General Overview of the Homeschooling laws in Oklahoma
Oklahoma guarantees the right to homeschooling in its constitution. The specific provision is found on Section 4, Article 13 of the Constitution of Oklahoma which states “the legislature shall provide compulsory attendance at some public or other schools, unless other means of education are provided of all children in the State who are sound in mind and body, between the ages of eight and sixteen, for at least three months each year.” The phrase “other means of education” is understood to include homeschooling. This addition of the last statement of the provision was suggested by a delegate during the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention in 1907.
As stated in the Attorney General Opinion No. 73-129 dated February 13, 1973, the Attorney General of Oklahoma stated that the law recognizes the right of parents to homeschool their children as long as the instruction supplied by the teacher is in “good faith and equivalent in fact to that afforded by the State”.
Notification of Intent to homeschool in Oklahoma
It is recommended by the State that parents send a notification before withdrawing their children from a public or private school. It is not mandated by the law of Oklahoma but it would be helpful for parents to send notices. This is to avoid problems in the records of the child if the school was not informed earlier. Parents, as much as possible, should give notice of the homeschooling to the principal of the school district where the student is residing.
Check out the short video below to learn more about homeschool in Oklahoma:
There are other schools which follow a format of the letter stating that the parents want to release their children and shall assume the responsibility of educating them.
Qualifications required to homeschool in Oklahoma
The Attorney General of Oklahoma rules that homeschooling in the state does not require a certified teacher. The instruction must, however, be equivalent to the education mandated by the state. In addition, Oklahoma law provides a compulsory age requirement of 5 – 18 years for children in homeschool following the age requirement for students enrolled in a public school. Homeschooling is not regulated in this state. The Constitution gives no authority to officials to take control, conduct testing with homeschoolers, or oblige school officials to inspect their homes.
Number of days/hours of instruction required for homeschoolers in Oklahoma
The State of Oklahoma adheres to compulsory school attendance for homeschooling. The law provides that for each calendar year, there should be an equivalent of 180 days as per the usual days required for public or private schools. There could be six hours or 360 minutes in a day which would vary with the age of the child.
What subjects need to be covered in Home Education (and for how long) in Oklahoma?
There is no standard curriculum assigned to homeschooled students in Oklahoma. It is only important to have an appropriate curriculum ideal for learning which will enhance the capabilities of students like in an ordinary school. The number of hours for each subject is not as well mandatory. However, the state of Oklahoma requires certain subjects to be taught to students.
The set of courses should primarily include the following:
- Physical Education
- US Constitution
What are the recordkeeping requirements for homeschoolers in Oklahoma?
Record keeping is not mandatory for homeschooled students in Oklahoma. There is no need for reporting and testing in homeschool programs. The important thing is to comply with the required number of days by the law. Teachers and parents, however, could keep these educational records of the children for future reference. Record keeping is very essential in college applications and scholarships of the students. In addition, it is useful for tracking and monitoring the child’s academic development.
Is part-time enrollment permitted in Oklahoma?
No, part-time enrollment in public schools is not permitted in Oklahoma. In the case of Swanson v. Guthrie Independent School District, the Federal 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a decision denying a homeschool student the access of enrolling part-time in a public school in Oklahoma.
Are homeschoolers permitted to participate in extracurricular activities in Oklahoma?
No. As stated above, it was already ruled that access in public school activities to homeschoolers is not allowed. Nevertheless, there are petitions asking for the participation of homeschooled students in activities of other schools, especially in sports. In an article of News OK, a local paper for the state of Oklahoma, homeschool sports activities are already being examined. Some families moved to ask lawmakers to permit students to participate in sports activities. They were stating that the taxes paid by families of these students can already support the programs hence it would not require additional expenses in granting homeschool children access to them.