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Compulsory Attendance Ages: “has reached [the] 6th birthday (by Oct. 1st) and
has not passed [the] 16th birthday.” Kentucky Revised Statutes Annotated (KRS) §
159.010 & KRS § 158.030. “Written permission for withdrawal …from (a) parent,
guardian, or other person residing in the state and having custody or charge
(the child)” is required for “an unmarried child between the ages of sixteen
(16) and eighteen (18) who wishes to terminate his public or nonpublic education
prior to graduating from high school.” KRS § 159.010 (2) & (3).
Required Days of Instruction: 185 days, which are to include the equivalent
of 175 six (6) hour instructional days and 10 non-instructional (teacher) days.
KRS §§ 158.070 and 158.080.
Required Subjects: Include reading, writing, spelling, grammar, history,
mathematics, and civics. KRS § 158.080.
Home School Statute: None.
Alternative Statutes Allowing for Home Schools: Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §
The board of education of the local school district “shall exempt from the
requirement of attendance upon a regular public day school every child of
compulsory school age… [w]ho is enrolled and in regular attendance in a private,
parochial, or church regular day school.” KRS § 159.030(1). A home school
qualifies as a private, parochial, or church school if it does the following:
1. “It shall be the duty of each private, parochial, or church regular day
school to notify the local board of education of those students in attendance at
the school.” KRS § 159.030 (b). Home schoolers need only send in a letter with
this information during the first two weeks of school. (“Memorandum, RE: State
Regulation of Private Schools,” Gary Bale, Kentucky Dept. of Ed., January 21,
2. All private and parochial schools must keep an attendance register and
scholarship reports in the same manner as is required by law or by regulation of
the Kentucky Board of Education of public school officials. “Such schools shall
at all times be open to inspection by directors of pupil personnel and officials
of the Department of Education.” KRS § 159.040. School officials, however, have
no authority to enter home schools, since they are protected by the Fourth
Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. (The Christian Home Educators of Kentucky
and the Kentucky Home Education Association agree with HSLDA in their “Best
Practice Document” that “the privacy of the home must be recognized and no visit
inside the home may be conducted without the consent of an adult resident or a
duly issued warrant.”)
3. A church school is defined as a “school operated as a ministry of a local
church, group of churches ... on a nonprofit basis.” KRS § 159.030(1)(g).
4. In Kentucky State Board for Elementary & Secondary Education v. Rudasill,
589 S.W.2d 877 (Ky. 1979), the Kentucky Supreme Court held that the
commonwealth’s textbook approval, teacher certification, and school
accreditation requirements violated § 5 of the Kentucky Constitution, which
states that no person shall “be compelled to send his child to any school to
which he may be conscientiously opposed.”
Teacher Qualifications: None.
Standardized Tests: Not required by statute for private or religious schools (homeschools).
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