Maine Compulsory Education Laws
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed June 20, 2016
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Formal education is a requirement for children of a certain age in all states, whether it's public school, private school, home school, or other types of instruction. Compulsory education laws were enacted in the U.S. around 1900 in order to protect child welfare. By 1918, every state had some form of a compulsory attendance law on the books.
Maine's compulsory education laws require children between the ages of seven (7) and 17 to attend school unless he or she has graduated.
Exceptions to the Compulsory Education Law
There are some exceptions to the compulsory education laws. For example, a child 15 or older can be legally exempt from attending school if he is she is either has parental permission and school board approval or is attending school full-time at an accredited university with commissioner approval.
Penalties for Truancy
When a child doesn't attend school as required by law he or she is considered "truant." That's when the law gets involved. You may be summoned to appear in District Court if:
- Your child is "under your control" (i.e., lives with you),
- You received written notice from the school about your child's truancy and the plan that was developed to correct it,
- Your child has missed enough days in the school year to be truant.
Why? This is because you are responsible for making sure your child attends school. You will not be charged with a crime, but you can be found to have committed a civil violation.
The main provisions of Maine's compulsory education laws, and penalties for noncompliance, are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Compulsory Education and Types of Schools sections to learn more.
|Code Section(s)||Title 20-A, §5001-A|
|Age at Which School Attendance is Required||Between 7 and 17|
|Exceptions to Attendance Requirements||
A person who has:
|Home School Provisions||Attendance in a qualified home school or private school is legal in Maine.|
|Penalties on Parents for Noncompliance||
Note: State laws surrounding the issues of privacy and patients' rights are constantly changing. You may wish to contact a Maine education attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching. Most attorneys offer free consultations.
Research the Law
- Maine Law
- Official State Codes - Links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and DC.
Maine Compulsory Education Laws: Related Resources
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