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FLORIDA HOME EDUCATION STATUTES

Source: Online Sunshine Florida Legislature


NOTE: The 2000 Florida Legislature made changes to the Compulsory Attendance statute, to address the issue of students found to be truant whose parents choose to enroll them in a home education program. This was not a change to the statutes regarding home education, which remain the same as when they were last revised in 1998. To view the truancy statute, see The 2000 Florida Statutes. Look under Title XVI, EDUCATION, Chapter 232 - Compulsory School Attendance; Child Welfare - 232.17 Enforcement of school attendance: (1) CONTACT, REFER, AND ENFORCE. - (f)1. & 2.

To print the text of the home education statutes, Click here, and use the Print function on your browser.

CONTENTS:

  • Definitions
  • School Attendance
  • Requirements
  • Attendance records and reports required (none)
  • Extracurricular student activities
  • Dual Enrollment
  • Community College Admission
  • Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program
  • Florida Academic Scholars
  • Florida Merit Scholars


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    Definitions: 228.041(34)

    A home education program is sequentially progressive instruction of a student directed by his or her parent or guardian in order to satisfy the requirements of ss. 232.01 and 232.0201.

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    School Attendance: 232.01

    (1)(a)1. All children who have attained the age of 6 years or who will have attained the age of 6 years by February 1 of any school year or who are older than 6 years of age but who have not attained the age of 16 years, except as hereinafter provided, are required to attend school regularly during the entire school term.
    (3)(b) ...However, nothing in this section shall authorize the state or any school district to oversee or exercise control over the curricula or academic programs of nonpublic schools or home education programs.

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    Requirements: 232.0201

    (1) Regular attendance as defined in s. 232.02 may be achieved by attendance in a home education program as defined in s. 228.041. The parent or guardian is not required to hold a valid regular Florida certificate to teach.

    (a) The parent or guardian shall notify the superintendent of schools of the county in which the parent or guardian resides of her or his intent to establish and maintain a home education program. The notice shall be in writing, signed by the parent or guardian, and shall include the names, addresses, and birthdates of all children who shall be enrolled as students in the home education program. The notice shall be filed in the superintendent's office within 30 days of the establishment of the home education program. A written notice of termination of the home education program shall be filed in the superintendent's office within 30 days of said termination.

    (b) The parent or guardian shall maintain a portfolio of records and materials. The portfolio shall consist of the following:

    1. A log of educational activities which is made contemporaneously with the instruction and which designates by title any reading materials used.

    2. Samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or creative materials used or developed by the student.

    The portfolio shall be preserved by the parent or guardian for 2 years and shall be made available for inspection by the superintendent, or the superintendent's agent, upon 15 days' written notice. Nothing in this section shall require the superintendent to inspect the portfolio.

    (c) The parent or guardian shall provide for an annual educational evaluation in which is documented the pupil's demonstration of educational progress at a level commensurate with her or his ability. The parent or guardian shall select the method of evaluation and shall file a copy of the evaluation annually with the superintendent's office in the county in which the pupil resides. The annual educational evaluation shall consist of one of the following:

    1. A teacher selected by the parent or guardian shall evaluate the pupil's educational progress upon review of the portfolio and discussion with the pupil. Such teacher shall hold a valid regular Florida certificate to teach academic subjects at the elementary or secondary level.

    2. The pupil shall take any nationally normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher;

    3. The pupil shall take a state student assessment test used by the school district and administered by a certified teacher, at a location and under testing conditions approved by the school district;

    4. The pupil shall be evaluated by an individual holding a valid, active license pursuant to the provisions of s. 490.003(7) or (8); or

    5. The pupil shall be evaluated with any other valid measurement tool as mutually agreed upon by the school superintendent of the district in which the pupil resides and the pupil's parent or guardian.

    (2) The school superintendent shall review and accept the results of the annual educational evaluation of the pupil in a home education program. If the pupil does not demonstrate educational progress at a level commensurate with her or his ability, the superintendent shall notify the parent or guardian, in writing, that such progress has not been achieved. The parent or guardian shall have 1 year from the date of receipt of the written notification to provide remedial instruction to the pupil. At the end of the 1-year probationary period, the pupil shall be reevaluated as specified in paragraph (1)(c). Continuation in a home education program shall be contingent upon the pupil demonstrating educational progress commensurate with her or his ability at the end of the probationary period.

    (3) A home education program shall be excluded from meeting the requirements of a school day as defined in s. 228.041.

