“Is it illegal to not enroll your child in school in Georgia?” This is a question that many parents, guardians, and caregivers find themselves asking.
The short answer is yes – it is generally illegal to not enroll your child in school in Georgia, under Georgia’s compulsory school attendance laws.
However, there are exceptions to this rule, and understanding these nuances can help you navigate the educational requirements in the state.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these education laws.
Georgia’s Compulsory School Attendance Law 20-2-690
Georgia’s compulsory school attendance law, O.C.G.A § 20-2-690.1, mandates that all children between the ages of six and sixteen must attend a public school, private school, or a home study program.
The law is intended to ensure that all children receive an adequate education, regardless of their circumstances at home or in their community.
The law further specifies that any parent, guardian, or other person who has control or charge of a child within the specified age range and fails to comply with the law is guilty of a misdemeanor and can be subject to legal penalties.
These penalties can include fines of at least $25.00 and up to $100.00, imprisonment of up to 30 days, community service, or any combination of these three penalties.
It’s up to the sentencing judge what he or she will order as your sentence, if convicted.
Exceptions to Georgia’s Compulsory School Attendance Law
While the requirement for compulsory schooling is clear, there are certain exceptions to this rule.
For instance, children who have successfully completed the second year of a two-year kindergarten program and have not yet reached the compulsory attendance age may be exempted from this requirement.
Additionally, students who are physically unable to attend school due to illness or injury, and those who are mentally unable to attend school, as certified by a competent psychiatrist or psychologist, may also be exempted.
Homeschooling Under Georgia Law
In Georgia, homeschooling is recognized as a legal alternative to traditional public or private schooling.
Parents or guardians who wish to homeschool their children must adhere to certain guidelines, including declaring their intent to homeschool, providing a comprehensive curriculum that aligns with Georgia’s educational standards, and conducting regular progress assessments.
Understanding and complying with Georgia’s compulsory school attendance law can help ensure your child’s right to education is upheld.