General regulations

  • There are no registration, licensing, or approval requirements, but the state offers optional accreditation.

  • The Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma.

  • Oklahoma does not have laws governing homeschooling.

  • The Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma

State funding sources & support

Oklahoma provides funding for private education:


Curriculum requirements

The Oklahoma Heritage Association coordinates the annual observance of Oklahoma Heritage Week for all schools, including parochial schools. To receive accreditation from the Oklahoma State Board of Education, all students in grades nine through 12 must have a minimum of six periods (or the equivalent in block scheduling) of rigorous academic and/or rigorous vocational courses each day, which may include arts, vocal and instrumental music, speech classes, and physical education classes.


Teacher certification & hiring

Teachers must hold a bachelor's degree and meet the Oklahoma standards of certification.


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


Length of school year

Students must attend school for 1,080 hours per school year, with school days consisting of at least 6 hours of school activities.


Recordkeeping and reports

Schools must keep and report on student attendance data.


Health and safety requirements

Students must be immunized or show proof of a medical or religious exemption. Schools must provide an anti-hazing policy to all students. A concealed or unconcealed weapon may be carried onto private school property or in any school bus or vehicle used by any private school for transportation of students or teachers by a person who is licensed pursuant to the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, provided a policy permitting such weapons has been adopted by the school.


Transportation

District buses cannot be used to transport students to parochial schools.


Testing

There is no state policy on testing.


State and regional associations

  • Oklahoma Private School Accreditation Commission: The purpose of the Oklahoma Private School Accrediting Commission is to assist the State Board of Education by assuring the educational quality and compliance with applicable rules of the Board by recognized, accredited private schools in the state.

  • Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools: The Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools serves 112 Episcopal schools, richly diverse in location, size and scope, throughout the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.

  • Independent Schools Association of the Southwest: ISAS promotes, upholds, and advances the highest educational and professional standards for the region’s independent schools.


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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