WHAT IS HOMESCHOOLING?
TEACH CT supports the rights of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children.
In order to focus on our mission and inform members about issues affecting them, it is important to define homeschooling. Definitions are also important to legislators when discussing policy and legislation.
TEACH CT defines homeschooling as instruction that is primarily directed and facilitated by the parents and is free from government funding and control. This means that full-time online distance learning through a government school, or micro-schools where the bulk of the instruction for all subjects is done by a paid teacher, does not constitute homeschooling by our definition.
DRIFTING BOUNDARIES… WHAT ABOUT…?
The line between brick and mortar public schools and all-parent taught homeschool are the easy bright lines. But what about the new varieties of education sprouting up today?
Connecticut does not define homeschooling in statute. Neither does it define private schools. It does, however, provide that if nonpublic schools operate without state approval, attendance at such a school is not considered compliant with the compulsory school attendance laws unless the school files a yearly attendance report with the Commissioner of Education. See Section 10-188 Connecticut General Statutes.
Anyone offering care to children under the age of 5 years old “may be required to obtain a license to operate a child day care facility from the Department of Public Health.” See https://portal.ct.gov/SDE/Legal/Private-Schools Requirements for licenses vary depending on the number of children, whether or not they are related, and whether the care occurs in a home or another facility. More information is available from the Office of Early Childhood. See https://www.ctoec.org/licensing/statutes-and-regulations/ and https://www.ctoec.org/storage/2019/03/family_statsregs.pdf
For parents considering getting together to provide instruction, there are additional legal considerations they should research. They may be affected by laws on zoning, a homeowners association rules, fire safety rules, tax consequences of compensation, insurance and more.
Whether parents are hiring teachers to teach in a “pod”, or to instruct several days a week in a hybrid model, it is important to do research into the legal consequences of their choice.
HSLDA also offers Group Services, that covers such information as Child protection/abuse policies, financial considerations, like incorporation, LLC, insurance, fire codes, etc., with this disclaimer:
Financial and Legal Issues
The information in this financial and legal section is provided as general information only, for the consideration of homeschool group leaders. For specific legal advice, please consult an attorney.
While HSLDA offers legal advocacy for member families, and homeschool groups may be comprised of those member families, groups are not HSLDA members. However, our group services staff, with more than twenty years experience in local and/or state support group leadership, can often assist groups by providing examples of how other leaders have handled similar circumstances.