Skip to main content

Compulsory Education

15. Compulsory Education

Public schools are a relatively new concept in Western culture. Not until the nineteenth century did states officially begin to take responsibility for educating children. Before that time education was a private matter, either handled by parents, churches, or communities that joined together and paid a teacher to educate their children.

Some early state constitutions and territory charters specifically stated that the government was responsible for the training of children in morals and the overall knowledge necessary for them to become responsible citizens. Often this responsibility was acted upon merely by subsidizing the building of schools; minimum requirements for the type of education or the number of years of education that were required of students were not set.

Today education is a responsibility that local, state, and federal governments take seriously. The teaching of morality has given way to standard academic focuses, and compulsory education laws, requiring public school attendance of all children generally between the ages of six or seven and sixteen, have been enacted. However, these rules frequently exempt children with permanent or temporary mental or physical disabilities, and a few states exempt students who live more than two miles from a public transportation route. Alternatives to state-run schools, including private and parochial schools and home schools, are also available.

Table 15: Compulsory Education
StateCode SectionAge RequirementsExceptionsHome School ProvisionsPenalties on Parents for Noncompliance
ALABAMA16-28-1, et seq. Between 7 and 16Church school students; child privately tutored by certified instructor; child whose physical/mental condition prevents attendance; child would be compelled to walk over 2 miles to attend public school; child legally and regularly employed; children over 16 who have completed public school course of studyExempted from Chapter 46 regulating certain schools and courses of instruction (§§16-46-1, et seq.)Misdemeanor: Fine up to $100 and possibly up to 90 days hard labor for the county
ALASKA14.30.010, et seq. Between 7 and 16Comparable education provided through religious or private school or tutoring; attends school operated by federal government; child has physical/mental condition making attendance impractical; child is in custody of court or law enforcement officer; child is temporarily ill or injured, resides over 2 miles from a route for public transportation, or has completed the 12th grade or is suspended or denied admittance under 14.30.045; child is enrolled in an approved correspondence study or is well-served by an educational experience of another kind that is approvedTutoring by personnel certified according to §14.20.020 who holds bachelors degree from accredited institution among other requirementsKnowing noncompliance is violation with fine up to $300; every 5 days of noncompliance is separate violation
ARIZONA15-802; 41-1493, et seq. Between 6 and 16 or 10th gradeChild receives home instruction and takes a standardized achievement test; child attends a private school full time (at least 175 days per year); physical/mental condition makes attendance impractical; child has completed 10th grade; child is over 14 and employed at a lawful wage-earning occupation with consent of custodian/parent; child enrolled in vocational education; child enrolled in another state-provided education program; waiver may be granted for good cause; child was suspendedInstruction must be in reading, grammar, mathematics, social studies, and science by a person passing a reading, grammar, and mathematics proficiency exam; home schooled child must be allowed to participate in interscholastic athletics for school district in which he/she residesClass 3 misdemeanor; petty offense for failure to provide attendant for home-schooled child
StateCode SectionAge RequirementsExceptionsHome School ProvisionsPenalties on Parents for Noncompliance
ARKANSAS6-18-201, et seq. Between 5 and 17Child has received a high school diploma; parent may elect to withhold child from kindergarten; any child over 16 enrolled in post-secondary vocational institution or college or specific adult education programs upon certain conditionsParents must give written notice of intent to home school; with curriculum, schedules, and qualifications of teacher presented to superintendent for each semester; child must submit to standardized achievement tests annually and at 8, if test results are unsatisfactory, child shall be enrolled in a public, private, or parochial school (§6-15-501 et. seq. )Misdemeanor; each day is separate offense and fine of $25 to $100
CALIFORNIAEduc. §§48200, et seq. ; 48400; 48293Between 6 and 18; unless otherwise exempted, persons 16 to 18 must attend special continuation education classesChildren attending private schools; child being tutored by person with state credential for grade being taught; children holding work permits (subject to compulsory part-time classes); child of 15 may take a leave of absence for supervised travel, study, training, or work not available to the student under another education option if certain conditions are met; illegal aliens Guilty of an infraction; 1st conviction: fine up to $100; 2nd conviction: fine up to $250; 3rd or subsequent convictions: fine up to $500; in lieu of any fines, court may order person placed in parent education and counseling program
