriculum and assessment in all the content areas including: communication arts (reading, literature, writing, speaking and listening, and media literacy); arts; health enhancement; library media; mathematics; science; social studies; technology; world languages; workplace competencies; and career and vocational/technical education. The K–12 content standards describe what students shall know, understand and be able to do in these content areas. Progress toward meeting these standards is measured at three points along that continuum: the end of grade 4, the end of grade 8, and upon graduation. Performance standards define the quality of student performance and describe the performance to be demonstrated. Performance level descriptions provide a picture or profile of student achievement at the four performance levels: advanced, proficient, nearing proficiency, and novice.” Administrative Rules of Montana 10.54.2501(1).

Textbooks: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to textbooks for private schools.

Testing: All accredited schools must annually administer state-level assessments approved by the state board. Each spring the office of public instruction will identify a testing period when students must participate in state level assessments. Two implementation phases shall be followed. “Phase 1 – school years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, the assessments shall be: (A) aligned to Montana content standards; (B) administered to grades 3–8 and 10 in math and reading; (C) administered to grades 4, 8, and 10 in science; and (D) administered in the spring of the year. Phase 2 – beginning in school year 2014–2015, the assessments shall be: (A) aligned to Montana common core standards; (B) administered to grades 3–8 and 11 in math and English language arts; and (C) aligned to Montana content standards for science and administered in grades 4, 8, and 10.” Mid-school year assessments will be administered to all students identified as Limited English Proficient (LEP) in grades K–12. All results of the state-level assessments must be provided to the office of public instruction and school districts in a format specified by the office of public instruction and approved by the board of public education. Administrative Rules of Montana 10.56.101.

Teacher Certification: A Montana educator license is required for all administrators, specialists, and instructors working in an accredited Montana school.

Professional Development: Teachers and specialists serving accredited schools must annually complete a minimum of three pupil instruction related (PIR) days of professional development. Administrative Rules of Montana 10.55.714 (2), established by Montana Board of Public Education as authorized by Mont. Code Ann. §20-7-101.

Transportation: Nonpublic school students may ride a public school bus if there is seating capacity available and the child secures a permit from the local school district. The school district may charge the child his or her proportionate share of the cost of operating the school bus. Mont. Code Ann. §20-10-123.

School children traveling to and from parochial schools may receive free transportation or reduced rates from common carriers. Mont. Code Ann. §69-11-208(1)(o).

Health and Safety Requirements: The governing authority of any school may not allow any person to attend unless the person has been immunized (see Code for specific immunizations required) and qualifies for conditional attendance because he has begun the immunization process, or files for an exemption. If a student transfers to another school district, the sending school must forward the original immunization records to the new school district. Mont. Code Ann. §20-5-403.

Students are exempt from immunization requirements if they file a notarized affidavit claiming a religious exemption or a written statement by a physician that immunization is unsafe on medical grounds. The statements must be maintained in the student’s immunization records. Mont. Code Ann. §20-5-405.

The Department of Public Health and Human services is responsible for making public health inspections of schoolhouses. Mont. Code Ann. §50-1-203.

Attendance at a nonpublic school exempts a student from public education if the nonpublic school is housed in a building that complies with applicable local health and safety regulations. Mont. Code Ann. §20-5-109(3).

Private school buildings used for housing or instructing students may not be built, enlarged, or remodeled until the plans have been approved by the department of labor and industry or a municipality or county with a building code. Mont. Code Ann.§20-6-622.

Schools must conduct at least eight disaster drills each year. “At least four of the drills must be fire exit drills. Drills must be held at different hours of the day or evening.” “A board of trustees shall identify local hazards that exist within the boundaries of its school district and design drills to address those hazards.” “The recall signal must be separate and distinct from any other signal.” Mont. Code Ann. §§20-1-401, §20-1-402 and §20-1-404.

The sale of dangerous drugs on or within 1,000 feet of a private elementary or secondary school is a criminal offense under Montana’s criminal code. Mont. Code Ann. §45-9-109.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to reimbursement for performing state and local functions in private schools.

Recordkeeping and Reports: To qualify its students for exemption from compulsory enrollment under §20-5-102, a nonpublic or home school shall maintain records on pupil attendance and disease immunization and make the records available to the county superintendent on request. Mont. Code Ann. §20-5-109(1). Each accredited school must keep, in secure storage, a permanent record for each student. This file must include: “(a) the name and address of the student; (b) his/her parent or guardian; (c) birth date; (d) academic work completed; (e) level of achievement (grades, standardized achievement tests); (f) immunization records as per §20-5-406, MCA; (g) attendance data; and (h) the statewide student identifier assigned by the Office of Public Instruction.”

If a school closes, all records are to be sent to the local county superintendent. Administrative Rules of Montana 10.55.909, established by Montana Board of Public Education as authorized by Mont. Code Ann. §20-7-101.

Special Education: To the maximum extent possible, children with disabilities in private institutions must be educated with children who do not have disabilities. Mont. Code Ann. §20-7-411.

Nursing and Health: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to nursing and health for private schools.

Technology: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to technology in private schools.

Missouri

(As of April 23, 2013)

Registration: Limited to those nonpublic schools that participate in federal and state grant programs.

Length of School Year and Day: Students in Missouri have the opportunity to enroll at public, private, parochial, parish, and home schools or a combination of the above. State law requires compulsory school attendance between the ages of seven years and the compulsory attendance age for a given school district. Mo. Rev. Stat. §167.031.

Missouri state law does not specify a required length of school year or days for private schools. For comparison, the public school minimum school day consists of three hours for schools with a five-day school week or four hours for schools with a four-day school week in which the students are under the guidance and direction of teachers. The first day of July through the thirtieth day of June of the following year defines the school year period. Mo. Rev. Stat. §160.041.1.

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: No requirements.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Private schools, except privately operated trade schools, must provide courses of instruction in the constitutions of the United States and of Missouri and in American history and institutions. Instruction must begin no later than the seventh grade and continue in high school to the extent determined by the commissioner of education. No pupil can receive a certificate of graduation from any private school, except private trade schools, without satisfactorily passing an examination on these subjects. The commissioner will prescribe a list of suitable texts. These provisions do not apply to foreign exchange students. Mo. Rev. Stat. §170.011.

There is no specific state policy regarding other course content at this time for private schools.

The chief school officer of a nonpublic school has a duty to provide students information on available financial assistance for postsecondary education. The commissioner of higher education will provide nonpublic schools and their pupils with relevant information. Mo. Rev. Stat. §167.278.

Textbooks: Materials, supplies, or equipment, paid for with public funds, may not be provided to nonpublic schools. The provision of textbooks to teachers in private schools violates the Missouri Constitution. Paster v. Tussey, 512 S.W. 2d.97 (Mo. 1974).

Testing: Missouri state law does not require general testing of nonpublic school students.

Any student (public, nonpublic, or homeschooled) enrolled in a Missouri Virtual Instructional Program (MoVIP) course must take part in the Missouri Assessment Program through MoVIP. Mo. Rev. Stat. §161.670.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is not required by Missouri state statute for teachers in nonpublic schools. Nonpublic school teachers that hold state certification are subject to discipline by the State Board of Education for misconduct under Mo. Rev. Stat.§168.071.

The State Board of Education may refuse to issue or revoke a nonpublic school teacher’s certificate upon conviction of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude. Mo. Rev. Stat. §168.071(2).

Professional Development: There is no state policy at this time.

Transportation: Transportation is not provided for students attending private schools. The provision of transportation to parochial school students by public school bus that also transports public school children violates the Missouri Constitution. McVey v. Hawkins, 258 S.W.2d 927 (1953).

Health and Safety Requirements: Students attending private, parochial, or parish schools must comply with the Department of Health regulations governing the immunizations against poliomyelitis, rubella, rubeola, mumps, diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. A student may not attend school unless he or she has been immunized, presents evidence of having begun the process, or is exempt. Mo. Rev. Stat. §167.181.

Students are exempt from immunization if a parent or guardian presents to the school administrator a written objection based on religious beliefs or a written statement from a licensed physician that the immunizations are medically contraindicated. Mo. Rev. Stat. §167.181.

Private elementary and secondary schools may obtain information from Missouri’s central registry of reports on child abuse and neglect pertaining to employees and volunteers or prospective employees and volunteers who provide services or care for children. Mo. Rev. Stat. §210.150(8).

Students, teachers, and visitors are required to wear industrial quality eye protective devices for courses involving exposure to certain hazardous materials. Mo. Rev. Stat. §170.005.

Private and parochial schools were required to examine their structures for friable asbestos and report the results to the Department of Health by March 1, 1987. Schools that have not completed their removal plan must reevaluate the material biennially and file a report with the department. Schools that identified nonfriable asbestos must reevaluate the material every three years, file a report with the department, and make their findings available to its employees and the public. Mo. Rev. Stat. §643.263.

Distribution of a controlled substance on or within 1,000 feet of a private elementary or secondary school in Missouri is a felony. Mo. Rev. Stat. §195.214.

“School-Based Nonviolent Conflict Resolution” materials developed by the Department of Health and State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education can be made available to all schools, including private and parochial schools, and the general public. Mo. Rev. Stat. §170.046.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Each school superintendent of a private, parochial, or parish school must prepare a record showing the immunization status of every child enrolled. The superintendent must report the name of any parent or guardian who neglects or refuses to permit a nonexempt child to be immunized. Mo. Rev. Stat. §167.181(4).

Student immunization records may be disclosed without a parent’s or guardian’s written authorization to individuals with a need to know, as specified by statute, e.g. employees of public agencies and departments. Anyone releasing the information for any other purpose would be liable for damages. Mo. Rev. Stat. §167.183.

Special Education: The Missouri Department of Education may assign severely handicapped children to a private agency when it is in the best interests of the child. Mo. Rev. Stat. §162.735.

Special educational services may be offered during the regular school day to children who attend private, parochial, and parish schools. Mo. Rev. Stat. §162.996. LEAs must determine how and where services will be provided to children with disabilities attending private or parochial schools and could consider the provision of services at a neutral site. Missouri State Plan for Special Education – Part B (2012).

Nursing and Health: Nonpublic school students have access to state and county health services on the same basis as their public school counterparts.

Missouri provides special services to children enrolled in nonpublic schools identified as having a high risk of dropping out of school. Services may include skills assessment, tutoring, academic and personal counseling, family counseling, home visits, and staff development. Services must be provided at sites other than sectarian nonpublic schools. Mo. Rev. Stat. §167.280.

Technology: Public, private, and homeschooled students are eligible to enroll in the Missouri Virtual Instruction Program (MoVIP), which offers online K–12 courses for students statewide. The Missouri Department of Education requests public or private schools, with any participating students in the MoVIP program, to provide a site liaison who will assist a student or virtual teacher if any challenges arise. Mo. Rev. Stat. §161.670.

Mississippi

(As of July 12, 2013)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Days: A nonpublic school term is the number of days that each school requires for promotion from grade to grade. Miss. Code Ann. §37-13-91(2)(e).

State Approval: Optional. Nonpublic schools may request approval by the Mississippi Board of Education. A process set by the state board of education will determine approval, but the standards for nonpublic school approval may not be more rigorous than the accreditation standards for public schools. Miss. Code Ann. §37-17-7. Miss. State Board of Education Policy Manual, §1000, revised September 2012.

Standards for state approval or accreditation are set out in the policy document Nonpublic Schools Accountability Standards, 2.2, 2004.

Private schools must reapply for accreditation no later than October 1 each year. The application requires information on the following: name, mailing address, and telephone number(s) of the school; name of the chief school administrator; name, address, and phone number of the chairperson of the governing board; number of students enrolled by grade, race, and sex; number of instructional staff members by grade level and total; annual calendar of the school; participation in federal- and state-funded programs; graduation data; and a preliminary list of school staff. Nonpublic Schools Accountability Standards, 7.1, 2004.

The Mississippi Board of Education assigns an accreditation status from the following four options: accredited, advised, probation, and withdrawn. Nonpublic Schools Accountability Standards, 2.3, 2004.

The first year an accredited private school fails to comply with state requirements for accreditation, it will be assigned an “advised” status. If the private school does not take corrective action to resolve the deficiencies within the following year, it will be assigned a “probation” status and be required to develop a corrective action plan. If the school with an assigned “probation” status fails to meet the approved corrective action plan’s goals and timelines, the school will receive a “withdrawn” status. Nonpublic Schools Accountability Standards, 2.3, 2004.

Nonpublic schools must be special-purpose schools and accredited to participate in the Mississippi Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship for Students with Dyslexia and Nate Rogers Scholarship for Students with Disabilities programs.

State Accreditation: Optional. Nonpublic schools may be accredited by independent nonpublic school accrediting agencies. Miss. Code Ann. §37-17-9.

Nonpublic schools “serving school age students” may request to be accredited by the state board of education. Miss. Code Ann. §37-17-7. Nonpublic Schools Accountability Standards, 1.0, 2004.

Licensing: No requirements.

Testing: Nonpublic schools do not participate in the statewide assessment system and are not assigned a school performance classification. Nonpublic Schools Accountability Standards, Introduction, 2004.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is required for those schools that choose to be accredited by the state board of education. Nonpublic Schools Accountability Standards, 12, 2004.

Recordkeeping and Reports: All children of compulsory school age must be enrolled in a public school, private school, or home school program. The parents or guardians of the child or the nonpublic school official must complete a certificate of enrollment for each such student. The certificate, provided by the state board of education, asks the following basic information: (1) name, address, and date of birth of the student; (2) name and address of the parent/guardian; (3) a simple description of the type of education provided; (4) name and address of the nonpublic school; and (5) parent or guardian and school official signatures and date signed. The certificate must be returned to the school attendance officer for the youth or family court where the child resides on or before September 15 of each year. Miss. Code Ann. §37-13-91(3).

Private, parochial, or denominational schools accepting free school textbooks on behalf of their students must file annual reports as required by the state board of education. Miss. Code Ann. §37-43-51.

State accredited private schools are required to submit an Annual Application Form, an Annual Compliance Report, an Annual Personnel Data Report, and a Summer School/Extended Year Report. Nonpublic Schools Accountability Standards, 7.1, 2004.

Minnesota

(As of November 20, 2012)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Days: The state does not regulate the length of the school year for students attending nonpublic schools.

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: Optional. The Nonpublic Education Council may recognize educational accrediting agencies. Minn. Stat. Ann. §123B.445.

Minnesota nonpublic schools (traditional private schools or home schools) that are directly accredited by an organization that has been recognized by the Minnesota Nonpublic Education Council or the Commissioner of Education are eligible for reduced reporting requirements to the superintendents of the districts where their students reside, as outlined in Minn. Stat. Ann. §120A.22, Minnesota Compulsory Instruction Law.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Minnesota’s compulsory education law requires instruction in (1) basic communication skills, including reading, writing, literature, and fine arts; (2) mathematics and science; (3) social studies, including history, geography, and government; and (4) health and physical education. Minn. Stat. Ann. §120A.22, Subd. 9.

Instruction, textbooks, and materials must be offered in the English language. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 120A.22. Another language may be used for students with limited English proficiency. Minn. Stat. Ann. §§124D.59-124D.61 et seq.

Testing: Students attending private schools that are not accredited by a state-recognized accrediting agency must be assessed annually using a nationally norm-referenced standardized achievement examination. Students attending private schools accredited by a state-recognized accrediting agency are exempt from the testing requirement. Minn. Stat. Ann. §120A.22, Subd. 11.

Teacher Certification: Optional. An instructor in Minnesota must meet one of the following criteria: hold a valid Minnesota teaching license for the grade level at which he or she will teach; be directly supervised by an individual with a valid Minnesota teaching license; successfully complete a teacher competency examination; provide instruction in a school that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the commissioner. Minn. Stat. Ann. §122A.15; hold a baccalaureate degree; be a parent of a child whose performance is assessed each year in accordance with Minn. Stat. Ann. §120A.22, Subd.11. Minn. Stat. Ann. §120A.22, Subd. 10.

Health and Safety Requirements: Immunizations are mandatory for students attending any elementary or secondary school in Minnesota unless contraindicated for medical reasons or contrary to conscientiously held beliefs of the parent or guardian or emancipated student. Minn. Stat. Ann. §121A.15.

Private schools not subject to crisis management policy requirements in accordance with Minn. Stat. Ann. §121A.035 are required to have at least five school lockdown drills, five school fire drills consistent with Minn. Stat. Ann. § 299F.30, and one tornado drill. 2006 Omnibus Education Policy Act, Chapter 263 Article 1 Section 7.

Private schools are required to have at least nine fire drills each school year and to keep all doors and exits unlocked from the inside during school hours. Records of drills must be posted for review by the state fire marshal. Minn. Stat. Ann. §299F.30.

All schools must be operated in compliance with the uniform fire code. Minn. Stat. Ann. §299F.391.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Nonpublic schools must complete and submit the Minnesota Compulsory Instruction Report to the local superintendent by October 1 of each school year. The report requires the name, age, and address of each child receiving instruction. In addition, schools not accredited by the Minnesota Department of Education or an accrediting organization recognized by the Minnesota Nonpublic Education Council must also report the name of each instructor and evidence of their qualifications; and they must make available documentation that the requisite subjects are being taught and provide class schedules, materials for instruction, and descriptions of methods used to assess student achievement. Minn. Stat. Ann. §120A.24.

Nonpublic school administrators are responsible for issuing age certificates for students in attendance who wish to obtain employment. Minn. Stat. Ann. §181A.06.

Special Education: Educational institutions are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, or disability, or from failing to ensure physical and program access for persons with disabilities. Religious corporations, associations, and societies are exempt with respect to qualifications based on religion or sexual orientation, when these are bona fide occupational qualifications. Religious or denominational institutions may limit or give preference to applicants of the same religion. Single-sex private schools are also permitted. Minn. Stat. Ann. §§363.02 Subd. 1, 3; 363.03 Subd. 5.

Nursing and Health: If a nonpublic school participates in the school lunch aid program or school breakfast program, the school must make lactose-reduced milk available to students. Minn. Stat. Ann. §124D.114.

Other: Must provide similar health, counseling, and guidance services as the local public school. Minn. Stat. Ann. §123B.44.

Private schools must adhere to nondiscrimination policy. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 123B.41, Subd. 9

Michigan

(As of July 2009)

Registration: Mandatory. Nonpublic schools satisfying the compulsory school attendance statute must be approved by the state. Mich. Comp. Laws §380.1561(3)(a).

Private schools are prohibited from discriminating against an individual based on a handicap that is unrelated to the individual’s ability to utilize and benefit from the school or the individual’s use of adaptive devices.

The Michigan Constitution recognizes, “Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” Michigan Constitution Art. 8, Sec. 1.

Length of School Year and Day: Regular attendance at a state approved nonpublic school satisfies the compulsory attendance statute. Mich. Comp. Laws §380.1561(3)(a).

Nonpublic schools are not required to meet the minimum session days that are required for public schools. Clonlara, Inc. v. State Board of Education 442 Mich. 252 (1993).

State Approval: Mandatory. Approval is mandatory for nonpublic schools that choose to register.

State Accreditation: Optional. Nonpublic schools may participate in the following accreditation programs: Michigan Nonpublic School Accreditation Association and North Central Association. Information on Nonpublic and Home Schools, August 2008.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Attendance at a nonpublic school satisfies the compulsory attendance statute if the school teaches subjects comparable to those taught in the local public schools to children of corresponding age and grade. Mich. Comp. Laws §380.1561(3)(a).

Nonpublic schools must provide regular instruction in the Constitutions of the United States and Michigan, and the history and present form of government of the United States, Michigan, and its political subdivisions. The successful completion of a 1-semester course in civics is required prior to graduation. Mich. Comp. Laws §380.1166.

The State Board of Education is charged with developing a recommended model core curriculum for the local school districts. The curriculum defines the outcomes to be achieved by all K–12 pupils. The board will make the model curriculum available to nonpublic schools for their consideration in developing their own core curriculum. Mich. Comp. Laws §380.1278(7).

English must be the basic language of instruction in any nonpublic school. This mandate does not prohibit religious instruction in a foreign language, classes to become conversant in a foreign language, or bilingual instruction to assist limited English-speaking students. Mich. Comp. Laws §380.1151.

Private schools are prohibited from utilizing textbooks and learning materials that promote or foster physical or mental stereotypes. Mich. Comp. Laws §§37.1401, 37.1402.

Nonpublic and homeschool students may enroll in “nonessential elective courses” such as band, drama, art, physical education, music, computer, and advanced placement courses at the resident public school. Mich. Comp. Laws §388.1766b. Snyder v. Charlotte Public School District, 365 N.W.2d 151 (Mich. 1984).

Public schools may provide nonessential elective courses to nonpublic school students on nonpublic school premises with public school employees. Mich. Comp. Laws §388.1766b. Agostini v. Felton U.S. Supreme Court (1997).

State grants for career and technical education centers are conditioned on acceptance of nonpublic school pupils. Mich. Comp. Laws §380.686.

Private school teachers, administrators and librarians who disseminate sexually explicit matter to a student as part of a school program permitted by law are exempt from Michigan’s criminal code provision prohibiting the dissemination of sexually explicit material to minors. Mich. Comp. Laws §722.676.

Textbooks: No requirements for textbooks. Michigan nonpublic schools provide their own textbooks. Public schools are not required to provide textbooks to nonpublic schools. See Michigan Constitution Art. 8, Sec. 2 in Public Aid for Private Education: Constitutional Provisions.

Testing: Nonpublic schools may participate in the Michigan Merit Examination (MME) if they contact the Michigan Department of Education and register on time. If a student attends a nonpublic school that is not electing to participate in the MME, that student may contact the state and take the test at an MME Auxiliary Test Center Mich. Comp. Laws §§380.1279g; 388.1704b.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is optional. A teacher may qualify to work in a nonpublic school in one of the following three ways: obtain a Michigan Teaching Certificate; obtain a substitute, full year, or emergency teaching permit; obtain a bachelor‘s degree.

Persons without valid teaching certificates who have the requisite college credit may apply to the Michigan Department of Education for a teaching permit for employment in a nonpublic school under Mich. Admin. Code R 390.1142 (full-year permit); R 390.1143 (substitute permit); and R 390.1144 (emergency permit).

