Home > Articles

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Determining the Legal Requirements for Your School System or Local Government

If you live in a state that requires some type of oversight of your homeschool by the local school system, you will need to figure out exactly what that means for your homeschool. (If you live in a state that doesn't require you to interact with a local school system, consider yourself fortunate and skip the rest of this section.)

Determining the Legal Requirements for Your School System or Local Government

There are several basic ways in which you might be required to be under the auspices of a local school system:

  • Provide standardized tests. In some states, you must file standardized test scores with the local school system (usually with the superintendent's office). Some states allow you to administer these tests yourself while others require that these tests be conducted by a licensed teacher. Certain states only require that you have students take these tests at specific points in the education process and that you maintain the results as part of your documentation. This isn't much of a burden because you should include standardized tests in your homeschool regardless of whether they are required by your state or not.

  • Submit a portfolio. As a means of measuring progress, some states require that you submit a portfolio that documents the results of your homeschool, usually on an annual basis. The local school officials evaluate your portfolio to ensure that your homeschool is providing a proper education to your children. You'll learn about preparing a portfolio, which you should do as part of your normal homeschool documentation even if it isn't required by the state, in Chapter 12, "Documenting Your Homeschool."

  • Report to a school representative. Some states require that you be "supervised" by a local school representative such as a teacher or administrator. Typically, you are supposed to report to your supervisor on a quarterly basis. The idea is that the supervisor will attempt to evaluate your homeschool to ensure your kids are being educated properly. In reality, what actually happens varies dramatically from school district to school district and even among individual supervisors. Supervisors who support homeschooling are likely to be less intrusive than those who "have an axe to grind."

  • Provide periodic progress reports. Some states require that you provide periodic progress reports whether through a local school supervisor or independently. The formats of these reports vary based on the school district under the jurisdiction you fall.

When you determine that your state's legal requirements involve some level of interaction with a local school system, you will need to contact the responsible officials in the school system (typically the superintendent's office) to identify what exactly you need to do to comply with the requirements.

I recommend that you meet with the person that is responsible for overseeing your homeschool as soon as you realize that your homeschool will have some level of oversight requirements. This helps you get the information from the source and starts to establish the required relationship with the proper officials.

To prepare for this meeting, make sure that you review and understand the specific requirements for your state. Identify each requirement individually so you will be prepared to address each with the school officials.

When you meet with the officials, get all requirements in writing so that you have a clear and definitive record of the requirements from the responsible officials. Make sure the specific people you have to deal with are also noted in the requirements. Also make sure that you understand exactly what is expected of you, with whom you need to deal, and when you need to deal with them. If a requirement is presented to you that is not in accordance with your understanding of the state regulations, make sure you get it clarified and that the school officials can prove that the requirement is actually part of state law.

Managing Your Relationship with Local School Officials (if Necessary)

When you interact with local school officials, your attitude will have a large impact on how your relationship goes. While you shouldn't be intimidated by these officials, neither should you be challenging to them. In most cases, overseeing your homeschool is a task that these officials will see as just another task piled on top of too many others. The easier you make it for these officials to satisfy their obligations, the less trouble and interference you are likely to have from them. Be as cooperative as you can and, of course, treat them as you would like to be treated.

Most school officials sincerely believe they are trying to do the best they can to ensure that children, including yours, are being educated properly. So if you can reassure them that yours are, you will be go a long way toward preventing any problems. As the expression implies, the squeaky wheel gets the attention—your goal should be to be as "unsqueaky" as possible so that you limit the attention your homeschool receives. (Not for the reason that you are trying to hide something, but rather that the less time you have to spend legitimizing your school, the more time you have to devote to educating your kids.)

Rarely, you will encounter a school official who is subtly or blatantly hostile toward homeschool. In that case, you are likely to have problems with them. The best way to combat this is to conduct yourself in strict accordance with the legal requirements so that you don't open yourself for attack. Always get things in written form—this will ensure that such officials are more careful about adding to the actual requirements. Make sure you understand all the legal requirements so that you can conduct yourself accordingly. If local school officials get out of hand and start to challenge or impede your ability to homeschool your children, you might need to take legal action against them. This is covered in Chapter 4, "Defending Your Decision to Homeschool." Fortunately, this scenario is unlikely—in most cases, as long as you are reasonable and cooperative, you won't have any trouble with local school officials.

In any case, you should document every meeting you have with a school official. Take notes during the meeting and prepare a formal minutes document of your meeting after it concludes. Generally, you should provide a copy of these documents to the people you met with; should there ever be a question about what actually occurred, your case will be much stronger if you have a trail of documentation backing up your side.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020