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Virginia Compulsory Education Laws

Basics of Virginia Compulsory Education Laws

Children are required to attend formal schooling in all U.S. states, whether it's public school, homeschool, or something else. These compulsory education laws identify the age range within which children must attend school, exceptions to the rule, and penalties against parents or guardians for non-compliance. Virginia compulsory education laws require children between five and 18 to attend school, while non-compliance is charged as a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Compulsory Education Laws: Truancy and Aging Out

Children between six and 16 who are not at school during a normal school day -- provided they are not at home with an illness or otherwise excused -- are considered truant. Truant children may be placed in the temporary custody of the police and may be processed in juvenile court. Those who are 16 and older (or, who have "aged out") and decide they no longer want to attend school may opt out, but first must obtain the written permission of a parent or legal guardian.

The basics of Virginia compulsory education laws are highlighted below. See FindLaw's Compulsory Education section to learn more.

Code Section 22.1-254, et seq.
Age at Which School Attendance is Required Between 5 and 18
Exceptions to Attendance Requirements Enrolled in private, parochial, or home instruction or taught by qualified tutor; children suffering infectious diseases; children under 10 living over 2 miles from school unless transportation provided within 1 mile; children 10 to 17 living over 2.5 miles from school unless transportation within 1.5 miles; achieved high school diploma; upon recommendation of court; expulsion or other offense
Home School Provisions Parent must hold baccalaureate degree or be certified teacher or use approved correspondence course or other approved program including standards of board of education for language arts and mathematics; parent must give notice; approved achievement tests or evaluation required
Penalties on Parents for Noncompliance Class 3 misdemeanor

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Virginia education attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law: A general review of the law can help you understand your situation. Take a look at the links below to get started.

Virginia Compulsory Education Laws: Related Resources

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