General regulations

  • There are no requirements for accreditation, registration, licensing, or approval of private schools in the state of Georgia, other than those who choose to participate in the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship or Georgia Private School Tax Credit. More information is in the next section.

  • The Georgia 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 Georgia.

  • Georgia requires home schooling be completed a parent or  tutor, take standardized tests every 3 years, and submit annual progress reports to the state.

  • The Georgia DOE has no published requirements for school insurance -- consult a professional for guidance in this area.

Education regulations and resources for starting a private school in the state of Georgia

State funding sources & support

Georgia provides funding for private schools under two programs:

  • The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship (GSNS) provides eligible special education students with the opportunity to attend a school of their choice. To enroll a scholarship student, private schools must meet certain criteria, including being accredited by a state-approved organization, among other financial, safety, and academic criteria.

  • The Georgia Private School Tax Credit allows citizens and corporations to receive tax credits for donations to Student Scholarship Organizations, who then provide scholarships to students interested in attending private schools. The qualifications for eligible private schools are similar to the GSNS.


Curriculum requirements

The state requires that private school students receive instruction in reading, language arts, math, social studies, and science.


Teacher certification & hiring

Teacher certification is optional for nonpublic schools but schools that enroll students under the GSNS must employ teachers who hold at least a bachelor’s degree or 3 years of teaching experience.


Looking for more?

Our comprehensive Starting a Private School guide includes great information for funding, curriculum, hiring & much more that applies no matter where you’re opening your school.

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Food services / school lunch

In Georgia, 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 180 days of instruction every 12 months. A school day must be a minimum of 4.5 hours.


Recordkeeping and 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.


Health and safety requirements

Students must be immunized, and there is no religious exemption, and students must provide proof of vaccinations before enrolling.


Transportation

The Department of Motor Vehicles will provide driving records of potential bus drivers to private schools at no cost. 


Testing

Students participating in the GSNS program may be asked to take part in state testing.


State and regional associations

  • Georgia Association of Christian Schools: The Georgia Association of Christian Schools seeks to provide support to its member schools in a variety of areas:  spiritually, academically, aesthetically, athletically, and legally.

  • Georgia Independent Schools Association: The mission of GISA is to advance excellence and collaboration among member schools by providing advocacy, professional growth, and student interscholastic engagement.

  • Southern Association of Independent Schools: The mission of SAIS is to strengthen member schools by providing high quality accreditation processes, comprehensive professional growth opportunities, and visionary leadership development programs.

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools: The mission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is the improvement of education in the South through accreditation.


Starting a Private School

Want to know more about opening a school? We’ve assembled a complete guide to starting a private school, with considerations for everything from planning and finance to branding, hiring, curriculum, facilities, and more!

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Disclaimer

We've done our best to pull together current and accurate information. Even so, there may be omissions or mistakes or content that needs to be updated. If you have recommendations for any resources or corrections, we appreciate your input so we can continue to improve this guide for everyone. 

Nothing in this guide should be construed as legal, business, or tax advice. It is important that you engage qualified professionals who can advise you on such matters, and please visit the Department of Education pages for your state to verify you are in compliance with all regulations.


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