COLORADO22-33-104, et seq. Between 7 and 16Child ill or injured temporarily; child attends an independent or parochial school that provides a basic academic education; child absent due to a physical/mental/emotional disability; child is lawfully employed; child is in custody of court or law enforcement authority; child graduated 12th grade; child is instructed at home; child is suspended or expelledParents not subject to Colorado Education Licensing Act of 1991; must provide 4 hours of instruction on average a day; must include reading, writing, speaking, math, history, civics, literature, science, and the Constitution; parents must give written notice every year and children shall be evaluated at grades 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11Attendance officer designated for enforcement of compulsory education; board of education of each school district shall adopt policies and procedures for habitually truant child
StateCode SectionAge RequirementsExceptionsHome School ProvisionsPenalties on Parents for Noncompliance
CONNECTICUT10-184; 185Between 5 and 18Child receiving equivalent instruction elsewhere; high school graduateMust include: reading, writing, spelling, English grammar, geography, arithmetic, U.S. history and citizenship; child must be receiving an equivalent instruction; minimum 180 days instruction per yearFine maximum $25 per day: each day is distinct offense; exception for parents of child destitute of clothing
DELAWARETit. 14 §§2702, et seq. Between 5 and 16Private school attendance; mentally or physically handicapped; by parents request with written documentation of physician or psychiatristHome school is affiliated with a home school association or organization is registered with Dept. of EducationFined not less than $5 and not more than $25 for first offense; not more than $50 for each subsequent offense in a school year
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA38-201, et seq. Between 5 and 18Child obtained diploma; if 17 and lawfully employed, school hours may be flexibleRegular attendance in an independent school; private or parochial instructionMisdemeanor; at least $100 fine or prison up to 5 days or both per offense or community service in the alternate; One offense is the equivalent of missing 2 full-day sessions or 4 half-day sessions in one month; failure to enroll child is also offense
FLORIDA1003.21, et seq. Between 6 and 16Certificate of exception granted by the district school superintendentNotify superintendent of schools, maintain a portfolio of records and materials, and evaluate education annually, including a national student achievement test or other method of evaluation; 1002.41Non-enrollment: superintendent shall begin criminal prosecution; refusing to have child attend regularly is second degree misdemeanor
StateCode SectionAge RequirementsExceptionsHome School ProvisionsPenalties on Parents for Noncompliance
GEORGIA20-2-690, et seq. Between 6 and 16Private school or home studyMust teach at least reading, language arts, math, social studies, and science; parents must give annual notice; parent must teach only his or her children or hire a private tutor who holds at least a high school diploma or a GED equivalency diploma; subject to standardized testing; must provide annual progress assessment report; minimum 180 days of instruction per year and at least 4 1/2 hours of instruction per dayMisdemeanor; fine up to $100 and/or prison up to 30 days; each days absence is separate offense
HAWAII302A-1132, et seq. Between 6 and 18Child is physically or mentally unable to attend; child is at least 15 and suitably employed and excused by school representative or judge; permission after investigation by the family court; child has graduated high school; child is enrolled in an appropriate alternative educational programParents must notify assigned public school of intent to home educate children and upon termination of home education; parent must maintain record of planned curriculumPetty misdemeanor
IDAHO33-202, et seq. Between 7 and 16Child is otherwise comparably instructed; childs physical/mental/emotional condition does not permit attendanceComparably instructedProceedings brought under provisions of the YouthRehabilitation Act
ILLINOIS105 ILCS 5/26-1, et seq. Between 7 and 17Child attending private or parochial school; child is physically/mentally unable to attend school; child is excused by county superintendent; child 12 to 14 attending confirmation classes; pregnant female with complications to pregnancy; child is necessarily and lawfully employed; excused for temporary cause by principal or teacherPeople v. Levisen, 90 N.E.2d 213 (1950). Home instruction may constitute a private school.Conviction is Class C misdemeanor subject to up to 30 days imprisonment and/or fine up to $500
