RS DEN00205.275 Determining the Educational Institution (EI) Status of a Home School

See RS 00205.275.

A. Introduction

This section modifies the information listed in RS 00205.275C to determine whether a home 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 home school meets these guidelines, referral for a legal opinion is not necessary.

B. General policy

A home school need not be accredited by a State to be considered an EI for the purpose of paying student benefits. To determine whether a home school meets the definition of an EI for the payment of student benefits, SSA looks to the State laws (and court cases interpreting State laws).

In addition to the State requirements, the home schooled student must meet all the Federal requirements of full-time attendance. There is also a Federal requirement that if the curriculum is a correspondence course, the parent or guardian (or someone else within the home) must instruct the student, administer tests, maintain attendance records, etc. See RS 00205.275, step 6.

C. Colorado

1. Policy

The State of Colorado's compulsory attendance law requires that the student attend school until age 16, except for a child being instructed at home. A student does not meet this exception to be home schooled if the child is habitually truant at any time during the last six months that the child attended school. In addition to the following requirements, a habitually truant child may not be home schooled unless the parents submit written curricula and notification of the home school program to the school district of residence. The truant child must receive no less than 172 days of instructions averaging four instructional contact hours per day.

The following requirements must be met for a home school to be considered an EI for the payment of student benefits:

  1. Parent Qualifications

    The parent or adult relative (designated by the parent) does not have to be subject to the Teachers Certification Act (i.e., does not have to be a certified teacher).

  2. Required Courses

    The student must be taught communication skills (reading, writing, and speaking), mathematics, history, civics, literature, science and courses in the United States Constitution.

  3. School Notification

    The parent must provide written notification to the local school district 14 days prior to starting home schooling and each year thereafter. The parent must certify in writing the student's name, age, place of residence, and the number of hours of attendance for each child.

  4. Evaluations

    The student must be evaluated in the third, fifth, seventh, ninth, and eleventh grade. A standardized test must be used or a qualified person must administer the test. The test results must be submitted to the local school district.

  5. Records

    Records of attendance, test evaluations, and immunization must be maintained permanently by the parent. If requested these records must be submitted to the local school district within 14 days.

2. Procedure

Document the file (see GN 00301.286), and establish a local precedent if there are any other children being home schooled. If all the Federal and State requirements are met, adjudicate the claim for student benefits.

D. North Dakota

1. Policy

The North Dakota compulsory education law requires that children between the ages of seven and sixteen attend school unless home education is provided in accordance with statutory provisions. Home education is defined as an educational program for a child, based in the child’s home and supervised by the child’s parent or parents in accordance with certain statutory provisions.

The following requirements must be met for a home school to be considered an EI for the payment of student benefits:

  1. Parent Qualifications

    The parent does not have to be certified to teach in North Dakota. Through July 31, 2011, a parent who has only a high school diploma or general education development (GED) certificate may supervise home education. Until August 1, 2011, a parent without a high school diploma or GED is required to be monitored by a certified teacher.

  2. Time Requirements
    The student must be home schooled for four hours a day, 175 days per year.

  3. Required Courses

    The student must have completed at least 22 units of coursework from the minimum required curriculum offerings established by statute. The number will increase to 24 units for the 2011-2012 school year. These course offerings include:

    1. 4 units of English Language Arts;

    2. 4 units of Mathematics;

    3. 4 units of Science;

    4. 4 units of Social Studies, including 1 of world history and 1 of United States History;

    5. ½ unit of Health;

    6. ½ unit of Physical Education during each school year, provided that once every four years the unit must be a concept-based fitness class that includes instruction in the assessment, improvement and maintenance of personal fitness;

    7. 2 units of Fine Arts, at least one of which must be music;

    8. 2 units of the same Foreign Language; and

    9. 2 units of career and technical education.

    Effective with July 1, 2010, a student must have completed the following 22 units of high school course work to graduate:

    1. 4 units of English Language Arts;

    2. 3 units of Mathematics

    3. 3 units of Science;

    4. 3 units of Social Studies

    5. 1 unit of Physical Education (PE), which can be comprised of ½ unit of PE and ½ unit of health;

    6. 3 units of a Foreign Language, a Native American language, fine arts or career and technical education courses; and

    7. 5 additional units.

