Private School Regulation
The New Hampshire Constitution ensures that religious
societies have the right to elect their own teachers.
at an approved private school fulfills the compulsory attendance
requirements. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann § 193:1.
The approval of private schools as a substitute for public school
attendance is a reasonable exercise of the state's power whereby
it can be known by reasonable means that the required teaching
is given. State v. Hoyt, 146 A. 170 (1929). N.H. Code Admin.
R. Ed. 400, 406.6.
Recordkeeping/Reports: Private schools are furnished
copies of the school register and must make an annual statistical
report to the Department of Education by September 1. N.H. Rev.
Stat. Ann § 194:31.
All elementary and secondary educational institutions, upon request
of a private school or a school district as authorized by a parent,
student, or former student, must furnish a student record to any
elementary or secondary educational institution. There shall be
no charge for any record furnished pursuant to this section. N.H.
Rev. Stat. Ann § 194:31-a.
Length of School Year/Day: To comply with the
compulsory attendance requirement, attendance at an approved private
school must be 180 school days. N.H. Code Admin. R. Ed. 401.03.
Instruction in English: The English language
must be used exclusively in private schools for instruction and
general administration. Bilingual education programs are permitted
with the approval of the State Board of Education and the local
school district. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann § 189:19. Devotional
exercises in private schools may be conducted in a language other
than English. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann § 189:21.
Curriculum: Private schools must provide courses
in the history, government and constitutions of the United States
and New Hampshire, including the organization and operation of
New Hampshire municipal, county and state government and of the
federal government. The instruction must begin no later than eighth
grade and continue in high school as an identifiable component
of a year's course in the history and government of the United
States and New Hampshire. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann § 189:11.
Private schools may contact the Department of Education to participate
in the statewide assessment under the Statewide Education Improvement
and Assessment Program. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann § 193-C:6.
Special Education: No state or federal funds
may be paid to a nonpublic school for the education and training
of disabled children which has not been approved by the State Board
of Education. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann § 198:20-a.
The New Hampshire legislature has authorized the school board
of any school district to provide nonpublic schools the following
special education services: 1) health and welfare services including
speech correction and remedial and diagnostic services; 2) programs
for the deaf, blind, emotionally disturbed, children with disabilities;
and 3) programs for the improvement of the educational studies
of pupils with disabilities. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann § 189:49.
Health: No child shall be admitted or enrolled
in any private school unless the child is immunized as required,
partially immunized relative to the age of the child, or exempt
from immunization. A child is exempt if a physician certifies that
the immunization may be detrimental to the child's health or a
parent/guardian signs a notarized statement that the child has
not been immunized because of religious beliefs. N.H. Rev. Stat.
Ann §§ 141-c:20-a, c.
All children shall be examined prior to school entrance and periodically
during the school years to detect the presence of tuberculosis.
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann § 200:38.
Safety: School buildings where 100 or more children
may be in attendance must have the main exit doors equipped with
a safety device so the door may be opened easily toward the outside
by pressure against the door from the inside. School buildings
of 2 or more rooms or where 50 or more pupils may be in attendance
must be equipped with at least one regularly used outside door
with key locks that can be locked on the outside only but that
can always be opened easily on the inside by turning the knob or
pushing the release bar. Bolts, except to hold 1/2 of a double
door, hooks, thumb knobs or other locking devices upon such outside
doors is prohibited. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann § 199:23,24.
Persons illegally selling or possessing with the intent to sell
any control drug on or within 1,000 feet of the real property of
a private elementary or secondary school may be sentenced to a
term of imprisonment or fined, or both, up to twice otherwise authorized.
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann § 318-B:26.
Nonpublic school students may participate in fingerprinting programs
adopted by the local school districts. Participation is voluntary
and may be authorized by a parent/guardian signature on a form
developed by the principal of the nonpublic school. N.H. Rev. Stat.
Ann § 189:49-a.
No newly established state liquor store may be operated within
200 feet of any public or private school. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann § 177:1.
