Home School Court Report
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Cover Story
Home Schoolers Win Ban on National Test

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So You Want to Attend Patrick Henry College

National Center Reports
National ID Regulations on Hold for Year

Defense Authorization Bill of 1998

The Higher Education Amendments of 1998

Gifted Home Schoolers Excel

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A Contrario Sensu

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Legal Requirements for Establishing and Operating a Church School
     Parents who wish to teach their children at home in Alabama have two options: (1) instruction by a private tutor, or, (2) enrollment and attendance at a church school. Only a few home schooling families utilize the private tutor option, because the tutor must be a state-certified teacher. Most families utilize the church school option, because there is no state regulation of curricular content and there are no teacher qualifications required of parents. In fact, church schools in Alabama are virtually unregulated by the state. Thus, in a state where the law does not expressly recognize home education, church schools provide an attractive option for home schooling families.
     According to an opinion issued by the Alabama Attorney General on January 3, 1997, “Church schools . . . are exempt from government regulation. . . . No state or governmental agency has the authority to regulate a church school.” This opinion went on to say that, except for the reporting requirements for attendance, “there is no provision of Alabama law that permits or requires any state or local authority to regulate a church school.”
     Home schooling families who are unable to locate a suitable church school in which to enroll their children may establish their own church school. According to Section 16-28-1 of the Alabama Code, a church school is defined as a school which offers instruction in grades K-12, or any combination thereof, and is operated as a ministry of a local church, group of churches, denomination, and/or association of churches on a nonprofit basis and which does not receive any state or federal funding. The term “local” is not defined in the statutory language, but Home School Legal Defense Association has taken the position that it includes any location within the State of Alabama.
     For families or churches desiring to establish a church school, HSLDA has prepared a memorandum discussing the legal requirements and recommendations for doing so. Included in this information is sample language for use by a church in establishing a school as a ministry. Please contact our office if you would like a copy of these documents.


Admitted to statehood:
December 14, 1819

Origin of name:
Indian for a tribal town, later a tribe (Alabamas or Alibamons) of the Creek Confederacy.

Audemus jura nostra defendere—We dare defend our rights.