When Must a Child Legally Attend School

Prior to the law in Massachusetts and other states without such laws, education was generally provided by private schools run by churches. Because they also charged school fees, the poorest children were excluded or received informal education at home. This would change during the immigration boom between the 19th and 20th centuries, when education was seen as the best way to assimilate immigrant children. Compulsory education stipulates that children must attend a public or private school recognized by the State for a certain period of time. There are some exceptions, including homeschooling, but virtually all states have mandates on when children must start school and how old they are before dropping out of school. Compulsory education stipulates that parents must have their children attend a public, private or denominational school for a certain period of time. Each state determines both start and end times and generally requires children to start school at the age of five to seven and finish at the age of sixteen or seventeen. Certain parental rights and duties related to the upbringing of older children derive from decisions of the United States Supreme Court. This section focuses on the history and evolution of compulsory education laws, also known as compulsory attendance laws, and provides an overview of exceptions to court proceedings. Click on the links below to learn more. Although the requirement that children receive an education is broad, certain circumstances have justified the creation of exceptions through legislation. Children who are homeschooled or receive private education are exempt from public education requirements, although parents may still need to prove that the education their children receive meets state regulations.

Although compulsory schooling is still the norm, several exceptions have been made for certain groups of people who oppose the laws. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court (Wisconsin v. Yoder) ruled in 1972 that Amish parents were exempt from these laws beginning in grade eight. In addition, states generally grant exemptions to those who homeschool their children as long as they meet the standards required by state-approved public and private schools. In addition, many states offer work authorization permits that allow students to work outside of school during regular school hours. This article deals with the cultural and legal history of compulsory education laws. For more information, see State Laws on Compulsory Education and Alternatives to Homeschooling. The U.S.

Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled on the right of parents to direct their children`s education. The decisions are cited today by those claiming the right to homeschooling in federal and state courts. Learn more. However, not all applications are approved. The courts denied the exemption when parents simply believed that a particular teacher was incompetent or otherwise unqualified, when parents felt that the school was generally doing a poor job of raising their child, and when parents objected to racial integration. Most children between the ages of six and 17 are required to attend school. That is, compulsory education laws are dealt with at the state level, so the actual age may vary. Click here for an overview of the exceptions as defined by different courts. Other states have additional exceptions. California allows child actors to be exempted from public school, and Louisiana offers five days of excused absence to students whose parents or guardians have been drafted for active military service abroad.

In the United States, Massachusetts was the first state to pass a compulsory education law in 1852, although the state passed a similar law in 1647 while it was still a colony. Compulsory education is an effective means of assimilating immigrant children and also helps to prevent child labour. Although compulsory education is the norm, exceptions have been developed. State laws requiring children of a certain age group to attend school are quite similar to each other. All states have mandatory school laws and allow exceptions for private schools and homeschooling, although regulation of non-public schools varies from state to state. With the Reformation (beginning in 1524), Martin Luther called for mandatory school laws so that more Christians could read the Bible independently. With the spread of the Reformation throughout Europe, laws on compulsory education were introduced. But while Scotland introduced an educational mandate for children from privileged families in 1496, that mandate did not include citizens until the country enacted the School Establishment Act of 1616.