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North Dakota Compulsory Education Laws

States can and do require children to attend school. The reason for compulsory education laws is that we generally want everyone to have at least a basic level of education. If everyone can read the street signs when they are driving and can do the basic math to manage their household expenses, we will all be better off. States can also hold parents accountable for their children attending school because parents and guardians have legal responsibilities to their own minor children.

The following table outlines the main compulsory education laws in North Dakota.

More Information on Compulsory Education Laws

Code Section 15.1-20-01, et seq.
Age at Which School Attendance is Required Between 7 and 16
Exceptions to Attendance Requirements Child attends school for same length of time at approved, non-public school; child has completed high school; child necessary to support family; child has disability that renders attendance or participation impracticable; child is home educated
Home School Provisions Must file statement with superintendent 14 days before home schooling begins. Parent must be either: licensed to teach, holder of a B.A., has passed national teaching exam, or meets requirements of public school teacher as specified in 15.1-23-06. Instruction must be minimum four hours per day for minimum of 175 days a year and must encompass instruction taught in public schools. Student must take standardized test and parent must file results with the superintendent
Penalties on Parents for Noncompliance

Any person who fails to ensure that a student is in attendance as required by this chapter is guilty of an infraction for a first offense and is guilty of a class B misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense.

In a prosecution for an offense under this section, it is an affirmative defense if the person responsible for ensuring that the student is in attendance has made substantial and reasonable efforts to comply with the requirements of this section, but is unable to compel the student to attend school. If the court determines that the affirmative defense is valid, the court shall dismiss the complaint against the person.

Note: State laws are constantly changing through a number of means, most often the enactment of new legislation. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you also may want to contact a North Dakota education attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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North Dakota Compulsory Education Laws: Related Resources

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