The Home School Court Report
VOLUME XV, NUMBER 5
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SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 1999
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Cover Story
Ninth Circuit Upholds Family Privacy and Parental Authority

Special Features
United We Stand

Two from Washington

National Center Reports
Children Tax ID Act Moves Forward

President Vetoes Tax Relief

Navy Fills Quota

Home Educated Athletes

Across the States
State by State

Regular Features
Press Clippings

Active Cases

Prayer and Praise

President’s Page

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Across the States
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Tidbits & Trivia

Alabama workers built the first rocket that put humans on the moon.

Alabama

Instructional Options May Not Comply with State Law

As home education flourishes, so do the instructional options. In Alabama, parents are wondering if some of these options are compatible with state law.

Alabama law recognizes four options for complying with its compulsory attendance requirements: public school, private school, church school, and private tutor. It is doubtful that instruction through the Internet, correspondence schools, video schools, or enrollment in out-of-state schools fulfill the requirements for any of these options. Unless parents’ choice of instructional methods falls within state boundaries for compulsory attendance compliance, truancy charges may be brought against the family.

Private schools that enroll home school students must have a certificate issued from the Alabama State Superintendent of Education, showing that the school, among other things, employs only teachers certified by the State of Alabama.

A church school must be one “operated as a ministry of a local church, group of churches, denomination, and/or association of churches on a nonprofit basis which do not receive any state or federal funding.” Thus, any school that is not a ministry of a church organization does not qualify as a church school. Additionally, the school must be one which is “local”—liberally interpreted by Home School Legal Defense Association as “within the geographical boundaries of Alabama.” Further, the school must operate on a nonprofit basis.

A private tutor must be certified to teach in Alabama and must provide instruction at least three hours a day for 140 days each calendar year between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.Members who have questions about educational options should call HSLDA’s legal department.