While Connecticut used to publicly report homeschool participation, they stopped after 2012. Therefore, little is known about homeschool participation in the state. However, U.S. Census estimates taken around the pandemic are well below national averages.

History

In the northeastern United States, Connecticut first legalized homeschooling in 1990. The current homeschool law is contained in a 1994 policy. The procedure for homeschooling is “recommended” and not mandatory if the parent can show a child receives an “equivalent education” to what they would receive in the public system.

Regulation

Connecticut supports homeschool families with a homeschool webpage and a free information and resources hub. The state recommends families who choose to homeschool their children, ages 5 to 17, contact their local district for policies. An intent to homeschool form is recommended but not required. Local districts may ask that parents provide annual proof of learning and meeting instructional requirements. While there are no attendance requirements, the state recommends that parents keep an attendance log of days and hours of instruction. The state also recommends that instruction aligns with the CT Core Standards and provides parents with aligned instructional materials free of charge.

Parents do not need to hold certifications or a high school diploma to homeschool their children. Required subject instruction includes reading, writing, spelling, English grammar, geography, arithmetic, U.S. history, and citizenship. Homeschool students are not required to take an assessment, and the GED is optional.

Connecticut provides no explicit access for nonpublic students to attend local public school courses or to participate in extracurricular activities or sports. As such, some districts may allow access. Boards of education do not have to provide special education services to homeschooled students in Connecticut. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-184a.

State Data

Since Connecticut does not require reporting, there is little data about homeschool participation. While there is some data up to 2012, it is unclear if it included all homeschooled students or only those who voluntarily reported.

A bar chart shows homeschool rates in Connecticut from 1999 to 2012, with rates spiking in 2001, then slightly declining.

According to the participation estimates from the U.S. Census in 2019 and 2020, approximately 2.5% of families in Connecticut homeschooled before the pandemic and increased to 7.5% by the fall of 2020. In the 2022 and 2023 school years, U.S. Census estimates indicate that an average of 2.2% of Connecticut K-12 students were homeschooled during this time.

Download Homeschool Hub State Data

Cross-Sector Comparison

It was not possible to calculate the cross-sector comparison due to missing homeschool enrollment data.

School Choice Context

In addition to homeschooling, parents in Connecticut have various educational choices available. These options include traditional public schools with interdistrict choice, magnet schools, the Open Choice program that allows students in urban schools to attend suburban schools when seats are available, charter schools, tech schools, and agri-focused schools. There are no publicly funded private school options available for any students in the state.

Commentary

Since filing the annual intent to homeschool form is voluntary, all homeschool families are unlikely to complete it. However, if the districts collect these data from parents, it should be publicly reported. This reporting, while not comprehensive, could improve transparency and provide much-needed information on homeschool trends in the state. Connecticut should provide more opportunities for students to access public school offerings. Connecticut is one of only a dozen states that provides zero access to these educational opportunities for nonpublic students.

Last updated December 2023.