State Laws
Read the laws regulating home education in Georgia and browse through the case law and legal opinions relating to those laws, along with government publications relating to homeschooling and summaries of the laws.
Case Law and Legal Opinions
Roemhild v. Georgia (251 Ga. 569, 308 S.E.2d 154 (Ga. 1983))
This case concerns the constitutionality of OCGA 20-2-690 (Code Ann. 32-2104), the Georgia compulsory school attendance law, which provides that every parent having control of a child between the ages of seven and sixteen shall enroll the child in and send the child to a public or private school. The appellants, Terry and Vickie Roemhild, are the parents of three school-age children. In late September of 1981 they were arrested for violating the compulsory attendance law by allegedly failing to enroll their children in a public or private school for the period August 24 to September 18, 1981. The Roemhilds moved to dismiss the charges on various constitutional grounds, and also defended on the basis that the children were being taught at home in a private school operated by the appellants. The trial judge ruled that the Roemhilds had not sufficiently raised the constitutional issues, and were not operating a "private school" within the meaning of OCGA 20-2-690 (Code Ann. 32-2104). Accordingly, the judge found the Roemhilds guilty of nineteen violations of the compulsory school attendance law, which was an assessment of one violation for each school day the children were kept at home. This was reversed on appeal. In this case, the Georgia Supreme Court declared Georgia's compulsory attendance law "unconstitutionally vague." The court reasoned: "...we conclude that the statute is not sufficiently definite to provide a person of ordinary intelligence, who desires to avoid its penalties, fair notice of what constitutes a "private school....Furthermore, the statute violated a second due process value in that it impermissibly delegates to local law enforcement officials, judges, and juries the policy decision of what constitutes a private school."
Pierce v. Society of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
In Pierce v. Society of the Sisters, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that "the fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments of this Union repose excludes any general power of the state to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the creature of the state."
Attorney General Interprets Homeschool Law
In 1986, the Georgia Attorney General issued an opinion stating that local superintendents could "request" that homeschoolers provide documents related to their home study program, but had no legal basis to "require" the production of those documents.
Summaries and Explanations of Georgia Homeschooling Laws
Georgia Homeschool Law 101
This is a great, informative video covering all the issue regarding the legality of homeschooling in Georgia.
Georgia Department of Education: Home Schools
A discussion of the homeschooling laws in Georgia provided by the Georgia Department of Education.
Georgia Home School Laws from HSLDA
The Home School Legal Defense Association provides a brief summary of the homeschooling laws in Georgia. Includes a link to a legal analysis of laws relating to homeschooling in Georgia.
Awarding Units of Credit and Acceptance of Transfer Credit and/or Grades
This is a copy of the law regarding transferring credits furnished by the Georgia Department of Education.
GA HB 39: Georgia Homeschooling Law Changes Beginning 2012 / 2013 School Year
Some changes have been made to the homeschooling law in Georgia, and they will go into effect July 1, 2012. There are two major changes that homeschoolers need to be aware of. The first is that they will no longer turn in their paperwork to their local school districts. Now they will report directly to the Department of Education. The second major change is that homeschoolers will only be required to turn in attendance forms once a year to the Department of Education. Currently homeschoolers have to turn in a monthly attendance form to their local school district. This change will no doubt come as a relief to many homeschooling parents.
Homeschooling in Georgia: Statutes Affecting Homeschoolers
A layman's analysis of the statutes regulating home study programs in Georgia.
Georgia Homeschool Law and Commentary
A summary of the homeschooling laws in Georgia provided by GeorgiaHomeschool.com, along with comments.
Home School Frequently Asked Questions
This list of FAQ is a summary of the law provided by the Georgia Department of Education.
Home Studay Programs: FAQ
Provided by the Georgia Department of Education, this is a list of questions and answers that parents usually ask about the homeschooling regulations in Georgia.
Georgia Statutes
20-2-701. Reporting of Failure to Comply.
(a) Local school superintendents as applied to private schools and home study programs or visiting teachers and attendance officers as applied to public schools, after written notice to the parent or guardian of a child, shall report to the juvenile or other court having jurisdiction under Chapter 11 of Title 15 any child who is absent from a public or private school or a home study program in violation of this subpart. If the judge of the court places such child in a home or in a public or private institution pursuant to Chapter 11 of Title 15, school shall be provided for such child.
