Louisiana Revised Statutes Section 17:4011-17:4025 state that “solely for purposes of compulsory attendance in a nonpublic school, a child who participates in a home study program approved by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall be considered in attendance at a day school; a home study program shall be approved if it offers a sustained curriculum of a quality at least equal to that offered by public schools at the same grade level.”Louisiana parents who decide to establish a homeschool are solely responsible for choosing curriculum content and providing all instruction for the child or children attending the homeschool. Louisiana Homeschoolers can either (1) establish a home study program approved by the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (SBESE), or (2) operate as a home-based private school.
- SBESE Approved Home Study Program – Louisiana home study programs must be approved annually by the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (SBESE). Approval requires that a parent wishing to homeschool complete and submit an application to SBESE. To be approved by SBESE, a home study program “must offer a sustained curriculum of a quality at least equal to that offered by the public schools, consist of an adequate physical plant, and operate a minimum session of no less than 180 days” (La. R.S. Ann. Sections 17:221.3, 17:232(C) and (D), and 17:236, 17:236.1 and 17:236.2). The Louisiana SBESE requires that application for an approved home study program must be submitted by the applicant family no later than fifteen (15) days after the beginning of the homeschool program. Applications must include the completed home study application and a certified copy of the birth certificate for each child who will be attending the program.According to the SBESE website, “Louisiana families typically provide this independent education through a Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved home study program or a registered nonpublic school.”According to the Louisiana SBESE, “diplomas awarded through an approved home study program are recognized by all post-secondary educational institutions.” Homeschool applications must be renewed annually and must include a portfolio demonstrating that the homeschool curriculum is of an equal quality to the public school program at the same grade level. The portfolio can include a variety of information, including outlines of each subject taught, lists of books and materials, copies of student work, standardized test results and independent statements from third parties who have had reason to observe your child’s educational progress. Information that can be submitted in lieu of the above renewal materials include: (1) the student’s Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) test passing score; (2) the student’s California Achievement Test (CAT) or other test approved by the State Board of Education; or (3) a statement written by a teacher certified at your child’s grade level that states the curriculum you have used in your homeschool is equal to that taught in local public schools.
- Louisiana Home-Based Private Schools –To establish a home-based private school, an annual registration form must be submitted to the Louisiana Department of Education. This registration is used only to “confirm compliance with state attendance laws.” Non-public schools that do not wish to be BESE approved are required to register annually as a nonpublic school. The Louisiana nonpublic school approval process generally takes place in October of each school year and all related paperwork in due by October 15th. A homeschool qualifies as a private school if the school has an “adequate physical plant;” has “instructional staff members;” operates at least 180 days per year and receives no local, state or federal funds from either direct or indirect sources and meets the Louisiana definition of a school.
Updated March 2018
Louisiana Homeschool State Laws Links:
- Online Private School Accredited in Louisiana
- Louisiana Department of Education/Home Study
- Christian Home Educators Fellowship of LA
- LA How To
- NOLA Homeschoolers
- Homeschool Support Groups in Louisiana
NOTE: HomeschoolFacts does not endorse any of the links or organizations listed above. All of the information provided is intended for research purposes only and is not given as legal advice. REMEMBER: The most important thing you can do to prepare for homeschooling your child is to become familiar with your state’s laws about homeschooling.