General regulations

  • There are no accreditation or licensing requirements and registration and recognition are optional, depending on the governing structure of the school.

  • The New York State Education Department 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 New York.

  • Homeschool families must register with the state, provide a plan of study, and give quarterly reports on student progress.

  • The New York Education Department 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 New York

State funding sources & support

New York provides funding for private education in the form of reimbursements to nonpublic schools for providing state testing, using state-wide attendance reporting systems, and other costs incurred as part of following state guidelines.

Curriculum requirements

New York has extensive curriculum guidelines, including: 

The course of study for the first eight years of public school must include arithmetic, reading, spelling, writing, the English language, geography, United States history, civics, hygiene, physical training, the history of New York state, and science.

Beyond the first eight years, instruction must include the English language and its use, civics, hygiene, physical training, American history including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, and may include a course in communism and its methods and its destructive effects. 

Teacher certification & hiring

Instruction must only be given by a competent teacher, though the statute does not specify what that entails.

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

Length of school year

School must be in session 180 days per year.

Recordkeeping and reports

Nonpublic schools must provide a comprehensive assessment report for the three school years prior to the reporting school year. The report must include student test data, student enrollment, data on diplomas and certificates, information on the number of students transferred to alternative high schools, high school equivalency preparation programs, and additional information the chief administrative office of the nonpublic school finds relevant or the commissioner requests.

Health and safety requirements

Students must be immunized unless they have documentation of a medical or religious exemption. Schools must perform 12 fire drills per school year. 


Non-city school districts are required to provide transportation for students living up to 15 miles from their school. 


Students are required to take state exams.

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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