Navigating the Exodus from Public School

by Mark-Elliot Finley, Exodus Contributor


Deciding to pull your child out of public school is a major decision. Regardless of the reason for your choice, there are some things to think about as you transition your child out of public education. For example, what are the legal requirements for withdrawal? What are the alternatives to public school? In this blog, we will answer some of these questions to help you as you move forward in your exodus from public school.


What are the Legal Requirements?
First thing first: don’t worry, all states allow withdrawal from public school! You are also allowed to withdraw at any point in the school year. However, it is important to consider what is best for your student’s academic and social transition as you move forward in the withdrawal process.

States have different procedures and forms for withdrawal, so be sure to find out exactly what you need for your state or county. For the most part, a withdrawal notice must be sent to the school or school district to begin the process. Even for the few states that don’t require any formal notice of withdrawal (for example, Texas), it is still best for you to notify the school. All states have truancy or compulsory education laws, and you don’t want your child accused of skipping school after you withdrew. To see a comprehensive list of state-specific laws and withdrawal processes, see the Home School Legal Defense Association’s online resource.


What are the Alternatives?
It is important to understand the different schools that are available to students. For the most part, there are six types: traditional public, public charter, public magnet, private, homeschooling, and online academies. The first three are all government funded; while there are differences between the three, they are all still public and the very schools you are seeking to withdraw your student from. So we will discuss the three non-public educational alternatives.

Private schools are funded independently of the government. While individual students can receive state-funded scholarships to attend, private schools depend mostly on tuition and private donations for funding. You will most likely need to pay yearly tuition to send your child to a private school. It is also important to realize that private schools often follow a certain philosophy or religion that guides the curriculum. Researching private schools and determining their mission is important if you are considering a private school as an alternative to public education.

You could also homeschool your child. With homeschooling, the family usually takes on the educational responsibility. The instruction is flexible and self-paced. Families can supplement what is taught at home with additional content (such as Exodus Institute’s Enrichment Program). It is important to be aware of your individual state’s laws and requirements for homeschooling, should you wish to take this path, as different states have more regulations than others. For more information on homeschooling and curriculum, see our blog “It’s Your Choice- Determining the Best Homeschool Curriculum for Your Family.”

The last alternative to public education are online academies. These are similar to private schools, in that many have tuition costs and some follow philosophical or religious mission statements. However, all the schooling occurs at home. Parents do not make curriculum or teach, as online academies have certified teachers and ready-made lessons for students. This option gives parents peace of mind–they know the curriculum being taught to their child but don’t have the burden of teaching.


What can Exodus Institute Offer You?
Withdrawing your child from public school can be daunting. But trust yourself and what your family needs. If the decision brings peace to your household, hold strong to your conviction and be bold in your choice. There are many alternatives to public school out there. If you are unsure where to begin, Exodus Institute is a great resource. We offer a fully accredited K-12 online program taught by certified Christian teachers ready to give your student the tools necessary to succeed in school and beyond. For more information on what we can offer your family, view our program options here.

Are you beginning your homeschool journey? Or maybe you're an experienced homeschooler. Either way, Exodus Institute can help! We have programs for families seeking a complete online school, or just supplemental lessons.

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