In Virginia, the compulsory attendance law (§ 22.1-254 of the Code of Virginia) permits a child subject to compulsory school attendance to attend a private or public school or receive an education through one of the other alternatives to school attendance outlined in state law, unless the child falls within an exception, as designated by state law. Home instruction or home schooling is one alternative to school attendance. In Virginia “any parent, guardian, legal custodian, or other person having control or charge of a child” (§ 22.1-1 of the Code of Virginia) may provide home instruction as prescribed by § 22.1-254.1 of the Code of Virginia.
Other Alternatives Available to Parents
Section 22.1-254 allows parents to have their children taught by a tutor or a teacher who meets the teacher licensure qualifications prescribed by the Virginia Board of Education when that individual has been approved as a tutor by the school division superintendent. To meet the qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education, the tutor must have a valid Virginia teaching license (in any area) and may be a parent who meets the tutor qualifications.
Parents seeking a religious exemption must petition the Henrico School Board and show that, by reason of bona fide religious training or belief, the pupil, together with his parents, is conscientiously opposed to attendance at school. According to the Code of Virginia, the term bona fide religious training or belief “does not include essentially political, sociological, or philosophical views or a merely personal code” (§ 22.1-254.B.1). (See Religious Exemption link below.)