General regulations

  • There are no accreditation requirements and only residential schools are required to be licensed. Private alternative schools, a special type of private school in Oregon, must be both approved and registered in order to receive funding.

  • The Oregon 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 Oregon.

  • There are few homeschool restrictions, but all homeschool students must take periodic comprehensive exams to ensure they are making academic progress.

  • The Oregon 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 Oregon

State funding sources & support

Oregon does not provide funding for private education except in the case of "private alternative schools," which is a special type of private school that must be approved and registered with the state. These specific schools can receive public school funding.

Curriculum requirements

Students are expected to have a course of study similar to what is usually taught in the public school. Private alternative schools have additional curriculum requirements aimed at assisting at-risk students.

Teacher certification & hiring

Teachers are not required to be certified.

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Food services / school lunch

In Oregon, 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 an equivalent amount of time as public school.

Recordkeeping and reports

Private elementary and secondary schools must transfer student progress records within 10 days of being notified of the student’s enrollment in another school. Private alternative schools must report annually on each student’s academic progress, including the results of the state assessment, to students, parents and the school district.

Health and safety requirements

Students must be immunized before enrolling of show documentation of a medical or religious exemption. Private schools must provide instruction in exiting the building in an emergency and seeking shelter in case of an earthquake. Schools must conduct at least two earthquake drills and two safety threats drills a year, as well as drills on fires. Schools in coastal zones must conduct at least three drills on earthquakes and tsunamis each year. 


All children attending private or parochial schools under the compulsory school attendance laws are entitled to transportation along or near the designated routes when the district provides transportation for public school students.


Students enrolled in private alternative schools must take the statewide assessment developed by the Oregon Department of Education.

State and regional associations

  • Oregon Federation of Independent Schools: OFIS works to ensure that Oregon private schools are able to operate with a minimum of government influence or control so that parents can choose from a wide range of educational options for their children.

  • Northwest Association of Independent Schools: A nonprofit membership association that provides accreditation, professional development and support services to over 110 schools in Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

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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