Homeschooling Affidavits

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Utah Code Title 53A Chapter 11 Section 2
53A-11-102

To educate your child at home, you must submit a signed affidavit to your school district. Although the law doesn't dictate the time of year, this is usually done during the summer months.  By submitting the affidavit, you are informing the school district that your child will attend a home school and that you assume sole responsibility for your child's education.

** Regarding Senate Bill 39, UHEA suggests that while home school families (should) already have affidavits on file with their school districts, it may be prudent to file an affidavit for the coming year (2014-2015) to be certain that there won't be any legal challenges or issues with the old affidavits that are on file since they were processed under the old law.  The new law states that the districts have to issue a new certificate each year (which can be used where educator discounts are given), but that home schoolers only need to file once for each student as long as they don't move from the district in which they originally filed in.  If a home school student moves to another school district, the parents will need to file a new affidavit with the new school district. 

The Exemption Process

The law states that once you submit your affidavit, it will remain on file and in effect with the school district. The district will send you an exemption certificate for the current school year for your student within 30 days after you submit your affidavit.  The district will then send you a current exemption certificate for your student each year by August 1st.  You DO NOT need to re-file your affidavit each year.  As long as you are still homeschooling in the same school district, your affidavit remains valid.

If you move out of the district or stop homeschooling, notify your school district in writing.  If you wish to continue homeschooling in a new district in Utah, file a new affidavit with the new district.  If you stopped homeschooling and wish to do so again, simply file a new affidavit.

The exemptions process is very simple:

  1. Provide an affidavit.
  2. Get your affidavit notarized.
  3. Deliver your affidavit to your school district (by mail or by hand).  You DO NOT need to do this annually.
  4. Wait to receive your certificate of exemption from the school district (within 30 days the first time, then each year by August 1st.)

Provide an Affidavit

Utah law allows you to submit your own affidavit. So, you are not required to use an affidavit provided by your school district. Although many school districts provide sample affidavits for you to use, we recommend that you create your own affidavit or use one of the sample affidavits below.

Creating Your Own Affidavit

Creating your own homeschooling affidavit is not difficult. You can simply write a letter indicating that your child will attend a home school and receive instruction as required by law. That's it.

To avoid having your child's information made available in directory listings, you might consider adding a phrase indicating that you don't allow that (see the sample affidavits).

Sample Affidavits

The sample affidavits below can give you an idea of what a homeschooling affidavit looks like. You may use these sample affidavits or create your own. The first is an affidavit is in letter format, the latter is formatted as a form.

A Note About Using District Forms

If you choose to use an affidavit provided by your school district, be sure to carefully read the affidavit before signing it. Some school district forms may ask for information that is not required by law. For example, they may ask the reason you are educating your child at home, the curriculum you are using, etc. You are not required to provide this information. If you disagree with any of the language on the district's form, you can simply cross it out.

Get Your Affidavit Notarized

In Utah, an affidavit is required to be notarized. After you have created your affidavit, take it to a notary. Be sure to not sign your affidavit until you are before the notary. For free notary services, try your credit union or bank. Many cities also provide free notary services.

Deliver Your Affidavit to Your School District

Once your affidavit is notarized, either mail it to your school district or deliver it by hand. Be sure to make a copy of the notarized, signed affidavit for your records. When sending your affidavit by mail, you might consider sending it by certified mail to ensure that it gets there.

Wait to Receive Your Certificate of Exemption

Within 30 days of first receiving your signed affidavit, your school district is required by law to issue you a certificate stating that your child is excused from attendance. Your school district cannot tell you no. Most school districts' certificates of exemption expire in June of each year.  As long as your affidavit is on file with the district, it remains in effect.  The district will send you an exemption certificate each year by August 1st.

 

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