Utah Compulsory Education Laws

Most kids love getting out of school for the summer and are probably asking why they even have to go to school in the first place. Meanwhile, parents worried about their children’s education might be wondering why kids can’t go to school year-round. So what does the Beehive State have to say on the matter? This is an introduction to compulsory education laws in Utah.

Compulsory Education

States compulsory education laws require school-aged children to attend a minimum amount of days at school. These attendance requirements apply to public and private schools, although some states make exceptions for children who are home schooled. Utah requires children between the ages of six and eighteen to attend school, and parents whose children are absent too often may face misdemeanor criminal charges.

Utah’s Compulsory Education Statutes

The table below lists Utah’s compulsory education statutes.

Code Section

Utah Code 53A-11-101, et seq.: Compulsory Education Requirements

Age at Which School Attendance is Required

Between 6 and 18

Exceptions to Attendance Requirements

Child 16 may be partially released if completed 8th grade; completed work for graduation; home-schooled; physical/mental condition making attendance impracticable; employment provides proper influences and adequate educational opportunities; child is 16 and determined unable to profit from school because of inability or negative attitude toward discipline

Home School Provisions

Subjects proscribed by state board of education; same length of time required as in district's schools

Penalties on Parents for Noncompliance

Misdemeanor; report to appropriate juvenile court

As noted above, states do provide some exceptions to compulsory education laws, though these usually require some proof that the child is receiving the same amount of instruction elsewhere. Utah, like most states, allows children to attend home school if their parents are able to meet the same educational standards that state public and private schools attain.

Utah also offers work release authorization that allows students to work a job as long as the employment provides proper influences and adequate educational opportunities. Utah may also excuse a student from mandatory schooling if the student has demonstrated, through inability or a negative attitude towards discipline, that he or she will be unable to profit from a school environment.

Utah Compulsory Education Laws: Related Resources

State education statutes can be confusing. If you would like legal assistance regarding an education matter, you can consult with a Utah education attorney. You can also find additional articles and information on this topic by visiting FindLaw's section on Compulsory Education.

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