Florida Laws protecting home education became effective in 1985. Parents have the freedom to determine their child’s educational path and the plan for reaching their goals. Students have the opportunity to explore and learn at their own pace, in any location or at any time. Home education students are able to enter institutions of higher learning and are eligible to participate in the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program. More than 60,000 students in approximately 42,000 families are in Home Education Programs throughout Florida.
Section 1002.01, F.S., defines home education as the sequentially progressive instruction of a student directed by his or her parent or guardian in order to satisfy Florida’s compulsory education requirements.
Florida Statute 1002.41 specifies the responsibilities of parents who establish a home education program:
1. Send a written notice of intent to the school district superintendent. The notice must be filed within 30 days of beginning the home education program and must include the following information:
a. Name of the home education student(s)
d. Parent’s signature
2. Maintain a portfolio of educational records. Statute defines a portfolio as:
a. A log of educational activities which is made contemporaneously with the instruction and which designates by title any reading materials used, and samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks or creative materials used or developed by the student.
b. Make the portfolio available for inspection by the superintendent upon 15-day written notice (The statute does not require the superintendent to inspect all portfolios)
3. Provide an annual educational evaluation of the student’s educational progress to the superintendent. The evaluation must consist of one of the following:
a. A Florida certified teacher chosen by the parent may evaluate the child’s progress based on a review of the portfolio and discussion with the student.
b. The student may take any nationally-normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher.
c. The student may take a state student assessment test at a location and under testing conditions approved by the school district.
d. The student maybe evaluated by a psychologist holding a valid, active license pursuant to Section 490.003 (7) or (8), F.S.
e. The student may be evaluated with any other valid measurement tool as mutually agreed upon by the parent and the superintendent.
4. Preserve each student’s portfolio for two years.
5. Submit a letter of termination to the school district superintendent upon completion of the home education program, enrollment in a public or private school or moving from the district.