Teachers in the regular or elementary grade studies in a private, denominational or parochial school, i.e., a school other than a public school giving instruction to children below the age of 16 years, in the first eight grades, must hold a teaching certificate that would qualify them to teach in like grades of the public schools. Mich. Comp. Laws §§388.552; 388.553. The Michigan Supreme Court ruled this provision unconstitutional when applied to families whose religious convictions prohibit the use of certified instructors. People v. DeJonge, 442 Mich. 266 (1993).

Professional Development: There is no state policy at this time.

Transportation: Under the Michigan State Constitution, the state legislature may provide transportation to and from school for nonpublic school students. Michigan Constitution Art. 8, Sec. 2. Mich. Comp. Laws §380.1217.

Local school districts that provide transportation to resident pupils must provide free transportation to nonpublic school students with some limitations. Mich. Comp. Laws §380.1321, 1322.

The advisory committee to the Department of Education on school bus matters includes a member representing nonpublic schools. Mich. Comp. Laws §257.1870.

Health and Safety Requirements: Children enrolling in school for the first time or enrolling in grade 6 for the first time must present a certificate of immunization, a statement of exemption based on a physician’s recommendation or a religious conviction. A school administrator must not admit a student unless he or she has received a minimum of one dose of immunizing agent against each disease specified or is exempt. Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 33.9208, 333.9215, 380.1177.

Before November 1 of each year, the school administrator must submit to the local health departments the immunization status of new entering students. By February 1, the administrator must update the list for incoming students. Mich. Comp. Laws §§333.9209 and 380.1177.

If the immunization level of a nonpublic school falls below the level necessary to guard against the spread of the disease, the school may make the immunization requirements a condition for admission. Mich. Comp. Laws §333.9212.

Private school students entering kindergarten must submit evidence of a preschool vision screening test prior to enrollment unless the parents or guardians submit a statement that the test is contrary to their religious convictions. Mich. Comp. Laws §380.1177(2).

Michigan’s statutory prohibition against smoking in a public place or at a meeting of a public body does not apply to private educational facilities after regularly scheduled school hours. Mich. Comp. Laws §333.12603.

Effective January 1, 2006, regular and contract employees hired or assigned by nonpublic schools must have criminal history checks conducted by the Michigan State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mich. Comp. Laws §§380.1230, 380.1230a, 380.1535a, 380.1539b.

Not later than July 1, 2008, an individual who works full-time or part-time or an individual who regularly or continuously works under contract who is employed by a nonpublic school as of Dec. 1, 2005, must have criminal history checks conducted by the Michigan State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mich. Comp. Laws §380.1230g.

As a condition for employment, a nonpublic school must request a criminal history check on the applicant through both the Department of State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Nonpublic schools may, under certain conditions, “conditionally employ” an individual to work full-time or part-time or an individual to regularly or continuously work under contract until the results of the criminal records check are received. The Department of State Police is required to respond within 30 days. Mich. Comp. Laws §§380.1230, 380.1230a.

The nonpublic school must notify the superintendent of public instruction when a certified teacher, school administrator, school counselor, etc. has been convicted of any felony or certain misdemeanors. Mich. Comp. Laws §§380.1535a, 380.1539b.

Nonpublic schools must submit specific information about school employees in order for the Michigan State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigations to conduct criminal history checks. Mich. Comp. Laws §§380.1230d, 380.1535a, 380.1539b.

Nonpublic schools must request unprofessional conduct checks for all new employees. A former or current employer must disclose to a prospective school employer any unprofessional conduct by the applicant. A nonpublic school is prohibited from hiring an applicant who refuses to sign a document requesting this information. Mich. Comp. Laws §380.1230b.

Nonpublic schools must comply with federal standards requiring implementation of operations and maintenance plans for educational facilities containing asbestos or asbestos-containing materials. Asbestos in Educational Facilities Act, 1993 PA 51. Mich. Comp. Laws §§388.861 to 388.865.

School buses with seating capacity of 12 or more and used by nonpublic schools are subject to annual inspections by the Department of State Police. Mich. Comp. Laws §257.715a.

All school construction requires inspection and must meet both the construction standards under the Stille-DeRossett-Hale Single State Construction Code Act, 1972 PA 230, regarding the requirements to secure permits, inspections, and final approval; and the Fire Prevention Code, 1941 PA 207. Mich. Comp. Laws §§388.851b, 388.853.

The superintendent of public instruction, or his agent, has the authority to investigate a nonpublic school at any time regarding the school’s sanitary condition, records of enrollment, courses of study, and teacher qualifications. A nonpublic school must admit the Superintendent or his agents to the school. A nonpublic school’s refusal is sufficient cause to suspend the operation of the school. Mich. Comp. Laws §388.555.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: Nonpublic schools are reimbursed, on an equal basis with public schools, for school bus safety education costs incurred for the benefit of school bus drivers. Mich. Comp. Laws §257.1851.

Recordkeeping and Reports: There is no law in Michigan that requires nonpublic schools to maintain student records.

The Michigan Department of Education annually requests information from nonpublic schools on the number of students in each grade, teacher qualifications, the course of study offered, and assurance that the nonpublic school complies with the criminal history check requirements that are compiled to create the Nonpublic School Membership Report. Nonpublic schools use Form SM4325 to provide the information. Mich. Comp. Laws §388.555; Sheridan Road Baptist Church v. Department of Education, 426 Mich. 462, 472 n 5 (1986) and Clonlara, Inc. v. State Board of Education, 442 Mich 230, 242 (1993).

Special Education: The public agency that provides a child with disabilities in a nonpublic school special education or related services shall initiate and conduct meetings to develop, review, and revise an individualized education program (IEP) for the child and ensure participation of the nonpublic school representative in these meetings. The public agency will provide the special education or related services in accordance with the child‘s IEP. However, the agency, teacher, or other person cannot be held accountable if the child with disabilities does not achieve the growth projected in the annual goals and objectives. Mich. Admin. Code R 340.1701c(a).

Special education programs are available at public schools to the students attending nonpublic schools that are registered with the Michigan Department of Education.

Nursing and Health: Examinations or health services provided to elementary and secondary students must be provided on an equal basis to children in public and nonpublic schools. Mich. Comp. Laws §333.9105.

A public school that provides “auxiliary services” to its resident students must provide services for students attending nonpublic schools on an equal basis. Auxiliary services include: health and nursing services and examinations; street crossing guard services; National Defense Education Act testing services; speech and language services; school social work services; school psychological services; teacher consultant services for students with a disability and other ancillary services for students with a disability; remedial reading; and other services determined by the legislature. Transportation to the auxiliary services must also be provided with some limitations. Mich. Comp. Laws §380.1296.

A public school is required to notify nonpublic schools in its district of auxiliary services it will provide no later than April 1 each year. Nonpublic schools must inform the public school, in writing, within 30 days if any of the services are needed by the nonpublic school students. The public school must confirm the “the nature and extent” of the services that will be provided no later than August 1. Mich. Admin. Code R 340.293.

Technology: Educational media centers operated by intermediate school districts to provide teaching materials and services may serve nonpublic schools. Mich. Comp. Laws §380.671(2).

Massachusetts

(As of July 2009)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Day: Massachusetts‘ law does not specify a required length of school year for private schools, but the school committee will use the public school‘s required length of school year (180 days or 900 hours in elementary schools and 990 hours at secondary schools) for comparison. Mass. Gen. L. Ch. 71, §§1, 4; C.M.R. 603.24(3), (4).

State Approval: Mandatory. Attendance at a private school satisfies the compulsory attendance requirement if the school is approved by the school committee. (The “school committee” in Massachusetts is the local education agency.)

School committees will approve a private school when satisfied that the instruction equals the public schools in the same town in thoroughness and efficiency and in the progress made. A school committee may not withhold approval based on the school’s religious teaching. Mass. Gen. L. Ch. 76, §1.

State Accreditation: No requirements.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: There is no mandate regarding what courses private schools shall teach. Generally, the “thoroughness and efficiency” language found in Mass. Gen. L. Ch. 76, §1, regarding approval of private schools should not be interpreted as extending particular public school mandates regarding instruction and curriculum to private schools.

Massachusetts Art Week is celebrated the last week of May and private schools are encouraged to observe the tradition by the display of works of art and appropriate exhibitions and ceremonies. Mass. Gen. L. Ch. 6, §15D.

Textbooks: The use of state or local funds to pay for textbook loans to pupils of private schools violates the state constitution. Bloom v. School Committee of Springfield, 379 N.E.2d 578 (1978).

Testing: There is no state policy at this time.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is not required for teachers at private schools.

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Mass. Gen. L. Ch. 71, §34G.

Professional Development: By statute, one of the 14-member Massachusetts Educational Communications Commission is a representative of private elementary and secondary education. Mass. Gen. L. Ch. 6, §158.

Transportation: Pupils who attend approved private schools are entitled to the same rights and privileges to transportation to and from school as are provided by law for public school students, within specified limits. Mass. Gen. L. Ch. 76, §1.

Street or elevated railway companies must provide special rates for public and private school students during the days or evenings when school is in session not to exceed 1/2 of the regular fare. Mass. Gen. L. Ch. 161, §108.

Health and Safety Requirements: Private school teachers who have reasonable cause to believe a child under 18 is suffering physical or emotional injury resulting from abuse or from neglect are under an obligation to immediately report the condition either to the Department of Children and Families or to the school administrator, who is then responsible for notifying the Department of Children and Families. Mass. Gen. L.ch. 119, §51A.

Persons apprehended for manufacturing or distributing controlled substances within 1,000 feet of a private elementary, vocational, or secondary school will receive a mandatory sentence of not less than two years. Mass. Gen. L. Ch. 94C, §32J.

Each institution of secondary education must file, at least annually, a report with the board of education certifying that the school has informed its students of the hazing prohibition and adopted and disseminated a disciplinary policy with regard to the organizers and participants of hazing. Mass. Gen. L.ch. 269, §19.

“Fires or explosions by which a loss is sustained shall, within forty-eight hours, excluding Sundays and holidays, be reported in writing to the marshal. Reports required by this section shall be on forms furnished by the department, and shall contain a statement of all facts relating to the cause and origin of the fire or explosion that can be ascertained, the extent of damage thereof, the insurance upon the property damaged, and such other information as may be required. The marshal shall keep or cause to be kept a record of all fires or explosions occurring in the commonwealth, with the results of such investigations, and such records shall be open to public inspection.” Mass. Gen. L.ch. 148, §2.

“The school committee and superintendent of any city, town or regional school district and the principal, by whatever title the position be known, of a public or accredited private school of any city, town or regional school district shall have access to and shall obtain all available criminal offender record information from the criminal history systems board of any current or prospective employee or volunteer of the school department, who may have direct and unmonitored contact with children, including any individual who regularly provides school related transportation to children. Such school committee, superintendent or principal shall periodically, but not less than every 3 years, obtain all available criminal offender record information from the criminal history systems board on all such employees and volunteers during their term of employment or volunteer service.” Mass. Gen. L.ch. 71, §38R.

Private schools are subject to the Massachusetts Pesticide Control Act. Mass. Gen. L.ch. 132B, §2.

Reimbursement for performing state and local functions: There is no state policy at this time.

Recordkeeping and Reports: The supervisory officers of all private schools must report the name, age and residence of any child enrolled in the school to the superintendent of schools of the town where such children reside within 30 days of enrollment. If a child withdraws from the school, the officers must notify the superintendent within 10 days. Mass. Gen. L. ch. 72, §2.

The local superintendent of schools files an annual report with the commissioner of education on or before May 1st on the number of pupils enrolled in nonpublic schools within the district. The information is collected during the months of January and February. Mass. Gen. L. Ch. 72, §2A.

Private school administrators and teachers are required to provide information or reports requested by any justice relating to the attendance, conduct, and standing of any pupil enrolled, if the pupil is awaiting examination or trial or is under the supervision of the court. Mass. Gen. L. Ch. 119, §69.

Persons operating an education institution have an obligation to provide a written transcript of a student, or former student, at his request. The first copy must be provided free. Schools may charge a fee for duplicates not exceeding $1 for each page, but not exceeding $5 for an entire transcript. Anyone denied a transcript may petition the courts for relief. Mass. Gen. L. ch. 71, §§34A, 34B.

If a private school closes, the owner must transfer all current and former students’ transcripts to the

Special Education: If appropriate, eligible students with disabilities requiring special education may be placed in a public or approved private special education program in accordance with regulations of the Department (Board) of Education. Mass. Gen. L. Ch. 71B, §10; C.M.R. 28.18.00. School committees may authorize the prepayment of tuition for a period not exceeding three months to any approved private school. Mass. Gen. L. Ch. 71, §71D.

Eligible students with disabilities who attend private school at private expense are entitled to special education designed to meet their needs. The school district must provide genuine opportunities to participate in the public school special education program consistent with the state constitutional limitations. Eligible students are entitled to an individualized education program (IEP). Services provided or arranged for by the district pursuant to an IEP, if paid for with state or local funds, must be provided in a public facility or other public or neutral site. If services are funded only with federal monies, they may be provided on private school grounds. Mass. Gen. L. Ch. 71B, §1; St. 1999, ch. 27, §258. See also, C.M.R. 28.03(1)(e).

Nursing and Health: Pupils attending private schools may receive screening for sight, hearing, and other physical defects through the local school committee or board of health at the request of a parent or guardian, providing the private school is approved and does not discriminate in its entrance requirements on the basis of race or color. Mass. Gen. L. Ch. 71, §57.

Technology: Private schools are eligible to receive grants from the Massachusetts Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics Grant Fund with the purpose of increasing the number of qualified science, technology, engineering and mathematics teachers and improving the course offerings in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Mass. Gen. L. Ch. 29, §2MMM.

Maryland

(As of June 13, 2014)

Registration: Mandatory. Institutions operated by bona fide church organizations are exempt from the requirement to hold a certificate of approval from the Maryland State Board of Education if the legal authority of the bona fide church organization chooses. The head of the bona fide church organization must, however, register the name and address of the school and submit acceptable evidence of the bona fide church organization legal authority status. In addition, the organization’s head must provide to the Nonpublic School Approval Branch of the Maryland State Department of Education certification of the legal authority‘s assumption of responsibility for governing and operating the nonpublic. Schools in this category are called “church-exempt” schools. Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article §2-206(e)(4).

Length of School Year and Days: A nonpublic school approved under Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 13A.09.09 (private pay) must provide for at least 170 days for implementation of the school program. COMAR 13A.09.09.10B.

A nonpublic school approved under COMAR 13A.09.10 (publicly funded) shall provide at least 180 days of instruction. COMAR 13A.09.10.14B.

State Approval: Mandatory. Certificates of approval are required in Maryland to operate “noncollegiate educational institutions.” A certificate of approval is issued based on the adequacy and appropriateness of the facilities, conditions of entrance and scholarship, educational qualifications and standards for the purpose of the institution, its program, personnel requirements, and certificates or diplomas issued. Institutions operated by bona fide church organizations are exempt from the requirement to hold a certificate of approval from the Maryland State Board of Education if the legal authority of the bona fide church organization so chooses. Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article §2-206(e) and COMAR 13A.09.09.01.

An approved nonpublic school must certify to the Maryland Department of Education that it does not practice discrimination based upon race, color, or national origin. Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article §2-206(e)(3) and COMAR 13A.09.09. 04H and COMAR 13A.09.10.06A(3).

An approved nonpublic school must display its certificate of approval in a “conspicuous place” on the premises. COMAR 13A.09.09.03E and COMAR 13A.09.10.03G.

Regulations promulgated pursuant to Education Article §2-206 for approval of nonpublic schools include COMAR 13A.09.09, Education Programs in Nonpublic Schools for private schools that are parent pay and COMAR 13A.09.10, Educational Programs in Nonpublic Schools and Child Care and Treatment Facilities for schools that receive public funding.

As with other nonpublic school programs in the state, Montessori programs must hold a certificate of approval issued by the Maryland State Board of Education. In addition, each approved nonpublic Montessori school must hold a certificate from a Department-recognized Montessori validating organization. By July 1, 2015, all approved (prior to Sept. 1, 2009) nonpublic Montessori schools must also possess a validating certificate issued by a Department-recognized Montessori validating organization. COMAR 13A.09.09.02B (11) and 13A.09.09.03N (1-2).

State Accreditation: No requirements.

Licensing: Registered bona fide church organizations, and other entities desiring to operate non public nursery schools, must hold valid child care center licenses or letters of compliance issued by the Maryland State Department of Education, Office of Child Care. Approval to operated nonpublic nursery schools are granted in accordance with COMAR 13A.16.16 Educational Programs in Nonpublic Nursery Schools. Licenses are issued in accordance with COMAR 13A16 Child Care Center Licensing and COMAR 13A.17 Letters of Compliance.

Nonpublic nursery schools operated by tax-exempt religious organizations that desire to obtain approval to operate by the Maryland State Department of Education, Office of Child Care, are exempt from child care center licensing requirements. Annotated Code of Maryland, Family Law Article §5-574.

There are no child care center licensing requirements for nonpublic kindergartens and grades 1–12.

Curriculum: The state board of education establishes minimum requirements for issuing certificates or diplomas by private noncollegiate educational institutions that include private K–12 schools. Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article §2-206(d). An approved nonpublic school must have an educational program in English, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies for kindergarten and all other grades. COMAR 13A. 09.09.07(A)(2).

A nonpublic school approved under COMAR 13A.09.09 (private pay) must require at a minimum the following credits for secondary school graduation: four credits in English-language arts; two credits in social studies to include at least one credit in U.S. history; six credits in science and mathematics (at least two credits in each); and nine additional credits in accordance with the school’s written requirements. COMAR 13A 09.09.09.

A school approved under COMAR 13A.09.10 (publically funded) shall meet the requirements of COMAR 13A.03.02.

Textbooks: The Maryland Nonpublic Student Textbook program provides “funding for the purchase of textbooks, computer hardware and computer software for loan to students in eligible nonpublic schools, with a maximum distribution of $60 per eligible nonpublic school student for participating schools, except that at schools where at least 20 percent of the students are eligible for free and reduced price lunch program, the distribution will be $90 per student. The textbooks and computers purchased under this program must be secular in nature and acceptable for use in any public elementary or secondary school in Maryland.” Maryland Nonpublic Student Textbook Program: 2008–2009 Program Requirements and Procedures for Ordering Textbooks, Hardware, Software, and other Electronic Learning Materials, Maryland State Department of Education, October 2008.

Testing: Schools that are regulated by the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 13A.09.10 and identified as publicly funded schools must meet all state testing requirements.

Schools that are regulated by the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 13A.09.09 and identified as private schools are not required to meet state testing requirements.

Teacher Certification: Teachers who provide instruction in English, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and courses for which secondary school credit is granted at nonpublic schools approved under COMAR 13A.09.09 (private pay) must have a bachelor’s degree, 120 semester hour equivalence, or a bachelor’s degree equivalent as reviewed by an independent agency given authorization to evaluate foreign credentials. COMAR 13A.09.09.06.

Teachers at nonpublic schools approved under COMAR 13A.09.10 (publicly funded) shall hold certificates provided for in COMAR 13A.12.01 and COMAR 13A.12.02. COMAR 13A.09.10.18C(2).

Professional Development: Maryland law provides for representation of nonpublic schools on the Professional Standards and Teacher Education Board. Two administrative or supervisory staff of approved Maryland nonpublic schools and one certified nonpublic school teacher is chosen to serve on the 25 member board from nominees provided by the Association of Independent Schools. Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article §6-703.

Teachers employed in schools approved under COMAR 13A.09.10 (publicly funded) shall hold certificates in compliance with COMAR 13A.12.01 and COMAR 13A.12.02 for public school teachers. COMAR 13A.09.10.18C.

Transportation: School buses used to transport students to nonpublic schools must be equipped with seat back crash pads that meet the standards established by the Motor Vehicle Administration. Md. Transportation Code Ann. §22-417.

School buses, owned by private schools that are exempt from federal income tax under §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, are not subject to excise taxes upon issuance of a certificate of title. Md. Transportation Code Ann. §13-810.

Health and Safety Requirements: For initial issuance of a certificate of approval, a nonpublic school must verify that it is in compliance with applicable health, fire safety, and zoning regulations. COMAR 13A.09.09.11 and COMAR 13A.09.10.07A.

An individual who has tuberculosis in a communicable stage may not work in any capacity in a private or parochial school. Certification and tests may be required as regulated by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article §7-406.

County health departments must provide and fund hearing and vision screening for all students in approved nonpublic schools and approved nonpublic special education facilities. Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article §7-404.

All nonpublic school employees and employers who have frequent contact with, or access to, students enrolled at a school are required to apply for and undergo a criminal background check. The applicants are responsible for fees assessed unless the employer agrees to pay the costs. Family Law Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, Title 5, Part VI and Education Article §2-206.1.

Any adult who has reason to believe a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect, must notify the appropriate authorities and the head of the school. Family Law Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, §5-704, COMAR 13A.09.09.04J and COMAR 13A.09.10.06A.

Students who attend a private preschool program or nonpublic school must have the required immunizations for school attendance. Parents or guardians may furnish documentation to establish exemptions on medical or religious grounds. COMAR 10.06.04.03, 10.06.04.04, and 10.06.04.05.

Private preschool programs and nonpublic schools must provide an immunization report annually, by Nov. 15, on students new to the program or school. COMAR 10.06.04.09.

A nonpublic school that participates in state-funded education programs must adopt a policy prohibiting bullying, harassment, and intimidation that includes specific provisions. Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article §7-424.3.

Nonpublic schools must establish a policy to permit school employees to administer auto-injectable epinephrine, if available, to a student who is known to be or thought to be in anaphylaxis. The school’s policy must include proper training, procedures for use, follow-up emergency procedures, allowance for school personnel to obtain and store the medication, specific parental notification, and an oversight and monitoring policy process. Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article §7-426.3.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to reimbursement for performing state and local functions in private schools.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Approved nonpublic schools must maintain a cumulative record of each student enrolled including the following: approved nonpublic school name, school address and telephone number, student‘s first, middle, and last names; student‘s birth date; student‘s home address; month, day and year student entered; grade upon enrollment; month, day and year student withdrew; student‘s performance information in each curricular area; code for the meaning of performance information; and number of days in attendance each school year. COMAR 13A.09.09.08 and COMAR 13A.09.10.10A.

Each school annually certifies its compliance with the approval regulations by completing and submitting an annual report form provided by the Maryland Department of Education. COMAR 13A.09.09.04C and COMAR 13A.09.10.04B.

