Withdrawing a student from the public school system to homeschool is usually a very simple process. Increasingly, we are finding a lot misinformation and confusing advice both on the Internet and from public school personnel. In Indiana, homeschools are considered nonaccredited, nonpublic schools. (Read more about The Relationship Between Public Schools and Homeschools.) Legal problems in Indiana are infrequent, but membership in HSLDA insures proper legal counsel if necessary. To see a complete explanation of Indiana law, see the Home School Legal Defense Association website.
“Withdraw” vs. “Transfer”
Since Indiana law classifies home schools as nonpublic (private) schools we recommend that families use the term “transferring” to a home school instead of “withdrawing” a student from school. While it may seem like a small distinction, this more accurately reflects the shift in the student’s status.
When transferring a student from the public school system, families may choose to submit a transfer letter to their school principal. You can find a sample letter here.
Registering With the State of Indiana
Families are often told that they are required to register their homeschool with the Indiana Department of Education. This is not true. The decision to register with the state is up to each family and should be carefully weighed based on your specific situation. We are not attorneys and can not advise you whether you should or shouldn’t register. We recommend contacting HSLDA if you have any questions.
Transferring a High School Student
Effective July 1, 2013, a new law was put in place in an attempt to solve the problem of high school dropouts who are being categorized by the public school as homeschoolers. When a family seeks to withdraw their student from a public high school school, the school is required to provide families with counseling and information about Indiana law on home education (non accredited, private schools). The school will present families with a form that should be filled out to acknowledge that they understand Indiana law on home education.
THIS APPLIES TO HIGH SCHOOLS ONLY: Section 10 of House Enrolled Act 1005, added I.C. 20-33-2-28.6, a new section, to law. I.C. 20-33-2-28.6 provides the following: (a) This section applies to a high school student who is transferring to a nonaccredited nonpublic school. (b) Before a student withdraws from a public school, the principal of the student’s school shall provide to the student and to the student’s parent information on a form developed by the department and approved by the state board that explains the legal requirements of attending a nonaccredited nonpublic school located in Indiana. The principal and a parent of the student shall both sign the form to acknowledge that the parent understands the content of the form. (c) If the parent of the student refuses to sign the form provided by the principal under subsection (b), the student is considered a dropout and the principal shall report the student to the bureau of motor vehicles for action under section 28.5(g) of this chapter. The student is considered a dropout for purposes of calculating a high school’s graduation rate under IC 20-26-13-10.