Homeschooling in North Dakota

State Laws

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North Dakota Laws Regulating Home Education
 Summaries and Explanations of North Dakota Homeschooling Laws
 North Dakota Statutes
 Case Law & Legal Opinions

Summaries and Explanations of North Dakota Homeschooling Laws Back to Top
Commentary on the North Dakota Home School Law
North Dakota Home School Association
This summary is provided by the North Dakota Home School Association (NDHSA). The laws regulating home education in North Dakota are some of the most restrictive in the nation. NDHSA offers some insight into the application of these laws.
North Dakota Home School Laws from HSLDA
HSLDA
The Home School Legal Defense Association provides a brief summary of the homeschooling laws in North Dakota. Includes a link to a legal analysis of laws relating to homeschooling in North Dakota.
Summary of the North Dakota Law
North Dakota Home School Association
This is a summary of the NDHSA's understanding of the law

North Dakota Statutes Back to Top
Chapter 15.1-23 Home Education
15.1-23-01. Home education - Definition.
For purposes of this chapter, "home education" means a program of education supervised by a child's parent, in the child's home, in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.

15.1-23-02. Statement of intent to supervise home education.
At least fourteen days before beginning home education or within fourteen days of establishing a child's residence in a school district, and once each year thereafter, a parent intending to supervise or supervising home education shall file a statement, reflecting that intent or fact, with the superintendent of the child's school district of residence or if no superintendent is employed, with the county superintendent of schools for the child's county of residence.

  1. The statement must include:
    1. The name and address of the child receiving home education;
    2. The child's date of birth;
    3. The child's grade level;
    4. The name and address of the parent who will supervise the home education;
    5. The qualifications of the parent who will supervise the home education;
    6. Any public school courses in which the child intends to participate and the school district offering the courses; and
    7. Any extracurricular activities in which the child intends to participate and the school district or approved nonpublic school offering the activities.
  2. The statement must be accompanied by a copy of the child's immunization record and proof of the child's identity as required by section 54-23.2-04.2.

15.1-23-03. Home education - Parental qualifications. A parent may supervise home education if the parent:

  1. Is licensed to teach by the education standards and practices board or approved to teach by the education standards and practices board;
  2. Holds a baccalaureate degree;
  3. Has met or exceeded the cutoff score of a national teacher examination given in this state or in any other state if this state does not offer such a test; or
  4. Meets the requirements of section 15.1-23-06.

15.1-23-04. Home education - Required subjects - Instructional time. A parent supervising home education shall include instruction in those subjects required by law to be taught to public school students. The instruction must have a duration of at least four hours each day for a minimum of one hundred seventy-five days each year.

15.1-23-05. Home education - Academic records. A parent supervising home education shall maintain an annual record of courses taken by the child and the child's academic progress assessments, including any standardized achievement test results. If the child transfers to a public school district, the parent shall furnish the record, upon request, to the school district superintendent or other administrator.

15.1-23-06. Home education - Required monitoring of progress. A parent who has a high school diploma or a general education development certificate may supervise home education but must be monitored in accordance with section 15.1-23-07 for the first two years. If a child receiving home education obtains a basic composite standardized achievement test score below the fiftieth percentile nationally, the parent must be monitored for at least one additional school year and until the child receives a test score at or above the fiftieth percentile. If testing is not required by section 15.1-23-07 during the first two years of monitoring, the period of monitoring may not be extended, except upon the mutual consent of the parent and the monitor. If a parent completes the monitoring requirements of this section for one child, the parent may not be monitored with respect to other children for whom the parent supervises home education.

15.1-23-07. Home education - Required monitoring of progress - Reporting of progress - Compensation.

  1. If monitoring is required under section 15.1-23-06, the school district shall assign and compensate an individual to monitor a child receiving home education unless the parent notifies the school district that the parent shall select and compensate an individual to monitor the child.
  2. The individual assigned by the school district or selected by the parent under subsection 1 must be licensed to teach by the education standards and practices board or approved to teach by the education standards and practices board.
  3. Twice during each school year, the individual shall report the child's progress to the school district superintendent or to the county superintendent if the district does not employ a superintendent.
  4. If one child receives home education, the individual shall spend an average of one hour per week in contact with the child and the child's parent. If two or more children receive home education, the individual shall spend one-half hour per month for each additional child receiving home education. If the child attends a public or an approved nonpublic school, the time may be proportionately reduced.