Approved nonpublic high schools must be prepared to present a transcript of the secondary school record of each student for each year enrolled that contains specified components: school‘s name, address, and telephone number; student‘s first, middle, and last names; student‘s date of birth; student‘s home address; credits and grades earned in each subject area; code for the meaning of the grading system; transfer credits accepted by the secondary school; month, day, and year the student initially entered; month, day, and year the student withdrew or graduated; and number of days of attendance each school year. COMAR 13A.09.09.09D and COMAR 13A.09.10.16C.

The state archivist provides without charge a copy of each new Maryland Manual to each private educational institution. Annotated Code of Maryland, State Government Article §9-1027.

If a private school ends operations in Maryland, the institution must file with the state superintendent of schools the original or a legible copy of all secondary school transcripts for each student who has been enrolled in grades 9–12 of the school. The records will become a permanent file maintained by the state superintendent to provide an academic record as required by postsecondary educational institutions for admission. Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article §2-304 and COMAR 13A.09.09D(3).

The state board of education requires each private school to report annually, on or before Aug. 31, the school’s enrollment and courses of study on forms provided by the Board. Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article §2-205(n).

The principal or head teacher of a private school is required to report immediately a student’s absence or irregular attendance without lawful excuse, or evidence of maladjustment to the county superintendent, supervisor of pupil personnel, or his designee, in order to resolve the situation. Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article §7-302.

Approved nonpublic schools are required to distribute a written statement of their student-teacher ratios to parents annually. COMAR 13A.09.09.07D.

Special Education: Children who need special educational services that are not provided in a public program will be placed at public expense in an appropriate nonpublic educational program that offers these services at public expense. Md. Education Code Ann. §8-406.

The state board of education is responsible for adopting guidelines for the approval of public placement of children with disabilities in nonpublic schools if the local school system cannot provide an appropriate placement. Standards for the education of those children enrolled in programs operated by agencies other than a county board must be as high as the standards for county board programs. The standards for the education of students with disabilities are found in the COMAR 13A.09.10.

County boards of education must provide or arrange for the transportation of handicapped students publicly placed in nonpublic schools. Md. Education Code Ann. §8-410.

Nursing and Health: The county health department is required to provide hearing and vision screenings for students attending approved nonpublic schools. Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article §7-404.

Technology: County boards may allow private and parochial schools to connect to a closed-circuit educational television system maintained for public schools at the discretion of the public school system. Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article §7-107.

Maine

(As of November, 20, 2012)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Days: A private secondary school approved for the purposes of attendance must have at least 175 instructional days. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §4801.1

State Approval: Mandatory. Attendance at a private school satisfies the compulsory attendance requirement only if the private school is approved for attendance purposes or is recognized by the state department of education as providing equivalent instruction. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §5001-A.

A private school may operate as an approved private school for attendance purposes (basic school approval) if it meets hygiene, health, and safety standards, and is either currently accredited by the New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools or meets applicable state requirements. Accreditation is one option a school may use to obtain approval for attendance purposes. Schools choosing the accreditation method of approval for attendance purposes must make accreditation reports to the commissioner of education on a timely basis and notify the commissioner of any determination made that the school is not accredited or is on probation. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §2906.

A second option a school may choose to obtain approval for attendance purposes is to comply with applicable state requirements regarding (1) immunization provisions, (2) English as the language of instruction, (3) courses required by law, (4) instruction in the basic curriculum established by the commissioner, (5) certified teachers, and (6) any additional approval requirements adopted by the state board and the commissioner. In addition, private secondary schools applying for approval for attendance purposes must meet the following requirements: a minimum school year, a sufficient school day length, a student-teacher ratio of not more than 30 to one, not fewer than two consecutive grades, and adequate maintenance for safely protecting records. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §2902.

The commissioner will periodically review all private schools that receive public funds to determine their compliance with the applicable provisions of the education code. The commissioner may, as a condition of approval, inspect any private school that applies for approval status. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §258-A.

The commissioner may remove basic approval from any private school for failure to meet applicable approval requirements. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §2904.

A private school that has chosen not to seek approval by the state department of education may voluntarily provide information on an annual basis to the commissioner and/or superintendent to establish that students enrolled are receiving equivalent instruction in compliance with the compulsory school attendance law. The information should be provided in an annual letter signed by the chief administrator of the private school and include an affirmation that the school provides the basic curriculum by competent teachers for a minimum of 175 days or 875 hours; complies with fire, health, and safety laws; provides academic assessment and progress reports for parents; and provides attendance notifications to the local superintendent. A nonprofit institution may operate as an approved nontraditional limited-purpose school if it demonstrates a commitment to the educational process and to the state’s youths by having: (1) a governing board composed of a cross-section of the community; (2) an established educational plan; (3) a written curriculum with appropriate goals, objectives, and instructional strategies; (4) specific instructional time commensurate with the educational activities planned; (5) facilities that comply with state health, safety, and fire codes; (6) an instructional staff certified by the state department of education where appropriate, and endorsement by professional boards in areas where the state does not have certification standards or professional standards agreed upon by the department and the respective institution; (7) school health services that include a registered nurse in residence when students are in attendance, or the appointment of a school or consulting physician; (8) established written emergency and safety procedures, including periodic fire drills whenever appropriate; (9) unique up-to-date equipment necessary to the services provided; (10) a demonstrated commitment to work cooperatively with state public schools in an effort to meet the specific needs of Maine students regarding their aspirations; and (11) scholarship assistance for the state’s youths. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §2907.1. Code Me. R. §250.

State Accreditation: No requirements.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Private elementary schools approved for attendance purposes by the department must provide instruction in career and education development, English language arts, world languages, health education and physical education, mathematics, science and technology, social studies, and visual and performing arts, as described in the parameters for essential instruction and graduation requirements subject to the schedule specified in section 6209. In addition, instruction in American history, government, citizenship, and Maine studies requirements must occur and follow section 6209 specifications. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §§2902.3, 4706, 4711.

Private secondary schools approved for attendance purposes by the department must provide instruction in English, social studies, history, including American history and Maine studies, mathematics, science, fine arts, health, and physical education, and computer instruction. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §§2902.3, 4706, 4722, 4723, 4724.

English is the basic language of instruction in all schools except that, subject to the commissioner’s approval, schools may provide transitional instruction using bilingual techniques for students of limited proficiency in English and providing proficiency in English as a second language. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §4701.

Testing: Private schools approved for attendance purposes may participate in the State Assessment of Student Performance program with the approval of the commissioner and upon payment of the actual cost of the assessment. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §6207.

Private schools approved for tuition purposes and whose enrollment includes at least 60 percent publicly funded students, must participate in the Statewide Assessment Program. The assessment program measures on a sampling basis in alternate years the academic achievement of students in grades four, eight, and 11 in basic subjects, i.e. reading, writing, and mathematics, and potentially science and social studies. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §6202.

Teacher Certification: Teachers must be certified by the commissioner to teach in any private school receiving basic approval, except those schools currently accredited by the New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §§ 2901, 13003.

The chief administrator employed by a private school approved for attendance purposes is required to hold a principal’s certificate. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §13019-B.

A private school approved for tuition purposes may not employ a provisional teacher unless it has an approved, locally designed support system or has received specific authorization from the commissioner. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §13015.

Only driver education teachers certified by the commissioner may be employed by an approved private secondary school to teach driver education. If a certified instructor is unavailable and the private school requests it, the commissioner may grant a temporary certificate to any person who holds a Class A license. Approved private secondary schools may contract with a commercial driver education school to provide driver education as part of the secondary school curriculum. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §8703.

Health and Safety Requirements: No chief administrative officer may permit any student to be enrolled or attend school without evidence of required immunization or immunity unless the parent or student provides a written statement that immunization may be medically inadvisable or a written statement that immunization is contrary to a sincere religious belief or opposed for moral, philosophical, or other personal reasons. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §6353.3, 4, 6.

Recordkeeping and Reports: By April 15 and October 15 of each year, the principal of each private school must report to the commissioner the number of students attending the school. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §6004.

A student is credited with attendance at a private school only if a certificate showing the name, residence, and attendance of the student at that school has been signed by the school administrator and filed with the school officials of the local administrative unit. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §5001-A.3.A.(2).

Chief administrative officers shall keep uniform records of the immunization status of each student. The records shall be part of the student’s permanent records. By December 15 of each year, each chief administrative officer shall submit to the director of the Bureau of Health, on a form provided, a summary report of the immunization status of the students entering school. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §6353.5.

A private secondary school receiving state funds, directly or indirectly, and a private school approved for tuition and attendance purposes must report annually, on or before July 15, information required by the commissioner. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §2952.

An annual audit must be furnished to the state auditor on or before September 1 of each year. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §2953.

Special Education: All special education programs offered by approved private schools must be (1) under the supervision of the school administrative unit responsible for the education of the enrolled exceptional student, (2) described in a master contractual agreement between the private school and the commissioner, and (3) approved in advance of the enrollment of any exceptional student. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §7252-A.

Approved private schools providing special education services must submit reports as required by the commissioner. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §7252-B.

Nursing and Health: Health and remedial services, instructional materials, and equipment provided with appropriated public funds, as well as the admission of students to the nonpublic schools, must be provided without distinction as to the race, creed, color, or national origin of the pupil and of their teachers. Instructional materials or instructional equipment may be loaned to pupils in nonpublic schools or their parents if similar instructional materials or equipment is available for public school students within a local school district. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 30-A, §5724.9.

Private schools that enroll more than 60 percent of their students at public expense are required to adopt a policy on management of head injuries. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §§254, 1001.

Other: Private schools receiving students under the Town Tuitioning program must (1) meet the requirements for basic school approval; (2) be nonsectarian schools; (3) be incorporated under the laws of Maine or the United States; (4) comply with reporting and auditing requirements; and (5) if the school enrolls 60 percent or more publicly funded students, participate in the Statewide Assessment Program. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §2951.

Louisiana

(As of November 15, 2012)

Registration: Mandatory. If a nonpublic school chooses not to seek state approval, the school must register with the state each school year to comply with Louisiana’s statute, La. R.S. Ann. §17:232 (C) and (D). Nonpublic registered schools (not seeking state approval) may include: (1) educational programs or (2) traditional schools with a physical plant that make the choice, based on a variety of reasons, not to obtain state approval. One example of the latter is a school where staff do not all meet minimum qualifications. To register, a nonpublic school must submit a signed letter including the name of the school, contact information, and total number of students enrolled, to the department of education by the 30th day after the school session begins. La. R.S. Ann. §17:232 (C).

Length of School Year and Days: At least 180 days. La. R.S. Ann. §17:236.

For grades 1–12, the minimum school day shall include 330 minutes of instruction time exclusive of recess, lunch, and planning periods. For kindergarten, the minimum instructional day for a full-day program shall be 330 minutes and for a half-day program, 165 minutes. Louisiana Department of Education (Nonpublic) Bulletin 741: Louisiana Handbook for Nonpublic School Administrators §705.

State Approval: Optional. The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approves any private elementary, secondary, or proprietary school upon application, if the school meets and maintains a sustained curriculum or specialized course of study of a quality at least equal to that prescribed for similar public schools. La. Const. Art. VIII, § 4; La. R.S. Ann. §17:11.

Schools are evaluated annually. A school can be classified “approved” if the school meets all the standards specified in the state’s standards for approval of nonpublic schools, “provisionally approved” if the school has deficiencies based on the standards, “probationally approved” if the school assumes one or more of three defined errors, or “unapproved.” An unapproved school becomes ineligible for state and federal funding. Louisiana Department of Education (Nonpublic) Bulletin 741: Louisiana Handbook for Nonpublic School Administrators §107.

Only state-approved nonpublic schools are eligible to participate in the Louisiana Scholarship Program (LSP) and the School Choice Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities. La. R.S. Ann. §§17:4021; 17:4031.

State Accreditation: No requirements.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: State approval of a nonpublic school is dependent on whether the school meets and maintains a sustained curriculum or specialized course of study of quality at least equal to that prescribed for similar public schools. La. R.S. Ann. §17:11.

A minimum of 24 credits is required for incoming freshmen, who will complete the Louisiana Core 4 Curriculum. The minimum course requirements are four units of English, mathematics, science, and social studies, two units of health and physical education, two units of foreign language or speech, one unit of art, and three units of electives. Specific details of those requirements can be found in Louisiana Department of Education (Nonpublic) Bulletin 741: Louisiana Handbook for Nonpublic School Administrators §2109.

Prekindergarten programs may be operated as part of an approved elementary school program in conjunction with other grades or may be operated solely as an approved prekindergarten program. Prekindergarten includes developmental programs for children ages three to four, with a minimum age of three by September 30 of the year the child enters prekindergarten. Children in prekindergarten programs are eligible to enter kindergarten at the established age requirement for those programs. Nonpublic schools are not required to offer prekindergarten programs nor are children required to attend those programs. Any other program that operates in a school as a childcare program shall follow the daycare standards as prescribed by the appropriate agency. 2011 Legislative Session HB 373 (Act 102).

No more than 35 students can be enrolled in one class except for certain activity classes such as physical education, art, music, etc. Louisiana Department of Education (Nonpublic) Bulletin 741: Louisiana Handbook for Nonpublic School Administrators §707.

Testing: Optional. Any approved nonpublic school that participates in the state Exit Testing Program shall award a state and/or school diploma to a student who successfully completes the state’s minimum graduation requirements and meets the following assessment requirements: (1) Students must pass three end-of-course tests in English II or English III, Algebra I or geometry, biology, or American history; (2) a student who attends an approved nonpublic school that opts to participate in the state Exit Testing Program but who does not successfully complete the state’s minimum graduation requirements and meet the assessment requirements shall not be eligible for either a state or a school diploma. Regarding a school that is a participating nonpublic school within any of the state student scholarship programs, the nonpublic school shall ensure that scholarship recipients are administered all examinations required pursuant to the Louisiana School and District Accountability System at the prescribed grade levels including the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program, the integrated Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (iLEAP), and graduation exit examinations. La. R.S. Ann. §17:4023.

Teacher Certification: To be classified as a school under the General School Law provisions, the instructional staff of a nonpublic school receiving local, state, or federal funds or support, directly or indirectly, must be qualified in accordance with the rules established by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. If the school does not receive public aid, directly or indirectly, the instructional staff must meet such requirements as may be prescribed by the school or the church. La. R.S. Ann. §17:236.

Instructional staff at nonpublic schools must meet one of the following three criteria: hold a valid Louisiana teaching certification for the courses he/she instructs; qualify to teach in a nonpublic school (as qualified by guidance outlined by the Louisiana Department of Education), or obtain a one-year Nonpublic Temporary Teaching Authorization (NTTA) issued by the department of education or diocesan superintendent for schools within the diocesan system. Specific details of these qualifications can be found in Louisiana Department of Education (Nonpublic) Bulletin 741: Louisiana Handbook for Nonpublic School Administrators §303.

Professional Development: A minimum of two days of professional development shall be held each school year. Louisiana Department of Education (Nonpublic) Bulletin 741: Louisiana Handbook for Nonpublic School Administrators §305.

Health and Safety Requirements: Persons entering any school within Louisiana for the first time must present satisfactory evidence of immunization or an immunization program in progress according to the schedule approved by the Office of Public Health. If the student or parent submits either a written statement from a physician that the procedure is contraindicated for medical reasons or a written dissent, the student is not required to be immunized. Administrators of all elementary and secondary schools are responsible for checking students’ records to see that those provisions are enforced. In the event of an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease at the school, the administrators are empowered to exclude unimmunized students until the appropriate disease incubation period has expired or the unimmunized person presents evidence of immunization. La. R.S. Ann. §17:170.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: Annually, the superintendent of education reimburses approved nonpublic schools for the actual cost incurred for providing school services, maintaining records, and completing and filing mandatory reports; e.g., forms, reports, or records relative to school approval or evaluation, public attendance, pupil health and pupil health testing, transportation of pupils, federally funded educational programs, including school lunch and breakfast programs, school textbooks and supplies, library books, pupil appraisal, pupil progress, transfer of pupils, teacher certification, teacher continuing education programs, unemployment, and annual school data. La. R.S. Ann. §17:361.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Nonpublic schools must keep registration and attendance records of students and maintain a current permanent record of the student’s individual data and academic progress through school. Louisiana Department of Education (Nonpublic) Bulletin 741: Louisiana Handbook for Nonpublic School Administrators, §505.

Nonpublic schools must maintain a health record for each student from prekindergarten to grade 12. Louisiana Department of Education (Nonpublic) Bulletin 741: Louisiana Handbook for Nonpublic School Administrators §519.

A nonpublic school is required to submit an annual school report to the state department of education by October 15. Louisiana Department of Education (Nonpublic) Bulletin 741: Louisiana Handbook for Nonpublic School Administrators §527.

Upon entering a private school for the first time, all children must present a copy of their official birth record to the school principal. Children born in Louisiana will be given a 15-day grace period to secure a copy of their birth record. Children born out of the state will be given a 30-day grace period in which to produce a copy of their birth record. If birth certificates or birth verification cannot be obtained, the school principal may accept whatever positive proof of age, race, and parentage is available. It is left to the discretion of the parish or city superintendent of schools, subject to the authority of the school board, as to whether or not a child shall continue in school upon failure to comply. La. R.S. Ann. §§17:167, 222.

Private schools that receive local, state, or federal funds, directly or indirectly, or whose students or their parents are recipients or beneficiaries of any local, state, or federal education program or assistance must cooperate with visiting teachers or supervisors of child welfare and attendance. Within 30 days after the beginning of the school term, principals must report in writing to the visiting teacher or supervisor of child welfare and attendance the name, birth date, race, parents’ names, and residence of each pupil in attendance at their schools, and make other reports as required. Attendance must be taken daily and at the beginning of each class period, verified by the teacher keeping the record and open to inspection. All schools must immediately report unexplained, unexcused, or illegal absence, or habitual tardiness. La. R.S. Ann. §17:232.A, B, C.

Private schools that do not receive local, state, or federal funds, directly or indirectly, and where neither students nor parents are recipients or beneficiaries of such funds, are required to report to the Louisiana Department of Education their total attendance as of the 30th day of their school term. La. R.S. Ann. §17.232.C.

Schools wishing to participate in the LSP and enroll scholarship recipients shall annually notify the department of its intent to participate in the program by February 1 of the previous school year. The notice shall specify the number of seats the school will have available for scholarship recipients at each grade level and the maximum amount of tuition attributable to each available seat, as applicable. La. R.S. Ann. §17.4020.B.

Technology: Nonpublic schools choosing to implement a distance education program shall establish policies and procedures for reviewing and approving programs that meet the Standards for Distance Education as established by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Louisiana Department of Education (Nonpublic) Bulletin 741: Louisiana Handbook for Nonpublic School Administrators §2523.

Other: Schools participating in the LSP that have been approved, provisionally approved, or probationally approved for less than two years shall not have scholarship recipients comprising more than 20 percent of their total enrollment. La. R.S. Ann. §17:4021.

Kentucky

(As of July 2009)

Registration: No requirement.

Length of School Year and Day: The school term for private and parochial schools may not be shorter than the term of the local public school district; if the school operates year-round then the minimum term is 185 days that includes no less than the equivalent of 177 six-hour instructional days. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§158.070,158.080.

State Approval: Optional. Pupils completing the prescribed elementary program of studies at any approved private or parochial school are entitled to a certificate of completion signed by his or her teachers. The certificate entitles the pupils to admission into any public high school. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §158.140.

Approval is synonymous to certification in Kentucky law. See Licensing.

State Accreditation: Optional. Kentucky does not have an accrediting agency at the state department; however, nonpublic schools can be certified based on the accreditation of a recognized regional or national accrediting agency or by a self-study accreditation process through the Kentucky Nonpublic School Commission. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §156.160(3).

Licensing: Optional. Kentucky law provides optional certification for private, parochial, and church schools that comply with curriculum, certification, and textbook standards established by the Kentucky Board of Education. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §156.160(3).

Certification is a form of licensing in Kentucky.

Curriculum: Instruction at private and parochial schools must be in the English language. Private and parochial schools must offer courses required to be taught in the public schools of the state, consistent with Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §156.445(3). Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §158.080.

The state textbook commission approves text materials for private and parochial schools for certification purposes if texts are comprehensive and appropriate to the grade level in question, notwithstanding they may contain elements of religious philosophy. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §156.445(3).

Proprietary schools, i.e. privately owned educational institutions offering instruction in business, trade, technical, industrial, or related areas, but not including parochial, denominational, or eleemosynary schools, are subject to state minimum standards. The standards cover, but are not limited to, the school’s facilities, quality and content of courses, qualifications of instructors and administrators, and finances. Student and faculty records must be available for inspection. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§165A.310, 165A.370.

If an unmarried child between the age of 16 and 18 wishes to terminate his education prior to graduation, the principal or designee must conduct a conference with the student and request a conference with the child’s parent or guardian. The parent or guardian must sign a written notification of withdrawal, co-signed by the school principal/designee 60 days prior to withdrawal. During the 60-day period, the parent or guardian and child are required to attend a one-hour counseling session on potential problems of non-graduates. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §159.010(2).

Voter registration forms are available to private schools upon request from the county clerk. The school may designate an individual to inform students and employees of the availability of the forms and assist them in properly registering. The completed forms must be returned to the county clerk for official registration. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §116.046.

Textbooks: Kentucky’s statutory provision, Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §171.215, furnishing textbooks to nonpublic schools, was found unconstitutional by the Kentucky Supreme Court. Fannin v. Williams, 655 S.W.2d 480 (1983).

Testing: There is no state policy at this time.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is not required for teachers at private schools.

Professional Development: There is no state policy at this time.

Transportation: School districts that contract to furnish transportation to students attending nonpublic schools may adopt any payment formula which assures that no public school funds are used for the transportation of nonpublic students. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §157.360(2).

Health and Safety Requirements: Persons smoking tobacco products on school grounds while children are assembled will be fined not less than $1 nor more than $5, except adult employees smoking in a designated room or individuals smoking in designated areas in secondary schools. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §438.050.

If the local board of health or Cabinet for Health and Family Services determines a school building is unsanitary, unsafe, or constructed in violation of the law, the local board of health or Cabinet of Health and Family Services “may institute an action in the Circuit Court of the county where the building is situated, and the court, after due hearing and verifying the facts, may order a safe and sanitary school building to be erected within a reasonable time by the county or city board of education in accordance with the laws of the state governing the erection of schoolhouses and the control of disease, and the rules and regulations of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.” Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §212.210.

