Indiana compulsory school age does not begin until the school year that a student turns seven years of age. While Kindergarten is not mandatory in our state either, the majority of Indiana families consider this the beginning of formal education for their child.
The IAHE often receives questions about withdrawing a Kindergarten student from the public school system. When this topic comes up in our Facebook group, individuals chime in with differing opinions.
Compulsory attendance doesn’t begin until age seven, so don’t worry about it.
Kindergarten isn’t required in Indiana anyway, so just pull them out.
We asked HSLDA attorney, Tj Schmidt for a legal opinion.
Once a child is registered in the public school system are families required to continue their formal education if they decided their student wasn’t ready for Kindergarten? How would a family that decided to homeschool their student be accountable vs. a public school family that decided to withdrawal their student and wait another year for Kindergarten? What would the requirement be for them to continue their education?
When you have a child who is enrolled in Kindergarten in the public school that child is required to attend. According to Indiana law a child is “bound by the requirements of this chapter from the earlier of the date on which the student officially enrolls in a school or, except as provided in section 8 of this chapter, the beginning of the fall school term for the school year in which the student becomes seven (7) years of age.” IC 20-33-2-6, (Emphasis mine.) Therefore, if a child is enrolled in Kindergarten they must attend school.
However, a parent can withdraw a Kindergarten student from school and reset the clock if you will. According to IC 20-33-2-8 a “student is not bound by the requirements of this chapter until the student becomes seven (7) years of age, if, upon request of the superintendent of the school corporation, the parent of a student who would otherwise be subject to compulsory school attendance under section 6 of this chapter certifies to the superintendent that the parent intends to: (1) enroll the student in a nonaccredited, nonpublic school…” Therefore, a parent who wants to pull their Kindergarten child out needs to certify to the superintendent that they plan on enrolling their child in a nonaccredited nonpublic school once their child turns 7. If a parent follows this process they should have no problems.