EXCERPTS FROM THE CODE OF ALABAMA

Alabama's system of home education is the best in the nation. It offers both freedom and protection for homeschool families.

Section 16-28-1

Definitions. For purposes of this article, the following words, terms and phrases shall have the following respective meanings, unless clearly indicated otherwise:

  1. Private school. Includes only such schools as hold a certificate issued by the State Superintendent of Education, showing that such school conforms to the following requirements: a. The instruction in such schools shall be by persons holding certificates issued by the State Superintendent of Education; b. Instruction shall be offered in the several branches of study required to be taught in the public schools of this state; c. The English language shall be used in giving instruction; d. A register of attendance shall be kept which clearly indicates every absence of each child from such school for a half day or more during each school day of the school year.
  2. Church school. Includes only such schools as offer instruction in grades K-12, or any combination thereof including the kindergarten, elementary, or secondary level and are operated as a ministry of a local church, group of churches, denomination, and/or association of churches on a nonprofit basis which do not receive any state or federal funding. (School Code 1927, 302; Code 1940, T. 52, 299; Acts 1982, No. 82-218, p. 260, 1.)

Section 16-28-3

Ages of children required to attend school; church school students exempt from operation of this section. Every child between the ages of seven and 16 years shall be required to attend a public school, private school, church school, or be instructed by a competent private tutor for the entire length of the school term in every scholastic year except that every child attending a church school as defined in Section 16-28-1 is exempt from the requirements of this section, provided such child complies with enrollment and reporting procedure specified in Section 16-28-7. Admission to public school shall be on an individual basis on the application of the parents, legal custodian or guardian of the child to the local board of education at the beginning of each school year, under such rules and regulations as the board may prescribe. (School Code 1927, 301; Code 1940, T. 52, 297; Acts 1956, 2nd Ex. Sess., No. 117, p. 446, 3; Acts 1982, No. 82-218, p. 260, 4.)

Section 16-28-5

Private tutor. Instruction by a private tutor means and includes only instruction by a person who holds a certificate issued by the State Superintendent of Education and who offers instruction in the several branches of study required to be taught in the public schools of this state, for at least three hours a day for 140 days each calendar year, between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M., and who uses the English language in giving instruction. Such private tutor shall, prior to beginning the instruction of any child, file with the county superintendent of education, where his place of instruction is in territory under the control and supervision of the county board of education, or the city superintendent of schools, where his place of instruction is in territory under the control and supervision of a city board of education, a statement showing the child or children to be instructed, the subjects to be taught and the period of time such instruction is proposed to be given. Such tutor shall keep a register of work, showing daily the hours used for instruction and the presence or absence of any child being instructed and shall make such reports as the State Board of Education may require. (School Code 1927, 303; Code 1940, T. 52, 300.)

Section 16-28-6

Children exempt from attending public school. (a) The following children, when issued certificates of exemption by the county superintendent of education, where they reside in territory under the control and supervision of the county board of education, or the city superintendent of schools, where they reside in territory under the control and supervision of a city board of education, shall not be required to attend school, or to be instructed by a private tutor:

  1. Children whose physical or mental condition is such as to prevent or render inadvisable attendance at school or application to study. Before issuing such certificate of exemption, the superintendent shall require a certificate from the county health officer in counties which have a health unit, and from a regularly licensed, practicing physician in counties which do not have a health unit, that such a child is physically or mentally incapacitated for school work;
  2. Children 16 years of age and upward or children who have completed the course of study of the public schools of the state through high school as now constituted;
  3. Where because of the distance children reside from school and the lack of public transportation such children would be compelled to walk over two miles to attend a public school;
  4. Where the children are legally and regularly employed under the provisions of the law relating to child labor and hold permits to work granted under the terms of said child labor law.
  5. Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to deny any right to any child granted under the provisions of Sections 16-39-1 through 16-39-12. (School Code 1927, 304; Code 1940, T. 52, 301; Acts 1947, No. 676, p. 517; Acts 1971, No. 2484, p. 3965.)

Section 16-28-7

Report of enrollment. At the end of the fifth day from the opening of the public school, the principal teacher of each public school, private school, and each private tutor, but not church school, shall report on forms prescribed by the State Superintendent of Education to the county superintendent of education, in the event the school is operated in territory under the control and supervision of the county board of education, or to the city superintendent of schools, in the event the school is operated in territory under the control and supervision of a city board of education, the names and addresses of all children between the ages of seven and 16 years who have enrolled in such schools; and thereafter, throughout the compulsory attendance period, the principal teacher of each school and private tutor shall report at least weekly the names and addresses of all children between the ages of seven and 16 years who enroll in said school or who, having enrolled, were absent without being excused, or whose absence was not satisfactorily explained by the parent, guardian, or other person having control of the child. The enrollment and attendance of a child in a church school shall be filed with the local public school superintendent by the parent, guardian or other person in charge or control of the child on a form provided by the superintendent or his agent which shall be countersigned by the administrator of the church school and returned to the public school superintendent by the parent. Should said child cease attendance at a church school, the parent, guardian, or other person in charge or control of the child shall by prior consent at the time of enrollment direct the church school to notify the local public school superintendent or his agent that said child no longer is in attendance at a church school. (School Code 1927, 309; Code 1940, T. 52, 306; Acts 1982, No. 82-218, p. 260, 5.)

Section 16-28-9

List of children who should attend school required. In order that the provisions of this article may more definitely be enforced, the county superintendent of education and the city superintendent of schools shall, before the opening of the public schools, make a list for each school under his control or supervision of all children between the ages of seven and 16 years who should attend such school or schools under his charge or control. Such list must give the name, date of birth, age, sex, race and the name and address of the parent, guardian or other person in parental relationship. In case of pupils living in cities, the street and house number shall be given, and in case of all other pupils, the estimated distance from the schoolhouse by the nearest traveled road shall be given. (School Code 1927, 311; Code 1940, T. 52, 308.)

Section 16-35-5

Studies required to be taught in elementary school. In every elementary school in the state there shall be taught reading, spelling and writing, arithmetic, oral and written English, geography, history of the United States and Alabama, elementary science, health education, physical education and such other studies as may be prescribed by the State Board of Education. (School Code 1927, 431; Code 1940, T. 52, 408.)