The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act includes provisions that require procedures to identify and control asbestos hazards in private schools, grades K–12, reviewing school asbestos management, and inspections of schools for compliance. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §224.20-300.

The Kentucky Department of Education operates a program to identify and locate missing children. By statute, the department must distribute a list of missing Kentucky school children to private schools monthly. Private schools must notify the department at its earliest known contact with any child appearing on the list. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §156.495.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Private and parochial schools are required to report to the local school district superintendent the names, ages, and places of residence of all pupils and any other information the superintendent requires to comply with the laws relating to the compulsory attendance and employment of children. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §159.160.

If a private, parochial or church regular day school declines to notify the local board of education of those students in attendance, the school must notify each student’s parent or guardian in writing and it becomes the duty of the parent or guardian to notify the local board of education. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §159.030(1)(b).

Private and parochial schools must keep student attendance records in a register provided by the state board for elementary and secondary education. The schools must make attendance and scholarship reports in the same manner as required of public school officials. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §159.040.

The schools must be open to inspection by the directors of pupil personnel and officials of the department of education at all times. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §159.040.

Special Education: Kentucky publicly places students in private schools that maintain special education programs approved by the Kentucky Board of Education if the local school district does not provide a special education program for the exceptionality. Transportation costs are included in the covered costs by the state. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §157.280(1), (2); 707 Ky. Admin. Regs.1:015.

Parochial and private schools occupied by more than 250 persons or occupying 3,200 or more square feet must be accessible to and usable by persons with physical disabilities. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §198B.260(e).

Nursing and Health: All public or private primary or secondary schools, and preschool programs shall require a current immunization certificate for any child enrolled as a regular attendee, as provided by administrative regulation of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, promulgated under Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. Chapter 13A, to be on file within two (2) weeks of the child’s attendance. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §214.034.

All public or private primary schools shall require a current immunization certificate for hepatitis B for any child enrolled as a regular attendee in the sixth grade, as provided by administrative regulation of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, promulgated under Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. Chapter 13A, to be on file within two (2) weeks of the child’s attendance. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §214.034.

Technology: “Nothing in Kentucky Revised Statutes §§339.210–339.450 shall prevent the use of suitable machinery for instruction in schools where the mechanical arts are taught in connection with and as part of the usual school curriculum. The use of such machinery in any public or private school shall be subject to the approval of the board of education of the district where the school is situated, and shall be subject to the general industrial safety standards as to supplying safeguards for the protection of those using such machinery.” Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §339.430.

Kansas

(As of June 24, 2015)

Registration: Registration is mandatory for non-accredited private schools. The official custodian of every non-accredited private elementary or secondary school must register the name and address of the private elementary or secondary school with the Kansas State Board of Education. The purpose of that provision is to make available the name and location of the school for the request of student records in the event of a student transfer. Kansas Statutes Annotated (K.S.A.) §§72-53,101 and 72-53,102.

Length of School Year and Days: To satisfy the Kansas compulsory attendance statute, private schools must offer instruction for a period of time that is “substantially equivalent” to the period of time public schools are open (465 hours per year for kindergarten, 1,116 hours per year for grades 1 through 11, and 1,086 hours per year for grade 12). K.S.A. §72-1106(b).

State Approval: Optional. To satisfy the Kansas compulsory attendance statute, approval by the Kansas State Board of Education is mandatory for the education provided at the high school level by churches or religious denominations. K.S.A. §72-1111(g).

Approval is granted for a two-year period based on the following criteria: 1) Attendance is mandatory in at least five hours of learning activities for each day the public school is in session in the public school district where the child resides. 2) Acceptable learning activities may include parent-supervised projects in agriculture and homemaking, work-study programs, or accredited correspondence courses. 3) The program includes at least 15 hours per week of classroom work under the supervision of a competent instructor. 4) Regular attendance reports must be filed and students reported as absent if they do not complete five hours of learning activities. 5) The instructor maintains complete records of the students’ work and files the records on a monthly basis with the Kansas State Board of Education and the local board of education. K.S.A. §72-1111(g).

State Accreditation: Optional. The Kansas State Board of Education accredits public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools. K.S.A. §72-7513(a)(3). Accreditation regulations can be found at Kansas Administrative Regulations (K.A.R.) 91-31-31 et seq.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Every accredited elementary school must teach reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, spelling, English grammar and composition, history of the United States and of Kansas, civil government and citizenship, health and hygiene, and other subjects as the state board determines. K.S.A. §72-1101.

Accredited private and parochial elementary schools are required to provide a complete course of instruction in civil government, United States history, patriotism, and citizenship. Accredited private and parochial high schools must give a course of instruction in the government and institutions of the United States, particularly the Constitution of the United States. No student can graduate from high school without successfully passing such a course. K.S.A. §72-1103.

Private or parochial schools have a duty to display the United States flag and official state flag every school day from a flagstaff or, in inclement weather, within the school building. K.S.A. §§73-707 and 73-712.

Accredited schools in Kansas must provide instruction on Kansas history and government to all students graduating from high school. K.S.A. §72-1117.

Every accredited school shall teach the subjects and areas of instruction adopted by the state board of education as of January 1, 2005. K.S.A. §72-1127(a).

Textbooks: Public schools are not obligated to make textbooks or academic materials available to nonpublic school students. However, the public school district may allow students attending accredited nonpublic schools to purchase textbooks from the public school district. K.S.A. §72-4160.

Testing: Testing requirements are not placed on non-accredited private schools.

Accredited schools must have 95 percent or more of all students and 95 percent or more of each student subgroup take the state assessments. K.A.R. 91-31-32(b)(2).

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is not required for teachers and administrators of non-accredited private schools as long as they are “competent instructors.” K.S.A. §72-1111(a)(2).

Teacher certification from the Kansas State Board of Education is required for teachers and administrators employed at accredited nonpublic schools. K.S.A. §72-7513(a)(4) and K.A.R. §91-31-32(c)(5).

Accredited nonpublic schools are under a statutory duty to adopt a written personnel evaluation policy and procedure for certified personnel. The policy must require all evaluations to be in writing and be maintained in a file for at least three years. Every employee must be evaluated at least one time per semester in the first two consecutive school years of employment, but not later than the 60th day of the semester. During the third and fourth years of employment, evaluations must occur annually, but not later than February 15. Thereafter, evaluations must occur at least once every three years but not later than February 15. K.S.A.  §§72-9002 and 72-9003.

Professional Development: Kansas provides for nonpublic school representation on the Teaching and School Administration Professional Standards Advisory Board. By statute, two members of the 21-member board come from accredited nonpublic schools. K.S.A. §72-8502(d)(8)(9).

Transportation: Privately owned school buses operated under contract with a nonpublic school must comply with state rules and regulations adopted by the state board of education that govern the design and operation of school buses. This includes that all seats should be forward facing, and that the rules and regulations must by reference be part of any contract.  K.S.A. §8-2009.

Health and Safety Requirements: Every pupil up to the age of nine years who has not been previously enrolled in any Kansas school must present the results of a health assessment prior to admission to or attendance in school. A health assessment includes a health history, physical examination and such screening tests as are medically indicated to determine hearing ability, vision ability, nutrition adequacy, and appropriate growth and development. Before the beginning of each school year, nonpublic schools must provide all known incoming students who are subject to that provision with a copy of any governing policy adopted by governing body of the nonpublic school. Parents are exempt if they are opposed to the assessment based on the religious teachings of their denomination and file a signed statement to that effect. Local health departments and clinics may charge a sliding fee for the health assessment, but no pupil can be denied the health assessment due to inability to pay. K.S.A. §72-5214.

Private school students enrolling for the first time must present certification that they have received the tests and inoculations as required by the secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Alternatively, a student may present medical certification that the test or inoculation would seriously harm their health or a written statement that the student is an adherent of a religious denomination whose teachings are opposed to such tenets or inoculations. On or before May 15 of each school year, private schools must give a copy of that provision and any relevant school policy to all known pupils who are enrolled or will be enrolling in the school. If a pupil transfers schools, the school must forward the certification or statement with the pupil’s transcript to the new school. The area health department will provide tests and inoculations at public expense, to the extent that funds are available, when parent or guardians have not provided for the pupils and are not exempt on religious or medical grounds. K.S.A. §§72-5209–5210.

Parochial and private school principals have a duty to exclude children affected with diseases suspected of being infectious or contagious until the expiration of the prescribed period of isolation for the particular disease. K.S.A. §65-122.

All private schools must provide a basic vision screening without charge to every pupil not less than once every two years. The school board must designate someone to perform the test and notify parents or guardians if an examination by a physician or optometrist is warranted. K.S.A. §§72-5204–5205.

Students enrolled in accredited nonpublic schools are entitled to free basic hearing screenings during the first year of admission and not less than once every three years thereafter. The child must be provided a basic hearing screening by the accredited nonpublic school or, if requested by the child’s parents, by the school district where the child resides. If the parents request the public school district to provide the screening, it will be conducted at the nonpublic school if the nonpublic school is located within the school district where the child resides. However, the screening must be conducted at a public school within the district where the child resides if the accredited nonpublic school is located outside the school district where the child resides. K.S.A. §72-1205.

Private and nonpublic schools are subject to annual safety inspections. The state fire marshal will notify the school of any dangerous conditions that require correction. Schools may petition for review in the local district court if they disagree with the fire marshal’s assessment. K.S.A. §31-144.

Administrators of private schools are required to conduct at least one fire drill each month at some time during school hours as prescribed by the state fire marshal. In addition, private schools are required to conduct at least three tornado drills during the school year subject to the fire marshal’s approval. K.S.A. §31-133(a)(5), (8).

Private school buildings must comply with applicable building, mechanical, electric, and plumbing codes. In addition, the construction of all school buildings must be accessible to persons with a disability to the extent required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. All school building construction plans must bear the seal of a licensed architect or engineer and must be submitted to the state board of education for approval. K.S.A. §31-150.

Students and teachers in private schools working in specified activities in vocational, technical, or industrial art shops or laboratories or chemical-physical laboratories are required to wear appropriate industrial quality eye protective devices. K.S.A. §72-5207.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: Students attending accredited nonpublic schools and enrolled in an approved course in driver training offered at the school may participate in the state safety fund and receive remuneration for their expenses if the student completes the course. In addition, students attending accredited nonpublic schools who have enrolled in and completed an approved motorcycle safety course offered at the school may participate in the motorcycle safety fund and receive remuneration for their expenses. K.S.A. §8-272.

Recordkeeping and Reports: The governing authority of a nonpublic school must designate an employee to report students who are not regularly attending school as required by law. The designation must be made by September 1 of each school year and certified by the state board of education to the secretary for children and families or a designee of, to the country or district attorney or designee of, and to the commissioner of education within 10 days. If a student is absent without excuse for three consecutive school days, five or more school days in any semester, or seven school days in any school year, the nonpublic school shall notify the parents of their legal responsibility, and if an appropriate response is not received, file a report of the absences with the above authorities. K.S.A. §72-1113(a), (c), and (d).

Every nonpublic school operating within Kansas must require proof of identity, preferably a birth certificate or pupil records from a prior school, whenever a child enrolls in a school for the first time. If proof of identity is not presented within 30 days, the governing authority must give written notice to the local law enforcement agency for an investigation into the identity of the child. Persons with custody of the child must not be informed of the investigation while it is being conducted. K.S.A. §72-53,106.

The governing authority of a nonpublic school must adopt rules for determining valid excuses for absence from school. K.S.A. §72-1113(c)(2), (g).

Special Education: Local school boards for the public school districts have the authority to contract with any private, nonprofit corporation or public or private institution within or without Kansas that has proper special education services for exceptional children. The state board of education shall approve the curriculum. K.S.A. §72-967(a).

Upon the request of a parent or guardian, every public school district must provide special education services for exceptional children who reside in the district and attend a private, non-profit elementary or secondary school. K.S.A. §72-5393.

If such special education services are provided in the public schools, equal services must be provided for exceptional elementary and secondary school children who reside in the district and attend a private, non-profit school. The special education services may be provided in either the public or the nonpublic schools in the district; if the services are offered in the public schools, the public school district must provide transportation for private school students. If such special education services are provided at the private, non-profit school, amounts to be expended do not have to exceed the average cost of providing the same services in the public school for children with the same disability. K.S.A. §72-5393.

Private, nonprofit elementary or secondary schools are defined as organizations regularly offering elementary or secondary education, exempt from federal income tax under §501 of the Internal Revenue Code, conforming to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and satisfying compulsory school attendance laws. K.S.A. §72-5392(c).

Nursing and Health: Nonpublic schools may participate in the federal food service programs that are administered by the state board of education and receive reimbursement for meals served. K.S.A. §72-5112 et seq.

“Every pupil enrolled in a school district or an accredited nonpublic school shall be provided basic hearing screening without charge during the first year of admission and not less than once every three years thereafter.“ K.S.A. §72-1205. See Health and Safety Requirements.

Technology: The state library and the state board of education may contract with nonpublic schools to provide computerized information search services. K.S.A. §§72-7527 and 75-2563.

Iowa

(As of July 2009)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Days: At least 180 days. Iowa Code §280.3.

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: Optional. By definition, “nonpublic school” means any school not directly supported by taxation that is accredited or which uses licensed practitioners as instructors. Iowa Code §280.2.

Schools seeking accreditation must submit an application in writing to the director of the Iowa Department of Education by January 1 of the preceding year for which the school seeks accreditation. Iowa Code §281.12.

The authorities in charge of an accredited nonpublic school must prescribe reasonable rules for the punishment of truants. Iowa Code §299.9.

For participation in the School Tuition Organization Tax Credit, schools must be accredited. Iowa Code §422.11S.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Iowa State Board of Education rules require that a “multicultural, gender fair approach” be used by state accredited nonpublic schools and that global perspectives be incorporated into all levels of the educational program. Iowa Code §256.11.

State accredited nonpublic schools must prescribe a minimum educational program as defined under §256.11 unless otherwise provided by law or granted an exemption by the Iowa Board of Education. The section outlines a comprehensive curriculum for grades K–6, 7–8, and 9–12 from traditional course offerings to instruction in acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Iowa Code §§256.11, 280.3.

As a condition of graduation, state accredited nonpublic schools must require private school students (grades 9–12) to complete one unit of U.S. history and one-half unit of U.S. government, which shall include a study of the U.S. Constitution and relevant voting statutes and procedures. Iowa Code §256.11(5b).

Nonpublic schools must incorporate career education into the curricular and co-curricular education experience from grades PK–12. The essential elements of career education must include: (1) awareness of self in relation to others and the needs of society, (2) exploration of employment opportunities and experience in personal decision making, and (3) experiences which will help students to integrate work values and work skills into their lives. Iowa Code §280.9.

Nonpublic schools serving grades 9–12 must provide five units of occupational education subjects; e.g., business or office occupations, trade and industrial occupations, consumer and family sciences or home economics occupations, agriculture occupations, marketing, and health occupations. Instruction must be competency-based, articulated with postsecondary programs of study, and may include field, laboratory, or on-the-job training. Iowa Code §256.11b.

The medium of instruction in all secular subjects taught in nonpublic schools must be the English language except when a foreign language is deemed appropriate or when the student is non-English-speaking. A nonpublic school must provide special instruction for non-English-speaking students until the child demonstrates a functional ability to speak, write, read, and understand the English language. Iowa Code §280.4.

Private school students may enroll in public schools for courses not offered at the private school. Private schools may comply with state standards for required courses in this manner. Iowa Code §256.12.1. Iowa Admin. Code R. 281-14.

Testing: School districts and area education agency boards shall provide school testing to children attending nonpublic schools in the same manner and to the same extent provided to public school students. Iowa Code §256.12.2.

Teacher Certification: Required. Accredited nonpublic schools must employ certified teachers. Iowa Admin. Code R. 281-12.4(8).

An accredited nonpublic school must maintain adequate staffing. Iowa Code §280.14.

Transportation: Private school buses are registered without charge upon application to the department of motor vehicles. The department issues a registration certificate and plates, which are imprinted “Private School Bus” to be attached to the front and rear of each bus. Iowa Code §321.18.

Health and Safety Requirements: Nonpublic schools must prescribe procedures for handling child abuse reports alleged against an employee or agent of the school in accordance with state guidelines. Iowa Code §280.17.

Nonpublic schools must provide eye- and ear-protective devices for students and teachers participating in shop or laboratory courses that pose a potential hazard. Iowa Code §280.10, 11.

Private schools must conduct two fire drills and two tornado drills between July 1 and December 31 of each year and again between January 1 and June 30 of each year. Doors and exits of all rooms and buildings must be unlocked when occupied. Fire and tornado warning systems must be installed and first-aid fire extinguishers available. Private schools are inspected by the state fire marshal’s office or the local city fire department at least once every two years to assess compliance with the fire safety standards and to identify potential fire hazards. Iowa Code §100.31.

Recordkeeping and Reports: The principal of an accredited nonpublic school must furnish, when requested by the secretary of the local public school district, a report of the names, ages, number of days in attendance, and course of study of each pupil at the school. The school district provides the necessary forms. The general request may be made once during each school year and at any time for individual cases. Iowa Code §299.3.

The governing authorities of nonpublic schools must submit to the county commissioner of elections the names, addresses, and dates of birth of currently enrolled students who have attained age 18 or will be 18 within six months. The list must be submitted on September 30 and March 30 of each year. The commissioner may use that list to send voter registration forms to the student. Iowa Code §280.9A.2.

As part of Iowa’s uniform school requirements, nonpublic schools must appoint an advisory committee to develop goals and plans to meet the major educational needs of their students and to evaluate and report on the school’s progress annually. Iowa Code §280.12.

Nonpublic schools must maintain a suitable flagstaff and raise the United States flag and the Iowa state banner on all school days when weather conditions permit. Iowa Code §280.5.

For participation in the School Tuition Organization Tax Credit, schools must annually submit a participation form to the department of education providing certified enrollment as of October 1, or the first Monday in October if October 1 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, and providing the information for the school tuition organization representing the school. Iowa Code §422.11S.

Other: For participation in the School Tuition Organization Tax Credit, schools must adhere to the provisions of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. Iowa Code §422.11S.

Indiana

(As of July 2009)

Registration: Mandatory. Nonpublic schools are required to register with the Indiana Department of Education and be assigned a nonpublic school identification number. They must also submit a pupil enrollment number each fall. IC §20-33-2-21.

Length of School Year and Days: To comply with compulsory attendance law in Indiana, a student shall attend school each year for the number of days public schools are in session. IC §20-33-2-5.

Nonpublic schools that seek accreditation shall conduct at least 180 student instructional days for all students grades one through 12. 511 IAC 6.1-3.1.

State Approval: Optional. Indiana State Board of Education implements a voluntary system of recognition for nonpublic school educational programs. The system recognizes the distinguishing characteristics of nonpublic schools and is separate from the accreditation standards available to nonpublic schools. 511 IAC 6.1-9.

A nonpublic school must comply with the following requirements standards to be recognized: (A) school mission requirements, (B) governance requirements, (C) curriculum requirements, (D) personnel requirements, and (E) facility requirements. In addition, the nonpublic school must perform at the expected level in the following areas to be recognized: (A) student attendance rate, (B) for high schools, graduation rate, (C) ISTEP results, (D) mathematics proficiencies, and (E) language arts proficiencies. 511 IAC 6.1-9-3.

The school must inform the department of its intention to seek recognition on or before July 1 of the school year in which the school seeks recognition. 511 IAC 6.1-9-4.

State Accreditation: Optional. The Indiana State Board of Education has established a performance-based accreditation system available to nonpublic schools. The standards for accreditation are the same standards required of all public schools. The observance of (A) IC 20-31-4, (B) IC 20-28-5-2, (C) IC 20-28-6-3 through IC 20-28-6-7, (D) IC 20-28-9-7 and IC 20-28-9-8, (E) IC 20-28-11, and (F) IC 20-31-3, IC 20-32-4, IC 20-32-5, IC 20-32-6, and IC 20-32-8 is a prerequisite to the accreditation of a school. Compliance with the building and site guidelines adopted by the state board is not a prerequisite of accreditation. IC §20-19-2-8 (5).

To comply with accreditation standards, a nonpublic school must meet state requirements in the areas of health and safety, time of school activity, staff-student ratio, curriculum, development, and implementation of staff evaluation plan under IC §20-28-11, and a completed school improvement plan. IC §20-31-4-6.

A school must comply with the following legal standards to be accorded full accreditation status: (A) health and safety requirements, (B) minimum time requirements, (C) staff-student ratio requirements, (D) curriculum offering requirements, (E) instructional staff requirements,

(F) ISTEP participation requirements, (G) mandatory annual assessment requirements, (H) accurate and timely submission of all reports required of schools, (I) production of an annual performance and its dissemination to school constituents, and (J) strategic and continuous school improvement and achievement planning requirements. 511 IAC 6.1-1-4. For additional details, see 511 IAC 6.1.

A school seeking accreditation must be assigned to one of the following categories of school improvement and performance under 511 IAC 6.2-6-4: (A) Exemplary, (B) Commendable, or (C) Academic progress. 511 IAC 6.1-1-4.

Each accredited school principal shall coordinate the development of the Strategic and Continuous School Achievement and Improvement Plan. The plan must: (1) state objectives for a three-year period, and (2) be annually reviewed and revised to accomplish the achievement objectives of the school. In addition the plan must establish objectives consistent with academic standards and include improvement in at least the following areas: attendance rate; percentage of students meeting academic standards under the ISTEP program (IC 20-31-3 and IC 20-32-5); for a secondary school, graduation rate; address the learning needs of all students, including programs and services for exceptional learners; specify how and to what extent the school expects to make continuous improvement in all areas of the education system where results are measured by setting benchmarks for progress on an individual school basis; note specific areas where improvement is needed immediately. IC §20-31-5-4. For details, see 511 IAC 6.2.

A nonpublic school may choose to pursue freeway school accreditation under Indiana law by entering into a contract with the state board of education. Due to the unique nature of freeway schools, the required components of accreditation (Strategic and Continuous School Achievement and Improvement Plan, Legal Standards Compliance, and Student Achievement) are addressed differently. IC §20-26-15-5. For details, see IC 20-26-15-5.