15.1-23-08. Monitoring or test administration. An individual who in accordance with this chapter monitors a child receiving home education or who administers a standardized achievement test to a child receiving home education shall notify the child's school district of residence.

15.1-23-09. Home education - Standardized achievement test. While in grades four, six, eight, and ten, each child receiving home education shall take a standardized achievement test used by the school district in which the child resides or, if requested by the parent, shall take a nationally normed standardized achievement test. The child shall take the test in the child's learning environment or, if requested by the child's parent, in a public school. An individual licensed to teach by the education standards and practices board or approved to teach by the education standards and practices board shall administer the test.

15.1-23-10. Home education - Standardized achievement test - Cost.

  1. If a child receiving home education takes the standardized achievement test used by the school district in which the child resides, the school district is responsible for the cost of the test and for the cost of administering the test. The school district shall ensure that the test is administered by an individual who is employed by the district and who is licensed to teach by the education standards and practices board or approved to teach by the education standards and practices board.
    1. If the child takes a nationally normed standardized achievement test not used by the school district in which the child resides, the child's parent is responsible for the cost of the test.
    2. The cost of administering a test under this subsection is the responsibility of the child's parent if the test is administered by an individual who is selected by the parent. An individual selected by the child's parent to administer a test under this subsection must be licensed to teach by the education standards and practices board or approved to teach by the education standards and practices board.
    3. The cost of administering a test under this subsection is the responsibility of the school district if, at the request of the child's parent, the school district administers the test. The school district shall ensure that the test is administered by an individual who is employed by the district and who is licensed to teach by the education standards and practices board or approved to teach by the education standards and practices board.

15.1-23-11. Home education - Standardized achievement test - Results.

  1. A parent supervising home education shall file the results of the child's standardized achievement test with the superintendent of the district in which the child resides or with the county superintendent if the district does not employ a superintendent.
  2. If the child's basic composite score on a standardized achievement test is less than the thirtieth percentile nationally, a multidisciplinary assessment team shall assess the child for a potential learning problem under rules adopted by the superintendent of public instruction.
  3. If the multidisciplinary assessment team determines that the child is not disabled and the child's parent wishes to continue home education, the parent, with the advice and consent of an individual who is licensed to teach by the education standards and practices board or approved to teach by the education standards and practices board, shall prepare a remediation plan to address the child's academic deficiencies and file the plan with the superintendent of the school district or with the county superintendent if the district does not employ a superintendent. The parent is responsible for any costs associated with the development of the remediation plan. If the parent fails to file a remediation plan, the parent is deemed to be in violation of compulsory school attendance provisions and may no longer supervise the home education of the child.

15.1-23-12. Home education - Remediation plan. The superintendent of the school district shall use the remediation plan required by section 15.1-23-11 as the basis for determining reasonable academic progress. The remediation plan must remain in effect until such time as the child achieves on a standardized achievement test a basic composite score at or above the thirtieth percentile or a score, which when compared to the previous year's test score, demonstrates one year of academic progress. At the option of the parent, the test may be one required by section 15.1-23-09 or one administered in a higher grade level. The child's parent, with the advice and consent of an individual who is licensed to teach by the education standards and practices board or who is approved to teach by the education standards and practices board, may amend the remediation plan from time to time in order to accommodate the child's academic needs. If after a remediation plan is no longer in effect the child fails to demonstrate reasonable academic progress on a subsequent test required by this section, a remediation plan must again be developed and implemented.

15.1-23-13. Home education - Disabilities - Services plan.

    1. If a multidisciplinary assessment team, using eligibility criteria established by the superintendent of public instruction, determines that the child is disabled, that the child requires specially designed instruction due to the disability, and that this instruction cannot be provided without special education and related services, the parent may continue to supervise home education, provided that:
      1. The parent files with the school district superintendent a services plan that was developed privately or through the school district; and
      2. The services plan demonstrates that the child's special needs are being addressed by persons qualified to provide special education or related services.
    2. If the multidisciplinary team determines that the child has a developmental disability, the parent may continue to supervise home education under the provisions of sections 15.1-23-14 and 15.1-23-15.
  1. Annually, the superintendent of the child's school district of residence shall determine reasonable academic progress based on the child's services plan.
  2. If a parent fails to file a services plan as required by this section, the parent is deemed to be in violation of the compulsory school attendance provisions and may no longer supervise the home education of the child.
  3. A child who was once evaluated by a multidisciplinary assessment team need not be reevaluated for a potential learning problem upon scoring below the thirtieth percentile on a subsequent standardized achievement test unless the reevaluation is performed pursuant to the child's services plan.

