All parents and those who have the care of children shall bring them up in some lawful and honest employment and instruct them or cause them to be instructed in reading, writing, spelling, English grammar, geography, arithmetic, and United States history and in citizenship, including a study of the town, state, and federal governments. Subject to the provisions of this section and Section 10-15c, each parent or other person having control of a child five years of age and over and under eighteen years of age shall cause such child to attend a public school regularly during the hours and terms the public school in the district in which such child resides is in session, unless such child is a high school graduate or the parent or person having control of such child is able to show that the child is elsewhere receiving equivalent instruction in the studies taught in the public schools. The parent or person having control of a child seventeen years of age may consent, as provided in this section, to such child’s withdrawal from school. Such parent or person shall personally appear at the school district office and sign a withdrawal form. The school district shall provide such parent or person with information on the educational options available in the school system and in the community. The parent or person having control of a child five years of age shall have the option of not sending the child to school until the child is six years of age and the parent or person having control of a child six years of age shall have the option of not sending the child to school until the child is seven years of age. The parent or person shall exercise such option by personally appearing at the school district office and signing an option form. The school district shall provide the parent or person with information on the educational opportunities available in the school system.
A NOTE FROM TEACH
The highlighted portion above is known as the Compulsory Education portion of the statute.
Note that it is first and foremost the duty of parents to instruct their own children. Only if they
do not fulfill this obligation must they arrange to have them instructed by someone else.
The remainder of the statute is known as the Compulsory Attendance portion, which has to
do with attendance at a public or private school outside the home. It technically does not per-
tain to children being educated in the home, although it is frequently interpreted that way. Like-
wise, charges of truancy can only legally be brought against children attending an educational
institution outside the home. See Sec. 10-198a (below) concerning truants. Please note,
only the pertinent sections of 10-198a have been included.
CT General Statute (continued)
Sec. 10-184a. Refusal of certain parents to consent to use of special education programs or services. The provisions of Sections 10-76a to 10-76h, inclusive, shall not be construed to require any local, regional or state board of education to provide special education programs or services for any child whose parent or guardian has chosen to educate such child in a home or private school in accordance with the provisions of Section 10-184 and who refuses to consent to such programs or services.
Sec. 10-184b. Waiver provisions not applicable to equivalent instruction authority of parents. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes or public or special act granting the Commissioner of Education the authority to waive provisions of the general statutes, the Commissioner of Education shall not limit the authority of parents or guardians to provide for equivalent instruction pursuant to Section 10-184.
Sec. 10-198a. Policies and procedures concerning truants. (a) For purposes of this section, “truant” means a child age five to eighteen, inclusive, who is enrolled in a public or private school and has four unexcused absences from school in any one month or ten unexcused absences from school in any school year. (b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any child receiving equivalent instruction pursuant to Section 10-184.
Sec. 10-249. Enumeration of children of compulsory school age in school districts and by state departments having jurisdiction over such children. (a) The board of education of each local and regional school district shall annually determine by age the number of children of compulsory school age who reside within the jurisdiction of such school district as of January first of each year. Such determination shall be made by (1) enumeration of each such child individually or (2) any reasonable means of accounting approved by the Commissioner of Education.
(b) If any child of compulsory school age is not attending school within the jurisdiction of the board of education of a local or regional school district, the superintendent of schools of the district shall make a reasonable effort to ascertain the reason for such nonattendance. If such child is employed at labor, the superintendent of schools shall make a reasonable effort to ascertain the name and address of such child’s employer or of the establishment where such child is employed. Returns shall be made to the board of education on or before the fifteenth day of May. Any state, local or other public agency shall, upon request by the superintendent of schools, provide such information as may be reasonably required for the purposes of this section.
(c) Each state department shall report periodically to the Commissioner of Education at such time and in such manner as he shall prescribe the name and address of the most recent residence within the state for each child of compulsory school age under the jurisdiction of such department. The commissioner shall provide such information to the superintendent of schools of the local or regional school district wherein such child is indicated to have most recently resided.
Sec. 10-250. Report showing number of children. Annually, not later than June fifteenth, the superintendent of schools for each local or regional school district shall file with the Commissioner of Education a report, on a form prescribed by said commissioner, showing the number of children of compulsory school age residing within the jurisdiction of such school district determined in accordance with the provisions of Section 10-249 and such other information as said commissioner requires.
Sec. 10-251. Penalty for refusing to give age of child. Any person having control of a child under twenty-one years of age who willfully refuses to give the name and age of such child, and such information concerning the school attendance of such child as this chapter requires, shall be fined not more than twenty-five dollars.