Private School Regulation


Recordkeeping/Reports: On enrollment, private schools must maintain a copy of reliable proof of the pupil's identity and age, e.g. birth certificate or baptismal certificate, in the pupil's file. Any inaccurate or suspicious affidavit must be reported to the local law enforcement agency. Within 5 days of a request, private schools must forward a copy of a transferring pupil's record, notwithstanding any financial debt owed by the pupil. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann § 15-828A, C, E, F.

By November 30 of each school year, private schools must report the following to the health department and the department of health services on forms provided: 1) the number of pupils immunized/or who have submitted laboratory evidence of immunity; 2) the number of students with incomplete immunization; 3) the number of students exempt from immunization. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-874D.

Parents enrolling students in private schools must file an affidavit with the county superintendent stating that the student is attending a school for the full-time that the schools in the school district are in session and the name and address of the school that the child is attending. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-802B.2.

The superintendent of public instruction must make an annual report to the governor and state legislature of the number of children attending private schools. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-255.

Length of School Year/Days: To comply with the Arizona compulsory school attendance statute, private school students must attend school for the full time school is in session in the local school district. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-802B.2.

Discrimination: See Special Education.

Special Education: School districts or county school superintendents may contract with private schools to provide education and related services for public school students with disabilities. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-765D.

Arizona provides vouchers for special education students publicly placed in private special education facilities providing 24-hour residential care. Private schools accepting vouchers may not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, creed, color, national origin or disability. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-1184.

Health: Children are not allowed to attend school without submitting documentary proof of immunization to the school administrator, unless they are exempt under §15-873, or in the process of immunization. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-872.

Safety: The fire marshall is responsible for establishing programs for evacuating school buildings and instructing students in private schools on the importance of fire preventions and control. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § § 41-2165; 2163A.4.

Arizona requires students, teachers, and visitors in private schools to wear eye protective ware while participating or observing certain educational activities in vocational, technical, industrial arts, art or laboratory science. Private or parochial schools must equip their schools with the appropriate eye protective ware. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-151.

Arizona places additional criminal penalties on persons convicted of selling illegal drugs in a drug free school zone. The administrative officer of a nonpublic school shall place and maintain signs identifying the school and its grounds as a drug free school zone. Illegal drug transactions observed by school personnel must be reported. School records of alleged student violations must be made available to the peace officer upon written request. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-3411.

Home Schooling: Parents or guardians are required to file an affidavit of home schooling with the county school superintendent in the county in which they live within 30 days of beginning to home school their child. There are no annual testing requirements. If a child returns to a public school, the parent is again obligated to report this change of placement to the county school superintendent within 30 days. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 15-802, 15-802.1.

Public Aid for Private Schools/Private School Students: Arizona allows a state tax credit of up to $500 for "voluntary cash contributions made?to a school tuition organization", which is defined as a 501(c)(3) organization that "allocates at least 90 percent of its annual revenue for education scholarships or tuition grants to children" to allow them to attend the school of their choice, including private and/or parochial schools. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 43-1089.

No public money or property may be appropriated or applied to any religious instruction or support of any religious establishment. Arizona Const. Art. 2, Sec. 12. No tax may be laid or appropriation of public money made in aid of any private or sectarian school. Arizona Const. Art. 9, Sec. 7. The state school fund may only be apportioned for public education. Arizona Const. Art. 11, Sec. 8.

Property of educational, charitable and religious associations or institutions not used or held for profit may be exempt from taxation by law. Arizona Const. Art. 9, Sec. 2.

Private schools may participate in school meal programs offered by the state and through federal assistance programs. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-1151.


Source: U.S. Department of Education, 1999 - This information is presented for research use only and should not be construed as legal advice.  Please consult an attorney for further information.