General Overview of the Homeschooling Laws in Kentucky
The Kentucky compulsory education law requires that children aged between six and 18 and have not yet graduated from high school to be enrolled in school (Kentucky Revised Statute Section 159.010). Kentucky does not have a homeschool statute but does allow parents to homeschool their children and be exempt from compulsory attendance. This is based on the Kentucky State Board for Elementary and Secondary Education v. Rudasill ruling which stated the parents’ prerogative to choose the education for their children guaranteed under the Kentucky constitution.
Watch the video below to learn more about Kentucky Homeschool Laws:
When the parents choose to homeschool their child, they take responsibility for the child’s education according to the prescribed subjects to be taught, including the curriculum selection and the educational materials to be provided. The homeschool needs to notify the local school board of their intent to homeschool the child, record and maintain the scholarship reports of the child’s progress, keep accurate attendance record, and offer all core instructions in the English language. The state currently is not offering financial assistance to parents who choose to homeschool (Kentucky Department of Education, 2018).
Notification of Intent to homeschool in Kentucky
As stated in the Kentucky Department of Education Homeschool Information packet, homeschools operate under the private school statute and parents are required to:
- Notify the local school board of their intent each year that they will homeschool their children.
- The intent should be communicated in writing and submitted within ten days of the beginning of the school year.
- Establish a bona fide school. A school name should be provided to be used for records and diplomas.
- The letter of intent shall include the names, address, and ages of the children attending the homeschool, the school name and its address, and the name of the parents/teachers (Kentucky Revised Statute Section 159.160).
Qualifications required to homeschool in Kentucky
In Kentucky, parents are not required to have a certain level of education for them to qualify to homeschool. They are considered by the state of Kentucky to be non-public schools thus all Kentucky private school laws apply to home schools.
Number of days/hours of instruction required for homeschoolers in Kentucky
The Kentucky Department of Education sets the minimum school term at 1062 instructional hours. The homeschooling term in each year should not be shorter than the term of the district public school where the child resides. However, if the local school district where the child resides operates year-round, then the homeschooling term is for a minimum of one hundred eighty-five (185) days.
What subjects need to be covered in Home Education (and for how long) in Kentucky?
The mandatory subjects that homeschools need to cover are reading, writing, spelling, grammar, history, mathematics, science, and civics. Instructions are required to be in the English language. The parents also have the option to offer subjects other than what is required to be covered. As stated in the previous section, the homeschooling minimum term is 1062 instructional hours.
What are the recordkeeping requirements for homeschoolers in Kentucky?
Every Kentucky homeschool should keep a record of attendance and the courses are taken and grades, following the same intervals as their local school district’s (Kentucky Revised Statute Section 159.040). According to the Kentucky Home School Information Packet, there is no restriction as to how the attendance records are to be kept but they should be readily available and be open to inspection by the directors of pupil personnel and officials of the Department of Education.
The Kentucky Department of Education also recommends in their Home School Information Packet, the parent/teacher to keep a yearly portfolio of the child’s best work samples in each area of study. These will be useful in fulfilling documentation requirements in case they decide to transfer the child to a regular school setting.
Is part-time enrollment permitted in Kentucky?
No, it is not permitted. There is a minimum term requirement of 1062 instructional hours for homeschools. In addition, the Kentucky Revised Statuses Section 159.040 prohibits the homeschooling school term in each year to be of a shorter period than that of the local school district’s where the child resides. If the local school district operates a year-round school program, the minimum term for homeschool should be 185 days.
Are homeschoolers permitted to participate in extracurricular activities in Kentucky?
It depends on the individual school district where the child resides whether to allow homeschools to participate in public school-sponsored extracurricular activities. According to the Kentucky state law, mandatory allowing the child to join in the public school extracurricular activities applies only to the student who is enrolled in that public school. There are public schools, however, who encourage homeschools to participate in their extracurricular activities, so the state gives them that discretion.