In considering this claim for Child's benefits, you asked whether the home school
the child attends meets the requirements of Florida law. Having considered the evidence
presented by your office and the applicable federal and state law, it is our opinion
that the home school the child attends seems to meet the requirements of the Florida
home school law
The claimant, Elizabeth S~ (Claimant), turned 18 on September 21, 2005. Claimant is
currently home schooled by her mother, Diane S~. On July 6, 2005, Claimant's mother
submitted a letter from Pascoe Palace Productions indicating that Claimant achieved
test results on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills commensurate with her ability for grade
11. On August 17, 2005, the state of Florida certified the mother's request to home
school Claimant for the 2004-2005 school year and acknowledged the mother's request
to home school Claimant for the 2005-2006 school year.
The statutory requirements for a home education program in the state of Florida are
1002.41 Home Education Program
(1) A “home education program” is defined in § 1002.01. The parent is not required
to hold a valid regular Florida teaching certificate.
(a) The parent shall notify the district school superintendent of the county in which
the parent resides of her or his intent to establish and maintain a home education
program. The notice shall be in writing, signed by the parent, and shall include the
names, addresses, and birth dates of all children who shall be enrolled as students
in the home education program. The notice shall be filed in the district school superintendent's
office within 30 days of the establishment of the home education program. A written
notice of termination of the home education program shall be filed in the district
school superintendent's office within 30 days after said termination.
(b) The parent shall maintain a portfolio of records and materials. The portfolio
shall consist of the following:
1. A log of educational activities that is made contemporaneously with the instruction
and that designates by title any reading materials used.
2. Samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or creative materials used or developed
by the student. The portfolio shall be preserved by the parent for 2 years and shall
be made available for inspection by the district school superintendent, or the district
school superintendent's agent, upon 15 days' written notice. Nothing in this section
shall require the district school superintendent to inspect the portfolio.
(c) The parent shall provide for an annual educational evaluation in which is documented
the student's demonstration of educational progress at a level commensurate with her
or his ability. The parent shall select the method of evaluation and shall file a
copy of the evaluation annually with the district school superintendent's office in
the county in which the student resides. The annual educational evaluation shall consist
of one of the following:
1. A teacher selected by the parent shall evaluate the student's educational progress
upon review of the portfolio and discussion with the student. Such teacher shall hold
a valid regular Florida certificate to teach academic subjects at the elementary or
2. The student shall take any nationally normed student achievement test administered
by a certified teacher;
3. The student shall take a state student assessment test used by the school district
and administered by a certified teacher, at a location and under testing conditions
approved by the school district;
4. The student shall be evaluated by an individual holding a valid, active license
pursuant to the provisions of s. 490.003(7) or (8); or
5. The student shall be evaluated with any other valid measurement tool as mutually
agreed upon by the district school superintendent of the district in which the student
resides and the student's parent.
(2) The district school superintendent shall review and accept the results of the
annual educational evaluation of the student in a home education program. If the student
does not demonstrate educational progress at a level commensurate with her or his
ability, the district school superintendent shall notify the parent, in writing, that
such progress has not been achieved. The parent shall have 1 year from the date of
receipt of the written notification to provide remedial instruction to the student.
At the end of the 1-year probationary period, the student shall be reevaluated as
specified in paragraph (1)(c). Continuation in a home education program shall be contingent
upon the student demonstrating educational progress commensurate with her or his ability
at the end of the probationary period.
(3) A home education program shall be excluded from meeting the requirements of a
(9) Home education program students may receive testing and evaluation services at
diagnostic and resource centers, in accordance with the provisions of § 1006.03(3).
FLA. STAT. ANN. § 1002.41 (2005).
Social Security regulation 20 C.F.R. § 404.367(a)(1)(2005) provides that claimant
is a full time elementary or secondary school student if the Claimant is “instructed
in elementary or secondary school at home in accordance with a home school law of
the State or other jurisdiction in which [the Claimant] reside[s].” The home school
law for the State of Florida is set out above. According to the information supplied
by your office, Claimant appears to comply with § 1002.41 because the mother notified
the school district in writing that she intended to home school Claimant. FLA. STAT.
ANN. § 1002.41(a)(1). Section 1002.41(c) requires that the parent provide for an annual
educational evaluation pursuant to one of five different criteria. FLA. STAT. ANN.
§ 1002.41(c). On July 6, 2005, Claimant's mother submitted a letter from Pascoe Palace
Productions indicating that Claimant achieved sufficient test results on the Iowa
Test of Basic Skills to satisfy the state testing and evaluation requirement. FLA.
STAT. ANN. § 1002.41(c)(3).
The statute also requires that the parent maintain “a portfolio of records and materials”
related to their home school program. FLA. STAT. ANN. § 1002.41(b). The statue requires
that “[t]he portfolio shall be preserved by the parent for 2 years and shall be made
available for inspection by the district school superintendent, or the district school
superintendent's agent, upon 15 days' written notice. Nothing in this section shall
require the district school superintendent to inspect the portfolio.” FLA. STAT. ANN.
§ 1002.41(b)(2). The request to inspect the student portfolio is at the discretion
of the superintendent, but the inspection of the portfolio is not required for certification.
Overall, it appears that Claimant's home school meets the requirements for a home
school in the state of Florida based on the evidence presented.
Mary A. S~
Regional Chief Counsel
J. S. C~
Assistant Regional Counsel