On Tuesday, July 4, Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 33 into law bringing major improvements to Ohio homeschool law. By simplifying the law, the sources of many common conflicts between parents and schools have been eliminated.
Note: The new homeschool provisions go into effect 91 days after House Bill 33 is filed with the office of the Secretary of State, placing it after the beginning of the school year. If you plan to homeschool in the 2023-2024 school year, file your notice of intent (NOI) for an excuse under compulsory school attendance like normal and include a notice of intent for an exemption which will go into effect in October with this law. To read more about how to do this, click here.
What will this new homeschool law look like?
1. No more “excuses.”
Under the old law, homeschooling was an “excuse” from public school attendance. Parents submitted their notice of intent to homeschool and received an “excuse letter” back from their superintendent.
Under the new law, parents will submit a much shorter notice of intent and exempt their child from compulsory school attendance. The superintendent is required to acknowledge receipt of the notice of intent within 14 calendar days, but this is not an excuse letter. This is a receipt.
HSLDA strongly recommends that parents maintain copies of their notification as well as proof of mailing or proof of delivery and all other correspondence with the school district.
2. New deadlines for paperwork.
Under the old regulations, a parent annually submitted a notice to their superintendent either (a) by the first week of the start of the public school the child would attend in the school district of residence, (b) within one week of the date on which the child began to reside in the district, or (c) within one week from the child’s withdrawal from a school.
Under the new law, notices of intent are due August 30 in all school districts (or within 5 days of starting a child’s homeschool program in Ohio.)
3. A much shorter notice.
Under the old regulations, parents submitted a notice of intent that included information about the child, various assurances, a brief outline of intended curriculum, a list of textbooks and other teaching material, and assessment information.
Under the new law, parents must transmit a notice of intent listing (1) the parent's name and address, (2) the child's name, and (3) an assurance that the child will receive education in the required subject areas. That is it. No other information is required to exempt your child from compulsory school attendance. HSLDA members can find a copy of the new NOI form at the bottom of this post.
4. No more assessments.
Under the old regulations, parents were required to annually assess their children’s academic proficiency using either a standardized achievement test, a portfolio review, or another form of assessment agreed upon with the superintendent.
Under the new law, there is no assessment requirement.
5. Fewer required subjects.
Under the old regulations, home instruction programs were required to teach language, reading, spelling, writing, geography, history of the United States and Ohio, government, math, science, health, physical education, fine arts (including music), first aid, safety, and fire prevention.
Under the new law, a child must receive education in the subject areas of English language arts, mathematics, science, history, government, and social studies.
6. No teacher qualifications or required number of hours.
Under the old regulations, parents had to meet certain teacher qualifications and provide instruction for a certain number of hours.
Under the new law, there are no longer any teacher qualifications or required number of hours.
What do I need to file for the 2023–2024 school year?
All families who plan to homeschool for the 2023–2024 school year should file their usual notice of intent (NOI) under the current regulations. This will include the usual assurances, a brief outline of intended curriculum, list of basic teaching materials, and assessment information as usual. HSLDA members can find the old NOI form at the bottom of this post.
In addition, families should include in their NOI packet a notice of intent for an exemption from compulsory school attendance under the new homeschool law. That way, when the original homeschool regulations are invalidated in October, families will have the appropriate paperwork on file with their local school district that will put them in compliance with the new homeschool regulations. HSLDA members can find the new NOI form at the bottom of this post.
What if I already submitted my NOI for the 2023–2024 school year?
Submit an exemption from compulsory school attendance so your school district has it on file when the transition happens from an excuse to exemption in October. HSLDA members can find the new NOI form at the bottom of this post.
Does my child need an excuse letter under the new homeschool law?
No. Under the new homeschool law, if you file an NOI exempting your child from compulsory school attendance, your child does not need an excuse from compulsory school attendance from the superintendent.
Note: You will still need to file for an excuse from compulsory school attendance one last time in August 2023.
What will happen to the homeschool regulations under the new homeschool law?
Under the new law, homeschoolers will operate exclusively under the new statute, O.R.C. § 3321.042. All regulations regarding the issuance of excuses from compulsory attendance for the purposes of home education are, in effect, nullified by this law change.
What should I do if my superintendent won’t accept the new NOI or requests additional information?
HSLDA expects some confusion from school staff this year. HSLDA members are encouraged to reach out to their Ohio legal team if the school district requests more information.
I filed my NOI but haven’t received a receipt from the superintendent yet. Can I start homeschooling?
Your notice of intent goes into effect as soon as the superintendent receives it. Therefore, you do not need to wait for a response from the superintendent to begin homeschooling.
Fourteen days have passed, but I don’t have my receipt from the superintendent yet. What should I do?
HSLDA members are encouraged to reach out to their Ohio legal team to get personalized guidance for their situation.
Can someone else teach my child under the new homeschool law?
Yes. Home education is defined as education “directed by a child’s parent.” (Emphasis added.) Therefore, parents can utilize whatever resources best fits their child, including other teachers, co-ops, or educational programs.
Can I unschool my child under the new homeschool law?
Under the new law, a child must receive education in the subject areas of English language arts, mathematics, science, history, government, and social studies. However, a parent may tailor that education to the specific needs and interests of their child.
Can I issue my child a high school diploma under the new homeschool law?
Ohio law recognizes parent-issued high school diplomas as satisfactory proof of completion of a high school education. Under the previous regulations, a parent needed to include the senior year letter of excuse with the child’s diploma. Under the new law, this is no longer necessary.
What if my child wants to participate in sports?
Home educated students are still able to participate in extracurricular activities like they could under the regulations. HSLDA expects some challenges as school districts implement the new homeschool language. HSLDA members are encouraged to reach out to their Ohio legal team with questions.
What if my child wants to participate in College Credit Plus?
Home educated students can still participate in College Credit Plus the same as they could under the regulations. HSLDA members are encouraged to reach out to their HSLDA legal team with questions.
My child receives the Jon Peterson or Autism Scholarship. How will this change impact them?
The appropriate sections of law have been updated so as to not impact eligibility for the scholarships. However, HSLDA expects some initial confusion as the agencies responsible for these scholarships update their requirements. HSLDA members are encouraged to reach out to their Ohio legal team with questions.
Can I issue a work permit for my child?
For a home educated student 16 years of age or older, a parent may issue an age and schooling certificate under O.R.C. § 3331.04 (C).
If a home educated student is 14 or 15, the parent must go through the superintendent of schools for the age and schooling certificate.
Have a question not on this list? HSLDA members are free to reach out to the Ohio legal team here.
Note: The information on this page has been reviewed by an attorney, but it should not be taken as legal advice specific to your individual situation.