State Regulation of Private Schools
Revised July 2009 PDF


State Regulation of Private Schools provides a brief description for each state of state legal requirements that apply to K–12 private schools in the United States. This document is intended to serve as a reference for public and nonpublic school officials, state policy-makers, researchers, and others. This report is an update of the 2000 publication by the Office of Non-Public Education (ONPE), State Regulation of Private Schools, which in turn was an update of the 1993 publication by the (then) Office of Private Education, The Regulation of Private Schools in America: A State by State Analysis.

To ensure the accuracy of each state summary, ONPE first updated the information published in the 2000 report for that state, using information from the state’s Web site. Then, the update was submitted to appropriate state officials for their consideration, revision, and approval. The individuals in each state who reviewed these summaries were critical to ensure timely and accurate updates. ONPE appreciates their participation, cooperation, and expertise. The end of each chapter includes the date when the state last provided comment. As this report is an electronic publication, chapters will be revised and updated as new information becomes available from the states.

The report includes information in several areas of state regulation of private schools. The topics include: Accreditation/Registration/Licensing/Approval, Teacher Certification, Length of School Year/Days, Curriculum, Recordkeeping/Reports, Health and Safety Requirements, Transportation, Textbooks, Testing, Special Education, Nursing and Health, Technology, Professional Development, Reimbursement for Performing State/Local Functions, Tax Exemption, Public Aid for Private Education, Homeschooling, and Information Resources. Charts are included at the end of the state-by-state chapters that summarize key information from the report.

The contents illustrate the nation’s ability to approach similar areas of education in a variety of ways. Not one of the states regulates private schools in exactly the same way as another. Rather, the statutes reflect the unique circumstances, concerns, and policy perspectives in each state.

The goal of the ONPE in publishing this document is to provide concise summaries of relevant state laws in an accessible format. It is our hope that this report will serve the needs of state and federal legislators, public and private school administrators, and the general public.

This document is for informational purposes only. It creates no new rights or responsibilities. Nothing in this report reflects the position of the U.S. Department of Education as to the meaning or effect of any state legal requirement. Readers are encouraged to consult state constitutions and the full text of relevant case law, statutes, and regulations. In addition, readers should be aware that this document is not intended to offer information about the requirements of federal law.

Last Modified: 02/16/2022