StateCode SectionAge RequirementsExceptionsHome School ProvisionsPenalties on Parents for Noncompliance
INDIANA20-8.1-3-17, et seq. Between 7 and 16 if an exit interview requirement is met; otherwise 18Child provided with instruction equivalent to public education or in nonaccredited, nonpublic school; child is physically/mentally unfit for attendanceNotice to superintendent of school and must provide an equivalent education (See Mazanec v. North Judson-San Pierre Sch. Corp., 614 F. Supp. 1152 (N.D.Ind. 1875), affirmed. 798 F. 2d 230 (7th Cir. 1986))Class B misdemeanor
IOWA299.1, et seq.; 299A.1,et seq. Between 6 and 16Accredited nonpublic school, private college preparatory school or competent private instruction; completed requirements for graduation from accredited school or GED; sufficient reason by court of record or judge; while attending religious services or receiving religious instruction; physical/mental conditions do not permit attendanceCompetent private instruction; minimum 148 days; annual achievement evaluation reported to schoolSchool officers will use means available to school; if persists, referred to county attorney for mediation or prosecution; violations of agreement (mediation): 1st offense: up to 10 days jail or up to $100 fine or 40 hours of community service; 2nd offense: up to 20 days jail and/or up to $500 fine or community service; 3rd or more: up to 30 days jail and/or up to $1000 fine or community service
KANSAS72-1111, et seq. Between 7 and 18; until only 16 with parental consentPrivate, denominational, or parochial school taught by competent instructor; exceptional students may have different requirementsHome school held not to be equivalent of private, denominational or parochial school, State v. Lowry, 191 K. 701-704; 383 P. 2d 962. Home school does not meet requirements of compulsory school attendance law. (See State v. Garber, 197 K. 567-569, 419 P.2d 896. and In Re Sawyer, 234 K.436, 439, 442, 672 P.2d 1093 (1983))Secretary of Social & Rehabilitative Services investigates matter; determination made as to criminal prosecution or county attorney can make petition alleging child in need of care
StateCode SectionAge RequirementsExceptionsHome School ProvisionsPenalties on Parents for Noncompliance
KENTUCKY159.010, et seq. Between 6 and 16Graduate from approved 4 year high school; enrolled in private, parochial, or church school; child less than 7 years old and in regular attendance in a private kindergarten-nursery school; physical/mental condition prevents it; enrolled in state supported school for exceptional children 1st offense: $100 fine; 2nd offense: $250 fine; subsequent: Class B misdemeanor
LOUISIANA17:221, et seq. Between 7 and 18Mentally/physically/emotionally incapacitated to perform school duties; children living outside boundaries of city, town, or municipality; children temporarily excused from school (personal or relatives illness, death, religion); withdrawal by student with written consent of parent, guardian, or tutorParent must apply to Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for approval of home study; must make renewal application each year; must sustain curriculum of quality at least equal to that offered by public schools; competency-based education exams may be administered by local school board upon parental requestFine up to $15 for each offense; each day violated is separate offense
MAINETit. 20-A §5001-A, et seq. Between 7 and 17Graduates early; 15 years old or finished 9th grade; permission from parent; approved by principal for suitable program of work and study; permission from school board and written agreement that parent and board will annually meet until 17th birthday to review educational needs; habitual truant; matriculated and attending post-secondary, degree-granting institution full-time; equivalent instruction from private school or other approved mannerEquivalent instruction approved by commissioner; local boards not required to play any role in application, review and approval, or oversight of programCivil violation; district court may order injunctive relief or counseling
MARYLANDEduc. 7-301Between 5 and 16Receiving other regular, thorough instruction in studies usually taught in public schools to children of same age group; mental/emotional/physical condition which makes his instruction detrimental to his progress or whose presence presents danger of serious physical harm to othersReceiving otherwise regular, thorough instruction in studies usually taught in public schools to children of same age groupGuilty of misdemeanor; first conviction: subject to fine up to $50 and/or up to 10 days jail; subsequent conviction: fine of $100 and/or up to 30 days jail
StateCode SectionAge RequirementsExceptionsHome School ProvisionsPenalties on Parents for Noncompliance
