Are there regulations related to a student being home schooled, schooled at home, and 15-802.01? A.R.S. §15-802.01states, “a child who resides within the attendance area of a public school and who is homeschooled shall be allowed to try out for interscholastic activities on behalf of the public school in the same manner as a pupil who is enrolled in that public school. Registration, age eligibility requirements, fees, insurance, transportation, physical condition, qualifications, responsibilities, event schedules, standards of behavior and performance policies for homeschooled students shall be consistent with those policies established for students enrolled in that public school.” From this statute, it is clear that a home schooled child is allowed to try out for interscholastic activities at the public school where the child resides, even though the child is not enrolled in the public school.
What is not as clear, however, is the situation where a child is being educated at home, but through an on-line charter school. Parents may assume that since the child is being “schooled” at home, the child is being homeschooled, and therefore may try out for interscholastic activities at the public school. This is not the case. Title 15 defines “charter school” separately from the A.R.S. §15-802 definition of “home school.” Charter school” is defined in A.R.S. 15-101, and the statutory provisions regarding charter schools are found in A.R.S. §15-181, et. seq.
Since charter schools are not “home schools,” children enrolled in charter schools, even if they can attend the charter school via online classes from the comfort of their own homes, are still students enrolled in charter schools; not “home schooled” students or “instructed at home” under the meaning of the statute. Whether the child is enrolled in an on-line charter school or a “brick and mortar” charter school, the child is not entitled to try out for or participate in a public school’s interscholastic programs.
Still another twist is when a home schooled child wants to try out for a “co-curricular” class. Many public schools have “interscholastic activities” that have both a classroom and an after-school component like a concert choir or a marching band. In order to participate in the marching band or the concert choir, the student must not only participate in the interscholastic, after-school activity, but must also be enrolled in the curricular class. Home-schooled students do not have the right to attend a single public school class in order to try-out for the interscholastic component of the “co-curricular” activity. Since these interscholastic activities are part and parcel of the curriculum, they are not open for a home-schooled child’s participation.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Home Schooled, Schooled at Home, and 15-802.01 or other Education Law matters, please feel free to contact Candyce B. Pardee at 800.863.6718, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona with a branch office in Yuma, Arizona, and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.