Homeschooling in Massachusetts

Legal/Homeschool Laws

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Massachusetts Homeschool Laws & Other Legal Issues
Laws that regulate home education vary from state to state. It is important to understand the legal requirements in your state and to be aware of legislative and other legal issues that affect homeschoolers in your community. We've compiled resources that will help you become informed. Although homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, and the vast majority of homeschoolers face no problems, you may find that you need legal assistance at some point in your homeschooling career. We've compiled a list of resources to help you find the support you need. And if you'd like to become more involved in working towards homeschooling freedoms, we discuss some of the issues facing homeschoolers that we hope you find compelling.

 
State Laws
  Read the laws regulating home education in Massachusetts and browse through the case law and legal opinions relating to those laws, along with government publications relating to homeschooling and summaries of the laws.

Forms
  Which forms do you need to fill out? Where can you get them? Here is a list of useful forms for homeschooling in Massachusetts.

Legal Support
  If you need legal information or have run into a legal situation regarding your decision to homeschool, these resources will be helpful.

Lobbying Groups
  A listing of local and national lobbying groups and information on how you can become involved in the political process to ensure the freedom to homeschool is protected.

Attorneys
  When searching for an attorney, it is helpful to know whether he or she has experience working with homeschoolers and is interested in protecting the right to homeschool.

Legal Issues
  Is homeschooling legal? Which laws pertain to homeschoolers and which don't? How do homeschoolers protect their rights to freely educate their children and to preserve their privacy?

Government Resources
  A listing of local and state government resources, including your state's Department of Education, school districts, and Senate and House of Representative information.


Featured Articles & Links Back to Top
Court Rulings on Home Education in Massachusetts: Overview
A summary of the effects the Charles Decision and the Brunelle case have on homeschooling families in Massachusetts. Lists thirteen perspectives on the Charles and Brunelle decisions.
Chapter 71: Section 3 Physical education.
Section 3. Physical education shall be taught as a required subject in all grades for all students in the public schools for the purpose of promoting the physical well-being of such students. Instruction in physical education may include calisthenics, gymnastics and military drill; but no pupil shall be required to take part in any military exercise if his parent or guardian is of any religious denomination conscientiously opposed to bearing arms, or is himself so opposed, and the school committee is so notified in writing; and no pupil shall be required to take part in physical education exercises if a licensed physician certifies in writing that in his opinion such physical education exercises would be injurious to the pupil.
The Role of School Policies and Forms
Home education policies are not laws nor contracts between schools and homeschoolers. Rather, they are tools for the administrative convenience of school officials. School districts are not required to have policies, but are free to deal with homeschoolers on a case-by-case basis.
The Rutherford Institute
The Rutherford Institute is an international legal and educational organization dedicated to preserving human rights and defending civil liberties. Deeply committed to protecting the constitutional freedoms of every American and the integral human rights of all people, The Rutherford Institute has emerged as a prominent leader in the national dialogue on civil liberties and equal rights. Parents have a constitutional right to direct and control the upbringing of their children, and laws or governmental actions that unreasonably infringe the rights of parents to raise and educate their children according to their own values are constitutionally suspect. The Rutherford Institute responds to over one thousand requests for assistance annually from parents whose rights were placed in jeopardy.
The Politics of Survival: Home Schoolers and the Law
Scott W. Somerville, Esq.
Twenty years ago, home education was treated as a crime in almost every state. Today, it is legal all across America, despite strong and continued opposition from many within the educational establishment. How did this happen? This paper traces the legal and sociological history of the modern home school movement, and then suggests factors that led to this movement's remarkable success.


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