    [228.041(13) A school day...shall comprise not less than 5 net hours...for all grades above the third; not less than 4 net hours for the first three grades...]

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    Attendance records and reports required (none): 232.021

    This section shall not apply to home education programs provided in s. 232.0201.

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    Extracurricular student activities: 232.425

    Student standards for participation in interscholastic extracurricular student activities; regulation.--

    (1) This section may be cited as the "Craig Dickinson Act."

    (2) ...It is the intent of the Legislature to provide the mechanism for all students in Florida to participate in interscholastic extracurricular activities. As used in this section, the term "extracurricular" means any school-authorized or education-related activity occurring during or outside the regular instructional school day.

    (3)(a) To be eligible to participate in interscholastic extracurricular student activities, a student entering the 9th grade during the 1997-1998 school year and thereafter must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or above on a 4.0 scale, or its equivalent, in the courses required by s. 232.246(1).

    (b) Any student who is exempt from attending a full school day under s. 228.041(13) must maintain the grade point average required by this section and pass each class for which he or she is enrolled.

    (c) An individual home education student is eligible to participate at a public school, and may develop an agreement to participate at a nonpublic school, in the interscholastic extracurricular activities of that school, provided the following conditions are met:

    1. The home education student must meet the requirements of the home education program pursuant to s. 232.0201.

    2. During the period of participation at a school, the home education student must demonstrate educational progress as required in paragraph (b) in all subjects taken in the home education program by a method of evaluation agreed upon by the parent or guardian and the principal which may include: review of the student's work by a certified teacher chosen by the parent; grades earned through correspondence; grades earned in courses taken at a community college, university, or trade school; standardized test scores above the 35th percentile; or any other method designated in s. 232.0201.

    3. The home education student must meet the same residency requirements as other students in the school at which he or she participates.

    4. The home education student must meet the same standards of acceptance, behavior, and performance as required of other students in extracurricular activities.

    5. The student must register with the school his or her intent to participate in interscholastic extracurricular activities as a representative of the school before the beginning date of the season for the activity in which he or she wishes to participate. A home education student must be able to participate in curricular activities if that is a requirement for an extracurricular activity.

    6. A student who transfers from a home education program to a public school before or during the first grading period of the school year is academically eligible to participate in interscholastic extracurricular activities during the first grading period provided the student has a successful evaluation from the previous school year, pursuant to subparagraph 2.

    7. Any public school or nonpublic school student who has been unable to maintain academic eligibility for participation in interscholastic extracurricular activities is ineligible to participate in such activities as a home education student until the student has successfully completed one grading period in home education pursuant to subparagraph 2. to become eligible to participate as a home education student.

    (4) The student standards for participation in interscholastic extracurricular activities must be applied beginning with the student's first semester of the 9th grade. Each student must meet such other requirements for participation as may be established by the school district; however, a school district may not establish requirements for participation in interscholastic extracurricular activities which make participation in such activities less accessible to home education students than to other students. Except as set forth in paragraph (3)(c), evaluation processes or requirements that are placed on home education student participants may not go beyond those that apply under s. 232.0201 to home education students generally.

    (5) Any organization or entity that regulates or governs interscholastic extracurricular activities of public schools:

    (a) Shall permit home education associations to join as member schools.

    (b) Shall not discriminate against any eligible student based on an educational choice of public, nonpublic, or home education.

    (6) Public schools are prohibited from membership in any organization or entity which regulates or governs interscholastic extracurricular activities and discriminates against eligible students in public, nonpublic, or home education.

    (7) Any insurance provided by school districts for participants in extracurricular activities shall cover the participating home education student. If there is an additional premium for such coverage, the participating home education student shall pay said premium.

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    Dual Enrollment: 240.116

    Articulated acceleration

    (7)(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to provide articulated acceleration mechanisms for students who are in home education programs, as defined in s. 228.041(34), consistent with the educational opportunities available to public and private secondary school students. Home education students may participate in dual enrollment, vocational dual enrollment, early admission, and credit by examination.

    (b) The dual enrollment program for home education students consists of the enrollment of an eligible home education secondary student in a postsecondary course creditable toward an associate degree, a vocational certificate, or a baccalaureate degree. To participate in the dual enrollment program, an eligible home education secondary student must:

    1. Provide proof of enrollment in a home education program pursuant to s. 232.0201.

    2. Be responsible for his or her own instructional materials and transportation unless provided for otherwise.

    (c) Each community college and each state university shall:

    1. Delineate courses and programs for dually enrolled home education students. Courses and programs may be added, revised, or deleted at any time.