An attempt to deny accreditation to a school that denies enrollment on the basis of creed is an interference with the free exercise of religion. Opp. of Atty. Gen. 1975, No. 22, p. 74.

Schools participating in the School Scholarship Tax Credit and Choice Scholarship Program must be accredited by either the state board or a national or regional accreditation agency that is recognized by the state board. IC §§20-51-1-6(a)(3); 20-51-1-4.7(4).

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Nonpublic schools that voluntarily seek state accreditation shall provide instruction in: (1) the Constitutions of Indiana and the United States in grades six through 12; (2) the systems of government in Indiana and the United States, methods of voting, party structures, election laws, and the responsibilities of citizen participation in grades six through 12 for five full class periods within the two weeks preceding each general election; (3) morals instruction as outlined by the state superintendent in grades one through 12; (4) safety education for one semester in grade eight; (5) AIDS. IC §20-30-5.

Nonpublic, nonaccredited, and nonapproved schools are not bound by any requirements set forth in Indiana Code Titles 20 or 21 with regard to curriculum or the content of educational programs offered by the school. IC §20-33-2-12.

Courses must be “taught in the English language.” IC §20-33-2-4.

Textbooks: Students who attend accredited nonpublic schools and meet financial eligibility standards may receive reimbursement payments from the state for textbooks. The Indiana Department of Education provides each school with application forms; the nonpublic schools assist the parents or emancipated minors in completing the forms and make the determination of financial eligibility. The school’s application to the state must be filed before November 1 of a school year. Parents or emancipated minors may be reimbursed for textbooks (20 percent of the cost) and workbooks and consumable textbooks (100 percent of the cost) that have been adopted by the state board of education or waived by the board. IC §20-33-5-9.

The school board may rent those textbooks to students enrolled in any public or nonpublic school that is: (1) in compliance with the minimum certification standards of the state board, and (2) located within the attendance unit served by the governing body. IC §20-26-12-2.

Testing: Nonpublic schools that voluntarily seek state accreditation, including all Choice Scholarship schools, shall administer the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress (ISTEP) to its students at the same time that school corporations administer the test and make available to the department of public instruction the results. An accredited nonpublic school is entitled to receive the ISTEP program test and the scoring reports used by the department at no charge. IC §§20-32-5-17; 20-51-1-4.7(5).

A nonpublic school seeking recognition must participate in the ISTEP testing program under IC 20-32-5 and 511 IAC 5-2. In lieu of participating in the ISTEP testing program, a nonpublic school may request that the board approve use of another test instrument to determine if the school has met its expected performance levels. The nonpublic school must validate the selected test and establish, to the satisfaction of the board, that the test and the minimum performance expectation are appropriate substitutes for ISTEP. 511 IAC 6.1-9-4.

Schools participating in the School Scholarship Tax Credit must administer the ISTEP or another nationally recognized and norm-referenced assessment of the school’s students. IC §20-51-1-6(a)(4).

Teacher Certification: Recognized nonpublic schools are required to employ personnel that are “properly licensed” under 511 IAC 10. 511 IAC 6.1-9-3.

Professional Development: Private schools accredited with the Indiana State Board of Education must have professional development programs that: identify the knowledge and training needed by teachers to accomplish the goals within the plan; establish professional development goals that describe expected change in teacher performance and the relationship to improved student performance; include strategies describing how the identified knowledge and training will be attained; include a description of the evaluation process that will be used to determine the impact of the program on student achievement; include an explanation of how the overall program meets the board’s core principles for professional development; include a sign-off by the exclusive representative as indication of support only for the professional development program component of the plan; and include a sign-off by the superintendent that the plan and program of the school aligns with corporation-level improvement initiatives and local board policy. IC §20-20-31.

Transportation: The local school corporation must provide transportation without charge for parochial school students residing along a highway constituting the regular route of a public school bus. IC §20-27-11-1.

Private school buses are regulated by the Indiana School Bus Committee that governs the design and operation of all school buses used for the transportation of school children. IC §20-27-3-4.

Private school bus drivers are required to attend an annual safety meeting or workshop not to exceed two days in any one calendar year. IC §20-27-8-9.

If a bus driver has less than 30 days experience in the three prior years, he or she must satisfactorily complete a preservice school bus driver safety education training course. The course is provided by the state Superintendent of Public Instruction and may not exceed 40 hours. IC §20-27-8-10.

Private school buses are subject to an annual inspection by the Indiana Police Department to determine whether each bus complies with the safety requirements prescribed for school bus construction and equipment. IC §20-27-7-1.

Health and Safety Requirements: Accredited nonpublic schools must comply with the rules of the Indiana State Board of Education under 511 IAC 2, the Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission, the state board of health, and the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 511 IAC 6.1-1-4 and 511 IAC 6.1-2-1.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Private schools may require students who initially enroll in the school after July 1, 1988, to provide the name and address of the school last attended and produce reliable proof of the student’s date of birth. The school shall request the student’s records within 14 days of enrollment. IC §20-33-2-10(A).

If the proof of a student’s date of birth is not provided within 30 days of enrollment or appears to be inaccurate or fraudulent, the school shall notify the Indiana Clearinghouse for Information on Missing Children to determine if the child is reported missing. IC §20-33-2-10(C).

Private schools must keep an accurate daily record of attendance to verify the enrollment and attendance of any particular child upon request of the state Superintendent of Public Instruction or local superintendent of the school corporation. IC §20-33-2-20.

The principal/school administrator in every nonpublic school must furnish, on request of the state Superintendent of Public Instruction, a list of students’ names, addresses, and ages for those attending the school. If a pupil withdraws from the school and the school does not receive a request for records within 15 school days, then the private school must report to the state Superintendent of Public Instruction or the local superintendent of the school corporation the name and address of the pupil and the date he or she withdrew. IC §20-33-2-21.

If an Indiana nonpublic school receives a request for records, the records must be promptly sent unless the student’s records have been flagged by the Indiana Clearinghouse for Information on Missing Children. In that event, the nonpublic school must immediately notify the clearinghouse and may not send the records without the authorization of the clearinghouse. IC §20-33-2-21.

Special Education: Each public agency shall, with regard to any nonpublic school or facility, including any religious school or homeschool, within its boundaries: (1) locate, identify, and evaluate all students with disabilities as specified in 511 IAC 7-40; (2) consult with nonpublic school representatives and representatives of parents of nonpublic school students with disabilities; (3) provide information to the division of special education related to parentally placed nonpublic school students covered under this rule; and (4) make available special education and related services to all students with disabilities. 511 IAC 7-34-1.

Technology: An accredited nonpublic school is required to have “a provision for the coordination of technology initiatives” within their Strategic and Continuous School Improvement and Achievement Plan. IC §20-31-5-6.

Other: A Choice school may not discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin and shall abide by the school’s written admission policy fairly and without discrimination with regard to students who apply for or are awarded scholarships. If the number of applicants for enrollment in a school under a Choice Scholarship exceeds the number of Choice Scholarships available to the eligible school, the school must draw at random in a public meeting the applications of applicants who are entitled to a Choice Scholarship from among the applicants who meet the requirements for admission to the school. Each Choice school shall grant the INDOE reasonable access to its premises, including access to the school’s grounds, buildings, and property. Each year the principal of each eligible school shall certify under penalties of perjury to the department that the eligible school is complying with those requirements. IC §20-51-4-3.

Illinois

(As of December 1, 2014)

Registration: Optional. Nonpublic schools in Illinois may register with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) on an annual basis. A school registering must submit assurances of compliance for federal and state laws regarding health examinations, immunizations, attendance, length of term, nondiscrimination, and applicable fire and health safety requirements. 105 ILCS 5/2-3.25o(b).

A nonpublic school applying for registration for the first time must ensure ISBE has received its signed, completed registration form by no later than June 25 in order for the school to be registered by the deadline of June 30. 23 Ill. Adm. Code 425.20(a). Upon receipt of the complete information for initial recognition, including the required assurances, the school is assigned a unique identifying number.

The application for renewal of a school’s registration must be submitted annually between October 1 and November 15. This form furnishes the same information, including assurances, required for initial registration.

Length of School Year and Days: For registered and recognized schools, the length of the school year must be at least 176 days of student attendance, with at least five hours of instruction daily, or a total of 880 hours of instruction per school year. 23 Ill. Adm. Code 425.30(a)(1)(A).

State Recognition: Optional. Nonpublic schools in Illinois that were registered for the previous school year may pursue recognition. Recognition is granted to schools that meet the requirements outlined under the 23 Ill. Adm. Code 425.30.

A nonpublic school may choose whether to seek recognition under direct recognition or under recognition via state-approved external accrediting organizations. 23 Ill. Adm. Code 425.40(b).

Upon receipt of a complete application for direct recognition, a review team whose members must at least include a representative from: (1) the Illinois state superintendent; (2) the regional office of education or a public school; and (3) a nonpublic school. The ISBE will consider the review team’s recommendations and determine if the school meets the recognition requirements. A school may be assigned a recognition status of “full recognition,” “probationary recognition,” or “nonrecognition.” 23 Ill. Adm. Code 425.40.

Requirements for the recognition of nonpublic schools cover the organization, administration, instructional programs, extra-classroom activities, pupil services, school facilities, school food services, and personnel of the school. 23 Ill. Adm. Code 425.40.

State Accreditation: Optional. Nonpublic schools that gain accreditation through a nonpublic, state-approved accrediting agency may qualify as state-recognized schools. Policy and Guidelines for Registration and Recognition of Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary Schools, February 2004.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Attendance at a nonpublic or a parochial school satisfies the Illinois compulsory attendance statute if the “children are taught the branches of education taught to children of corresponding age and grade in the public schools.” 105 ILCS 5/26-1.

Attendance at a nonpublic or parochial school satisfies the Illinois compulsory attendance statute if instruction is in English, “except as otherwise permitted pursuant to Section 27-2 of the School Code [105 ILCS 5/27-2].” 105 ILCS 5/26-1.

Effective with the start of the 2014-15 school year, the Illinois compulsory starting school age becomes six (on or before September 1). 105 ILCS 5/26-1.

Illinois has adopted the Critical Health Problems and Comprehensive Health Education Act for all elementary and secondary schools in the state. The curricula include studies in human growth and development, family life instruction, AIDS education (grades six – twelve), alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse. Pupils are not required to study AIDS or family life instruction if the parent/guardian submits a written objection. The ISBE establishes the minimum amount of instructional time to be devoted to the program at all grade levels and makes available instructional materials and guidelines to assist schools. 105 ILCS 110/3.

Nonpublic school students are eligible to enroll in driver education courses provided through the public schools. 105 ILCS 5/27-24.2, 4. Nonpublic school principals may submit a request for the part-time attendance of their students at a public school in the school district where the student resides if there is sufficient space. 105 ILCS 5/10-20.24.

Recognized schools must provide a program of instruction that meets the minimum statutory and regulatory requirements. 23 Ill. Adm. Code 425.30.

Among others, recognized nonpublic schools must provide instruction in English (except as otherwise permitted under the law) in language arts, mathematics, the biological physical and social sciences, the fine arts, and physical development and health education. 23 Ill. Adm. Code 425.30 (b).

The ISBE encourages nonpublic schools to include child abduction prevention instruction in elementary and secondary school curricula. 105 ILCS 5/2-3.140.

Textbooks: Recognized nonpublic schools are eligible to receive a textbook grant to purchase textbooks that have been preapproved and designated by the State Board of Education for use in any public school and that are secular, non-religious, and non-sectarian. 105 ILCS 5/2-3.51.5.

The ISBE is under a statutory duty to provide the loan of secular textbooks listed for use by the board free of charge to any student in the state enrolled at a public school or at a school other than a public school which is in compliance with the compulsory attendance laws and the federal nondiscrimination statute, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.

Since July 1, 2011, the ISBE must provide annual funding for the purchase of selected textbooks to state-recognized nonpublic K-12 schools. The funding requirement is subject to annual appropriation by the general assembly. The textbooks are limited without exception to those preapproved by ISBE and identified as secular, non-religious, and non-sectarian. 105 ILCS 5/2-3.155; 23 Ill. Adm. Code 425.90.

Testing: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to testing.

Educator Licensure: Educator licensure is not required for teachers at recognized nonpublic schools unless the school governance chooses to require it as a condition of employment.

Illinois requires that all full-time teachers or administrators assigned to such positions after the beginning of the 2011–12 school year hold a bachelor’s or higher degree. Staff members assigned to such positions prior to the beginning of the 2011-12 school year and not holding a bachelor’s or higher degree shall participate annually in professional development designed to strengthen the individual’s knowledge and skills in areas directly related to his or her job duties. 23 Ill. Adm. Code 425.30(c)(6).

A state-recognized nonpublic school’s personnel policies must include a provision that teachers and other employees with instructional responsibilities will be formally evaluated at least every two years for proficiency and competency. 23 Ill. Adm. Code 425.30(c)(3)(B).

Nonpublic schools may employ public school employees on a part-time or temporary basis provided the employment is in no way connected with or subsidized by their public school employment, and provided that such employment does not conflict or interfere with an employee’s public school duties. 105 ILCS 5/24-1.1.

Professional Development: Professional development is required for full-time teachers or administrators in such positions in recognized nonpublic schools who do not hold a bachelor’s or higher degree. In reviewing a nonpublic school for recognition the SBE will determine whether or not there are indications the school allows teachers to attend classes, workshops, or seminars for professional development. 23 Ill. Adm. Code 425.30(c)(6).

Transportation: Nonpublic school bus drivers must be over 21 years of age, have at least one year of driving experience, and hold a valid school bus driver permit. 625 ILCS 5/6-104(b), (d).

Health and Safety Requirements: Recognized nonpublic schools must require all applicants for employment with the school, after July 1, 2007, to authorize a fingerprint-based criminal history records check, including the statewide sex offender database check, as a condition of employment. A school may not knowingly employ a person for whom a department of state police and Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint-based criminal history records check and a statewide sex offender database check has not been initiated or who has been convicted of any of the enumerated offences. 105 ILCS 5/2-3.25o (c-5).

Nonpublic school students are required to have a health examination, including a tuberculosis skin test if residing in designated areas, within one year prior to entering nursery school, kindergarten or first grade, upon entering the sixth and ninth grade, and, irrespective of grade, immediately prior to entrance, each child must present proof of an examination as required. Students must present proof of immunizations against preventable communicable diseases as required by the department of public health. Children may be exempt based on the religious objections of the parents or due to medical contraindications. Every school must report to the ISBE by November 15, the number of children who have received immunizations and health examinations, the number of children who have not complied, and the number of children exempt on religious or medical grounds. 105 ILCS 5/27-8.1; 410 ILCS 315/0.01 et seq.

Students entering grade six or twelve of any private or parochial school must receive a meningococcal immunization that meets specified state standards. Existing Illinois standards for parental or legal guardian objections or medical objections are applicable. 410 ILCS 315/1.10.

Nonpublic schools are required to conduct at least three fire evacuation drills during the regular school term; at least one fire evacuation drill must be held with the participation of the local fire department. 105 ILCS 128/20(a)(1).

Nonpublic schools are required to conduct at least one bus evacuation drill during the regular school term 105 ILCS 128/20 (b).

Nonpublic schools are required to conduct at least one severe weather or shelter in place drill during the regular school term. 105 ILCS 128/20(d).

Nonpublic schools are required to conduct law enforcement drills for such scenarios as bomb threats, active shooters, etc. 105 ILCS 128/20(c).

Under the Missing Children Records Act, nonpublic schools must obtain a birth certificate or other reliable proof (as recognized by the Illinois State Police) of age and verification of the child’s identity. 325 ILCS 50/5(b).

Under the Illinois Missing Child Program, nonpublic school administrators, at registered nonpublic schools, are provided periodic information bulletins from the ISBE apprising them of missing children. If the school determines that a missing child is attending the school, the administrator shall immediately notify the “Department of State Police and the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction in the area where the missing child resides or attends school.” 105 ILCS 5/2-3.73.

Nonpublic school students, teachers, and visitors must wear industrial quality eye protective devices when participating in harmful specified courses. 105 ILCS 115/1.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to reimbursement for performing state and local functions.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Every school shall report to the ISBE by November 15 the number of children who have received immunizations and health examinations, the number of children who have not complied, and the number of children exempt on religious or medical grounds. 105 ILCS 5/27-8.1.

Illinois gives parents a statutory right to school conference and activity leave (eight hours), with certain qualifications. Nonpublic schools must notify parents of their school visitation rights. In addition, it is the responsibility of the school administrator to verify the parent or guardian’s school visitation for employers. 820 ILCS 147/30.

Nonpublic schools may conceal the location or address of an individual covered by an order of protection issued by the courts under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986. The school must maintain a certified copy of the order in the student’s records. 750 ILCS 60/222.

Any nonpublic elementary or secondary school who has a student transferring to a public K-12 school inside or outside Illinois must forward within 10 days of notice of the student’s transfer a “certified copy of student’s record.” Such record must include the following: A) basic identifying information, including the student’s name and address, birth date and place, and gender, and the names and addresses of the student’s parents; B) academic transcript, including grades, class rank, graduation date, grade level achieved and scores on college entrance examinations; C) attendance record; D) accident reports and health record; E) honors and awards received; and F) information concerning participation in school-sponsored activities or athletics, or offices held in school-sponsored organizations. 23 Ill. Adm. Code 375.75(h).

A recognized nonpublic, nonsectarian K─12 school must provide to the ISBE enrollment information about the children of military personnel. The school must provide the opportunity for the person enrolling a student to voluntarily state whether the child has a parent or guardian who is a member of a branch of the U.S. armed forces and whether that parent or guardian is deployed to active duty or expects to be deployed to active duty during the school year. 105 ILCS 5/22-70.

Annually, on or before December 1, a registered nonpublic school must make publicly available the identical required immunization data that is submitted to the ISBE by November 15. 105 ILCS 5/27-8.1(6).

Each school’s recognition is contingent on evidence of compliance with requirements of Section 4 of the Abuse and Neglected Child Act [325 ILCS 5/4], Section 5 of the Missing Children Records Act [325 ILCS 50/5], Section 5 of the Missing Children Registration Law [325 ILCS 55/5]. 23 Ill. Adm. Code 425.30(a)(1)(D).

Special Education: School districts may place children with disabilities in nonpublic schools or private special education facilities complying with state regulations if the special education program of a district is unable to meet the needs of the child. 105 ILCS 5/14-4.02.

Students with disabilities attending nonpublic schools may be eligible to receive special education services through part-time attendance at a public school and transportation is provided if required in the child’s individual educational plan. 105 ILCS 5/14-6.01.

Nursing and Health: Nonpublic schools are eligible to participate in the Illinois school lunch and breakfast programs. Applications are provided by ISBE and must be filed with ISBE. 105 ILCS 125/5.

Nonpublic schools are eligible for state grants under the Asbestos Abatement Act. Any recovery by the nonpublic school through litigation must be used to reimburse the state Asbestos Abatement Fund. 105 ILCS 105/ 9c.

Technology: Nonpublic school students and teachers may benefit from programs and services offered through the state’s regional offices of education (ROEs), provided public schools have already been afforded adequate access. The ROEs provide education for gifted children through area service centers, computer technology education, mathematics science and reading resources for teachers including continuing education, in-service training and staff development. 105 ILCS 5/2-3.62.

A state-recognized nonpublic school may apply for a loan that can be used for a variety of technology investments through the School Technology Revolving Loan fund. The School Technology Revolving Loan program is a three-year loan with a two percent interest rate. Priority is given for public schools that apply before October 1. For any recognized nonpublic schools that close, rules set by the ISBE govern the mechanism for reclaiming any items or equipment purchased with the loan funds. 105 ILCS 5/2-3.117a; 23 Ill. Adm. Code 575.100.

Subject to appropriation, funds for the School Safety and Educational Improvement Block Grant Program may be provided to eligible nonpublic schools for secular textbooks and software, criminal history records checks, and health and safety mandates to the extent that the funds are expended for purely secular purposes. 105 ILCS 5/2-3.51.5.

Idaho

(As of November 25, 2015)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Days: To comply with the Idaho compulsory attendance statute, attendance at a private or parochial school must be “during a period in each year equal to that in which public schools are in session.” Idaho Code §33-202.

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: Optional. Private and parochial schools may choose to seek accreditation with the Northwest Association Commission. Idaho Administrative Procedures Act (IDAPA) 08.02.02.128.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: The Idaho compulsory school attendance statute requires parents and guardians to ensure that their school-age children receive instruction in the subjects commonly taught in the public schools. Idaho Code §33-202.

Private or parochial school students may enroll in driver training courses offered by the local school district. Fees cannot be assessed that are not required for public school students. Idaho Code §33-1703.

The Idaho State Board of Education’s committee to select curriculum must include one representative from a private or parochial school (a parent, teacher or administrator). IDAPA 08.02.03.128.

Textbooks: No state policy on textbooks regarding private schools currently exists.

Testing: No state policy on testing or assessments regarding private schools currently exists.

Teacher Certification: Every person employed in an accredited private elementary or secondary school as a teacher, supervisor, administrator, education specialist, school nurse, or school librarian must hold a certificate from the state board of education for the service being rendered. The state board can endorse a certificate valid in another state for use in Idaho for not more than five years when the qualifications are not lower than those required for a certificate in Idaho. Idaho Code §33-1201.

Professional Development: No state policy on professional development regarding private schools currently exists.

Transportation: Public school districts may transport nonpublic school students, “where practicable, when the full costs for providing the transportation are recovered.” Idaho Code §33-1501.

The Idaho Supreme Court held public funding of transportation of private school pupils unconstitutional in Epeldi v. Engelking, 488 P.2d 860 (1971).

The annual fee is $24 for each school bus registered to transport children to or from school or in connection with school-approved activities and that is operated either (1) by a nonprofit, nonpublic school, or (2) according to a contract with a school district.  Idaho Code §49-402(2).

Health and Safety Requirements: The parent or guardian of any student admitted to a private or parochial school must, upon admission, provide a record regarding the child’s immunity to certain childhood diseases. The statement, to be signed by a physician or his or her representative, must document that the child has received or is in the process of receiving the immunizations, or is immune through prior contraction of the disease. The Idaho Board of Health and Welfare is charged with specifying the requisite immunizations and the school reporting requirements. Idaho Code §39-4801.

Private school governing boards may choose to maintain and supervise a school safety patrol to assist children crossing public streets or highways. Idaho Code §33-1801.