Transportation: Pupils attending approved private
schools (K-12) are entitled to the same transportation privileges
within any town or district as provided for pupils in public schools.
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann § 189:9.
Home Schooling: Home schools are not considered
non-public schools in New Hampshire. Home schools are considered
a third type of school for attendance purposes. On or before the
date a home education program will begin, and each year thereafter,
a parent desiring to initiate a home education program must advise
the participating agency with which the program will be established.
Participating agencies can be the resident district superintendent,
commissioner of education, or nonpublic school principal. N.H.
Code Admin. R. Ed. 315.01; 315.03.
No later than 30 days after the establishment of a home education
program, the parent must provide the following information to the
participating agency: list of subjects to be taught in accordance
with RSA 193-A; 4,1; the name of the correspondence school used,
if any; the name of the commercial curriculum provider, if used;
an outline of the scope and instructional sequence for each subject;
and a list of textbooks or other instructional material to be used.
N.H. Code Admin. R. Ed. 315.03.
The parent must keep a portfolio each year. N.H. Code Admin. R.Ed.
315.05. The parent shall provide for an annual evaluation for the
child. The parent may choose a standardized test that may be a
nationally recognized test, a state assessment instrument or a
test used in the child?s resident district. The results must be
reported to the participating agency. Composite results of the
tests that meet or exceed the 40th percentile demonstrate
educational progress. The parent may choose any other valid measurement
tool mutually agreed upon by the parent and the participating agency
providing it meets specified criteria. N.H. Code Admin. R. Ed.
A home education advisory council will carry out duties assigned
by the commissioner of education. The council will work with home
educators and representatives of private and public education to
encourage understanding of home education. N.H. Code Admin. R.
Public Aid for Private Schools/Private School Students: The
New Hampshire Constitution provides, "religious societies shall
at all times have the right of electing their own teachers, and
of contracting with them for their support or maintenance, or both.
But no person shall ever be compelled to pay towards the support
of the schools of any sect or denomination. And every person, denomination
or sect shall be equally under the protection of the law; and no
subordination of any one sect, denomination or persuasion to another
shall ever be established." New Hampshire Const. Pt. 1, Art. 6
The New Hampshire Constitution also provides "No money raised
by taxation shall ever be granted or applied for the use of the
schools or institutions of any religious sect or denomination." New
Hampshire Const. Pt. 2, Art. 83.
The school board of any school district may provide the following
child benefit services for pupils in nonpublic schools: 1)school
physician, nurse, and health services; 2) school guidance and psychologist
services; 3) educational testing services; 4) transportation; 5)
textbooks and instructional materials; 6) health and welfare services
including speech correction and remedial and diagnostic services;
7) driver education; 8) educational television services; 9) programs
for the deaf, blind, emotionally disturbed, children with disabilities
and audio-visual aids and programs for the improvement of the educational
studies of pupils with disabilities; 10) physical education; and,
11) a hot lunch program. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann § 189:49.
Textbooks, physician, nurse and health services, and hot lunches
are nonideological; there is no danger that they will be used to
foster religion; they are furnished at the request of the student,
not the school; and, there will be no need for continuing surveillance
which would lead to excessive entanglement. Therefore, the aid
is constitutionally permissible. Opinion of the Justices, 115 N.H. § 553
Private and parochial and public schools that conduct courses
in driver education approved by the State Department of Education
are exempt from applicable license fees. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann § 263:44.
Under the Missing Child Education Program, nonpublic schools may
receive, upon request, education materials and assistance to develop
an educational program concerning missing children issues. N.H.
Rev. Stat. Ann § 193:32.
Miscellaneous: The Board of Education is charged
with adopting rules relative to minimum standards for nonpublic
school advisory councils and standards for the approval of nonpublic
schools. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann § 21-N:9.
The governing board of a private school must supply a United States
flag, not less than 5 feet in length, with a flagstaff and appliances
for display. Failure to comply is a violation. N.H. Rev. Stat.
Ann § 189:17.
The Secretary of State will provide one copy of the state's annual
legislative manual to every private secondary school library in
the state without charge. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann § 20:5.