Louisiana Homeschool Laws
Families wishing to homeschool in Louisiana have two options to meet the compulsory attendance laws for students ages 7 to 18:
- Register as a Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved home study program
- Register as a Nonpublic School not seeking state approval
The Louisiana homeschool requirements for each option vary significantly, so you want to be sure you understand the differences between them. You also will want to know how to file your Louisiana homeschool application, how to stay compliant, and how to keep records for each method. You should also understand how to transfer from homeschool to public school if you decide to end your home education at any point.
- What Are the Requirements for Homeschooling in Louisiana?
- Homeschool Recordkeeping in Louisiana
- Louisiana Homeschool Tax Deduction
- Louisiana Homeschool Graduation Requirements
- Enrolling in Public School after Homeschooling
- Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Louisiana
*This should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under.
What Are the Requirements for Homeschooling in Louisiana?
There are differing guidelines for each of the two legal ways to teach your child at home in the Bayou State. How to proceed depends on whether you are choosing to register as a nonpublic school or as an approved Home Study Program.
Homeschooling as a Registered Nonpublic School
In general, operating as a nonpublic school in Louisiana is a low-regulation option. The only requirement for this method is to use the online registration form and share with the LA Department of Education the chosen name of your school, the total number of students enrolled, and the contact information for the school administrator (the parent in charge).
The Louisiana homeschool application should be renewed yearly. All other decisions about the operation of the homeschool, recordkeeping, and progress are completely up to the parent and no other information is required to be submitted. Louisiana homeschooling law also requires that parents send an official letter of notification of enrollment to each child’s school, if currently enrolled, within 10 days of withdrawing them.
Homeschooling with a Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Approved Home Study Program
The home study option in Louisiana has significantly more regulations, but also has several benefits. The primary laws that families must comply with using this option include:
- Completing and submitting a home study application to the Louisiana Department of Education online or by mail (including a copy of the child’s birth certificate).
- Once they have received their approval letter, it is recommended that families provide a copy of that letter to each student’s current school (if enrolled) to prevent any truancy issues.
- After the initial application, families should renew their application every 12 months.
- Renewal applications must include documentation verifying that the home study program offered a sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to that offered by public schools at the same grade level. This verification can be in the form of a homeschool portfolio packet, scores from a standardized exam, or a statement from a certified teacher.
The benefits of compliance with these regulations include:
- The opportunity to participate in interscholastic athletic activities at a public or state-approved nonpublic high school
- The option to borrow or purchase textbooks from the local school board,
- State recognition of home study diplomas
- Eligibility for the TOPS Scholarship program in 11th and 12th grades
Full details and additional links relating to the home education laws for Louisiana can be found at A2ZHomeschooling.com.
Homeschool Recordkeeping in Louisiana
No matter which option you choose to homeschool under in Louisiana, it will benefit your homeschooler greatly to keep accurate records of his or her progress. One of the chief ways to track that progress is by compiling an annual homeschool portfolio.
You will discover that any future transitions in educational status such as moving back to school after homeschooling, applying for college, or enlisting in the military will all go more smoothly if you have kept comprehensive records of your homeschool activities.
Some of the items you may want to track in your portfolio include :
- The results of any standardized tests your homeschooler takes while homeschooling
- An overview of the curriculum you’ve used as well as samples of assignments completed by your student, quizzes or tests, and written work (Time4Learning makes this very easy!)
- A general progress report for each homeschooler for the current homeschool year
- For high school homeschoolers, a detailed transcript
Louisiana Homeschool Tax Deduction
One of the unique benefits of homeschooling in Louisiana is something that almost no other state offers: the ability to deduct some of the expenses of homeschooling from your taxable income. Year-round Louisiana residents who home educate are eligible to deduct 50% of qualified education expenses up to $5,000 per dependent.
Louisiana Homeschool Graduation Requirements
Homeschoolers in Louisiana have no specific graduation requirements. Parents are wholly responsible to decide on appropriate courses and to choose the credits assigned to them. They also determine their own criteria for when their homeschooled high schooler is prepared to receive a diploma.
The diplomas of home study students, though, are recognized by all public secondary educational institutions, state departments, agencies, boards, and commissions and all other state/local government entities. If you are interested in comparing your homeschooled student’s high school goals to those of public school students in the state, the Louisiana Department of Education makes their general graduation requirements available on their website.
Enrolling in Public School after Homeschooling
Some families begin homeschooling with the knowledge that they will only be utilizing the option for one year. Others plan to homeschool indefinitely. Either way, it’s good to be prepared for the possible circumstance of enrolling in public school after a period of homeschooling.
If that becomes the case for your family, you should be aware that each school will have unique guidelines for enrollment and grade placement. Some may simply let you register your child for the grade you wish him/her to attend. Others may request information on your student’s homeschool curriculum and progress or even require your child to take assessment tests to establish their appropriate grade level.
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Louisiana
Have other questions about homeschooling in Louisiana? You may find the following pages helpful.