All states, including Delaware, require some type of formal education for children of a certain age. The specifics of these requirements are governed by state law. The laws don't differ all that much and generally require children from early childhood through their teens to attend school full time, with some exceptions. While all states offer the option of taxpayer-funded public schooling, parents are free to choose religious, private, or home schooling options instead.
Even though most U.S. schools were private (typically provided by churches) prior to the 20th century, Massachusetts became the first state to pass a compulsory education law in 1852. This quickly spread throughout the country and became the norm in all U.S. states by 1918.
Overview of Delaware Law with Respect to Compulsory Education
Delaware law requires children between the ages of five and 16 to attend school, which may include homeschool or other non-public options. Families that decide to homeschool their children must follow the state's guidelines to ensure their children are receiving an adequate education. Parents who do not comply with Delaware's compulsory education laws may be subject to discipline. See FindLaw's Compulsory Education section for additional articles.
|Code Section||Tit. 14 §§2702, et seq.|
|Age at Which School Attendance is Required||Between 5 and 16|
|Exceptions to Attendance Requirements||Private school attendance; mentally or physically handicapped; by parents' request with written documentation of physician or psychiatrist|
|Home School Provisions||Home school is affiliated with a home school association or organization is registered with Dept. of Education|
|Penalties on Parents for Noncompliance||Fined not less than $5 and not more than $25 for first offense; not more than $50 for each subsequent offense in a school year|
Note: State laws are constantly changing. While FindLaw makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of its state law content, you may also want to contact a Delaware education attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
While mandatory schooling remains a general requirement, there are some exceptions to compulsory education laws, including for religious beliefs. As long as parents and children have an educational plan that meets the same educational standards required of public and state-accredited private schools, children who attend home school will normally be exemptions from the compulsory education statute.
Delaware Compulsory Education Laws: Related Resources
The laws regarding education can be confusing, especially when you’re trying to make sense of state statutes. For more introductory information on this topic, you can visit FindLaw's Compulsory Education section. If you think you need legal advice on an education matter, you can contact a Delaware education attorney in your area to discuss your case.
Contact a qualified attorney.