FL School Law
(1) A “home education program” means the sequentially progressive instruction of a student directed by his or her parent in order to satisfy the attendance requirements of ss. 1002.41, 1003.01(13), and 1003.21(1).
(2) A “private school” is a nonpublic school defined as an individual, association, copartnership, or corporation, or department, division, or section of such organizations, that designates itself as an educational center that includes kindergarten or a higher grade or as an elementary, secondary, business, technical, or trade school below college level or any organization that provides instructional services that meet the intent of s. 1003.01(13) or that gives preemployment or supplementary training in technology or in fields of trade or industry or that offers academic, literary, or career training below college level, or any combination of the above, including an institution that performs the functions of the above schools through correspondence or extension, except those licensed under the provisions of chapter 1005. A private school may be a parochial, religious, denominational, for-profit, or nonprofit school. This definition does not include home education programs conducted in accordance with s. 1002.41.
History.—s. 90, ch. 2002-387; s. 32, ch. 2004-41; s. 76, ch. 2004-357; s. 169, ch. 2007-5.
1002.41 Home education programs.—
(1) As used in this section, the term “home education program” has the same meaning as in s. 1002.01. A home education program is not a school district program and is registered with the district school superintendent only for the purpose of complying with the state’s attendance requirements under s. 1003.21(1). The parent is not required to hold a valid regular Florida teaching certificate.
(a) The parent, as defined in s. 1000.21, who establishes and maintains a home education program shall notify the district school superintendent of the county in which the parent resides of her or his intent to establish and maintain a home education program. The notice must be in writing, signed by the parent, and include the full legal names, addresses, and birthdates of all children who shall be enrolled as students in the home education program. The notice must be filed in the district school superintendent’s office within 30 days of the establishment of the home education program.
(b) The district school superintendent shall accept the notice and immediately register the home education program upon receipt of the notice. The district may not require any additional information or verification from the parent unless the student chooses to participate in a school district program or service. The district school superintendent may not assign a grade level to the home education student or include a social security number or any other personal information of the student in any school district or state database unless the student chooses to participate in a school district program or service.
(c) The parent shall file a written notice of termination upon completion of the home education program with the district school superintendent, along with the annual evaluation required in paragraph (f), within 30 days of termination.
(d) The parent shall maintain a portfolio of records and materials. The portfolio must consist of the following:
1. A log of educational activities that is made contemporaneously with the instruction and that designates by title any reading materials used.
2. Samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or creative materials used or developed by the student.
(e) The parent shall determine the content of the portfolio, preserve it for 2 years, and make it available for inspection, if requested, by the district school superintendent, or the district school superintendent’s agent, upon 15 days’ written notice. Nothing in this section shall require the district school superintendent to inspect the portfolio.
(f) The parent shall provide for an annual educational evaluation in which is documented the student’s demonstration of educational progress at a level commensurate with her or his ability. The parent shall select the method of evaluation and shall file a copy of the evaluation annually with the district school superintendent’s office in the county in which the student resides. The annual educational evaluation shall consist of one of the following:
1. A teacher selected by the parent shall evaluate the student’s educational progress upon review of the portfolio and discussion with the student. Such teacher shall hold a valid regular Florida certificate to teach academic subjects at the elementary or secondary level;
2. The student shall take any nationally normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher;
3. The student 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 student 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 student shall be evaluated with any other valid measurement tool as mutually agreed upon by the district school superintendent of the district in which the student resides and the student’s parent.
(2) The district school superintendent shall accept the results of the annual educational evaluation of the student in a home education program. If the student does not demonstrate educational progress at a level commensurate with her or his ability, the district school superintendent shall notify the parent, in writing, that such progress has not been achieved. The parent shall have 1 year from the date of receipt of the written notification to provide remedial instruction to the student. At the end of the 1-year probationary period, the student shall be reevaluated as specified in paragraph (1)(f). Continuation in a home education program shall be contingent upon the student 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.
(4) Home education students may participate in interscholastic extracurricular student activities in accordance with the provisions of s. 1006.15.
(5) Home education students may participate in the Bright Futures Scholarship Program in accordance with the provisions of ss. 1009.53-1009.538.
(6) Home education students may participate in dual enrollment programs in accordance with ss. 1007.27(4) and 1007.271(13).
(7) Home education students are eligible for admission to Florida College System institutions in accordance with the provisions of s. 1007.263.
(8) Home education students are eligible for admission to state universities in accordance with the policies and guidelines of the Board of Governors.
(9) Testing and evaluation services at diagnostic and resource centers shall be available to home education program students, including, but not limited to, students with disabilities, in accordance with the provisions of s. 1006.03.
(10) A school district may provide exceptional student education-related services, as defined in State Board of Education rule, to a home education program student with a disability who is eligible for the services and who enrolls in a public school solely for the purpose of receiving those related services. The school district providing the services shall report each student as a full-time equivalent student in the class and in a manner prescribed by the Department of Education, and funding shall be provided through the Florida Education Finance Program pursuant to s. 1011.62.
(11) A school district may provide access to career and technical courses and programs for a home education program student who enrolls in a public school solely for the career and technical courses or programs. The school district that provides the career and technical courses and programs shall report each student as a full-time equivalent student in the class and in a manner prescribed by the department, and funding shall be provided through the Florida Education Finance Program pursuant to s. 1011.62.
(12) Industry certifications, national assessments, and statewide, standardized assessments offered by a school district shall be available to home education program students. Each school district shall notify home education program students of the available certifications and assessments; the date, time, and locations for the administration of each certification and assessment; and the deadline for notifying the school district of the student’s intent to participate and the student’s preferred location.
(13) A school district may not further regulate, exercise control over, or require documentation from parents of home education program students beyond the requirements of this section unless the regulation, control, or documentation is necessary for participation in a school district program.
History.—s. 106, ch. 2002-387; s. 82, ch. 2007-217; s. 29, ch. 2011-5; s. 5, ch. 2012-191; s. 175, ch. 2014-17; s. 28, ch. 2014-39; s. 2, ch. 2016-137; s. 1, ch. 2018-134.