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Hawaii Compulsory Education Laws

Getting kids to go to school isn’t always easy. Most parents are worried about the quality of their children’s education. Meanwhile, most kids are worried about getting it over with as soon as possible. So why do kids have to go to school, and how does the Aloha State treat mandatory schooling? This is a quick introduction to compulsory education laws in Hawaii.

Compulsory Education

State compulsory education laws require children to attend a minimum amount of days at school each year. These attendance requirements apply to both public and private schools, although the specific age range of children to which they apply may from vary state to state, and most states have an exception for children who are home schooled. Hawaii laws require children between the ages of six and eighteen to attend school, and if children are absent too often their parents could face misdemeanor criminal charges.

Hawaii’s Compulsory Education Statutes

Hawaii’s compulsory education statutes are listed below.

Code Section

Hawaii Revised Statutes 302A-1132, et seq.: Attendance Compulsory

Age at Which School Attendance is Required

Between 6 and 18

Exceptions to Attendance Requirements

Child is physically or mentally unable to attend; child is at least 15 and suitably employed and excused by school representative or judge; permission after investigation by the family court; child has graduated high school; child is enrolled in an appropriate alternative educational program

Home School Provisions


Penalties on Parents for Noncompliance

Petty misdemeanor

There are some exceptions to compulsory education laws, although most require parents to provide some proof that the child is receiving an equivalent amount of instruction elsewhere. Children in Hawaii may attend home school if parents are able to meet the same standards set by the state board of education for public and private schools. Hawaii also offers an authorization that allows students to work a job as long as the child is over the age of fifteen and obtains permission by a school representative or a judge. Hawaii may also excuse a student from mandatory schooling if the student is physically or mentally unable to attend.

Related Resources for Compulsory Education Laws in Hawaii

State education laws and attendance requirements can be complicated. You can consult with an experienced Hawaii education attorney in your area if you would like legal help with an education matter. And FindLaw's section on Compulsory Education can provide you with further reading and resources on this topic.

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