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New Jersey Compulsory Education Laws

Regardless of the state, children of a certain age are required to attend school or an acceptable educational alternative, such as homeschooling. State compulsory education laws differ, however, in the age range and exeptions to the rules. In New Jersey, compulsory education applies to children between the ages of six and 16. Home schooled children must receive an education that is equal to what they would otherwise receive in a public school.

One of the options to public or private education is homeschooling, an arrangement where one or both parents teach lessons that are comparable in both content and classroom hours. Parents that decide to remove their child from public school must submit a transfer form, which helps the school district keep accurate enrollment data. Parents may access school curricula but are not required to show proof that they are in compliance with state educational standards.

Local school boards in New Jersey are not required to allow homeschooled students access to textbooks, sports, or other public school activities or resources. However, local school boards do have some discretion in these matters. But homeschooled students must have access to vocational programs as they as live in the corresponding district.

The basics of New Jersey's compulsory education laws are listed in the following box. See FindLaw's Compulsory Education section for additional articles and resources, including Exemption and Court Cases on Compulsory Education.

Code Section 18A:38-25, et seq.
Age at Which School Attendance is Required Between 6 and 16
Exceptions to Attendance Requirements Mental condition such that student cannot benefit; physical condition prevents attendance; child attends day school where instruction is equivalent to that provided in public schools for children of similar grades and attainments
Home School Provisions Child must receive equal instruction
Penalties on Parents for Noncompliance Convicted as disorderly persons; 1st offense: up to $25 fine; subsequent: up to $100 fine

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

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