MASSACHUSETTS76 §1, et seq. Established by Board of Education; pending such establishment: 7 & 16 (St. 1965, c. 741); 7 minimum (Alvord v. Chester, 180 Mass. 20, 61 N.E. 263 (1901));14 to 16 years old, completed 6th grade, holds permit for employment in domestic service or farm, and is regularly employed there 6 hours per day minimum; 14 to 16 years old, meets requirements and has written permission of superintendent to engage in non-wage earning employment at home; physical/mental condition does not permitApproval falls to superintendent or school committee; may review curriculum, method of evaluation, nature of textbooks and other factors (Care & Protection of Charles, 504 N.E. 2d 592 (1987))Up to $20 fine for any absence over 7 days (or 14 half-days) in a period of 6 months
MICHIGAN380.1561, et seq. Between 6 and 16Enrolled in approved non-public school which teaches subjects comparable to those in public schools to children of same age; under 9 years old and doesnt reside within 2.5 miles of nearest traveled road of public school and transportation not provided; age 12 to 13 while in attendance of confirmation classes not to exceed 5 monthsAn organized education program which teaches subjects comparable to those taught in public schools to children of corresponding age and grade; burden on state to prove parents are not teaching children in home school environmentWarrant issued, hearing and determination made; misdemeanor: fine of $5 to $50 and/or 2 to 90 days jail
MINNESOTA120A.22, et seq. Between 7 and 16Good cause determined by school board including: physical/mental condition prevents it; complete graduation requirementsWriting, reading, literature and fine arts, math, science, social studies including history, geography, and government, and health and physical education; instruction, textbooks, and materials must be in English; child must be assessed each year with standardized achievement test; superintendent can make on-site visits to evaluateMisdemeanor
MISSISSIPPI37-13-91Between 6 and 17Child is physically/mentally/emotionally incapable of attendance; child enrolled in special or remedial type education; educated in legitimate home instruction programParent must file a certificate of enrollment and education must be a legitimate home instruction program.Guilty of contributing to the neglect of a child and punished according to §97-5-39: misdemeanor with fine up to $1000 and/or up to 1 year in jail
StateCode SectionAge RequirementsExceptionsHome School ProvisionsPenalties on Parents for Noncompliance
MISSOURI167.031, et seq. Between 7 and 16Determined mentally/physically incapable of attendance; child is 14 to 16 and legally and desirably employedPrimary purpose is provision of private or religious-based instruction; no more than 4 pupils may be unrelated by consanguinity to the 3rd degree; no tuition charged; parents must keep written records, samples of childs work, evaluation of progress; minimum hours of instruction in reading, language arts, math, social studies, scienceClass C misdemeanor; upon conviction each successive school day is separate violation; penalty may be mitigated by enrolling and showing child is attending school
MONTANA20-5-102, et seq. Between 7 and the later of attaining 16 or finishing 8th gradeEnrolled in another district or state; supervised correspondence or home study; excused by district judge or board of trustees; enrolled in nonpublic or home schoolGive notice to county superintendent; maintain records; give 180 days of instruction; building complies with health and safety regulations; provide organized course of study in subjects required by public schoolsFine of $5 to $20; if parent refuses to pay he shall be imprisoned in county jail 10 to 30 days
NEBRASKA79-201, et seq. ; 43-2007Between 7 and 18, or only 16 upon release provided by local public schoolChild has graduated high school; child 14 is employed and has completed 8th grade and earnings are necessary for his support or dependents; child is physically/mentally incapacitated; illness or severe weather conditions make attendance impossibleHome school valid if complies with §§79-1601 through 79-1607; subject to and governed by the provisions of the general school laws of the state so far as the same apply to grades, qualifications, and certification of teachers and promotion of pupils; adequate supplies and equipment, course of study substantially same as given in the public schools where children would have attendedClass III misdemeanor
StateCode SectionAge RequirementsExceptionsHome School ProvisionsPenalties on Parents for Noncompliance
NEVADA392.040, et seq. Between 7 and 17Private school; physical/mental condition preventing attendance; completion of 12 grades; receiving equivalent, approved instruction; residence too far from nearest school; with written evidence, child over 14 must work for his or parents support or with boards authority; any child who has completed education through eighth grade and receives permission from courtEquivalent instruction of the kind and amount approved by the state board of educationMisdemeanor