    2. Identify eligibility criteria for home education student participation, not to exceed those required of other dually enrolled students.

    240.235 Fees.--

    (4) Students enrolled in a dual enrollment or early admission program pursuant to s. 240.116 shall be exempt from the payment of registration, matriculation, and laboratory fees. Students enrolled in accordance with this subsection may be calculated as the proportional shares of full-time equivalent enrollments each such student generates for state funding purposes.

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    Community College Admission: 240.321

    Community college district board of trustees; rules for admissions of students.--The board of trustees shall make rules governing admissions of students. These rules shall include the following:

    (1) Admissions counseling shall be provided to all students entering college credit programs, which counseling shall utilize tests to measure achievement of college-level communication and computation competencies by all students entering college credit programs.

    (2) Admission to associate degree programs is subject to minimum standards adopted by the State Board of Education and shall require:

    (a) ...in the case of a student who is home educated, a signed affidavit submitted by the student's parent or legal guardian attesting that the student has completed a home education program pursuant to the requirements of s. 232.0201.

    Students who are enrolled in a dual enrollment or early admission program pursuant to s. 240.116 and secondary students enrolled in college-level instruction creditable toward the associate degree, but not toward the high school diploma, shall be exempt from this requirement.

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    Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program: 240.40202

    Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; student eligibility requirements for initial awards.--

    (1) To be eligible for an initial award from any of the three types of scholarships under the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program, a student must:

    (a) Be a Florida resident as defined in s. 240.404 and rules of the State Board of Education.

    (b)(1). The student is enrolled full time in the early admission program of an eligible postsecondary education institution or completes a home education program according to s. 232.0201.

    (c) Be accepted by and enroll in an eligible Florida public or independent postsecondary education institution.

    (d) Be enrolled for at least 6 semester credit hours or the equivalent in quarter hours or clock hours.

    (f) Apply for a scholarship from the program by April 1 of the last semester before high school graduation.

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    Florida Academic Scholars: 240.40205

    Florida Academic Scholars award

    (1) A student is eligible for a Florida Academic Scholars award if the student meets the general eligibility requirements for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program and the student:

    (c) Has attended a home education program according to s. 232.0201 232.02(4) during grades 11 and 12...and has attained at least the score identified by rules of the Department of Education on the combined verbal and quantitative parts of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the Scholastic Assessment Test, or the recentered Scholastic Assessment Test of the College Entrance Examination, or an equivalent score on the American College Testing Program...

    Effective with the 1998-1999 school year, a student must complete a program of community service work, as approved by the district school board or the administrators of a nonpublic school, which shall include a minimum of 75 hours of service work and require the student to identify a social problem that interests him or her, develop a plan for his or her personal involvement in addressing the problem, and, through papers or other presentations, evaluate and reflect upon his or her experience.

    (2) A Florida Academic Scholar who is enrolled in a public postsecondary education institution is eligible for an award equal to the amount required to pay matriculation, fees, and $600 for college-related expenses annually. A student who is enrolled in a nonpublic postsecondary education institution is eligible for an award equal to the amount that would be required to pay for the average matriculation and fees of a public postsecondary education institution at the comparable level, plus the annual $600.

    (3) To be eligible for a renewal award as a Florida Academic Scholar, a student must maintain the equivalent of a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all postsecondary education work attempted, with an opportunity for one reinstatement as provided in this act.

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    Florida Merit Scholars: 240.40206

    Florida Merit Scholars award

    (1) A student is eligible for a Florida Merit Scholars award if the student meets the general eligibility requirements for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program and the student:

    (c) Has attended a home education program according to s. 232.0201 during grades 11 and 12...and has attained at least the score identified by rules of the Department of Education on the combined verbal and quantitative parts of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the Scholastic Assessment Test, or the recentered Scholastic Assessment Test of the College Entrance Examination, or an equivalent score on the American College Testing Program.

    (2) A Florida Merit Scholar is eligible for an award equal to the amount required to pay 75 percent of matriculation and fees, if the student is enrolled in a public postsecondary education institution. A student who is enrolled in a nonpublic postsecondary education institution is eligible for an award equal to the amount that would be required to pay 75 percent of the matriculation and fees of a public postsecondary education institution at the comparable level.

    (3) To be eligible for a renewal award as a Florida Merit Scholar, a student must maintain the equivalent of a grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale for all postsecondary education work attempted, with an opportunity for reinstatement one time as provided in this act.

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    Compiled by Judy Ransom, with Brenda Dickinson, September 1999.
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