State Laws & City Ordinance
Home School Legal Defense Association
DISCLAIMER: The information on this page should not be construed to be legal advice or represent an interpretation of the laws regarding homeschooling in the State of Louisiana. Every effort is made to keep this information as current and accurate as possible. Sometimes errors may and do happen, laws change, etc. Please notify the webmaster if any corrections need to be made... Thanks!
Compulsory Attendance Ages: “from the child’s 7th birthday until his 18th birthday.”
Required Days of Instruction: 180 days
Required Subjects: A “curriculum of a quality at least equal to that offered by public schools at the same grade level.”
Home Schoolers have two options. Below is a summary, for more detail refer to HSLDA . Also refer to the FAQ page.
Option 1: Home Study
Option 2: Private School
City of Lake Charles Ordinance
New bill opens jobs, sports for homeschoolers
Parental Rights info
Work Permits for Minors
Option 1: Home Study
- Go to the Louisiana Department of Education's web site. From the "most requested info" menu, choose "Home Study" and then click on the "Guidelines" link in the center of the page. When the booklet opens, scroll to the last page. This is the application to print and fill out. If you do not have internet access, you may call the Department of Education toll free at (877) 453-2721 and request that a Home Study Application be sent to you.
- Home Study Program applications must be sent within 15 days of the start of your school year or within 12 months of your last application.
- First time homeschoolers must send a copy of each child’s birth certificate with the application.
- Renewing homeschoolers send a copy of the child's scores on a nationally standardized test OR a certified teacher’s evaluation stating the child “is being taught in accordance with a sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to public schools” or “at least equal to that offered by public schools to a child of similar disabilities” OR scores from a state standardized test (LEAP or iLEAP) OR a portfolio that includes such things as samples of the child's work, list of materials used and other documents may be submitted, but will usually be rejected as insufficient.
- Be sure to check off the box at the bottom of the form if you don't want your private information published.
- Make 2 copies of the application and send the original and 1 copy by certified mail, return receipt requested. Place the other copy in a file and attach the return receipt when it arrives.
- Home study applications for 11 year old students must now include proof of vaccination against meningococcal disease (meningitis). Students will be exempt from the requirement if their parents send in a signed statement that the student shall not be immunized for religious or personal reasons, or if they submit a doctor's statement that the immunization is contraindicated for medical reasons, or if there is a shortage of available vaccinations. The reporting requirement only applies to 11 year old students and does not include students in homeschools operating as private schools.
- Reminder: federal privacy laws don't automatically protect the
information on your home study application. Please remember to check off
the little box at the bottom of your home study application to limit
what LDE can do with the information you submit.
Students must be in approved home study program before the start of their 11th grade year and all of their 12th grade year. Current ACT for home study graduates is 22. (24 for Performance, 28 for Honors) (as of 3/10/2009) Qualifying ACT score must be earned prior to high school graduation date. Must apply by FAFSA by all appropriate deadlines.
You can find more information on these flyers from this web page:
Send a letter with your school’s letter head to:
Attn: Dr. Jackie Bobbett, Section Supervisor
Ancillary Resources Section
Louisiana Department of Education
P.O. Box 94064-9064
Baton Rouge LA 70804
If you are homeschooling under the Private School Option, the State of Louisiana requires that a notification of enrollment letter to be sent in no later than 30 days after the start of your school year.
Make two (2) copies of your letter and send one via certified mail, return receipt requested. Keep the other in a file and attach the return receipt when it arrives.
Letter head should consist of school name and address. The telephone number is not required.
Private school letter must be sent each year you homeschool.
Here is a sample letter.
If you withdraw your children from public school during the school year, you would word the letter a little differently. Use this sample mid-year letter.
On October 18, 2000, the Lake Charles City Council amended Section 13-5.2 of Code of Ordinances, which prohibits children between the ages of six and sixteen from being in any public place in the City of Lake Charles except in attendance at school between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. during any official school day. The ordinance provides an exception for children who are enrolled in a home school program approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. However,
1. Home schooled children must
maintain on their person a written, signed, and dated permission from
their parent or legal guardian allowing them to be in any public place
without the presence of their parent or legal guardian.
2. Also, the children must maintain on their person a copy of the approval form verifying that they are enrolled in an approved home study program.
