When Louisiana families choose homeschooling as a positive education option for their children, they benefit from increased control of how instruction is administered. Home school offers many benefits for children including personalized instruction, alternative curriculum and student-paced learning. Although home schools presents a significant amount of educational freedom, there are requirements mandated by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).

Governance

The governing body for home school programs is the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), which handles administration and policy for the state's Department of Education. Each year, BESE sets key education initiatives for the state and monitors the effectiveness of home school programs. Students and families are represented by eight elected members from the eight BESE districts along with three members-at-large appointed by the Governor.

Your home school program should develop a relationship with BESE and remained knowledgeable of changes in regulations and requirements. All home school correspondence should be sent to BESE: Sue Millican, SBESE-Approved Home Study Program Louisiana Department of Education, P. O. Box 94064, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9064

BESE can be reached by telephone at: (225) 342-4776

Establishing Home School Programs

Any family wishing to home school their children can do so by submitting an application to BESE. It must be approved by the board in order to be recognized by the state. As part of the application process, parents are required to certify that their children will receive daily and yearly instruction of quality that is at least equivalent to what students learn in similar grade levels of public school. Children enrolled in an approved home school program are considered in attendance at day school.

Yearly Requirements and Reporting

Home school programs approved by BESE must submit an application each year by October 1st to remain in good standing. In addition, home school renewal applications must be supported by evidence that the curriculum is at least equivalent to public school learning. Required documents include: a list of books and materials used, a curriculum outline, copies of student work and standardized tests.

High School Diploma

The Louisiana Department of Education does not award high school diplomas for approved home school programs. Use of state wording or seals is prohibited. Awarding of diplomas for home schooled children is the task of the home school.

Parents are advised to create a diploma that bears the name of your home school program and a statement that certifies the student or students have followed yearly home school requirements in accordance with Louisiana state laws.