NEW HAMPSHIRE193.1, et seq., 193-A , et seq. Between 6 and 16If in the best welfare of the child; approved private school; physical/mental condition prevents or makes attendance undesirable; receiving home educationInstruction in science, math, language, government, history, health, reading, writing and spelling, history of U.S. and New Hampshire constitution and exposure to and appreciation of art and music; notification and evaluation required; home schooled children shall have access to curricular courses and programs offered by school district where child residesMisdemeanor and compel child to attend school
NEW JERSEY18A:38-25, et seq. Between 6 and 16Mental condition such that student cannot benefit; physical condition prevents attendance; child attends day school where instruction is equivalent to that provided in public schools for children of similar grades and attainmentsChild must receive equal instruction as would receive in public schoolConvicted as disorderly persons; 1st offense: up to $25 fine; subsequent: up to $100 fine
NEW MEXICO22-12-1, et seq.; 22-8-2M5 years to age of majority as defined in 28-6-1 (21)Private school, home school, or state institution; graduated from high school; 17 years old and employed in gainful trade or occupation or engaged in alternative form of education sufficient for the persons educational needs and the parent/guardian consents; consent of parent/guardian if resident and under 8 years old; unable to benefit because of learning disabilities, mental/physical/emotional conditionMeans of meeting requirement of compulsory education; parent must possess at least a high school diploma or its equivalent1st offense: petty misdemeanor, $25 to $100 fine or community service; 2nd and subsequent: petty misdemeanor, up to $500 fine or up to 6 months jail
StateCode SectionAge RequirementsExceptionsHome School ProvisionsPenalties on Parents for Noncompliance
NEW YORKEduc. §§3201, et seq. Between 6 and 16Non-public or home instruction; mental/physical condition endangers him or others; completed 4 year high school program; full-time employment certificate; may also be allowed to attend part-time with employmentInstruction given to a minor must be at least substantially equivalent to the instruction that would be received by minors of like age and attainments in the public school where child resides; must file annual instruction plans and assessments1st offense: fine not exceeding $10 or 10 days jail; subsequent offense: up to $50 and/or 30 days jail
NORTH CAROLINA115C-378Between 7 and 16Approved by state board of education (mental or physical inability to attend, immediate demands of the farm or home, etc.)Maintain such minimum curriculum standards as are required of public schools; must be recognized by Office of Non-Public Schools and meet requirements of Article 39 of Chapter 115C (115C-547, et seq. standardized testing, high school competency, health and safety standards notice)Class 3 misdemeanor
NORTH DAKOTA15.1-20-01, et seq. Between 7 and 16Child attends school for same length of time at approved, non-public school; child has completed high school; child necessary to support family; child has disability that renders attendance or participation impracticable; child is home educatedMust file statement with superintendent 14 days before home schooling begins. Parent must be either: licensed to teach, holder of a B.A., has passed national teaching exam, or meets requirements of public school teacher as specified in 15.1-23-06. Instruction must be minimum four hours per day for minimum of 175 days a year and must encompass instruction taught in public schools. Student must take standardized test and parent must file results with the superintendent 
StateCode SectionAge RequirementsExceptionsHome School ProvisionsPenalties on Parents for Noncompliance
OHIO3321.01, et seq. Between 6 and 18Child received high school diploma; lawfully employed (if over 14 for necessary work); physical/mental condition does not permit attendance; child being instructed at homeInstructed by person qualified to teach in required branches; approval necessary by district superintendent; if challenged, a religious-based exemption must pass 3-pronged test: (1) Are religious beliefs sincere? (2) Will application of compulsory education law infringe on right to free exercise of religion? (3) Does the state have an overriding interest? Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972) (adopted in Ohio in State v. Whisner 470 S.2d 181 (1976))File complaint; required to give $500 bond conditioned that child will attend school; violation: up to $500 or 70 hrs. community service; upon refusal to pay fine, imprisonment 10 to 30 days
OKLAHOMATit. 70 §10-105;§1744Between 5 and 18; deaf children between 7 and 21Mental/physical disability prevents attendance; child is 16 and has permission of school and parents; emergencyInstruction must be in good faith and equivalent to that given by the state; Op. Atty. Gen. 73-129 (Feb. 13, 1973); minimum 180 days of instruction per yearMisdemeanor; 1st offense: $5 to $25; 2nd offense: $10 to $50; subsequent: $25 to $100
