Alabama Homeschool laws: (If you do Virtual Schooling through the public school system these laws do not pertain to you as you are considered a member of the public school system) *As so much incorrect info is being given, the following is the only interpretation allowed in the SAH groups. Thank you for helping us ensure no one is given advice that could cause them issue in the future.
Before get into the law something I want to say to you is that I, and other leadership in our area, work very hard every year to build programs and opportunities that we truly hope long outlive us. Relationships with other leadership, local attractions, and legislators help forward these ideas. Ensuring that future homeschoolers retain the fantastic freedom we currently have here in Alabama is at TOP of my list! To that end getting the correct legal information to you is of the UTMOST importance to me.
If you are home educating your children in Alabama you are doing one of the following three things and within that you are offering a "Home Program". If you read the law carefully you will see that "home program" is the exact term. (16-28-1 (2016)) **THIS IS USING CURRENT LAW
There are actually three ways that you can legally homeschool in Alabama.
1) You have a teaching license and you are utilizing the private tutor option. (no one really uses this option, but it is there )
2)You join a Church (cover) school. There are many of these across the state from as little as $50 a month in the hundreds. The more costly ones offer more things like testing and transcripts. (Section 16-28-7) You will find a list in our files section.
3) You can declare yourself a private school, and send in a simple form to the LOCAL BOE every year. (Also known as the "no cover" option) (Section 16-1-11) (This form is also in our files section) That one form is all you need to send in, all other records you keep for yourself.
*You are not required to report grades or submit to testing by the the state of Alabama.
Option 1 is rarely if ever used.
There is no such thing as a "letter of intent" to homeschool in AL. You don't 'intend to homeschool'. You are offering "home programs" through the above listed options. If you choose not to use a Church school, which is perfectly legal, you are declaring yourself a private school and really need to use that official form provided by the state (as stated in the law)
The public school system employees, websites, and administrators are giving out erroneous information. Often. On everything from your curriculum options, to your child's future options, to their interpretation of the law. THEY are not who you need to listen to. At all. The chances of them 'coming after' you is slim to none, but if you have a nosy neighbor, crappy grandparents, or a future employer causing you grief you will have needed to have followed the law. The law clearly states what our options are. I am including a link to a Doc the directly references the law on these points.
You very well may know people who have not reported anything at all and are fine. It's kind of like speeding. You get away with it, until you don't, and the person who will suffer is not you but your child. I am not trying to scare you. It’s really easy to be legal. It’s just making sure you are fully aware of your options, and the consequences that can come from not doing the legal thing.
Please read and know the LAW, not BOE websites. Their interpretation of the law only goes so far as to be useful in a truancy case with them. The actuality of the law matters for anything else your homeschooler may come across in their future, including college scholarships, military careers, and future employment.
Another recent change in Alabama Homeschooling has to do with homeschoolers playing sports in Public School while Homeschooling. The "Tim Tebow" law did not pass, instead the The Alabama High School Athletic Association decided to change their requirements. The group that stays on top of the requirements for this is on Facebook and is called Supporters of AHSAA’s New Bylaws For Homeschool Athletes. There are hoops to jump through, but the option is there!
To clear up any confusions we have helpful links for you. The first is a video interview with the Alabama Rep for HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association), as well as a link to the LAW, and to where to get info on playing public school sports!
If you have any questions feel free to contact us at South Alabama Homeschooling! Click photos below for more info...