If you should have any questions at all regarding the ordinance, please do not hesitate to contact:
Julie K. McCall, Assistant City Attorney
City of Lake Charles
326 Puju Street
P. O. Box 900
Lake Charles LA 70602-0900
Phone 337-491-1523; Fax 337-491-1488
Tax Deduction for H-schooling Expenses
The state of Louisiana is allowing a deduction on our Louisiana Income Tax Returns for some of our home schooling expenses. Please read all the details on their website .
Revised Statute 47:297.11—income tax deduction for certain educational expenses for home-schooled children
This statute allows an income tax deduction for educational expenses paid during the tax year by a taxpayer for home-schooling children. The deduction is for 50 percent of the actual qualified educational expenses paid for the home-schooling per dependent, limited to $5,000. Qualified educational expenses include amounts paid for the purchase of textbooks and curricula necessary for home-schooling. The total amount of the deduction may not exceed the taxpayer’s total taxable income.
St. Charles Herald Guide - July 29, 2010
New bills open jobs, sports for homeschoolers Jul 22, 2010 By Michelle Stuckey
A bill passed by the state Senate will make sure that home-school diplomas will be recognized when graduates apply for jobs or higher-education programs that require high-school diplomas. Home-study students and parents from across the state have been fighting for more than five years to get the legislation passed, said Beryl Amedee, chairperson of Louisiana Family Forum Education Resource Council. The Home School Diploma Bill was pushed because some state agencies and technical schools wouldn't accept a home-study diploma. The bill was proposed because some students who had graduated from approved home-study programs were being denied access to some trade schools, like cosmetology school and pharmacy technician schools, Amedee said. In Louisiana, with a home-study diploma, you can enter virtually any college, you could go to work for NASA, you could become the chief executive of the governor’s staff, but you could not put makeup on someone’s face and you could not be a pharmacist’s assistant.
What was really weird was that with a home-study diploma you could enroll at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and actually become a pharmacist but you couldn't become a pharmacy technician. Amedee said that some technical schools and even state entities, such as police academies, would not accept a home study diploma and would demand the student obtain a GED. The problem was that when a student graduated from a home-study program they would be told that their diploma was not good enough, that they would have to go get a GED, but a student from a public school or approved private school was not having so much trouble, Amedee said.
The new legislation will make sure that no entity funded using tax dollars can discriminate against a graduate of an approved home-study program when they apply for employment or enrollment in higher education. This bill is a wonderful step in the right direction, Amedee said. Another recently passed bill allows home-study students the opportunity to participate in public-school sports. Lisa Arceri, a member of the Christian Home Educators Fellowship of St. Charles and the mother of three home-schooled children, spearheaded the effort among parents to pass the bill regarding home-school athletes on public-school teams. (This bill) opens a door of opportunity for the student to pursue their interests, which is an important part of their education and development, Arceri said.
While students will be able to apply to participate in public-school athletics, the principal may turn them down based solely on their own discretion. Jerry Smith, director of Child Welfare and Attendance for St. Charles Parish Public Schools, said the district is still working to come up with guidelines for home-schooled student’s participation in sports.
Smith did know that all students participating in public school sports will have to abide by the district's rules. Whatever the guidelines are for our (public-school) students as far as discipline, the same guidelines would apply to the home-schooled students, Smith said. Although the new bill will give home-schooled students the opportunity to play public-school sports, there are no guarantees the students will even get to try-out. Home-schoolers interested in participating in high school sports ... should be aware that many schools ... may be unfamiliar with the details, Arceri said. They should be able to obtain more information from home-school associations or the Louisiana legislative Web site. (Students) must be in an approved home-study program, and make a written request for approval from the principal in their district before the 11th day of the school year. Amedee also followed the athletic bill, and hopes it will open up more sports options to home-study students.
There are many principals who are just going to say no, period, Amedee said. But there are some home-schoolers who will be allowed to play because the principals or coaches may be already familiar with the students. Some of the student athletes are so outstanding that the coaches and principals are going to be excited and try to pave the way for the students who will be eligible..
Those who want to change family policy in America to comply with international law are preparing a full-scale effort to seek ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child during this next Congress. Barbara Boxer recently told a planning group that they intend to use children’s health care as leverage to seek ratification of this UN children’s rights treaty.
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