OREGON339.005, et seq. Between 7 and 18Child has completed 12th grade; attending private school; proof of equivalent knowledge of subjects through 12th grade; children taught by parent or private teacher; over 16 and lawfully employed; child is emancipated; child is employedGive notice to superintendent and notice must be acknowledged by him; annual examination given and results submitted to superintendent; if insufficient score, student may be ordered to attend public schoolWritten notice to parent given; upon noncompliance, district superintendent notified
StateCode SectionAge RequirementsExceptionsHome School ProvisionsPenalties on Parents for Noncompliance
PENNSYLVANIATit. 24 §§13-1326, et seq. Between 8 and 17Graduated high school; 15 and with approval, child may enroll in private trade school; enrolled in home education program pursuant to Tit. 24 §13-1327.1 or private school; physical/mental defects rendering education impracticable; 16 and lawfully employed; 15 and engaged in farming or domestic service or 14 if engaged in same having achieved highest elementary grade; resides over 2 miles from nearest public highway, school or free public transportation is not furnishedFile annual notice with a notarized affidavit of various information including proposed education objectives and immunization record; evaluation by teacher or administrator; minimum course requirements at each educational level; portfolio of records and materials; 180 days or 900 hours of annual instructionUp to $300, together with costs and upon default of payment subjected to county jail up to 5 days
RHODE ISLAND16-19-1, et seq. Between 6 and 16Child attends private school or is home-instructed by approval of school committee; physical/mental condition of child renders attendance impracticable; child is excluded from school by virtue of a law or regulationPeriod of attendance is same as public schools; register kept and reading, writing, geography, arithmetic, history of Rhode Island and U.S., and principles of American government are taughtNot more than $50 for each absent day and if days exceed 30 during a school year parent shall be imprisoned up to 6 months and/or fined up to $500
SOUTH CAROLINA59-65-10, et seq. Between 5 and 17Enrolled in private, parochial, or other approved program; child graduated; physical/mental disability; 8th grade completed and gainfully and lawfully employed; child has reached age 16 and determined to be disruptive to educational program and enters into gainful employment until 17Instruction given under auspices of South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools and its requirements exempts home school from further requirements; otherwise, instruction must be approved; parent has at least a high school diploma or GED; include 180 days of instruction per year; curriculum includes reading, writing, math, science, social studies; composition and literature (in grades 712)Not more than $50 fine or prison up to 30 days; each absence is separate offense; court may suspend any conviction in its discretion
StateCode SectionAge RequirementsExceptionsHome School ProvisionsPenalties on Parents for Noncompliance
SOUTH DAKOTA13-27-1, et seq. Between 6 and 16Child achieved 8th grade and fits into a religious exemption; competent instruction received from another source; illness in the familyParent need not be certified but Department of Education may ensure instruction is being provided and inspect records; may not instruct over 22 children; must take national standardized test provided by school district; must be for equivalent period of time as public school; must include basic skills of language arts and mathClass 2 misdemeanor; each subsequent offense is Class 1 misdemeanor
TENNESSEE49-6-3001, et seq. Between 6 and 17 inclusiveChild has graduated high school or has GED; physical/mental incapacity; mentally or physically incapacitated to perform school duties; child is 17 and conduct is detrimental to good order and benefit of other children; home school or nonpublic school instructionApproved by local education agency; teacher/parent must have at least GED for teaching K-8, baccalaureate degree for 9-12; give notice; maintain records; at least 4 hours per day; standardized tests taken; parents associated with church-related school organizations exempt from requirementsAfter notice and failure to comply, judge may fine up to $50 or 5 hours community service; class C misdemeanor
TEXASEduc. §25.085, et seq. Between 6 and 18Child is 16, and in a course of instruction as recommended by a public agency with custody of child; child is 17 and has a high school certificate; enrolled in private or parochial school which includes a course in good citizenship; handicapped child or child with mental condition making attendance infeasible; child enrolled in Texas Academy of Leadership in Humanities or Texas Academy of Math and Sciences; is expelledChildren taught in bona fide manner from curriculum designed to meet basic education goals (Texas Educ. Agency v. Leeper 893 S.W. 2d 432 (1994))Warn parent in writing; on noncompliance, file complaint against parents for offense of Class C misdemeanor; each day constitutes separate offense
StateCode SectionAge RequirementsExceptionsHome School ProvisionsPenalties on Parents for Noncompliance
