The Department of Education makes the following specifications about homeschooling and about the distribution of public school (such as charter) funds. Please see the Department of Education’s website for additional details.
Public Aid for Private Education
Constitutional provisions: The California Constitution prohibits the appropriation of public money for the support of sectarian or denominational schools or any other school not under the exclusive control of the officers of the public schools. California Constitution, Art. IX. Section 8.
In addition, Art. XVI. Section 5. prohibits any public support for a school controlled by any religious creed, church, or sectarian denomination, including any grant of personal property or real estate.
Programs for financial assistance for attendance at private schools: There are no such programs at this time.
The lending of textbooks, without charge, to students attending nonprofit, nonpublic schools violates the California Constitution prohibiting appropriations for the support of sectarian schools.
According to California Education Code 48222, teacher certification in private schools is optional. Children instructed in private full-time day schools by “persons capable of teaching” are exempt from public school attendance under the compulsory education law.
Homeschooling – 3 Types
California parents have access to three approaches to schooling their children at home: public school independent or home-based study programs; public charter independent study schools; and homeschooling under the Private School Affidavit.
The first option: Public school home-based or independent study programs require enrollment in public school and use the public school curriculum. If this option is selected, then the child is considered a public school student and subject to the rules and policies of the public school, including participation in State testing. Calif. Educ. Code §51745.
The second option: Parents may also enroll a child in a public charter school that offers independent study. These California charter schools allow enrollment to students living either in the county in which the charter school is located or in any contiguous county. Computer access to curriculum is common; State testing is required. Calif. Educ. Code §47600 et seq.
The third option: Parents may submit annually the Private School Affidavit. Under this provision, a child being taught by “persons capable of teaching” is exempt from compulsory public school attendance, is not enrolled in a public school, and does not have access to State curriculum, materials or testing. Calif. Educ. Code §§33190,48222.
A related exemption allows schooling at home without filing the affidavit. Under this exemption, a child must receive at least three hours of instruction, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. a day for 175 days each calendar year by a tutor with a clear California teaching credential, ―in the several branches of study required to be taught in the public schools of this state and in the English language.‖ Calif. Educ. Code §48224.
A parent or guardian may legally homeschool their child without a teacher certification in the state of California. On Aug. 8, 2008, the Court of Appeals for the Second Appellate District in California unanimously reversed their previous decision made on Feb. 28, 2008, to require parents to possess a teaching certification in order to provide home instruction.
No California statute requires testing for homeschooled students (option three).