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Wyoming Compulsory Education Laws

All states require children to attend school for a minimum number of years. States first enacted compulsory education laws in the nineteenth century in order to improve public morals and provide basic education for all future citizens. Today a rigorous education is seen as essential to success in the modern world. Many state constitutions require their governments to maintain free primary or secondary schooling, and state universities further underline this commitment to education. Here’s a brief summary of compulsory education in Wyoming.

School Attendance is Required From Seven to Sixteen

All children must begin school if they will turn seven on or before September 15th of that year. Parents may send their kids to public school, choose a private school, or arrange for home schooling that meets state requirements. Compulsory education is legally required until a child either turns sixteen or completes tenth grade. Parents failing to meet this requirement can be convicted of a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $25 fine and ten days in county jail.

There are a few exemptions to this law. First, the district board of trustees can provide an exemption when it believes compulsory attendance would be detrimental to a child’s mental or physical health or to other children in the school. Second, boards can also grant an exemption in the case of undue hardship. Finally, the compulsory education law does not apply to students who have been lawfully suspended or expelled.

Home schooling is provided for in Wyoming’s compulsory education laws. Instruction in reading, writing, math, civics, history, literature, and science are required. All home school programs must annually submit a copy of the curriculum to the local board of trustees to ensure that these standards are satisfied. Home school programs are also not require to teach, and not required to refrain from teaching, anything that conflicts with its religious doctrines.

Code Sections 21-4-101, et seq.
Age at Which School Attendance is Required Between seven and sixteen years or until completion of tenth grade.
Exceptions to Attendance Requirements When the school board believes attendance is detrimental to mental or physical health of a child or other children; when attendance would be an undue hardship; when a child is home schooled or attends private school; when a student is suspended or expelled.
Home School Provisions Home schooling must meet requirements of basic academic educational program including reading, writing, math, civics, history, literature, and science; parent must submit curriculum to the local school board.
Penalties on Parents for Noncompliance Misdemeanor punishable by up to a $25 fine and 10 days in country jail (21-4-105).

Related Resources for Compulsory Education Laws

Most education laws are straightforward. Parents can often learn more information by speaking with school officials, a local board, and other parents. Additional resources about student rights and education law in general can be found here. For specific questions relating to a particular case however, you might consider speaking to a local education lawyer.

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