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Homeschool Law Significantly Improved
Senior Counsel Dee Black answers questions and assists members with legal issues in Georgia. He and his wife homeschooled their children. Read more >>
With the approval by Governor Nathan Deal of House Bill 283 on May 7, 2013, Georgia modified its homeschool law to provide more freedom to parents conducting home study programs for their children.
Parents are no longer required to submit annual attendance records to the department of education. In years past, if parents were late in submitting the attendance records, their local school district would usually report them to the department of family and children services and the department of driver services. This would inevitably result in an investigation of the family for compliance with the compulsory attendance law and refusal of the department of driver services to issue a driver’s license to the student or revocation of one already issued. Even though the new law does not require submittal of the attendance records, homeschoolers should continue to keep records verifying that they are providing the equivalent of 180 days of education each 12 months designated as their school year.
Even more significant, the amended law grants parents or guardians the authority to execute any document needed to “evidence the enrollment of a child in a home study program, the student’s full-time or part-time status, the student’s grades, or any other required educational information.” The statute goes on to say that this includes, but is not limited to, verification of attendance by the department of driver services, documents relating to employment of minors, and any documents required to apply for the receipt of state or federal public assistance.
Prior law stated that the Georgia Department of Education “may” provide for electronic submittal of the annual declaration of intent, raising concern that department might make electronic submittal the only acceptable means of filing the document. The new law says that the department “shall provide for written or electronic submittal of such declaration of intent.”
The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2013.
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