Alabama's system of home education is the best in the nation. It offers both freedom and protection for homeschool families.
Alabama is unique among all states as it has no home school statute. The matter simply has not been addressed by the Legislature.
However, in the past two decades home educators and the county and city school districts have established a procedure for legal home schooling in Alabama that offers a minimum of government regulation. In fact, our attorneys at the Home School Legal Defense Association tell us that Alabama's system of home education is the best in the nation because it offers greater freedom and protection for home schooling families.
There are two ways to home school legally in Alabama. One is the "Tutorial Law" (Ala. Code 16-28-5). Under this statute a certified teacher may instruct a student or students privately. The tutor must submit to monitoring by the local school district officials, and hold school a minimum of 140 days a year at certain times. This option is not available to most home educators.
Church School Law
The second and preferred way is known as the "Church School Law" (Ala. Code 16-28-3). Under this statute students between the ages of 6 and 17 are exempt from the state's compulsory school attendance law if they are enrolled in schools operated by a church or association of churches.
Be sure to read this article from HSLDA about a new law that went into effect on August 1, 2012. New Compulsary Attendance Age
To facilitate home schooling, a church may form a school in which parents are enrolled as teachers and students are assigned to classes taught by their parents at home. Church schools are exempt from all state accreditation, teacher certification, and regulatory requirements. The only requirement is that the parent must submit a church school enrollment form to the local school district office indicating the church school in which the student is enrolled.
Past, Present, and Future
This system has proven to be effective in making home education legal in our state with minimal government control and intervention.
In years past there have been calls for the Legislature to pass a home school law for Alabama. CHEF is opposed to a home school law at this time because it will more than likely result in greater government regulation of home schooling. We are advised that the system we have is the best in the nation, least subject to government control and based on religious belief. In fact, the Alabama model has been adopted by Tennessee and California.
For more information about the legal requirements of homeschooling in Alabama, the Home School Legal Defenses Summary is a good resource. If you are interested in reviewing the laws yourself, consult excerpts from the Code of Alabama and letter from the Attorney General.