Georgia private schools must provide 180
days of instruction each year. Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-690(b)(3),
Recordkeeping/Reports: Private school administrators
must report their enrollment to the local public school superintendent
where the student resides within 30 days of the beginning of
each school year. The reports must include the name, age and
residence of each student. Notice must be given monthly of any
student's admission or withdrawal from the school. Ga. Code Ann.
? 20-2-690(b), (5), (d). The State Board of Education makes available
through the local school superintendent printed forms necessary
to comply with the reporting requirements.
Length of School Year/Days: Private schools
by definition must provide 180 days of instruction each twelve
months with each school day consisting of four and one-half school
hours. Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-690(b)(3), d. Children between
their 7th and 16th birthdays excused from attendance at private
schools for sickness, emergencies, or other reasons authorized
by board policy for public schools, are exempt from compulsory
attendance. Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-693(b). The local school
superintendent will report truants to the appropriate court after
written notice to the parent/guardian. § 20-2-701.
Curriculum: Private schools by definition must
provide a basic academic educational program that includes reading,
language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science. Ga.
Code Ann. § 20-2-690(b)(4), (d).
The Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education is authorized
to contract with private schools to provide program or services
deemed necessary. § 20-4-14 (c) (5).
Special Education: Local school systems may
provide special education programs to eligible students by contracting
with qualified private institutions. The State Board of Education
will fund placements in private institutions provided professionals
meet the certification or licensing standards of their profession.
Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-152(b),(c). According to the Attorney
General's Office, there is no statutory impediment to providing
psychological services to private school children but the degree
to be served is a matter of policy at the discretion of the state
and local boards of education. 1976 Office of the Attorney General
No. § 76-118.
Health: A parent's religious beliefs concerning
vaccinations is not a valid excuse for the parent's failure to
have a child vaccinated which prevents a child from attending
school. 1950-51 Op. Attorney General p. 47. See also Anderson
v. State, 65 S.E.2d 848 (1951).
Safety: Georgia's criminal code makes it a
felony to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess with
intent to distribute a controlled substance or marijuana within
1,000 feet of a private elementary or secondary school. An affirmative
defense lies if the violation occurred entirely within a private
residence, no person 17 or younger was present, and the conduct
was not intended for financial gain. Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-32.4(a),
(b), (g). The Commissioner of Public Safety makes available to
the private schools an alcohol and drug course and instructors
where necessary. Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-142.b(3).
Private school teachers, administrators, guidance counselors
and social workers are required to report instances of suspected
child abuse to the person in charge of the school or his designee.
The person so notified must report the abuse to the designated
child welfare agency, police authority, or district attorney.
Persons participating in the making of a report are immune from
any civil or criminal liability if acting in good faith. Ga.
Code Ann. § 19-7-5 (a), (c), (f).
Private school buildings must meet all health and safety standards
established under state law and local ordinances. Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-690(b)(6),
Loitering on private school property is unlawful. Private school
principals have the authority to exercise control over the school
buildings and grounds. Failure to remove oneself at the request
of the principal is a misdemeanor. Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-1180.
Transportation: The Department of Motor Vehicles
and Traffic will furnish without charge to private schools a
driver's record abstract for any current employee or applicant
for a school bus driver position. The employee/applicant must
agree in writing to permit the release. Ga. Code Ann. § 40-5-2.
Private schools are required to meet equipment, color, and marking
requirements set out in the Motor Vehicle and Traffic Code, § 40-8-110
- 40-8-112, 40-8-114.
See Public Aid for Private Schools
Public Aid for Private Schools/Private School Students: The
Georgia Constitution prohibits any money from the public treasury
to be used directly or indirectly in aid of any sectarian institution.
Georgia Constitution Article I, § II, Paragraph VII. The
Attorney General's Office has interpreted this prohibition to
apply to transportation services, 1945-47 Op. Attorney General
p. 222 and to contracts for goods and services, 1969 Op. Attorney
General Number 69-125. Programs wholly financed by the federal
government are lawful even though it contemplates the provision
of library resources, textbooks and instructional materials.
1965-66 Op. attorney General Number 65-4.
State and local school funds may not be used for school programs
in nonpublic schools. 1974 Op. Attorney General Number 155.
Homeschooling: Parents or guardians may teach
their children at home in a home study program which meets the
following requirements: (1) Parents/guardians must submit within
30 days after the establishment of a home student program and
by September 1 annually thereafter a declaration of intent to
utilize home study to the superintendent of schools of the local
district in which the home study program is located; (2) The
submission must include in the declaration a list of the names
and ages of the students who are enrolled, the address where
the home study program is located, and a statement of the 12
month period being considered the school year for this program;
(3) Parents may teach their own children if they hold at least
a high school diploma or GED, but may employ a tutor who holds
at least a baccalaureate college degree; (4) The home study program
must include, but is not limited to, reading, language arts,
mathematics, social studies, and science; (5) The home study
program must provide instruction each 12 months equivalent to
180 school days that consist of at least four and one-half school
Attendance records must be kept and submitted to the local superintendent
at the end of each month; (7) Students in home study programs
must take an appropriate nationally standardized test administered
in consultation with a person specifically trained in administration
and interpretation of norm reference tests, at least every three
years beginning at the end of third grade and the program must
retain the results of these tests, although they are not required
to be submitted to the local superintendent; and (8) The home
study program instructor must write an annual progress assessment
report to include the instructor?s individualized assessment
of the student?s academic progress in each required subject area
and retain the reports for a period of at least three years.
Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-690.
Miscellaneous: Private schools may sublease
buildings or facilities of the Georgia Education Authority through
county/city boards of education. Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-553
(a)(5). 1954 Op. Attorney General p. 224.
The Georgia Professional Standards Commission allows for the
participation of one private school teacher from an accredited
private school on the 18-member board. Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-983
The principal administrative officer or his designee is responsible
for issuing employment certificates for students between 12 and
16 years old. The certificate must verify the true age of the
student and the physical fitness of the student to engage in
the particular employment. Students between 16 and 18 years of
age also need a certificate that must be maintained in the minor's
school file. Ga. Code Ann. § 39-2-11.