Sunday, January 23, 2011

Colorado Home-based education law

Here's my favorite thing about Colorado home-based education law. The legislative declaration "The general assembly hereby declares that it is the primary right and obligation of the parent to choose the proper education and training for children under his care and supervision. It is recognized that home-based education is a legitimate alternative to classroom attendance for the instruction of children and that any regulation of nonpublic home-based educational programs should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate a variety of circumstances. The general assembly further declares that nonpublic home-based educational programs shall be subject only to minimum state controls which are currently applicable to other forms of nonpublic education."

Colorado homeschool law

The full law of both home-education and compulsory attendance is on one of the pages of this blog here.

Compulsory attendance law
Colorado Revised Statute 22-33-104 Compulsory school attendance. There are some references in the home-based education statute here, that's why it's included. Also if you are a licensed teacher in Colorado, there is an exemption to compulsory school attendance for your kids in this statute.

The gist for homeschoolers is:
Send written notification to any school district in Colorado each year for ages 6 - 16. (You are not required to "establish the program" until the child is 7 yrs old. This is kind of a funky blip in the law because compulsory school attendance ages changed in 2006, and this is what legislators came up with.)

Written notification only requires: child(ren)'s name, age, place of residence, attendance hours (172 days, averaging 4 hours/day = 688 hours).

Testing or evaluation every other year, starting 3rd grade (3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th). Tests need to be a nationally standardized achievement test. Or evaluation by a qualified person (teacher licensed in CO, a teacher who is employed by an independent or parochial school, a licensed psychologist, or a person with a graduate degree in education.)


  1. Question - I was told that kids could opt out of the requirement to take the biannual standardized tests. Is that true? We are new to unschooling and I want to make sure I have the right information. Thank you. Cass (I am using my daughters google account. ;))

  2. In order to homeschool legally (same with unschooling, which is a form of homeschooling) you need to follow the home-based education law, which gives you a couple options for testing/evaluation, required every other year starting in "3rd grade". There is no option to opt out.


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