“It is unlawful and a misdemeanor for any person to carry a firearm or other deadly weapon on any school property, or in portions of any building, stadium or other structure on school grounds being used, at the time of the violation, for a school-sponsored event or activity.” Idaho Code §18-3302D(1).

Any person who owns, operates, or is employed by a school, including private, for educational purposes for children four through six years of age or a private kindergarten, must comply with Idaho‘s criminal history check requirements. Idaho Code §39-1105(3).

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: No state policy on reimbursement for performing state and local functions regarding private schools currently exists.

Recordkeeping and Reports: When a student enrolls for the first time in a private elementary or secondary school, the school must notify the parent or guardian in writing that he or she must provide reliable proof of the student’s identity and birth date within 30 days. If the parent or guardian fails to comply, the private school must immediately notify the local law enforcement agency of this failure and inform the parent or guardian in writing that he or she has 10 additional days to comply. The private school must immediately report to the local law enforcement agency any documentation provided that appears inaccurate or suspicious. Idaho Code §18-4511(2).

Within 14 days after enrolling a transfer student, the private school must request a certified copy of the student’s record from his or her previous school. A private or public school must comply with the request for records within 10 days of receipt unless the student was flagged as a missing or runaway child. In that event, that school must notify the local law enforcement agency of the request for a flagged record. However, a private school that is accredited by the state board of education and that has an agreement allowing it to retain a student’s records for nonpayment of tuition or fees may do so. The school must notify the student’s new school of the reason the records are being withheld. And, even though the records are withheld, the school must notify the local law enforcement agency if the student’s record has been flagged as described above. Idaho Code §18-4511(3).

Private schools are required to flag the records of any student reported missing or as a runaway by the Idaho state police. The school must report any subsequent request for the records to the local law enforcement agency. Idaho Code §18-4511(1).

Confidential communications by a private school student to any certificated counselor, psychologist or psychological examiner employed by a private school are privileged and protected against disclosure in any civil or criminal action to which the student is a party. Idaho Code §9-203(6).

Idaho‘s Superintendent of Public Instruction shall notify a school district or private school regarding the enrollment of a registered juvenile sex offender and, if known, the offender’s probationary or treatment status. Idaho Code §18-8408.

Special Education: Chapter 9 of the Idaho Special Education Manual 2007 describes both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004).

An education agency that contracts with a private school to provide special education services must ensure that the private school is approved by the state department of education to provide these services. The state department of education may approve a private school if the school is accredited and nonsectarian; meets minimum health, fire, and safety standards; and provides special education services consistent with governing special education requirements. IDAPA 08.02.03.109.02.

Nursing and Health: Idaho child nutrition programs provide cash assistance and commodity foods to ensure children are adequately fed in public, private, and charter schools, residential child care institutions, preschools, and child and adult care centers and homes. The Idaho Child Nutrition Department follows the guidelines of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Technology: No state policy on technology regarding private schools currently exists.

Hawaii

(As of July 2009)

Registration: Mandatory. A school shall obtain a charter from the State of Hawaii Department of Consumer Affairs and an excise tax license.

Length of School Year and Day: Licensing organization sets length of school year or day requirements. Hawaii Council of Private Schools, “Standards and Procedures for the Approval of Hawaii Private Schools.” Memorandum of Understanding The Hawaii Council of Private Schools, HDOE, Hawaii Association of Independent Schools (HAIS), pursuant to Hawaii Sessions Law, ACT 188.

The length of the school day and the length of the school year shall be determined by the private school in accord with its stated mission, provided that the amount of instruction offered is at least 880 hours in a given school year. Hawaii Council of Private Schools, “Standards and Procedures for the Approval of Hawaii Private Schools, 1996.”

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: Optional. The accreditation standard of approval can be met through accreditation with the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools (HAIS), the Hawaii Board of Education‘s accrediting agency designee Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and/or other accrediting associations that meet the requirements established by the Hawaii Council of Private Schools for accrediting schools offering preschool through grade 12.

Licensing: Optional. Although it is not mandatory, licensing is strongly recommended by the state. The Hawaii Council of Private Schools performs the functions and assumes the responsibilities of the Hawaii Department of Education (HDOE) for the licensing of all private schools in Hawaii. Memorandum of Understanding The Hawaii Council of Private Schools, HDOE, Hawaii Association of Independent Schools (HAIS), pursuant to Hawaii Sessions Law, ACT 188.

Curriculum: Licensing organization sets the curriculum requirements. Hawaii Council of Private Schools, “Standards and Procedures for the Approval of Hawaii Private Schools.” Memorandum of Understanding The Hawaii Council of Private Schools, HDOE, Hawaii Association of Independent Schools (HAIS), pursuant to Hawaii Sessions Law, ACT 188.

Schools licensed by the Hawaii Council of Private Schools must meet the following requirements: “The curriculum for each private school shall include a cumulative and sequential educational program which provides a range of knowledge and skills necessary for success at the next appropriate level of education or work, and which takes into account the unique interests, needs, and abilities of each student. Unless the school exclusively serves students with special needs or disabilities, the program shall include such areas as reading, writing, speech, mathematics, social studies, science, art, music, and health and physical education, to be offered at the appropriate developmental state of each individual.” Hawaii Council of Private Schools, “Standards and Procedures for the Approval of Hawaii Private Schools, 1996.”

Textbooks: There is no state policy at this time.

Testing: Private schools determine their own assessment policies.

Teacher Certification: Licensing organization sets teacher certification requirements. Hawaii Council of Private Schools, “Standards and Procedures for the Approval of Hawaii Private Schools.” Memorandum of Understanding The Hawaii Council of Private Schools, HDOE, Hawaii Association of Independent Schools (HAIS), pursuant to Hawaii Sessions Law, ACT 188.

Schools licensed by the Hawaii Council of Private Schools must meet the following requirements: “The administration, faculty, and staff shall be qualified for their position and responsibilities by education and/or experience. While it is the responsibility of the head of the school to determine the school’s needs and the qualifications needed in personnel, regular teachers, not working exclusively under the direct supervision of another faculty member, shall be expected to have at least a baccalaureate degree from an established college or university, or a professional certificate from a national or state teacher certification agency, or some other means of indicating the talents and/or skills (such as technological, foreign language competency) for their position. In general, there should be a preference for faculty with degrees from established colleges or universities.” Hawaii Council of Private Schools, “Standards and Procedures for the Approval of Hawaii Private Schools, 1996.”

Professional Development: There is no state policy at this time.

Transportation: “The department of transportation shall grant exemptions for the use of vehicles other than school vehicles when the department finds that compliance with this section is: 1) Impractical due to the unavailability of school vehicles; or 2) Impractical due to economic factors.” Exemptions are granted to “1) a board of independent schools, which is registered with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (Hawaii Association of Independent Schools), to administer to private schools utilizing criteria developed by the Departments of Transportation and Education at the end of each school year on the extent to which these exemptions were utilized; 2) only for the transport of pupils to and from school functions or school-related activities but not for transportation to and from a school; 3) only when each pupil being transported has obtained a written statement from the pupil’s parent or legal guardian waiving the State’s liability; and 4) in accordance with the procedures and criteria established by rules of the Department of Transportation.” HRS §286-181.

“The Department of Transportation may grant exemptions for the use of vehicles other than school vehicles for the transportation of students requiring special education and services when the Department finds that compliance with this section is impossible or impractical.” HRS §286-181.

Health and Safety Requirements: No person who has contracted tuberculosis shall, while afflicted with the disease, be allowed to teach in any public or private school. HRS §302A-612.

Each student must present a report of a physical examination, a certificate of tuberculosis examination, and a record of immunizations before first attending school. A student who has not completed the physical exam or all of the required immunizations may attend school on a provisional basis only with written documentation showing that appointments have been made to complete the missing requirements. HRS §11-157-6.1.

Private school employees and officers have a duty to report suspected child abuse or neglect that is based upon a reasonable belief. Individuals should immediately make their reports orally to the Department of Social Services or to the police department. HRS §350-1.1.

Private schools are required to conduct criminal history record checks on all new employees hired after July 1, 2000, for positions that place the employee in close proximity to children. This includes non-teaching staff who work in close proximity to children. HRS §302-C1.

Schools licensed by the Hawaii Council of Private Schools must meet the following requirements: “The school shall maintain physical facilities, playgrounds, equipment and materials of sufficient quality and quantity to support the program of the school. The school shall comply with applicable health, fire, safety, and sanitary standards.” Hawaii Council of Private Schools, “Standards and Procedures for the Approval of Hawaii Private Schools, 1996.”

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time.

Recordkeeping and Reports: As the licensing entity, the Hawaii Council of Private Schools is responsible for the publication of an annual directory of licensed private schools, annual enrollment report, keeping of permanent records for all schools, and handling of complaints.

“The Hawaii Council of Private Schools will require the submission of an annual report from approved schools reporting on enrollment and other data required to maintain a database for the private school community. Every effort will be made to avoid duplication of effort by the school with respect to other reporting requirements of the school by other organizations.” Hawaii Council of Private Schools, “Standards and Procedures for the Approval of Hawaii Private Schools, 1996.”

Special Education: The development of the Private School Participation Project is mandated by Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Chapter 56 of the Hawaii Administrative Rules. See Hawaii Department of Education Web site at http://doe.k12.hi.us/specialeducation/sped_in_privateschools.htm.

There are students enrolled by their parents in private schools who are disabled and eligible to receive special education services. These private school students were determined to be eligible for special education services based on the Department of Education (DOE) evaluation and offered a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Some parents decline the offer of FAPE and elect to place their child in a private school. When parents place their child in a private school, their child no longer has the same rights as students attending public schools. No private school student with a disability has an individual right to receive some or all of the special education and related services that the student would receive if enrolled in a public school. See Hawaii Department of Education Web site at http://doe.k12.hi.us/specialeducation/sped_in_privateschools.htm.

However, the DOE is obligated to use some federal funds to meet the needs of students with disabilities who are enrolled in a private school by their parents. The services can be a different amount compared to students in the public schools. To meet the needs of this group of students the Private School Participation Project is developed. See Hawaii Department of Education Web site at http://doe.k12.hi.us/specialeducation/sped_in_privateschools.htm.

On an annual basis the DOE surveys representatives of these students (schools and parents) and reviews statewide evaluation data. Based on the information received, the DOE determines which group of students has the greatest special education needs. Taking into consideration the needs of this group, the project is developed to address the following: which students receive services, types of services to be provided; and where services are to be provided. See Hawaii Department of Education Web site at http://doe.k12.hi.us/specialeducation/sped_in_privateschools.htm.

Federal and state law requires that the DOE annually update the Private School Participation Project to meet the current needs of students who have been voluntarily placed by their parents in private schools. Therefore, it must not be assumed that a student who received services during one school year can automatically receive services the following year. See Hawaii Department of Education Web site at http://doe.k12.hi.us/specialeducation/sped_in_privateschools.htm.

Nursing and Health: There is no state policy at this time.

Technology: There is no state policy at this time.

Georgia

(As of July 2009)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Days: Private schools must provide 180 days of instruction each 12 months, with each school day consisting of four and one-half school hours. O.C.GA §20-2-690(b)(3), (d).

The local school superintendent will report truants to the appropriate court after written notice to the parent or guardian. O.C.GA §20-2-701.

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: No requirements. To qualify for participation in the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship (GSNS) or Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit programs a private school must be accredited or be in the process of becoming accredited by a state-approved agency. O.C.GA §§20-2-2112(6); 20-2A-1(2).

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science are required. O.C.GA §20-2-690(b)(4), (d).

Testing: Parents of participating students in the GSNS program may request participation in state testing opportunities. O.C.GA §20-2-2114(d). GSNS schools must regularly report to the parent and the department of education on the student’s academic progress, including the results of pre-academic and post-academic assessments given to the student. O.C.GA §20-2-2115(a).

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is not required. However, a participating private school that enrolls students under the GSNS program must employ or contract with teachers who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher or have at least three years of experience in education or health and provide to the parents the relevant credentials of the teachers who will be teaching their students. O.C.GA §20-2-2115(a).

Transportation: Private schools are required to meet equipment, color, and marking requirements set out in the Motor Vehicle and Traffic Code. O.C.GA §§40-8-110–112; 40-8-114.

Health and Safety Requirements: Private school buildings must meet all health and safety standards established under state law and local ordinances. O.C.GA §20-2-690(b)(6), (d).

Private school teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, and social workers are required to report instances of suspected child abuse to the person in charge of the school or his designee. The person so notified must report the abuse to the designated child welfare agency, police authority, or district attorney. Persons participating in the making of a report are immune from any civil or criminal liability if acting in good faith. O.C.GA §19-7-5(a), (c), (f).

Recordkeeping and Reports: Private school administrators must report their enrollment, including the name, age, and residence of each student, to the local public school superintendent where the student resides within 30 days of the beginning of each school year. Notice must be given monthly of any student’s admission or withdrawal from the school. O.C.GA §20-2-690(b), (5), (d).

The principal administrative officer or his designee is responsible for issuing employment certificates for students between 12 and 16 years old. The certificate must verify the true age of the student and the physical fitness of the student to engage in the particular employment. Students between 16 and 18 years of age also need a certificate that must be maintained in the minor’s school file. O.C.GA §39-2-11.

Schools intending to enroll GSNS students shall submit an application to the department by June 30 of the school year preceding the school year in which it intends to enroll scholarship students. The notice shall specify the grade levels and services that the school has available for students with disabilities who are participating in the scholarship program. O.C.GA §20-2-2115(e).

Other: Schools participating in the GSNS program must demonstrate fiscal soundness by having been in operation for one school year or by submitting a financial information report for the school that complies with uniform financial accounting standards established by the department of education and conducted by a certified public accountant and must comply with the antidiscrimination provisions of 42 U.S.C. Section 2000d. O.C.GA §20-2-2115(a). Schools participating in the Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit must adhere to the provisions of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. O.C.GA §20-2A-1(2).

Florida

(As of April 15, 2015)

Registration: Mandatory. The chief administrator of each private school must complete an annual database survey and file it with the Florida Department of Education (FDE). §1002.42, Florida Statute (F.S.).

Length of School Year and Days: Attendance at a private school satisfies the compulsory school attendance law if the child maintains regular attendance during the school term of either 180 actual school days or a minimum of 170 actual school days and the hourly equivalent of 180 actual school days. In kindergarten, this requires 540 net instructional hours; in grades one through three, 720 net instructional hours; and in grades four through 12, 900 net instructional hours. Rule 6A-1.09512, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.).

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: No requirements.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: The state and local school district do not have the authority to oversee or control the curriculum or academic programs of private schools or home instruction programs. §1002.42(2)(h), F.S.

Private schools keeping live animals on the premises must house them in a humane and safe manner. §1003.47, F.S.

Textbooks: The FDE is authorized to sell at cost to private schools and the general public educational materials and products developed by or under its direction. §§1002.42(9) and 1006.39(2), F.S.

Local district school boards may give private schools instructional materials when they become surplus, unserviceable, or no longer on state contract, in accordance with §§1006.41(1)(a) and 1002.42(10), F.S.

Testing: No statutory requirement exists for student assessment. The owners of private elementary and secondary schools in Florida are solely responsible for all aspects of their educational programs, including student assessment. §1002.42(2)(h), F.S.

A private school that participates in state school choice scholarship programs must administer annually or make a provision for students in grades three through 10 who participate in the scholarship program to take one of the FDE-approved nationally norm-referenced tests or the statewide assessments. A participating private school must report annually the scores to the independent organization selected by the FDE. §1002.395(8), (9), F.S.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is not required for instructional personnel in private schools. However, an owner of a private school may require school employees to file a complete set of fingerprints with the department of law enforcement for processing and criminal records checking. Findings from such processing and checking shall be reported to the owner for use in employment decisions. §1002.42(2)(c)3, F.S.

Professional Development: Private school teachers and administrators may participate in in-service teacher education programs on comprehensive health education and substance abuse prevention on a fee-for-service basis. §§1012.985(1) and 1012.98(6), F.S.

An organization of private schools with at least 10 members in Florida may develop a professional development system to be filed with FDE in accordance with the provisions of §1012.98(6), F.S. The system may be used for extension of a certificate or a new endorsement. §§1012.585(3)(a) and 1002.42(13), F.S.

Transportation: Private schools operating school buses with a seating capacity of 24 or more pupils must comply with state requirements outlined in §§1006 and 316.615(1), F.S.

Private schools operating school buses seating fewer than 24 students must comply with state requirements regarding inspections, equipment, liability insurance, and driver physical examination requirements. §316.615(2)(a), F.S.

Health and Safety Requirements: Private schools must require each student, upon his or her initial entrance into school, to present a certification of school-entry health examination performed within one year of enrollment. Students are exempt if parents or guardians object on religious grounds in a written statement. §§1002.42(5), (6) and 1003.22(1), (5)(1), F.S.

Prior to attending a private school, children must submit Department of Health Form 680 documenting immunizations to prevent communicable diseases.. Immunizations, with age-appropriate doses, are required for poliomyelitis, diphtheria, rubeola (measles), rubella (German measles), pertussis, mumps, tetanus, and other communicable diseases as determined by the rules of the Florida Departmenyt of Health and Rehabilitative Services. Students are exempt if their parents or guardians object in writing based on a conflict with religious tenets or practices. §§1002.42(5), (6) and 1003.22(1), F.S.

Private schools must provide appropriate pupil screening at the proper age for scoliosis. Students are exempt if their parents object in writing based on a conflict with religious tenets or practices. §§1002.42(6) and 1003.22(1)(f), F.S.

Private schools that prepare food intended for individual portion service must comply with the minimum sanitation standards promulgated by the department of health. §381.0072(1)(b), F.S.

Chief administrative officers of private schools must file a complete set of fingerprints for state processing and checking for criminal background. The cost must be borne by the applicant or private school. Persons convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude are prohibited from owning or operating a private school. The chief administrative officer may also require school employees to file a complete set of fingerprints. §1002.42(2)(c), (3), F.S.

Private school teachers, officials, and other personnel, who know or have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is abused or neglected must report the information to the department of children and families’ central abuse registry and tracking system. §39.201, F.S.

Each private school that accepts scholarship students under §§1002.39 or 1002.395, F.S. must post a notice in a prominent place indicating that, pursuant to chapter 39, all employees have an affirmative duty to report all actual or suspected cases of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect. The schools also have a duty to comply with child protective investigations relating to such. The notice must be posted in a prominent place on the school’s website (if available) indicating the policies and procedure for reporting alleged misconduct by school employees that affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student. The principal will be required, at the request of department of children and families, to act as a liaison with the department and the child protection team when there is a case of suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect, or an unlawful sexual offense involving a child. §1006.061, F.S.

Private schools may not exist at either end of a runway of a publicly owned, public-use airport. §333.03(3), F.S.

Each principal or designee of each private school must notify the appropriate law enforcement agency to prohibit any person from loitering within 500 feet of school property who does not have legitimate business in the area or any other authorization or license to enter or remain in the area. §810.0975, F.S.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: No state policy addressing reimbursement to private schools for performing state and local functions currently exists.

Recordkeeping and Reports:
Parochial, denominational, and private schools must keep a register of student enrollment and daily attendance in a manner prescribed by the state and open for inspection by the local superintendent or designated school representative. §1003.23, F.S.

Prior to admission to prekindergarten or kindergarten, a private school principal must require that the child provide evidence of age such as a transcript of the child’s birth record or certificate of baptism. §1003.21(4), F.S.

An Immunization Annual Report of Compliance must be completed for private schools that enroll kindergarten or seventh grade students. §§1002.42(6), 1003.22(8), F.S.

Private schools serving K–12 students must file a database survey form with the FDE indicating the name of the institution, address, telephone number, type, administrative officers, enrollment by grade or special group, number of graduates, number of instructional and administrative personnel, number of school days, and other data as needed under §1002.42(2), F.S.

Special Education: Diagnostic and resource centers are authorized to provide testing and evaluation services to private school students. §§1002.42(11) and 1006.03(3), F.S.
The local district school boards may provide instruction for exceptional students through contractual arrangements with approved private schools at a cost determined by those boards. §§1002.42(12) and 1003.57(1)(b), F.S. Rule 6A-6.0361, F.A.C.

Nursing and Health: A private school voluntarily participating in the school health services program shall fulfill certain requirements. §§381.0056(5)(a)18 and 381.0056(5), F.S.

Technology: No state policy addressing the use of technology in private schools exists at this time.

Delaware

(As of July 2009)

Registration: Mandatory. All nonpublic schools must register with the state. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §2704.

Length of School Year and Day: There is no state requirement for nonpublic schools’ length of school year.

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: No requirements.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Under the Compulsory Education Statute, nonpublic schools must provide regular and thorough instruction in the subjects prescribed for the public schools of the state. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §2703(a).

Delaware requires all nonpublic schools to provide regular courses in the United States Constitution, the Delaware Constitution and government, and the free enterprise system in grades eight through high school. The extent and content of courses is determined by the State Board of Education. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §4103.

Delaware provides driver education instruction for students attending nonpublic high schools. The State Department of Education, with the consent of the State Board of Education, regulates and supervises the program including the qualifications of drivers education teachers, their salary, and school assignments. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §127.

The governor may request private schools to observe Arbor and Bird Day as designed to advance the study of Arbor culture, the spirit of protection to birds and trees and appreciation for them. Del. Code Ann., Title 29, §4107.

Textbooks: There is no state policy at this time.

Testing: There is no state policy at this time.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is optional. The Delaware Department of Education has the authority to implement a “voluntary licensing and certification” system for nonpublic school teachers, specialists, and administers. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §121(b).

Professional Development: There is no state policy at this time.

Transportation: The Delaware Constitution expressly allows the General Assembly to provide transportation for students of nonpublic, nonprofit elementary and high schools. Delaware Constitution, Art X, §5.

The State Board of Education is charged with regulating nonpublic school transportation as public school transportation and limited to within the described boundaries of a public school district. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §2905.

Parochial and private school buses must be inspected twice yearly to determine if they are safe, fit for operation and properly equipped in accordance with regulations adopted by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Del. Code Ann., Title 21, §2145.

Parochial and private schools may not permit any person to drive a school bus within the state without a valid school bus driver’s license. Del. Code Ann., Title 21, §2708(a).

