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Private School Requirements (or Lack Thereof)

Compilation and analysis by Angela Smith, national coordinator, HEAL (heal-online.org)

Sources: Georgia Voices for Learning, and the U.S. Department of Education (see
citations at end of document).

States that have absolutely no requirements for licensing, accreditation, registration,
approval, or regulation of private schools include:

Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas* (with exception that it requires incorporation through the Secretary of State,
but no regulation)
Connecticut
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Iowa
Kentucky
Minnesota
Mississippi
Montana
New Jersey* (with exception for for-profit boarding schools established after 1920 and
schools charging tuition for vocational education.)
New Mexico
New York
Ohio
Oklahoma
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin

In sum, 26 States permit private schools to operate with absolutely no oversight and no
accountability.
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States that Require Registration and Provide Limited to No Oversight:

Alabama (* religious/faith-based school exemption)
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California
Delaware
Florida (faith-based exemptions)
Hawaii
Indiana (faith-based exemptions)
Kansas
Louisiana
Maryland
Michigan
Missouri (faith-based exemptions)
New Hampshire (* also requires approval, permits faith-based exemptions)
North Carolina (some faith-based exemptions apply)
Pennsylvania (*also requires licensing)
Rhode Island (* also requires approval)

12 States that solely require registration and provide limited to no oversight. 15 that
require registration in total. It is even less when you subtract the states that permit for
faith-based exemptions. From all the states that require registration, only 9 require it for
all private schools regardless of church-affiliation. And, registration alone does not mean
regulated nor that the schools are held to any standards.
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States that Require Licensing and Provide Some Oversight:

Colorado (faith-based exemption)
Maryland (also requires registration and approval)
Nevada
Pennsylvania (also requires registration)
Wyoming

5 States that require private schools be licensed. But, only 4 that do not permit for faith-
based exemptions in this list.
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States that Require Approval/Recognition and Provide Some Oversight:

Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts (note-- Early Education and Care responsible for licensing and in repeated
trouble for failure to effectively regulate and stop abuses. Also permits faith-based
exemptions.)
Michigan (also requires registration but not licensing nor accreditation)
Nebraska
New Hampshire (also requires registration, permits faith-based exemptions)
North Dakota
Rhode Island (also requires registration)
Washington State
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9 States require approval by the state in order to operate a private school. This number is
cut where faith-based exemptions are permitted. This means 7 states require approval of
private schools in order for them to legally operate regardless of any faith-based
exemptions and 9 if you count the ones that permit for faith-based exemptions.)
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States with Strongest Private School Regulations:

Oregon (all residential/boarding schools must be licensed through Children's Services.
But, Oregon does not require private schools to be registered through the Department of
Education. Private schools must be approved before any public placement of students.
The rules appear lengthy, but, to allow for many loopholes when it comes to
oversight/regulation.)

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Sources:
1) http://georgiavoices.org/wp-
content/uploads/2011/11/AG_faith_based_exemptions_063011_FINAL.pdf (faith-based
exemptions by state).

2) https://www2.ed.gov/admins/comm/choice/regprivschl/regprivschl.pdf (source on
regulation of Private Schools by State).