Starting a Private School in California
Regulations, Resources, & Support
California State Regulations
Accreditation and approval in the state of California is optional, but nonpublic, nonsectarian special education schools can enroll public school students and therefore must be certified by the state as a special education provider. All private schools must also file with the state annually.
The California Department of Education has assembled a page of detailed requirements for private schools.
The US Office of Innovation & Improvement has assembled a summary of regulations for private schools operating in California
California requires home schooling be completed by a licensed tutor, or that students attend a charter school with an independent study option, or enroll in a private school
The California DOE has no published requirements for school insurance -- consult a professional for guidance in this area.
State Funding Sources & Support
California does not provide funding for private education
The state requires that private school students receive instruction in the same branches of study offered in the public school system.
Teacher Certification & Hiring
Teacher certification is required, but exemptions can be made for religious schools.
Food Services / Lunch
In California, school lunch requirements, including funding for schools offering the National School Lunch Program, are managed by the Department of Education.
Length of School Year
In order to meet the state’s compulsory school attendance law, students must attend full-time school. The specifics are left up to each individual school.
Recordkeeping & Reports
Healthy & Safety Requirements
Nonpublic schools must follow state fire marshal standards for carbon monoxide monitoring and be inspected for fire hazards each year. All students must be vaccinated and the school must keep a copy of the immunization records. Students must also be instructed in earthquake safety and schools enrolling 50 students or more may be subject to earthquake inspections of the buildings.
County superintendents can choose to provide transportation to private school students if they wish.
Nonpublic schools are not required to administer standardized tests, nor do they have access to testing systems.
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Califonia State Resources
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We gathered so much information that we had to break it down into 10 chapters. This free information is well-researched- we even hunted down the rules and regulations for each state! If you're thinking about starting a private school, you will find this guide very handy!
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