Legal/Homeschool Laws
Laws that regulate home education vary from state to state. It is important to understand the legal requirements in your state and to be aware of legislative and other legal issues that affect homeschoolers in your community. We've compiled resources that will help you become informed. Although homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, and the vast majority of homeschoolers face no problems, you may find that you need legal assistance at some point in your homeschooling career. We've compiled a list of resources to help you find the support you need. And if you'd like to become more involved in working towards homeschooling freedoms, we discuss some of the issues facing homeschoolers that we hope you find compelling.
State Laws
Read the laws regulating home education in Rhode Island and browse through the case law and legal opinions relating to those laws, along with government publications relating to homeschooling and summaries of the laws.
Forms
Which forms do you need to fill out? Where can you get them? Here is a list of useful forms for homeschooling in Rhode Island.
Legal Support
If you need legal information or have run into a legal situation regarding your decision to homeschool, these resources will be helpful.
Lobbying Groups
A listing of local and national lobbying groups and information on how you can become involved in the political process to ensure the freedom to homeschool is protected.
Attorneys
When searching for an attorney, it is helpful to know whether he or she has experience working with homeschoolers and is interested in protecting the right to homeschool.
Legal Issues
Is homeschooling legal? Which laws pertain to homeschoolers and which don't? How do homeschoolers protect their rights to freely educate their children and to preserve their privacy?
Government Resources
A listing of local and state government resources, including your state's Department of Education, school districts, and Senate and House of Representative information.
What's Popular
Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)
The Home School Legal Defense Association is a non-profit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. HSLDA offers annual memberships and fully represents member families when they are in need of legal assistance. HSLDA also participates in legislative advocacy and research.
Legal Information
A guide to understanding the homeschooling laws in Rhode Island.
How to Withdraw Your Child from School in Vermont
If you want to start homeschooling during the school year and your child is currently enrolled in a public or private school, HSLDA recommends that you formally withdraw your child from that school. If you are going to start homeschooling after the school year is over, and your child is considered enrolled for the following year, we recommend that you withdraw your child before the next school year begins, so that the school does not mark your child as absent or truant.
Compulsory School Age in Vermont
The laws in Vermont state that you must enroll your child in school from the day he or she turns 6 years old until he or she turns 16. This HSLDA article details the Vermont state compulsory school age regulations. 
Battling for the Heart and Soul of Home-Schoolers
A look at the battle for the homeschooling movement and the demographics of homeschooling families that challenges the notion that all homeschoolers are conservative fundamentalists. This article is a critical look at the HSLDA.
Political Influence
Every important movement or trend in this country was followed by an onslaught of legislative actions which resulted in some legal stipulations that controlled the trend. What is really of concern is that this legislative control is not static, but very fluid, subject to change (meaning more restrictions in many cases). These changes occur through either more legislative actions on the part of the government or through interpretation in the judicial system. Currently, the homeschool movement is...
§ 16-22-2 Courses in history and government.
A course of study on the principles of popular and representative government as enunciated in the Constitution of Rhode Island and the Constitution of the United States shall be taught in all the public schools of this state. The course of study shall be prescribed by the department of elementary and secondary education. Commencing with the fourth grade in elementary schools, instruction shall be given in the history and government of Rhode Island, and in every high school thorough instruction s...
§ 16-19-1 Attendance required.
(a) Every child who has completed or will have completed six (6) years of life on or before September 1 of any school year and has not completed sixteen (16) years of life shall regularly attend some public day school during all the days and hours that the public schools are in session in the city or town in which the child resides. Every person having under his or her control a child as described in this section shall cause the child to attend school as required by this section, and for every n...
Pacific Justice Institute (PJI)
Pacific Justice Institute is a non-profit legal defense organization specializing in the defense of religious freedom, parental rights, and other civil liberties. PJI provides free representation to parents who are unlawfully denied the right to homeschool their children. PJI also provides legal counsel to those parents wishing to homeschool, but do not know their legal options or obligations.
§ 16-19-2 Approval of private schools – Requirements – Review.
For the purposes of this chapter a private school or at-home instruction shall be approved only when it complies with the following requirements: (1) that the period of attendance of the pupils in the school or in the home instruction is substantially equal to that required by law in public schools; (2) that registers are kept and returned to the school committee, the superintendent of schools, truant officers, and the department of elementary and secondary education in relation to the attendanc...
How to Comply with Vermont's Homeschool Law
Vermont law specifically refers to homeschooling in 16 V.S.A. § 11(a)(21) and 16 V.S.A. § 166b. To homeschool under this statute, you’ll need to follow these guidelines. Necessary steps include sending in a written enrollment notice, submitting a narrative describing the content to be provided in each subject area, obtaining acknowledgement of compliance, teaching the required subjects and assessing your child annually. 
Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
This is the official website for the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
§ 16-22-4 Instruction in health and physical education.
All children in grades one through twelve (12) attending public schools, or any other schools managed and controlled by the state, shall receive in those schools instruction in health and physical education under rules and regulations the department of elementary and secondary education may prescribe or approve during periods which shall average at least twenty (20) minutes in each school day. No private school or private instruction shall be approved by any school committee for the purposes of ...
Rhode Island Home School Laws from HSLDA
The Home School Legal Defense Association provides a brief summary of the homeschooling laws in Rhode Island. Includes a link to a legal analysis of laws relating to homeschooling in Rhode Island.
Cato Institute
The Cato Institute was founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane. It is a non-profit public policy research foundation headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Cato Institute seeks to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets and peace. Toward that goal, the Institute strives to achieve greater involvement of the intelligent, concerned lay public in questions of policy and the proper ...
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