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Arkansas Compulsory Education Laws

All states require children of a certain age range to attend school on a regular basis, with the understanding that an educated populace is more likely to contribute to the state's economy and general well-being. The type of school is up to the parents and may include private, religious, or home school options instead of public school. State compulsory education laws usually hold parents or guardians responsible for a child's school attendance, and may prosecute parents for noncompliance (but only after administrative efforts to correct the problem fail). Parents who choose to home school their children must comply with roughly the same curriculum and other standards that apply to public education.

Arkansas Compulsory Education Law at a Glance

The state of Arkansas requires children between the ages of five and 17 to attend school, with the following exceptions:

  • Child received high school diploma early (before reaching age 17)
  • Parent has elected to withhold child from kindergarten
  • Child is at least 16 an enrolled in college, vocational school, or some other qualifying adult education program

Each day a parent fails to comply with Arkansas law is considered a separate misdemeanor offense, subject to a fine of up to $100.

Learn more about compulsory education law in Arkansas, including exemptions, in the following chart.

Code Section 6-18-201
Age at Which School Attendance is Required Between 5 and 17
Exceptions to Attendance Requirements Child has received a high school diploma; parent may elect to withhold child from kindergarten; any child over 16 enrolled in post-secondary vocational institution or college or specific adult education programs upon certain conditions
Home School Provisions Parents must give written notice of intent to home school; with curriculum, schedules, and qualifications of teacher presented to superintendent for each semester; child must submit to standardized achievement tests annually and at 8, if test results are unsatisfactory, child shall be enrolled in a public, private, or parochial school (§6-15-501 et. seq.)
Penalties on Parents for Noncompliance Misdemeanor; each day is separate offense and fine of $25 to $100

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time, usually when newly passed legislation is enacted but sometimes through higher court decisions or other means. You may want to contact an Arkansas education attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Arkansas Compulsory Education Law: Related Resources

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