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Connecticut Compulsory Education Laws

It’s only natural for parents to worry about their children getting the best educational possible. Meanwhile, it seems like kids are naturally trying to get out of school as much as possible. So you may be wondering how children are required to go to school in the first place. The answer is that the Constitution State has strict education laws that require each child to receive a minimum level of education. Here is a basic overview of compulsory education laws in Connecticut.

Compulsory Education

State compulsory education laws require children of certain ages to attend a certain amount of days of school. These can apply to public or private schools, and increasingly home school. Under Connecticut law, children between the ages of five and eighteen are required to attend school, and school officials are permitted to pursue criminal charges and fines of parents if their children are not attending school.

Connecticut’s Compulsory Education Statutes

Connecticut’s compulsory education statutes are detailed in the chart below.

Code Section

General Statutes of Connecticut Title 10-184, et seq.: School Attendance Age Requirements

Age at Which School Attendance is Required

Between 5 and 18

Exceptions to Attendance Requirements

Child receiving equivalent instruction elsewhere; high school graduate

Home School Provisions

Must include: reading, writing, spelling, English grammar, geography, arithmetic, U.S. history and citizenship; child must be receiving an equivalent instruction

Penalties on Parents for Noncompliance

Fine maximum $25 per day: each day is distinct offense; exception for parents of child destitute of clothing

The state does allow for a few exceptions to compulsory education laws, so long as the child is receiving the same amount of instruction elsewhere. For example, most states have granted exemptions to children who attend home school, if parents are able to met the same educational standards that public and state-accredited private schools attain.

Some states also offer work release permits that allow students to be away from school for a limited amount of hours during a normal school day if they have a job. Connecticut does not have such a work program, but public school students aged 17 can be excused from regular school attendance if a parent or guardian agrees in writing that the student will complete a curriculum equal to what is taught in public schools.

Connecticut Compulsory Education Laws: Related Resources

State education statutes can be confusing. You can contact a Connecticut education attorney if you would like legal assistance regarding an education issue. You can also visit FindLaw's section on Compulsory Education for more resources and information.

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