Home School Laws from HSLDA
Find the laws pertaining to home education for all 50 states and U.S. territories.
20-2-690. Requirements for Homeschooling Parents
(a) This subpart recognizes the existence of public schools, private schools, and home study programs as educational entities.
(b) As used in this subpart, the term "private school" means an institution meeting the following criteria or requirements:
(1) The primary purpose of the institution is to provide education or, if the primary purpose of the institution is religious in nature, the institution shall provide the basic academic educational program specified in paragraph (4) of this subsection;
(2) The institution is privately controlled and operates on a continuing basis;
(3) The institution provides instruction each 12 months for the equivalent of 180 school days of education with each school day consisting of at least four and one-half school hours;
(4) The institution provides a basic academic educational program which includes, but is not limited to, reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science;
(5) Within 30 days after the beginning of each school year, it shall be the duty of the administrator of each private school to provide to the school superintendent of each local public school district which has residents enrolled in the private school a list of the name, age, and residence of each resident so enrolled. At the end of each school month, it shall be the duty of the administrator of each private school to notify the school superintendent of each local public school district of the name, age, and residence of each student residing in the public school district who enrolls or terminates enrollment at the private school during the immediately preceding school month. Such records shall indicate when attendance has been suspended and the grounds for such suspension. Enrollment records and reports shall not be used for any purpose except providing necessary enrollment information, except with the permission of the parent or guardian of a child, pursuant to the subpoena of a court of competent jurisdiction, or for verification of attendance by the Department of Driver Services for the purposes set forth in subsection (a.1) of Code Section 40-5-22; and
(6) Any building used by the institution for private school purposes meets all health and safety standards established under state law and local ordinances.
(c) Parents or guardians may teach their children at home in a home study program which meets the following requirements:
(1) The parent, parents, or guardian must submit within 30 days after the establishment of a home study program and by September 1 annually thereafter a declaration of intent to utilize a home study program to the Department of Education, which shall provide for written or electronic submittal of such declaration of intent;
(2) The declaration shall include a list of the names and ages of the students who are enrolled in the home study program, the address where the home study program is located, and a statement of the 12 month period that is to be considered the school year for that home study program. Enrollment records and reports shall not be used for any purpose except providing necessary enrollment information, except with the permission of the parent or guardian of a child, or pursuant to the subpoena of a court of competent jurisdiction;
(3) Parents or guardians may teach only their own children in the home study program, provided the teaching parent or guardian possesses at least a high school diploma or a general educational development diploma, but the parents or guardians may employ a tutor who holds a high school diploma or a general educational development diploma to teach such children;
(4) The home study program shall provide a basic academic educational program which includes, but is not limited to, reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science;
(5) The home study program must provide instruction each 12 months to home study students equivalent to 180 school days of education with each school day consisting of at least four and one-half school hours unless the child is physically unable to comply with the rule provided for in this paragraph;
(6) The parent or guardian shall have the authority to execute any document required by law, rule, regulation, or policy to evidence the enrollment of a child in a home study program, the student's full-time or part-time status, the student's grades, or any other required educational information. This shall include, but not be limited to, documents for purposes of verification of attendance by the Department of Driver Services, for the purposes set forth in subsection (a.1) of Code Section 40-5-22, documents required pursuant to Chapter 2 of Title 39 relating to employment of minors, and any documents required to apply for the receipt of state or federal public assistance;
(7) Students in home study programs shall be subject to an appropriate nationally standardized testing program administered in consultation with a person trained in the administration and interpretation of norm reference tests to evaluate their educational progress at least every three years beginning at the end of the third grade and records of such tests and scores shall be retained but shall not be required to be submitted to public educational authorities; and
(8) The home study program instructor shall write an annual progress assessment report which shall include the instructor's individualized assessment of the student's academic progress in each of the subject areas specified in paragraph (4) of this subsection, and such progress reports shall be retained by the parent, parents, or guardian of children in the home study program for a period of at least three years.
