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Georgia Compulsory Education Laws

All states require children of certain age ranges to attend school or receive some type of formal education, whether it's through public school, private school, homeschool, or some other venue. Georgia compulsory education laws require children between the ages of six and 16 to attend school, with penalties including fines and/or prison (applicable to parents) for noncompliance.

While most school-age children go to public school, with a much smaller component enrolled in private school, some parents opt for homeschooling instead. In fact, the statute addressing Georgia's compulsory education laws also includes details about home study programs. For instance, home study (or home school) programs must meet certain requirements, such as keeping regular attendance records and making sure students receive an education comparable to that offered by a Georgia public school.

Any child who is found away from home and not in school (truant) may be placed in the temporary custody of a peace officer. Truant children also may be subject to processing by a juvenile court. If a child who has aged-out of the compulsory education requirements decides to withdraw from school, he or she first will need the written permission of a parent or legal guardian.

Review the following chart to learn more about Georgia compulsory education laws. See FindLaw's Compulsory Education section for additional articles and resources.

Code Section 20-2-690, et seq.
Age at Which School Attendance is Required Between 6 and 16
Exceptions to Attendance Requirements Private school or home study
Home School Provisions Must teach at least reading, language arts, math, social studies, and science; parents must give annual notice; parent must have at least a high school diploma or may employ a tutor with a baccalaureate college degree; subject to standardized testing; must provide annual progress assessment report
Penalties on Parents for Noncompliance Misdemeanor; fine up to $100 and/or prison up to 30 days; each day's absence is separate offense

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Georgia education attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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