RS DEN00205.250 Determining the EI Status of An Unaccredited, Non-Public School

See RS 00205.250.

A. Introduction

This section modifies the information listed in RS 00205.250B determine if an unaccredited, non-public school is an EI for purposes of paying student benefits in four of the States in the Denver Region. These guidelines are based on recent Regional Chief Counsel (RCC) opinions. If the institution meets these guidelines, referral for a legal opinion is not necessary.

B. General policy

A School need not be accredited or approved by a State to be considered an EI for purposes of paying student benefits.

To determine whether an unaccredited, non-public school meets the definition of an EI for the payment of student benefits, SSA looks to State law (and court cases interpreting State laws).

The student must also meet all the Federal requirements of full-time attendance.

C. Colorado

1. Policy

The State of Colorado's compulsory attendance law requires that the student attend school until age 16. However, a child is exempt if he/she is enrolled for a minimum of 172 days in an independent or parochial school that provides a "basic academic education." A basic academic education for this purpose includes (but is not limited to) communication skills (reading, writing, speaking), mathematics, history, civics, literature, and science.

If the school meets the course and time duration requirements for an exemption from Colorado's compulsory attendance law, the school is an EI for the payment of student benefits.

2. Procedure

Contact the school administrator or principal to determine if the student attends school for the required 172 days and takes all the required courses.

Document the file (see GN 00301.286) and establish a local precedent.

If all the Federal and State requirements are met, adjudicate the claim for student benefits.

D. North Dakota

1. Policy

The State of North Dakota compulsory education law requires children between the ages of seven through sixteen to attend school. The law exempts a child who is in attendance for the same length of time at a parochial or private school approved by the county superintendent of public education. However, no school will be approved that does not comply with teacher certification, curriculum requirements, and State health, fire and safety laws.

2. Procedure

Contact the County Superintendent of Public Education to determine if the school complies with teacher certification and curriculum requirements, State health, fire, and safety laws.

Document the file (see GN 00301.286) and establish a local precedent.

If all the Federal and State requirements are met adjudicate the claim for student benefits.

E. South Dakota

1. Policy

The State of South Dakota compulsory education law requires every child who reaches age six (by the first day of September) through age sixteen to attend either a public or non-public school for the entire term during which the public school in the district the student resides or is assigned to. In addition, the following requirements must be met:

  1. Teacher Qualifications

    The person providing instructions is not required to be certified teacher, but is limited to no more than 22 students.

  2. School Notification

    The parent, guardian, or custodian must file an "Application for Public School Exemption Certificate" with the public school district where they live.

  3. Records

    The person providing the instruction program must maintain attendance and progress records.

  4. Time Requirement

    Instruction must be given a minimum of 175 days an academic year. The time taught must be equivalent to instructional time in public schools.

  5. Required Courses

    Instruction must be directed towards mastery of the English language and must include mathematics and reading/language arts.

  6. Evaluations

    The student must be given a nationally standardized achievement test of basic skills in grades four, eight, and eleven.

2. Procedure

Verify with the school administrator that all the above requirements are met.

Document the file (see GN 00301.286) and establish a local precedent.

If all the Federal and State requirements are met, adjudicate the claim for student benefits.

F. Wyoming

1. Policy

The State of Wyoming's compulsory education law requires all children age seven through sixteen or who have not completed the 10th grade to attend school. The State law does not specifically address accreditation but the State Board of Education is responsible for establishing minimum standards for all schools. The Board of Education evaluates and accredits all school districts and non-accredited, post-secondary schools to be licensed. The State Superintendent is mandated to prepare and maintain a list of the accredited schools.

In addition, the Board of Education is responsible for prescribing uniform student performance standards for the "common core of knowledge" and "common core of skills" including graduation standards from any high school. Specifically, the standards include the completion and mastery (testing or other means) of four years of English, three years of mathematics, three years of science, and three years of social studies.

2. Procedure

Contact the State Superintendent to determine if the school is accredited. If not, determine if the school is teaching the required years of courses and what means the school uses for testing.

Document the file (see GN 00301.286) and establish a local precedent.

If all the Federal and State requirements are met, adjudicate the claim for student benefits.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0300205250DEN
RS DEN00205.250 - Determining the EI Status of An Unaccredited, Non-Public School - 03/12/2013
Batch run: 03/12/2013
Rev:03/12/2013