General regulations

  • Maine has no requirements for school registration, accreditation, or licensing.

  • All schools must be approved for attendance requirements through either independent accreditation, or through applying through the state.

  • The Maine Department of Education has assembled a page of detailed requirements for private schools.

  • Groups of homeschooled students, not individual homeschooled students, can be organized, and that organization may then qualify, under Maine law, as a private or church school. This type of organization is a legitimate alternative for a group of homeschooled students.

  • The US Office of Innovation & Improvement has assembled a summary of regulations for private schools operating in Maine.

  • The Maine 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 Maine

State funding sources & support

Maine does not provide funding for private education except in school districts where no public schools exist. In these instances, the district pays for students to attend private school instead.

Curriculum requirements

Private elementary schools approved for attendance purposes by the department must provide instruction in career and education development, English language arts, world languages, health education and physical education, mathematics, science and technology, social studies and visual and performing arts. Private secondary schools approved for attendance purposes by the department must provide instruction in English, social studies, history, including American history and Maine studies, mathematics, science, fine arts, health, and physical education, and computer instruction. 

Teacher certification & hiring

Teachers must be certified unless the school is accredited by an outside agency.

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 Maine, school lunch requirements, including funding for schools offering the National School Lunch Program, are managed by the Department of Education.

Length of school year

Schools must have at least 175 school days per year.

Recordkeeping and reports

Principals must report to the state twice a year with student enrollment data. Additionally, schools must maintain student attendance and immunization data. 

Health and safety requirements

Students must be immunized or provide documentation from a doctor or parent that they are asking for an exemption.


Municipalities can provide transportation to students of non-profit private schools.


Schools that enroll more than 60% publicly funded students must participate in state testing.

State and regional associations

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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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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