Health and Safety Requirements: All private schools are required to have at least one fire drill each month when school is in session and to keep all doors and exits unlocked during school hours. The State Fire Marshal, or his deputies, must inspect all schools as to fire exits and reasonable safety standards. Del. Code Ann., Title 16, §6607(d)(e).

Private schools must set dates for fingerprinting students (grades K–9) and provide school facilities and personnel. The superintendent of state police will provide training for volunteers who are nominated to assist by the private schools for this purpose. Private school officials must notify parents or guardians of the date set for fingerprinting. Only pupils with signed authorization by parents or guardians may participate. Private schools must cooperate in setting up the program, but the fingerprinting of students is not mandated. Del. Code Ann., Title 11, §8526.

Eye protection devices must be used in private schools by teachers, students, employees, and visitors for activities taking place in eye protection areas, i.e. industrial arts classes, etc. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §§8301, 8302.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Disclosure of student records to non-school personnel is prohibited except in limited circumstances e.g. as required by law upon request of the pupil if over 14 years of age for the purpose of transfer, or at the request of the parent or guardian. Standard release forms may be prescribed by the Department of Public Instruction. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §4111.

Nonpublic schools are required to report their enrollment, age of pupils and attendance to the State Board of Education annually before July 31. In addition, private schools must submit annually a statement of enrollment as of the last day in September on forms prescribed by the State Board of Education. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §2704.

Nonpublic schools are required to maintain records as required by the child labor laws. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §3506.

Special Education: The Delaware State Department of Education, with the consent of the State Board of Education, promulgates rules providing for the placement of “exceptional persons,” i.e. “handicapped or gifted persons” in private schools. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §§3101, 3110(b).

The Mental Hygiene Clinic Department of Health and Social Services will examine private school children who are 2 or more years retarded when requested by the executive head of the school. Del. Code Ann., Title 16, §5142(a).

Nursing and Health: There is not an explicit law or regulation requiring a private school to have a school nurse. Title 24, Chapter 19, Section 1921 refers to “Educators who assist students with medications that are self-administered during school field trips that have completed a Board of Nursing approved training course developed by the Delaware Department of Education.” The corresponding regulation is 14 DE Admin. Code 817.

Technology: There is no state policy at this time.

Connecticut

(As of July 2009)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Days: There is no state requirement for private schools’ length of the school year.

State Approval: Optional. In order to obtain state approval, nonpublic schools must be accredited by a state approved accrediting agency. Each accrediting agency has its own criteria for accrediting schools. Although nonpublic schools may operate in Connecticut without state approval, nonpublic schools are required to submit an attendance report with the commissioner of education in order to comply with the compulsory school attendance law. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-188.

By filing an attendance form in accordance with Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-188, the private school is considered “recognized” as a private school in Connecticut.

State Accreditation: Optional. Accreditation is required in order to receive state approval.

Licensing: No requirements. A private school that is not state approved (that is not accredited by a state approved accrediting agency) and has students under the age of 5 must obtain a daycare license from the Department of Public Health.

Curriculum: Connecticut parents have the duty to instruct their children or cause them to be instructed in reading, writing, spelling, English grammar, geography, arithmetic, and United States history and citizenship. Instruction may occur outside the public school if the parent or person having control of the child is able to show that “the child is elsewhere receiving equivalent instruction in the studies taught in the public schools.” Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-184.

Private elementary and high schools, whose property is tax exempt, must provide instruction in United States history, government, and the duties and responsibilities of citizenship. Graduation from such schools is contingent on familiarity with these subjects. The state board of education will make available samples of appropriate educational materials. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-18.

The English language is to be the medium of instruction in private elementary schools except in bilingual or bicultural programs for pupils who by reason of foreign birth, ancestry or otherwise, experience difficulty in reading and understanding English. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-17.

Private schools may with the approval of the state board of education establish bilingual and bicultural programs of study in which language other than English are predominately spoken to enable children to become efficient in English. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-17a.

Private secondary schools may contract with licensed driving schools approved by the commissioner of motor vehicles for behind-the-wheel instruction in driver education programs. Conn. Gen. Stat. §14-36f.

Textbooks: Connecticut law permits local or regional boards of education to loan textbooks to students attending nonpublic schools within the district. Parents or guardians or nonpublic school students may borrow textbooks currently in use in the public school free of charge. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-228a.

Testing: Testing is not required for students attending nonpublic schools.

Teacher Certification: Although teaching certificates are not required for nonpublic school teachers, teachers at nonpublic schools approved by the State Board of Education may obtain Provisional and Professional Educator Certificates. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-145b.

Professional Development: All Connecticut educators are eligible to participate in programs of professional development offered by the Connecticut Department of Education in cooperation with the regional education service centers. Participation fees are charged. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-220a(c).

Certified teachers at private special education facilities approved by the commissioner of education may receive training to supervise, train, and evaluate student teachers and serve as mentors for beginning teachers. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-220a(d).

Nonpublic schools may participate in the programs and services offered by the regional education centers. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-66d.

Nonpublic schools pay a prorated share of the costs of any program or service to which they subscribe. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-66e.

Transportation: When a majority of students attending a nonpublic school are residents of Connecticut, the municipality or school district must provide the nonpublic school students the same transportation services provided to K–12 students attending public schools. Conn. Gen. Stat. 10-281. Transportation services for pupils attending private schools outside the school district is optional. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§10-280a; 10-277.

Health and Safety Requirements: Children enrolled in nonpublic schools must be protected by adequate immunizations against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polioneyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella, and hemophilus influenza and any other vaccine required by the schedule for active immunization adopted pursuant to section 19a–7f before being permitted to enroll in any program operated by the nonpublic school. Certain exemptions apply, e.g. a child whose parents object to immunizations on religious grounds is exempt. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-204a.

A school nurse, other licensed nurse, principal or teacher of a school may administer medicine to any student in accordance with the written order of a licensed physician or dentist and the written authorization of the child’s parent or guardian. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-212a.

Every private and parochial school must maintain toilet accommodations, water supply drinking cups, washing facilities, heating, lighting and ventilation in sanitary condition. Public Health Code Regulation §19-13-830.

Communications made by a student to a professional employee at a nonpublic primary or secondary school concerning alcohol or drug abuse is privileged communication if the employee chooses to make it so. An employee who acts in good faith is immune from any criminal or civil liability. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-154a.

Buildings and facilities of public service are required to be inspected by the local fire marshal at least once a year and as necessary. Conn. Gen. Stat. §29-305.

Each story above the first story of a schoolhouse building must have at least two remote means of free and unobstructed egress by enclosed stairways, properly segregated from the corridors at all floor levels, or approved fire escapes outside. Stairways, fire escapes and passageways must be constructed and maintained in accordance with the fire safety regulations. New school buildings, conversions, and additions to school buildings must be made in conformity with the fire safety code. Conn. Gen. Stat. §29-389.

No person shall apply a lawn care pesticide on the grounds of any public or private preschool or public or private elementary school, except pursuant to an integrated pest management plan consistent with the model pest control management plan developed by the commissioner of environmental protection or to eliminate a threat to human health as determined by the local health director, the commissioner of public health, or the commissioner of environmental protection. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-231b; § 22a-66l.

Nonpublic school teachers, principals, and guidance counselors are required to report suspected child abuse. If a school employee is suspected of the abuse, the supervisory agent of the nonpublic school is responsible for notifying the parents and making the necessary report with the appropriate authorities. Conviction of abuse may lead to revocation of an individual’s teacher certification. Conn. Gen. Stat. §17a-10(b), (c), (f).

All private elementary and secondary schools must comply with state regulations concerning eye protection devices in laboratories and workshops. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§10-214a-1 through 10-214a-3.

Connecticut law outlines when physical force, otherwise criminal, is justifiable when exercised by a teacher or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor for school purposes. For example, a teacher’s physical force is justifiable to protect him- or herself or others from immediate physical injury or to obtain possession of a dangerous instrument but not to merely maintain discipline. Conn. Gen. Stat. §17a-101.

Professional employees of a nonpublic school are required to turn over physical evidence indicating a crime has been or is being committed to school officials or law enforcement officials. The employee is not required to disclose the name of the student from whom the evidence was obtained. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-154a.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Private schools must file student attendance reports and “such reports and returns concerning the school…as are required from boards of education concerning the public schools….” No report concerning finances is required. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-188.

Nonpublic schools must implement a policy for reporting complaints related to school transportation safety and maintain a written record of complaints received. Within 30 days after the end of the school year nonpublic schools must provide a copy of the written record of complaints to the commissioner of motor vehicles. Nonpublic schools must also make written reports to the commissioner of any accident involving a motor vehicle and a student pedestrian near a designated school bus stop within 10 days of the incident. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-221c.

Non-custodial parents have a right to student academic records unless otherwise ordered by the court. Conn. Gen. Stat. §46b-56(e).

Special Education: Local boards of education publicly places children with special education needs in approved private schools when the educational needs of the child cannot be met by public school arrangements. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-76d(d), (g); § 10-76b(a). The local or regional boards of education also provide transportation to and from the residence of the special needs child. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-76d(e).

Nursing and Health: Nonpublic schools may participate in the school breakfast, lunch, and other feeding programs as regulated by the state board of education and governed by federal laws. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-215a and b.

Nonpublic school students are eligible for health services that are currently offered to public school students by the local district. “Health services” include the services of a school physician, school nurse, and dental hygienist. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-217a.

Technology: There is no state policy at this time.

Colorado

(As of July 2009)

Registration: Mandatory. All nonpublic schools must register with the state. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §2704.

Length of School Year and Day: There is no state requirement for nonpublic schools’ length of school year.

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: No requirements.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Under the Compulsory Education Statute, nonpublic schools must provide regular and thorough instruction in the subjects prescribed for the public schools of the state. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §2703(a).

Delaware requires all nonpublic schools to provide regular courses in the United States Constitution, the Delaware Constitution and government, and the free enterprise system in grades eight through high school. The extent and content of courses is determined by the State Board of Education. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §4103.

Delaware provides driver education instruction for students attending nonpublic high schools. The State Department of Education, with the consent of the State Board of Education, regulates and supervises the program including the qualifications of drivers education teachers, their salary, and school assignments. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §127.

The governor may request private schools to observe Arbor and Bird Day as designed to advance the study of Arbor culture, the spirit of protection to birds and trees and appreciation for them. Del. Code Ann., Title 29, §4107.

Textbooks: There is no state policy at this time.

Testing: There is no state policy at this time.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is optional. The Delaware Department of Education has the authority to implement a “voluntary licensing and certification” system for nonpublic school teachers, specialists, and administers. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §121(b).

Professional Development: There is no state policy at this time.

Transportation: The Delaware Constitution expressly allows the General Assembly to provide transportation for students of nonpublic, nonprofit elementary and high schools. Delaware Constitution, Art X, §5.

The State Board of Education is charged with regulating nonpublic school transportation as public school transportation and limited to within the described boundaries of a public school district. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §2905.

Parochial and private school buses must be inspected twice yearly to determine if they are safe, fit for operation and properly equipped in accordance with regulations adopted by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Del. Code Ann., Title 21, §2145.

Parochial and private schools may not permit any person to drive a school bus within the state without a valid school bus driver’s license. Del. Code Ann., Title 21, §2708(a).

Health and Safety Requirements: All private schools are required to have at least one fire drill each month when school is in session and to keep all doors and exits unlocked during school hours. The State Fire Marshal, or his deputies, must inspect all schools as to fire exits and reasonable safety standards. Del. Code Ann., Title 16, §6607(d)(e).

Private schools must set dates for fingerprinting students (grades K–9) and provide school facilities and personnel. The superintendent of state police will provide training for volunteers who are nominated to assist by the private schools for this purpose. Private school officials must notify parents or guardians of the date set for fingerprinting. Only pupils with signed authorization by parents or guardians may participate. Private schools must cooperate in setting up the program, but the fingerprinting of students is not mandated. Del. Code Ann., Title 11, §8526.

Eye protection devices must be used in private schools by teachers, students, employees, and visitors for activities taking place in eye protection areas, i.e. industrial arts classes, etc. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §§8301, 8302.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Disclosure of student records to non-school personnel is prohibited except in limited circumstances e.g. as required by law upon request of the pupil if over 14 years of age for the purpose of transfer, or at the request of the parent or guardian. Standard release forms may be prescribed by the Department of Public Instruction. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §4111.

Nonpublic schools are required to report their enrollment, age of pupils and attendance to the State Board of Education annually before July 31. In addition, private schools must submit annually a statement of enrollment as of the last day in September on forms prescribed by the State Board of Education. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §2704.

Nonpublic schools are required to maintain records as required by the child labor laws. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §3506.

Special Education: The Delaware State Department of Education, with the consent of the State Board of Education, promulgates rules providing for the placement of “exceptional persons,” i.e. “handicapped or gifted persons” in private schools. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §§3101, 3110(b).

The Mental Hygiene Clinic Department of Health and Social Services will examine private school children who are 2 or more years retarded when requested by the executive head of the school. Del. Code Ann., Title 16, §5142(a).

Nursing and Health: There is not an explicit law or regulation requiring a private school to have a school nurse. Title 24, Chapter 19, Section 1921 refers to “Educators who assist students with medications that are self-administered during school field trips that have completed a Board of Nursing approved training course developed by the Delaware Department of Education.” The corresponding regulation is 14 DE Admin. Code 817.

Technology: There is no state policy at this time.

California

(As of September 26, 2014)

Registration: Mandatory. Private schools are required to file an affidavit annually with the superintendent of public instruction between the first and fifteenth day of October. Cal. Educ. Code §33190.

Length of School Year and Days: Children exempt from compulsory public school attendance under the Private School Affidavit must attend “full-time school.” The length of the private school year and school day is set by the private school officials who oversee the operation of the private school. Cal. Educ. Code §48222.

State Approval: Optional. California does not approve private schools. However, nonpublic, nonsectarian special education schools enroll both privately enrolled and public school-placed students and therefore, are considered a type of private school. These schools are certified by the California Department of Education to provide special education services. See Special EducationCal. Educ. Code §56836.2.

Under California law, private schools may not be converted to charter schools. Cal. Educ. Code §47602(b).

State Accreditation: Optional. The Accrediting Commission of Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is one of six regional accrediting agencies in the United States. WASC conducts a comprehensive accreditation of public and private schools and maintains a directory of accredited California schools.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Students attending private schools are exempt from California’s compulsory attendance law if the schools offer instruction in the several branches of study required in the state’s public schools. Private schools are not required to follow the state’s adopted Content Standards. The exemption from California’s compulsory attendance law under which students attend private schools includes the requirement that the private school offers instruction in the several branches of study required in the public schools of the state. Cal. Educ. Code §48222.

County superintendents of schools may enter into agreements with nonpublic private schools to provide programs and classes in outdoor science education and conservation education for private school students. The private school must pay for the actual cost of providing the programs or classes. Cal. Educ. Code §§8763, 8766-67.

District superintendents may designate private school officials at private schools located within the district’s boundaries to issue work permits to students in accordance with state provisions governing the employment of minors. Cal. Educ. Code §49110.1

Textbooks: The lending of textbooks, without charge, to students attending nonprofit, nonpublic schools violates the California Constitution prohibiting appropriations for the support of sectarian schools. Cal. Teachers Assoc. v. Riles, 632 P.2d 953 (1981).

Nonpublic schools, i.e., schools satisfying attendance recordkeeping requirements and exempt from taxation, may order instructional materials from lists adopted by the state board. Cal. Educ. Code §60310.

Testing: Private schools students do not participate nor may they have access to STAR system.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is optional. Children instructed in private full-time day schools by “persons capable of teaching” are exempt from public school attendance under the compulsory education law. Cal. Educ. Code §48222.

The Commission shall make available to each private school a listing of all credential holders who have had final adverse action taken against their credential. The information shall be identical to that made available to public schools in the state. Quarterly, the commission must also send a complete and updated list of all teachers who have had their teaching credentials revoked or suspended. This list excludes deceased teachers or those who have reinstated credentials. Cal. Educ. Code§44237(k).

Private school authorities may request information regarding the fitness of any applicant for a teaching position from the Commission, with the written consent of an applicant for a credential or a credential holder. Cal. Educ. Code §44341(d).

English is the basic language of instruction in all schools. The governing board of any private school may determine when and under what circumstances instruction may be given bilingually. Pupils proficient in English and fluent in a foreign language may be instructed in classes conducted in that foreign language. Cal. Educ. Code §§48222, 30.

Professional Development: State agencies have the authority to enter into vocational education contracts with approved private schools to provide training and retraining programs for students. Cal. Educ. Code §§8090-92.

Transportation: County Superintendents may provide transportation to pupils attending private schools upon the same terms, in the same manner and over the same routes as provided for pupils attending public schools. The authorization is limited to actual transportation and not transportation payments of money. Cal. Educ. Code §§39808, 48222.

State subsidized transportation for children attending parochial schools is proper under the California Constitution in view of the broad police powers of the state to promote educational welfare and safety of the children. Bowker v. Baker, 167 P.2d 256 (1946).

California distinguishes between school buses, school pupil activity buses, and youth buses in the applicable provisions of the vehicle code. Cal. Vehicle Code §§492, 545, 546, 680, 2808, and 12517; Cal. Educ. Code §39830, 39831.

Private schools are subject to the same statutes, rules, and regulations relating to construction, design, operation, equipment, and color of school buses that apply to public schools unless exempt by the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol by rule or regulation. Cal. Veh. Code §2808.

Private schools are required to provide instruction in school bus emergency procedures and passenger safety for students transported in a school bus or school pupil activity bus. The instruction must be given at least once a year to all transported pupils pre-kindergarten through grade eight. In addition, safety instruction must be given prior to departures on a school activity trip including instruction on the location of emergency exits and location and use of emergency equipment. The school must maintain a record for one year from date of instruction documenting the details of the instruction and is subject to inspection by the Department of California Highway Patrol. Cal. Educ. Code §39831.5.

Health and Safety Requirements: Beginning in July 1, 2015, the state fire marshal must propose for adoption standards for carbon monoxide devices to be used in public and private school buildings, including their proper installation. School facilities used for K–12 students that were built before the adoption of the 2016 California Building Standards Code with a fossil fuel burning furnace inside are encouraged to have carbon monoxide devices in these buildings. Cal. Educ. Code §32081.

Any private school student athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury during an athletic activity must be immediately removed and may not return to participate until evaluated by a licensed health care provider who documents that the student is cleared to return to the activity. In addition, private schools must annually provide and collect a concussion and head injury information sheet that is signed by the student athlete and the athlete’s parent or guardian. Cal Educ. Code §49475.

A parent or guardian of a minor found guilty of willful misconduct toward any person or willful abuse of property connected with a school district or private school is liable for all damages caused by the minor. The amount of the reward is not to exceed 10 thousand dollars, adjusted annually for inflation. Cal. Educ. Code §48904 (a) (1).

California provides financial assistance to private and parochial schools under the Child Nutrition Program. The funding reimburses the school cafeteria accounts based upon the number of qualifying meals served to students. Cal. Educ. Code §§41311, 49530.5, 49531.

Private elementary and secondary schools must ensure that admitted students at or before arrival be fully immunized for diphtheria, haemophilus influenzae type b, measles, mumps and pertussis (except for students who are seven years or older), poliomyelitis, rubella, tetanus, hepatitis b, varicella (chicken pox), and any other disease deemed appropriate by the state department of health services. Those students entering seventh grade must be fully immunized against pertussis (includes all boosters appropriate for the student’s age). Cal. Health and Safety Code §120335.

Prior to employment at a private or parochial elementary or secondary school, individuals must present a certificate showing that they have been examined within the last 60 days and found to be free of communicable tuberculosis. Additional testing is required at least once each four years or more if directed by the school. The private school is responsible for maintaining up-to-date certificates for each person covered. Private schools have the discretion to waive this requirement for employees who are employed less than a school year and who do not have frequent or prolonged contact with pupils. Employees transporting students must provide a certificate unless they transport students on an infrequent basis not to exceed once a month. Cal. Health & Safety Code §121525.

Volunteers must also present a certificate that they have been found free of communicable tuberculosis within the last four years. At the discretion of the governing authority of a private school, this section shall not apply to volunteers whose functions do not necessitate frequent or prolonged contact with pupils. Cal. Health & Safety Code §121545.

Private school buildings are subject to an annual inspection through the state fire marshal’s office. Cal. Health & Safety Code §13146.3.

Private schools entirely enclosed (except for building walls) by fences or walls must maintain gates of sufficient size to permit the entrance of ambulances, police equipment, and fire-fighting apparatus. Locking devices must be designed to permit ready entrance by chain or bolt cutting devices Cal. Educ. Code §32020.

The local sheriff or chief of police will immediately notify a private school if any of the school employees are arrested for controlled substance offenses. Cal. Health & Safety Code §11591(c).

California requires each applicant for employment in a position requiring contact with minor pupils at private elementary and high schools to obtain criminal record summaries from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. DOJ will provide the records to the designated private school employers to be maintained in a secured file separate from other files. The criminal record summary will include only arrests resulting in conviction or pending final adjudication for any sex offense, controlled substance offense, or crime of violence. Cal. Educ. Code §44237(a), (b), (c).

A county superintendent may verify that the nonpublic, nonsectarian school or agency has received a successful criminal background check clearance and has enrolled in subsequent arrest notice service. Cal. Educ. Code §44237.

Private schools have a duty to equip schools with eye protective devices for students, teachers and visitors and to require eye protective devices to be worn when observing or participating in an activity where the use of hazardous substances is likely to cause injury to the eyes. Cal. Educ. Code §§32030-32032.

Private schools are required to equip the school with a first aid kit to accompany pupils whenever they are taken on school-sponsored field trips. Cal. Educ. Code §32040. When field trips are taken into areas commonly known to be infested by poisonous snakes, the first aid kit must contain medically accepted snakebite remedies. The field trip must be accompanied by an agent of the school who has completed a course in first aid certified by the American Red Cross that emphasizes the treatment of snakebites. Cal. Educ. Code §32043.

Art and craft materials deemed to contain a toxic substance by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment or a toxic substance causing chronic illness are prohibited for use by students in K-6 grade private schools. Materials containing toxic substances causing chronic illness may not be used by students in 7–12 grade private schools unless it meets labeling standards Cal. Educ. Code §§32064-66.

