Dear County and District Superintendents:
Homeschooling Guidance, Reminders, and Resources
As local educational agencies (LEAs) prepare to return to in person learning in the fall, the California Department of Education (CDE) would like to remind LEAs that parents may opt to homeschool their children this coming school year in a “private school setting” and not part of an independent study or home-based study option offered by a local educational agency (LEA). The purpose of this letter is to provide resources to LEAs to aid in informing parents of their legal requirements for homeschooling, to remind LEAs of their responsibility to verify compulsory education exemptions, and to highlight available resources for verifying compulsory education exemptions for students enrolled in private/home schools.
Providing Guidance for Parents Opting to Homeschool
The CDE encourages LEAs to inform parents of their legal requirements should they decide to homeschool their children in a private school setting. Each person between the ages of 6 and 18 is subject to compulsory full-time education, unless he or she is exempted as provided under current law. Whether a home-schooled child is exempt from public school attendance is a determination made by the supervisor of attendance or other person designated by the local governing board.
Parents who opt to privately educate or “home school” their children shall file a Private School Affidavit (PSA) with the CDE (Education Code (EC) Section 33190) between October 1, 2021 and October 15, 2021. By filing an affidavit, the owner/head of the school acknowledges, under penalty of perjury, that the (home) school meets all statutory requirements for a full-time private school, such as keeping a record of attendance, which includes noting all absences of a half day or more, grade reporting, and providing instructional materials.
For more information, LEAs may refer parents to the CDE’s “Schooling at Home” web page located at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ps/homeschool.asp, which includes information about filing the PSA as well as educational resources.
Validating Compulsory Education Exemptions
In order for exemptions from compulsory education for children who are being instructed in a private full-time day school to be valid, the supervisor of attendance or other person designated by the local governing board shall verify that the private school has filed an affidavit per EC Section 33190. The statutory affidavit filing period for the 2021-22 school year is October 1 to October 15. For students withdrawing from public school prior to October 1 to attend a private full-time day school, or home school, LEAs will need to wait until October to conduct their verification of affidavits. For students withdrawing from public school after October 15, LEAs shall conduct their verification of affidavits shortly after withdrawing the student.
Additional guidance for LEAs regarding disenrolling students attending private/home schools, as well as verifying compulsory education exemptions is available on the CDE Private/Home School Guidance and Resources for LEAs web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ps/leaguidance.asp .
Resources for Verifying Affidavits
The CDE provides LEAs with access to a Private School Search Tool that allows LEAs to search for and obtain information about the private schools in their county. This tool may be used to verify the filing of an affidavit and includes information about when an affidavit was filed and who filed it.
The Private School Search Tool is available from the CDE website at https://www3.cde.ca.gov/psa/COELogin. Passwords to access this site have previously been provided to LEAs; however, should you need a password to access the search tool, please contact CDE Private School Data staff at the email provided below.
We appreciate your assistance in helping to inform parents of their responsibilities should they opt to homeschool. We also hope the information and resources provided here help to streamline your PSA verification process. Should you have questions about the contents of this letter, please contact CDE Private School Data staff by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rachael Maves, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction
Instruction and Measurement Branch