ERIC Number: ED218801
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Private Education Alternatives and State Regulation. Working Paper.
Lines, Patricia M.
Based on the alleged growth in the number of families seeking unapproved alternative schooling arrangements, this paper reviews related state legislation and court litigation. Both home schooling and small, unapproved private schools are discussed. According to the paper, in virtually every state, enforcement of minimum standards for private education comes through compulsory attendance laws, which nevertheless vary greatly. Some states require certification of teachers and schools, some only approval, and some only minimal evidence that schooling takes place. The courts have struck down state laws forbidding private education. They have also indicated that in particular situations some families can be excused from an otherwise constitutional compulsory attendance law. In state court litigation concerning the legitimacy of religious schools, court findings have varied greatly, sometimes emphasizing the interests of the state and sometimes the individual's interest in the free exercise of religion. The authors suggest that because of the growth of alternative educational arrangements, the states with the strictest laws may soon be faced with challenges to their compulsory attendance regulations. Limited testing suggests that most alternatives are educationally adequate. The authors conclude by suggesting several provisions to reassure educators opposed to relaxed compulsory schooling laws. (Author/JM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO. Law and Education Center.