    The English Language Arts must be “from a sequence that includes literature, composition, and speech”; that one unit of math must be algebra II and another unit must be a course “for which algebra II is a prerequisite”; that science must include one unit of physical science and one unit of biology; that history must include one unit of problems of democracy or one-half unit of Unites States government and one-half unit of economics, in addition to one world history unit and one United States history unit; that the foreign language requirement may be satisfied with a Native American language; that students must take one unit of an advanced placement course or one unit of a dual-credit course; and that the career and technical education units must be “from a coordinated plan of study recommended by the department of career and technical education and approved by the superintendent of public instruction.”

  4. Records

    The parent must maintain annual records of courses taken and academic progress assessments, including any standardized achievement tests.

  5. School Notification

    The parent must file an annual statement with the superintendent of the public school district the student resides in within 14 days of beginning home education. This statement must include the names and addresses of the student and parent(s) who will supervise, student's date of birth, student's grade level, the qualifications of parents, list of courses and extracurricular activities in which the child intends to participate at the school district, proof of immunization and proof of the child’s identity.

  6. Evaluations

    The home schooled student must be given a standardized achievement test used by the school district in which the parent resides, or a nationally normed standard achievement test in grades three, four, six, eight, and eleven. The test must be given in the learning environment or public school and must be administered by a certified teacher.

2. Procedure

Document the file (see GN 00301.286) and establish a local precedent if there are any other children being home schooled. If all Federal and State requirements are met, adjudicate the claim for student benefits.

E. South Dakota

1. Policy

The South Dakota compulsory education law presently requires that children between the ages of six and sixteen attend school unless home education is provided in accordance with statutory provisions. Effective July 1, 2009, the compulsory attendance age will extend to age 18, and effective July 1, 2010, the age of compulsory education will be lowered to 5. The following requirements must be met for a home school to be considered an EI for the payment of student benefits:

  1. Parent Qualifications

    Home school instructors need not be certified. However, no individual may instruct more than twenty-two children.

  2. Time Requirements

    Home school students must receive instruction for an amount of time equivalent to the instruction time in public schools. Specifically, home school programs for students grades four through twelve must include at least 962.5 hours (for example, 175 days at 5.5 hours per day) of instruction per term. Home school programs for students grades one through three must include at least 875 hours per term. The minimum number of hours for kindergarten students varies by school district.

  3. Required Courses

    Home school students must receive instruction in language arts and math. Instruction must be given so as to lead to a mastery of the English language.

  4. School Notification

    Parents who home school their children must annually submit a notarized application for excuse to the local superintendent. The first time that a request for certificate of excuse is filed for a specific child, the child’s parent or guardian must file a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate, or an affidavit notarized or witnessed by two or more witnesses, swearing or affirming that the child identified on the request for excuse is the same person appearing on the child’s certified birth certificate.

  5. Evaluations

    Home schooled children who are in grades two, four, eight and eleven must take a nationally standardized test of basic skills.

  6. Records

    The parent or guardian of a child in an alternative education program must maintain records regarding attendance and evidence showing academic progress. At all times that a child is being home schooled, the parent or guardian must keep on record at home a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate.

2. Procedure

Document the file (see GN 00301.286) and establish a local precedent if there are any other children being home schooled. If all the Federal and State requirements are met, adjudicate the claim for student benefits.

F. Wyoming

1. Policy

The Wyoming State compulsory education law requires a child between the ages of seven through sixteen or who has not completed the tenth grade to attend school.

The following requirements must be met for a home school to be considered an EI for the purpose of paying student benefits:

  1. Required Courses

    The law requires a “basic academic educational program” which provides a sequentially progressive curriculum of fundamental instructions in reading, writing, mathematics, civics, history, literature, and science. The home school is not required to include or exclude any concept, topic, or practice in conflict with religious doctrine.

    The State may permit and recognize a home school using a curriculum (i.e., a correspondence course) from a non-accredited and/or non-licensed private school if the curriculum is submitted to the local school board for approval.

  2. School Notification

    The person administering the program must submit a curriculum to the local board of trustees each year showing that the program complies with the requirements.

  3. Parental Qualifications

    There are no academic qualifications but a parent or legal guardian (or person designated by the parent or legal guardian) must administer the home school.

2. Procedure

Document the file (see GN 00301.286) and establish a local precedent if there are any other children being home schooled.

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


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http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0300205275DEN
RS DEN00205.275 - Determining the Educational Institution (EI) Status of a Home School - 03/12/2013
Batch run: 03/12/2013
Rev:03/12/2013