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Florida Compulsory Education Laws

While parents are wondering how to meet their children’s schooling requirements, the kids are wondering why they have to go to school in the first place. For both, it’s important to understand the education laws that require some level of formal schooling. Here is a brief summary of compulsory education laws in Florida.

Compulsory Education

Every state requires children of a certain age to obtain a formal education, whether it's public school, private school, home school, or something else. Florida compulsory education laws require kids between the ages of six and 16 (younger with a high school diploma) to attend school. Exceptions include those children with a certificate of exception granted by the district school superintendent. A Florida superintendent may also pursue criminal prosecution on parents for non-enrollment of a child.

Florida’s Compulsory Education Statutes

Learn more about Florida compulsory education laws in the table below.

Code Section

1003.21, et seq.

Age at Which School Attendance is Required

Between 6 and 16

Exceptions to Attendance Requirements

Certificate of exception granted by the district school superintendent (must be renewed each year)

Home School Provisions

Notify superintendent of schools, maintain a portfolio of records and materials, and evaluate education annually, including a national student achievement test or other method of evaluation

Penalties on Parents for Noncompliance

Non-enrollment: superintendent shall begin criminal prosecution; refusing to have child attend regularly is second degree misdemeanor

Although mandatory schooling is still the norm, there are a few exceptions to compulsory education laws, including some for religious beliefs. As long as parents and children meet the same educational standards required of public and state-accredited private schools, states will normally grant exemptions to children who attend home school.

Additionally, Florida offers work release permits that allow students to work a certain amount of hours outside of the school during the normal school day. If a public school student has reached the age of 16 and has yet to graduate, they must file a declaration to terminate school enrollment in order to end compulsory school attendance, as well as attend an exit interview with a school counselor or other school personnel.

Florida Compulsory Education Laws: Related Resources

Education law can be confusing, especially when it comes to interpreting state statutes. If you would like legal advice on an education matter, you can contact a Florida education attorney in your area to discuss your case. You can also visit FindLaw's Compulsory Education section for more introductory information on this topic.

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