UTAH53A-11-101, et seq. Between 6 and 18Child 16 may be partially released if completed 8th grade; completed work for graduation; home-schooled; physical/mental condition making attendance impracticable; employment provides proper influences and adequate educational opportunities; child is 16 and determined unable to profit from school because of inability or negative attitude toward disciplineSubjects proscribed by state board of education; same length of time required as in districts schoolsMisdemeanor; report to appropriate juvenile court
VERMONTTit. 16 §§1121, et seq.; Tit. 16, §166bBetween 6 and 16, or 10th gradeChild physically/mentally unable to attend; child has completed 10th grade; child is excused by superintendent; enrolled in and attending a postsecondary schoolWritten notice must be given; enrollment reports; progress assessments through standardized tests or licensed teacherTruant officer gives notice and upon noncompliance without a legal excuse fine of up to $1000; also complaint entered to town grand juror
VIRGINIA22.1-254, et seq. Between 5 and 18Enrolled in private, parochial, or home instruction or taught by qualified tutor; children suffering infectious diseases; children under 10 living over 2 miles from school unless transportation provided within 1 mile; children 10 to 17 living over 2.5 miles from school unless transportation within 1.5 miles; achieved high school diploma; upon recommendation of court; expulsion or other offenseParent must hold baccalaureate degree or be certified teacher or use approved correspondence course or other approved program including standards of board of education for language arts and mathematics; parent must give notice; approved achievement tests or evaluation required; generally 180 days of instruction requiredClass 3 misdemeanor
WASHINGTON28A.225.01 0; 090Between 8 and 18Enrolled in private school; home-based instruction; physically/mentally incapable of attending; child is 16 or older and legally employed or has met graduation requirements or has received certificate of educational competenceInstruction in occupational education, science, math, language, social studies, history, health, writing, reading, spelling, and appreciation for art and music; must be supervised by certified person or by a parent with 45 college level credit hours$25 for each day of unexcused absence and/or community service; attendance officer may, through school districts attorney, petition juvenile court to assume jurisdiction
StateCode SectionAge RequirementsExceptionsHome School ProvisionsPenalties on Parents for Noncompliance
WEST VIRGINIA18-8-1, et seq. Between 6 and 16Enrolled in private, parochial, or other approved school; instruction in home; physical/mental incapacity; residence over 2 miles from school or school bus route; conditions rendering attendance impossible or hazardous; child has graduated; work permit granted for students who have completed 8th grade; serious illness or death in family; destitution in the homeNotice given; records kept; if childs education is suffering or for another compelling reason, superintendent may seek court order denying home instruction; instructor must have graduated high school or had formal education 4 yrs. higher than the most advanced student; child must take standardized testFirst offense: $50 to $100 and cost of prosecution; subsequent offense: $50100 fine plus 5 to 20 days jail; each absent day is separate offense
WISCONSIN118.15,et seq. Between 6 and 18Child has graduated; physical/mental condition renders incapable; child is home-schooled or attends private school; at 16 child may attend technical school leading to high school graduationMust meet requirements for a private school such as at least 875 hours of instruction each year; instruction in reading, language arts, math, social studies, science, and health; performance monitored on regular basisFine up to $500 and/or prison up to 30 days; if childs disobedience can be shown, action shall be dismissed
WYOMING21-4-101, et seq. Between 7 and 16 (or completion of 10th grade)Board believes attendance detrimental to mental/physical health of child or other children; attendance would be undue hardship; home-schooled or private school; student is suspended or expelledMeets requirements of basic academic educational program including reading, writing, math, civics, history, literature, and science; parent must submit curriculum to local boardMisdemeanor: at least $5 to $25 fine and/or up to 10 days in county jail

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Compulsory Education." National Survey of State Laws. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Jan. 2019 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Compulsory Education." National Survey of State Laws. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 13, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/law/legal-and-political-magazines/compulsory-education

"Compulsory Education." National Survey of State Laws. . Retrieved January 13, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/law/legal-and-political-magazines/compulsory-education

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.