Utah Homeschool Attorney
One of the most important rights that exists is a parent’s right to raise and educate his child as he sees fit. With the continued educational degeneration of the American public education system more and more parents have taken it upon themselves to educate their children at home.
A home education in Utah is an excellent educational alternative to the over-crowded, over-regulated government schools of Utah; and, Utah law is quite liberal is recognizing the right that parents have to educate their children at home.
Even with Utah’s liberal homeschooling laws, there are times when homeschoolers run into problems with the law. Whether it is an over-zealous government bureaucrats who may be well-intentioned but who tends to believe more in the power of the state than the rights of individuals or a school district official who simply does not understand the law, homeschoolers at times have to defend themselves against unfair and false charges.
The attorneys at Salcido Law Firm have been defending the rights of homeschoolers for years and have represented some of the largest homeschooling organizations in the country against state regulations that seek to end homeschooling.
What are the legal steps for homeschooling in Utah?
Like most states, Utah has a compulsory attendance law. Thus, in Utah, every school aged child (six to 17 years of age) must attend a public or regularly established private school, unless exempted.
Homeschooling falls under the exemption to the compulsory attendance law. According to U.C.A. 53A-11-102, a parent may homeschool if the parent files an annual affidavit with the school district where the child lives which states that the child “will attend a home school and receive instruction in the subjects the State Board of Education requires to be taught in public schools in accordance with the law; and for the same length of time as minors are required by law to receive instruction in public schools, as provided by rules of the State Board of Education.”
What are the subjects I have to teach in my homeschool?
Below are the subject areas which the State Board of Education requires to be taught in elementary school as set forth in Utah Administrative Code R277-700-4:
(1) Grades K-2:
(a) Reading/Language Arts;
(c) Integrated Curriculum.
(2) Grades 3-6:
(a) Reading/Language Arts;
(d) Social Studies;
(i) Visual Arts;
(f) Health Education;
(g) Physical Education;
(h) Educational Technology;
(i) Library Media.
Below are the subject areas which the State Board of Education requires to be taught in middle school as set forth in Utah Administrative Code R277-700-5:
D. Grades 7-8 Core Curriculum Requirements and units of credit:
(1) General Core (10.5 units of credit):
(a) Language Arts (2.0 units of credit);
(b) Mathematics (2.0 units of credit);
(c) Science (1.5 units of credit);
(d) Social Studies (1.5 units of credit);
(e) The Arts (1.0 units of credit):
(i) Visual Arts;
(f) Physical Education (1.0 units of credit);
(g) Health Education (0.5 units of credit);
(h) Career and Technical Education, Life, and Careers (1.0 units of credit);
(i) Educational Technology (credit optional);
(j) Library Media (integrated into subject areas).
Below are the subject areas which the State Board of Education requires to be taught in high school as set forth in Utah Administrative Code R277-700-6:
C. Grades 9-12 Core Curriculum as specified:
(1) Language Arts (3.0 units of credit);
(2) Mathematics (2.0 units of credit):
(a) minimally, Elementary Algebra or Applied Mathematics I; and
(b) Geometry or Applied Mathematics II; or
(c) any Advanced Mathematics courses in sequence beyond (a) and (b);
(d) high school mathematics credit may not be earned for courses in sequence below (a).
(3) Science (2.0 units of credit from two of the four science areas):
(a) Earth Systems Science (1.0 units of credit);
(b) Biological Science (1.0 units of credit);
(c) Chemistry (1.0 units of credit);
(d) Physics (1.0 units of credit).
(4) Social Studies (2.5 units of credit):
(a) Geography for Life (0.5 units of credit);
(b) World Civilizations (0.5 units of credit);
(c) U.S. History (1.0 units of credit);
(d) U.S. Government and Citizenship (0.5 units of credit).
(5) The Arts (1.5 units of credit from any of the following performance areas):
(a) Visual Arts;
(6) Physical and Health Education (2.0 units of credit):
(a) Health (0.5 units of credit);
(b) Participation Skills (0.5 units of credit);
(c) Fitness for Life (0.5 units of credit);
(d) Individualized Lifetime Activities (0.5 units of credit) or team sport/athletic participation (maximum of 0.5 units of credit with school approval).
(7) Career and Technical Education (1.0 units of credit);
(c) Family and Consumer Sciences;
(d) Health Science and Technology;
(e) Information Technology;
(g) Technology and Engineering Education;
(h) Trade and Technical Education.
(8) Educational Technology:
(a) Computer Technology (0.5 units of credit for the class by this specific name only); or
(b) successful completion of Board-approved competency examination (credit may be awarded at the discretion of the school or school district).
(9) General Financial Literacy (0.5 units of credit).
(10) Library Media Skills (integrated into the subject areas).
How many hours of instruction must my Utah homeschool provide?
Kindergarten does not fall under Utah’s compulsory attendance law because kindergarteners are not yet six years old. Thus, if you are homeschooling a kindergartner state law does not require any amount of minimum hours.
Once the child turns six and/or is in first grade the parent must provide 810 hours and 180 days of instruction. See Utah Administrative Code R277-419-3(A)(1) and Utah Administrative Code R277-419-4(C)(3).
Responsibilities of the Utah Homeschool Parent
Utah law makes the homeschooling parent “solely responsible for the selection of instructional materials and textbooks; the time, place, and method of instruction, and the evaluation of the home school instruction.” See U.C.A. 53A-11-102(2)(c).
This puts the burden on the parent to truly educate his child at home. It gives the parent much freedom but with that freedom comes the responsibility.
What the school board cannot do
A Utah school district board cannot “require a parent of a minor who attends a home school to maintain records of instruction or attendance; require credentials for individuals providing home school instruction; inspect home school facilities; or require standardized or other testing of home school students.”
Again, Utah homeschooling law is very liberal and recognizes the freedom that the parent naturally has to educate and raise his child as he sees fit. Make the most of your homeschool by providing your child with an excellent personalized home education.
Contact us for your homeschooling legal needs
Homeschooling is as important to us as it is to you. If you are a homeschooling parent or want to be one but you are being harassed by government or school district officials call us at 888.337.3235 or email us and let us know what’s going on. We want to help.