Private schools are subject to the provisions of the Private Schools Building Safety Act of 1986 to ensure that children attending private schools are afforded equivalent earthquake safety as afforded public school students. The legislation regulates the design and structure of private schools and provides for inspections by an enforcement agency. A “private school structure” is defined by California law as “any building used for educational purposes through the 12th grade by 50 or more persons for more than 12 hours per week or four hours in any one day.” Certain structures 2,000 square feet or less in floor area are exempt. Cal. Educ. Code §17320 et seq.

Persons 18 years of age or over who unlawfully sell heroin, cocaine, cocaine base or any analog of these substances, within 1,000 feet of private school grounds when minors are using the facility, will receive additional imprisonment in the state prison for two years. Cal. Health & Safety Code §11353, 11353.1(a)(2).

The governing board of each private school must establish an earthquake emergency procedure system in every private school building having an occupant capacity of 50 or more pupils or more than one classroom. A governing board may work with the Office of Emergency services and the Seismic safety Commission to develop and establish the earthquake emergency procedure systems. The earthquake emergency procedure system must include: 1) a school building disaster plan; b) a drop procedure; 3) protective measures to be taken before, during, and following an earthquake; and 4) a program to ensure students and staff are trained in the earthquake emergency procedure system. Cal. Educ. Code §§35295-35297.

Persons in charge of private schools may not allow any cup or glass to be used in common for drinking purposes. Cal. Health & Safety Code §118375.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to reimbursement for performing state and local functions.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Private schools are required to file annually an affidavit with the superintendent of public instruction between the first and fifteenth day of October. The affidavit must contain the following information: 1) all names under which it has done and is doing business; 2) address of every place of business in California; 3) location of records and custodian of records; 4) names and addresses of directors and principal officers; 5) school enrollment by grades, number of teachers, coeducational or enrollment limited to boys or girls and boarding facilities; 6) that school attendance records, courses of study, and faculty information records maintained by the school are true and accurate; and 7) that criminal record summary information for employees has been obtained pursuant to Section 44237. Cal. Educ. Code §33190. Where the instructor also serves as the school administrator, the affidavit must be made available upon request to the parents or guardians of students or prospective students. Cal. Educ. Code §33191.

Private schools are required to maintain a record of attendance for students. Every absence for a half-day or more must be documented. Cal. Educ. Code §48222.

Private school parents have an absolute right to access any and all pupil records related to their children that are maintained by the school. Cal. Educ. Code §49069.

Whenever a pupil transfers from a public school district to private school, or transfers from a private school to a school district, the pupil’s permanent record or a copy thereof must be transferred by the former district or private school no later than 10 school days following the date the request is received from the private school or district where the student intends to enroll. Parents have a right to receive a copy of the record and to challenge the content of the record at a hearing. Nothing in this section of the law overrides any other state or federal law governing the transfer of student records within specific student populations. Cal. Educ. Code §49068.

With a signed written parental consent form or under judicial order, a school district may release information from a student’s records to officials and employees of a private school that the student attends or in which he intends to enroll. This information shall be in addition to the student’s permanent record data. The private school that receives this information must reply in writing to the disclosing school district that the information will not be disclosed to another party except as outlined in the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. (20 U.S.C. §1232(b)(E)). Cal. Educ. Code §§49076, 49068.

When a private school pupil transfers from a private school to a public school, pupil records shall not be withheld from the requesting district because of any charges or fees owed by the pupil or his parent. Cal. Code of Regulations, Title 5, s. 438 (c).

Private schools may withhold grades, diplomas, or transcripts (until reparations are made) based on a minor’s willful misconduct that results in personal injury or property damage. The school must afford the student his due process rights and notify the parents in writing before taking any action. Cal. Educ. Code §48904(b).

Private schools must maintain for one year a record of the school bus safety instruction provided by the school. The record must indicate the name and location of school, date of instruction, supervising adults, number of participating students, grade levels, subjects covered, time taken for instruction, bus driver’s name, and bus number. The record is subject to inspection by the Department of the California Highway Patrol. Cal. Educ. Code §39831.5. See Transportation.

County boards of education may require private schools to report the withdrawal of any student, whether by severance, expulsion, exclusion, exemption, transfer, or suspension beyond 10 school days. The report must include names, ages, last known address and the reason for withdrawal. Cal. Educ. Code §48202(a). Private schools are required to report the withdrawal (as defined above) or denial of admission of physically handicapped, mentally retarded, or multiple handicapped students to the county superintendent. Cal. Educ. Code §48203.

Special Education: California places students with exceptional needs in a range of settings appropriate to the individual’s needs. One option is placement in nonpublic, nonsectarian schools. Individual education program team members and or parents may request a private school placement based on the educational needs of the child. Cal. Educ. Code §§56342, 56365.

Nonpublic, nonsectarian schools are certified by the California Department of Education. Certification requirements and procedures and statutory guidelines are administered by the Special Education Division of the California Department of Education. (See Information Resources for California Web resources, below.) Cal. Educ. Code §§56365, 56366.

For any nonpublic, nonsectarian school that provides K–12 special education services, in addition to the requirements stated by law, the school and any local educational agency that contracts with the school must verify to the superintendent that pupils have access to technology-based materials. Cal. Educ. Code §§56366.10, 60010.

Individuals with disabilities are entitled to full and equal access as other members of the general public to private schools. Cal. Civ. Code §54.1.

California’s Community Mental Health Services publicly place students with serious emotional disturbances in private schools. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code §§5852.5, 5864, 5865, 5877.

Private schools serving exceptional need students under a state contract must comply with state provisions governing the suspension of pupils with previously identified exceptional needs and the use of behavioral interventions with exceptional need students. Cal. Educ. Code §48911, 48911.5.

Nursing and Health: Child Abuse Prevention Coordinating Councils funded by the state shall encourage inclusion of private school representatives. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code §18982.1.

Technology: County superintendents of schools may enter into agreements with nonpublic private schools to provide for the use of audiovisual curriculum materials, including equipment and apparatus. The agreement must provide for an amount of payment equal to the cost incurred in connection with the handling, loss, destruction, or damage to the audiovisual curriculum materials. Such agreements may only be entered into when such materials are not needed by the public schools or the county superintendent. Cal. Educ. Code §1251.

Arkansas

(As of September 2012)

Registration: No requirements. In order to found an institution of learning, it must be incorporated under the name listed in the institution’s articles of association. “Any number of persons, the multiple of three (3), not less than six (6) nor more than thirty-three (33),” must be on the board to incorporate. Ark. Code Ann. §6-2-102.

Length of School Year and Days: A full school day is six hours of instruction. Ark. Code Ann. §6-16-102. This statute is not applicable to private schools in Arkansas. However, Ark. Code Ann. §6-18-201(a) requires that all children between the ages of five and 17 shall be enrolled in a public, private, parochial, or home school. An option for a kindergarten waiver exists “if the child will not be age six (6) on August 1 of that particular school year.” The state provides the waiver form for parents to use for such cases. Ark. Code Ann. §6-18-201(b), §6-18-201(c).

State Approval: No requirements.

State Accreditation: No requirements. There are no requirements for accreditation, registration, licensing, or approval from the state for private schools in Arkansas. Private schools may be accredited through other organizations such as the Arkansas Nonpublic School Accrediting Association.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: The basic language of instruction in the public school branches in all the schools of the state, public and private, shall be English only. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a violation and, upon conviction, shall be fined an amount not to exceed $25, payable into the general school fund of the county. Each day this violation occurs shall be considered a separate offense. Ark. Code Ann. §6-16-104.

Private school authorities are required to procure a suitable United States flag and flagstaff, and to display the flag properly upon, near, or in the school buildings during the hours school is in session and at other times as school authorities direct. Ark. Code Ann. §6-16-105(b).

Textbooks: There is no state policy at this time.

Testing: There is no state policy at this time.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is not required for private school teachers.

Professional Development: Professional development is provided to all licensed teachers, regardless of employer. If private school teachers hold an Arkansas teaching license, they are eligible for professional development services. Ark. Code Ann. §6-17-707 and the Arkansas Rules Governing Professional Development.

Private school teachers may receive professional development services through the Arkansas Online Professional Development Initiative. Ark. Code Ann. §6-17-707.

Transportation: Ark. Code Ann. §6-19-102 (a)-(b) and Ark. Code Ann. §6-13-620(13) grant public schools wide discretion in arranging transportation for their students. While there is no Arkansas statute on point, an Arkansas Attorney General’s Opinion appears to indicate that a contract between a public school district and a parochial school to transport the parochial school’s students may be permissible. See Op. Att’y Gen. No. 98-207. The validity and legality of such contracts must be determined on a case-by-case basis. Id.

Health and Safety Requirements: Prior to admission to a private school, a child must be immunized from poliomyelitis, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, red (rubeola) measles, rubella, and other diseases as designated by the State Board of Health. Children whose parents or legal guardians object on the grounds that immunization conflicts with their religious or philosophical beliefs shall complete an annual application process developed in the rules and regulations of the Department of Health for medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions. Ark. Code Ann. §6-18-702 (a), (f).

Private schools must institute as soon as possible a continuing scoliosis screening program in accordance with State Board of Health regulations. Ark. Code Ann. §20-15-802.

Private schools are required to have one fire drill each month and to keep all doors and exits unlocked during school hours. Ark. Code Ann. §12-13-109.

Private school teachers, counselors, and school officials who have reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been subjected to child maltreatment or has died as a result of child maltreatment, or observes a child being subjected to conditions or circumstances that would reasonably result in child maltreatment, shall immediately notify the child abuse hotline by telephone call, facsimile transmission, or online reporting. Ark. Code Ann. §12-18-402.

Persons loitering on or near private school grounds during school hours or at any school-sponsored activities after regular school hours without any lawful purpose are guilty of a violation and, upon conviction, shall be subject to a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $250. Ark. Code Ann. §6-21-607.

Persons disturbing private schools by their conduct or trespassing on school grounds during recess or while school is in session are guilty of a violation and, upon conviction, shall be fined in any sum not exceeding $100 and payable into the general school fund of the county. Ark. Code Ann. §6-21-606.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time.

Recordkeeping and Reports: The Arkansas Department of Education’s Statewide Information System (SIS) collects private school information, including: (1) the name of the private school; (2) the private school administrator’s name and contact information; (3) mailing address(es) for the school; (4) grade levels taught in the private school; (5) number of students enrolled; and (6) whether the private school wishes to participate in Title I Federal Programs, Title II Federal Programs, Title III Federal Programs, Title IV Federal Programs (Drug Free Schools), and Title V Federal Programs. SIS also collects the number of private school students receiving Title I services in reading, language arts, and mathematics.

Special Education: Children attending private schools may voluntarily submit to tests and evaluations for suspected disabilities and assessments for individual education plans but are not required to do so. Ark. Code Ann. §6-41-219.

The responsibility of school districts and the state to provide free public education for children with disabilities is not diminished by the availability of private schools and services. Whenever private schools and services are utilized, it continues to be the responsibility of the appropriate local school district and the State Board of Education to assure an appropriate quantity and quality of instructional and related services, to assure the protection of all other rights, and to ascertain that all children with disabilities receive the educational and related services and rights to which the law of this state entitles them. Ark. Code Ann. §6-41-206.

Prior to expending funding for new programs for children with disabilities in nonpublic schools, the Department of Workforce Education shall publish a notice of intent and invite proposals from special service providers. Ark. Code Ann. §6-41-101.

Home schools authorized under the laws of the State of Arkansas are not entitled to local, state, or federal funds allocated to a public school district. Eligible children with disabilities identified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq., in home school settings shall be given the same consideration afforded to students in private school settings for special education services as provided for in that act. Ark. Code Ann. §6-15-507.

Nursing and Health: There is no state policy at this time. However, nurses who assist private schools with health-related screenings may attend training through Arkansas Education Cooperatives.

Technology: Private school students may participate in and receive credit for completing a distance-learning course as part of the Arkansas Distance Learning Development Program. Ark. Code Ann. §6-47-404.

Arizona

(As of July 2012)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Days: To comply with the Arizona compulsory school attendance statute, private school students must attend school for the full time school is in session in the local school district. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-802B.1.

State Approval: No requirements.

School Accreditation: No requirements.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Reading, grammar, mathematics, social studies, and science are required. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-802A.

Testing: No requirements.

Teacher Certification: Schools participating in the Original Individual Income Tax Credit Scholarship, Low-Income Corporate Income Tax Credit Scholarship, Lexie’s Law for Disabled and Displaced Students Tax Credit Scholarship, and “Switcher” Individual Income Tax Credit Scholarship programs must require all teaching staff and personnel that have unsupervised contact with students to be fingerprinted. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§43-1501, 43-1601.

Health and Safety Requirements: Children are not allowed to attend school without submitting documentary proof of immunization to the school administrator, unless they are exempt under §15-873, or in the process of immunization. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-872.

Arizona requires students, teachers, and visitors in private schools to use protective eyewear while participating in or observing certain educational activities in vocational, technical, and industrial arts, art, or laboratory science. Private or parochial schools must equip their schools with the appropriate protective eyewear. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-151.

The administrative officer of a nonpublic school shall place and maintain signs identifying the school and its grounds as a drug-free school zone. Illegal drug transactions observed by school personnel must be reported. School records of alleged student violations must be made available to the peace officer upon written request. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §13-3411.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Upon enrollment of the pupil, private schools must maintain a copy in the pupil’s file of the reliable proof of her or his identity and age, e.g. birth certificate or baptismal certificate. Any inaccurate or suspicious affidavit must be reported to the local law enforcement agency. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-828A, C, E.

Within five school days after enrolling a transfer student from a private school or another school district, a school must request directly from the pupil’s previous school a certified copy of the transcript’s record with “due diligence.” Any school requested to forward a copy of a student’s record must do so within 10 days unless financial debt is owed or the record has been flagged pursuant to section 15-829 referencing a missing child reported by a parent or guardian. If the record is flagged, the requested school must not notify the local law enforcement agency of the request and not forward the copy of the record. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-828 F.

By November 30 of each school year, private schools must report the following to the health department and the department of health services on forms provided: 1) the number of pupils immunized/or who have submitted laboratory evidence of immunity, 2) the number of students with incomplete immunization, and 3) the number of students exempt from immunization. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-874 D.

Other: To be a state-qualified school for purposes of the Original Individual Income Tax Credit Scholarship, Low-Income Corporate Income Tax Credit Scholarship, Lexie’s Law for Disabled and Displaced Students Tax Credit Scholarship, and “Switcher” Individual Income Tax Credit Scholarship programs or Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, the school may not discriminate on the basis of race, color, disability, familial status, or national origin. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§15-2401, 43-1501, 43-1601.

Alaska

(As of July 31, 2013)

Registration: No requirements.

Length of School Year and Days: Exempt schools must operate on a regular schedule excluding reasonable holidays and vacations during at least 180 days of the year. Alaska Stat. §14.45.110(b).

Non-exempt private schools must comply with the laws and regulations relating to education. Alaska Stat. §14.45.030. A public school term must include not less than 180 days, unless approved by the Commissioner. Alaska Stat. §14.03.030.

State Approval: No requirements. Private schools that elect to comply with Alaska Stat. §§14.45.100–130 are considered “exempt schools,” i.e. exempt from other state education requirements. However, health and safety provisions apply equally to “exempt” and “non-exempt” private schools. Alaska Stat. §14.45.100.

Non-exempt schools are religious or other private schools not operated in compliance with Alaska Stat. §§14.45.100–130 and are not exempt from education laws and regulations. Alaska Stat. §14.45.030.

State Accreditation: Optional. The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development has a duty to accredit private schools that request accreditation and meet accreditation standards as prescribed by regulation. (In practice, Alaska does not accredit schools and has not adopted accreditation regulations, but has an informal agreement with the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges to provide accreditation to public and private schools that request accreditation.) Alaska Stat. §14.07.020(10).

Licensing: No requirements. The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development is not authorized to require the licensing of religious or other private schools. Alaska Stat. §14.07.020(10).

Curriculum: Private education satisfies the Alaska compulsory school attendance law if the academic education provided is comparable to that offered by the public schools in the area. Alaska Stat. §14.30.010(b)(1).

Textbooks: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to textbooks for private schools.

Testing: Exempt schools must administer a nationally standardized test selected by the chief administrative officer of the school to all students enrolled in grades four, six, and eight at least once each school year. The test must measure achievement in English grammar, reading, spelling and mathematics. The school must maintain records of the results and make them available to parents or guardians. Composite test results for the school must be made available annually to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. These results are not public information unless the public school is also required to release identical information. Alaska Stat. §14.45.120.

Teacher Certification: Teacher certification is required for non-exempt private schools, but not required for exempt private schools. Alaska Stat. §14.45.100.

Professional Development: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to professional development for private schools.

Transportation: The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development provides transportation for nonpublic school students who travel comparable distances and the same routes as public school students. Alaska Stat. §14.09.020.

Health and Safety Requirements: The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development has a duty to prescribe by regulation standards to assure healthful and safe conditions in the private schools. Standards for private schools may not be more stringent than those for public schools. Alaska Stat. §14.07.020(7).

Private schools must instruct pupils by means of drills to safely exit school buildings in an emergency. Drills must be conducted once each month during the school term, weather permitting. Alaska Stat. §14.03.140.

School teachers and school administrative staff members of private schools who in the performance of their occupational duties have reasonable cause to suspect that a child has suffered harm as a result of child abuse or neglect must immediately report the harm to the Alaska Department of Education. A person required to report child abuse or neglect to the Department is not relieved of the obligation by notifying his supervisor of the harm. If the alleged abuse occurred at a private school and was caused by a school employee, the law enforcement agency will notify the chief administrator of the school. In the event the allegation of abuse is against the chief administrator or his immediate family, the agency will notify the Commissioner of Education. The notification must set out the factual determination of the law enforcement agency. Alaska Stat. §47.17.020(a)(2), (f), (g).

Private school officials have the authority to search school lockers as provided in Alaska Stat. §14.03.105, §14.45.190.

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to reimbursement for performing state and local functions.

Recordkeeping and Reports: Both exempt and non-exempt private schools are required to submit a Corporal Punishment Policy to the State of Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. The policy must be written and explain the details of its use (who may administer, what instrument is used, privacy issues). Private schools must gain written consent before administering corporal punishment. 4 AAC 42.200.

Non-exempt schools must submit regular monthly attendance reports and annual reports to the commissioner in the same manner as teachers and superintendents in the public schools. Alaska Stat. §14.45.030.

An exempt school must maintain monthly attendance records for each student enrolled Alaska Stat. §14.45.110(b).

By October 15 each year, exempt schools must make an annual report to the Commissioner of Education of the number of students in each grade and the school calendar. Alaska Stat. §14.45.110(b).

Exempt schools must maintain permanent student records reflecting immunizations, physical examinations, standardized testing, academic achievement, and courses taken. The chief administrative officer must certify that the records are being maintained. Alaska Stat. §14.45.130.

Parents or guardians of children attending exempt schools must file an annual notice of enrollment with the local public school superintendent. The form must be signed by the parent or guardian and chief administrative officer of the exempt school and then submitted to the local public school superintendent by the parent. If the child withdraws, the exempt school must notify the public school superintendent within a reasonable time. Alaska Stat. §14.45.110(a).

Special Education: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to special education for private schools.

Nursing and Health: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to nursing and health for private schools.

Technology: There is no state policy at this time pertaining to technology for private schools.

Alabama

(As of April 2013)

Registration: Mandatory. All private schools, except church schools, must register annually on or before October 10 with the Alabama Department of Education and report on the number of students and instructors, enrollment, attendance, course of study, length of term, cost of tuition, funds, value of property, and the general condition of the school. Code of Alabama 1975 §16-1-11.

Length of School Year and Days: Every child between the ages of six and 17 is required to attend a school or be instructed by a private tutor certified by the state of Alabama for the entire length of the school term in every scholastic subject under the compulsory attendance law. Code of Alabama 1975 §§16-28-3, 16-28-1, 16-28-7.

State Approval: No requirements.

School Accreditation: No requirements.

Licensing: No requirements.

Curriculum: Each private school’s purpose and objectives shall be stated in the catalog, bulletin, or brochure of the institution. Ala. Admin. Code r. 290-030-050-.05.

Private schools, but not church schools, are required to use the English language in giving instruction and are required to offer instruction in “the several branches of study required to be taught in the public schools.” Code of Alabama 1975 §16-28-1(1).

Private schools, but not church schools, must provide a physical education program that conforms to the program outlined by the Alabama Department of Education. Code of Alabama 1975 §16-40-1.

Testing: No requirements.

Teacher Certification: Teachers instructing in private schools, but not church schools, must hold certificates issued by the state superintendent of education. Code of Alabama 1975 §16-28-1 (1)a, (2).

Professional Development: No teacher or school administrator employed by a nonpublic school is excluded from participating in in-service teacher education institutes or curriculum development programs for drug abuse prevention provided under Chapter 41, Drug Abuse Education. Code of Alabama 1975 §16-41-5.

Transportation: A license tax or registration fee of $13.00 is imposed on motor buses owned by a church or a private school that are used only for the purposes of the institution. Code of Alabama 1975 §40-12-246 (d).

Health and Safety Requirements: A certificate of immunization or testing for the prevention of communicable diseases designated by the state health officer is required prior to admittance to a private school. Code of Alabama 1975 §16-30-4.

Alabama requires all private schools to conduct monthly fire drills and to have all doors and exits open out, and that all such doors and exits be unlocked during school hours. Code of Alabama 1975 §36-19-10.

A nonpublic school must seek and obtain a criminal history background information check on all “applicants seeking positions with, and on all current employees and current employees under review employed by, any nonpublic school who have unsupervised access to or who provide education, training, instruction, or supervision for children in an educational setting.” Chapter 22A, Alabama Child Protection Act of 1999. Code of Alabama 1975 §16-22A-5(b).

Private schools must fully meet the building code requirements unless the building was used for that purpose prior to the effective date of the code. Code of Alabama 1975 §41-9-163(c).

Recordkeeping and Reports: At the end of the fifth day from the opening of the public school, the principal teacher of each private school, but not church school, must report to the local superintendent the names and addresses of all children enrolled, and thereafter, at least weekly the names of students absent without excuse. Code of Alabama 1975 §16-28-7.

The principal teacher of private and church schools must keep an attendance register showing the enrollment of the school and every absence of each enrolled child from school for a half-day or more. Code of Alabama 1975 §16-28-8.

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