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
Homeschool Guidelines at a Glance
A discussion of the laws regulating home education in Massachusetts, including school authority oversight, approval and evaluation, and responsibilities of school authorities and parents.
Official Requirements for Homeschooling in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, there is not one simple, short answer to the question of what your local district may require of you. This is a brief look at the official requirements to homeschool in Massachusetts.
Michael Brunelle et al., vs. Lynn Public Schools (1998)
The Charles decision left the door open on the question of whether or not home visits might be required as a condition of approval of a home education plan. In 1998, in the Brunelle vs. Lynn Public Schools, that question was settled: home visits could not be deemed "essential" in determining if education was taking place; therefore, home visits could not be required as a condition of approval. (The Court did not exclude the possibility that such visits might be required in exceptional cases.) In this decision the Court acknowledges that " while the State can insist that the child's education be moved along in a way which can be objectively measured, it cannot apply institutional standards to this non-institutionalized setting."
The Declaration of Educational Independence
Linda Dobson
Linda Dobson provides a wonderful call for independence from the traditional educational establishment, modeled on our own Declaration of Independence.
Massachusetts Department of Education Draft Advisory on Home Education
AHEM
On June 9, 2003, a representative from Advocates for Home Education in Massachusetts joined representatives from other homeschooling organizations to discuss the current DOE Draft Advisory on homeschooling. The advisory is the document the DOE submits to individuals seeking information about homeschooling in Massachusetts. The document's intent, according to the DOE, is to provide a neutral analysis of homeschooling law, and to answer the most commonly asked questions about homeschooling. Many homeschooling groups, including AHEM, have taken issue with various sections of the draft.


Looking for homeschooling information for another state?

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