(d) Any person who operates a private school without complying with the requirements of subsection (b) of this Code section or any person who operates a home study program without complying with the requirements of subsection (c) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $100.00.
(e) The State Board of Education shall devise, adopt, and make available to local school superintendents, who shall in turn make available to administrators of private schools and parents or guardians with children in home study programs, such printed forms and procedures as may be reasonably necessary to carry out efficiently the reporting provisions of this Code section, but such printed forms and procedures shall not be inconsistent with or exceed the requirements of this Code section.
20-2-698. Children Found Away From Home
Any peace officer may assume temporary custody, during school hours, of any child subject to compulsory school attendance who is found away from home and who is absent from a public or private school or a home study program without a valid written excuse from school officials or from the parent or guardian in charge of the home study program.
Awarding Units of Credit and Acceptance of Transfer Credit and/or Grades
This is a copy of the law regarding transferring credits furnished by the Georgia Department of Education.
20-2-690.1. Compulsory Attendance
(a) Every parent, guardian, or other person residing within this state having control or charge of any child or children between their sixth and sixteenth birthdays shall enroll and send such child or children to a public school, a private school, or a home study program that meets the requirements for a public school, a private school, or a home study program ...
20-2-150. Compulsory Attendance for Early Entrants into Public Schools
(a) Except as otherwise provided by subsection (b) of this Code section, all children and youth who have attained the age of five years by September 1 shall be eligible for enrollment in the appropriate general education programs authorized in this part unless they attain the age of 20 by September 1 or they have received high school diplomas or the equivalent. This shall specifically include students who have reenrolled after dropping out and who are married, parents, or pregnant. Special education students shall also be eligible for enrollment in appropriate education programs through age 21 or until they receive high school or special education diplomas or the equivalent; provided, however, they were enrolled during the preceding school year and had an approved Individualized Education Program (IEP) which indicated that a successive year of enrollment was needed. Other students who have not yet attained age 21 by September 1 or received high school diplomas or the equivalent shall be eligible for enrollment in appropriate education programs, provided they have not dropped out of school for one quarter or more. Each local unit of administration shall have the authority to assign students who are married, parents, or pregnant or who have reenrolled after dropping out one quarter or more to programs of instruction within its regular daytime educational program, provided that a local unit of administration may develop and implement special programs of instruction limited to such students within the regular daytime educational program or, at the option of the student, in an alternative program beyond the regular daytime program; provided, further, that such programs of instruction are designed to enable such students to earn course credit toward receiving high school diplomas. These programs may include instruction in prenatal care and child care. Each local unit of administration shall have the authority to provide alternative programs beyond the regular daytime educational program. Unless otherwise provided by law, the State Board of Education shall have the authority to determine the eligibility of students for enrollment. It is declared to be the policy of this state that general and occupational education be integrated into a comprehensive educational program which will contribute to the total development of the individual. (b) A child who was a legal resident of one or more other states for a period of two years immediately prior to moving to this state and who was legally enrolled in a public kindergarten or first grade, or a kindergarten or first grade accredited by a state or regional association, shall be eligible for enrollment in the appropriate general or special education programs authorized in this part if such child will attain the age of five for kindergarten or six for first grade by December 31 and is otherwise qualified. (c) All children enrolled for 20 school days or more in the public schools of this state prior to their seventh birthday shall become subject to all of the provisions of this article, the provisions of Code Sections 20-2-690 through 20-2-702, and the rules and regulations of the State Board of Education relating to compulsory school attendance even though they have not attained seven years of age. (d) No child or youth shall be admitted to any public school of the state until the parent or guardian provides to the proper school authorities an official copy of that child´s social security number which shall be incorporated into the official school records pertaining to that child or youth. Each local unit of administration shall establish and implement a plan for providing the public appropriate notice of the information required of every student under its jurisdiction prior to the beginning of each school year. School authorities may provisionally admit a child for whom an official social security number has not been provided if the parent or guardian completes a postage-paid application for a social security number at the time of enrollment. A parent or guardian who objects to the incorporation of the social security number into the school records of a child may have the requirement waived by signing a statement objecting to the requirement.
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