15.1-23-14. Child with a developmental disability - Home education. A parent may supervise home education for a child with a developmental disability if:

  1. The child has been determined to have a developmental disability by a licensed psychologist;
  2. The child's parent is qualified to supervise home education under this chapter; and
  3. The child's parent files with the superintendent of the child's school district of residence:
    1. A notice that the child will receive home education;
    2. A copy of the child's diagnosis of a developmental disability prepared and attested to by a licensed psychologist; and
    3. A services plan developed and followed by the child's school district of residence and the child's parent; or, after providing written notice to the superintendent of the child's school district of residence, a substitute services plan, developed and followed, according to section 15.1-23-15, by a services plan team selected by and compensated by the child's parent.

15.1-23-15. Child with a developmental disability - Home education - Progress reports.

  1. On or before November first, February first, and May first of each school year, a parent supervising home education for a child with a developmental disability under section 15.1-23-14 shall file with the superintendent of the child's school district of residence progress reports prepared by the services plan team selected under section 15.1-23-14. If at any time the services plan team agrees that the child is not benefiting from home education, the team shall notify the superintendent of the child's school district of residence and request that the child be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team appointed by the superintendent of the child's school district of residence.
  2. The superintendent of the child's school district of residence shall forward copies of all documentation required by this section to the superintendent of public instruction.

15.1-23-16. Home education - Participation in extracurricular activities.

  1. A child receiving home education may participate in extracurricular activities either:
    1. Under the auspices of the child's school district of residence; or
    2. Under the auspices of an approved nonpublic school, if permitted by the administrator of the school.
  2. For purposes of this section, a child participating under the auspices of the child's school district of residence is subject to the same standards for participation in extracurricular activities as those required of full-time students enrolled in the district.
  3. For purposes of this section, a child participating under the auspices of an approved nonpublic school is subject to the same standards for participation in extracurricular activities as those required of full-time students enrolled in the school.
  4. Once a child's parent has selected the public school district or the approved nonpublic school in which the child will participate for purposes of extracurricular activities and has provided notification of the selection through the statement required by section 15.1-23-02, the child is subject to the transfer rules as provided in the constitution and bylaws of the North Dakota high school activities association.

15.1-23-17. Home education - High school diplomas.

  1. A child's school district of residence, an approved nonpublic high school, or the North Dakota division of independent study may issue a high school diploma to a child who, through home education, has met the issuing entity's requirements for high school graduation provided the child's parent submits to the issuing entity a description of the course material covered in each high school subject, a description of the course objectives and how the objectives were met, and a transcript of the child's performance in grades nine through twelve.
  2. In the alternative, a high school diploma may be issued by the child's school district of residence, an approved nonpublic high school, or the North Dakota division of independent study provided the child, through home education, has completed at least twenty-one units of high school coursework from the minimum required curriculum offerings established by law for public and nonpublic schools and the child's parent or legal guardian submits to the issuing entity a description of the course material covered in each high school subject, a description of the course objectives and how the objectives were met, and a transcript of the child's performance in grades nine through twelve. The issuing entity may indicate on a diploma issued under this subsection that the child was provided with home education.
  3. If for any reason the documentation required in subsection 1 or 2 is unavailable, the entity issuing the diploma may accept any other reasonable proof that the child has met the applicable requirements for high school graduation.

15.1-23-18. Home education - Liability. No state agency, school district, or county superintendent may be held liable for accepting as correct the information on the statement of intent or for any damages resulting from a parent's failure to educate the child.

15.1-23-19. Home education - State aid to school districts. For purposes of allocating state aid to school districts, a child receiving home education is deemed enrolled in the child's school district of residence if the child is monitored by an individual who is licensed to teach by the education standards and practices board or approved to teach by the education standards and practices board and employed by the public school district in which the child resides. A school district is entitled to fifty percent of the per student payment provided in section 15.1-27-04 times the appropriate factor in section 15.1-27-06 or 15.1-27-07 for each child receiving home education. If a child receiving home education is enrolled in public school classes, proportionate payments must be made. The total amount may not exceed the equivalent of one full per student payment times the appropriate weighting factor.


Case Law & Legal Opinions Back to Top
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."


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