While most states legalized homeschooling in the 1980s, Utah formally legalized homeschooling in 2014.

History

Utah is located in the western United States. Homeschooling, officially called “home school,” was legalized in 2014.

Regulation

Parents seeking to homeschool their students, ages 6 to 18, must complete and file an affidavit of intent to homeschool at their local school district. Once filed, the student is removed from the public education system and is exempt from Utah’s compulsory education law. This policy is different than most other states. Since homeschooled students are exempt, there are no state requirements about hours, days, instructor, instruction, curriculum, or subject. Parents must file the homeschool intent form annually. Homeschooled students can choose to take the state test, but it is not required.

Utah provides access for all nonpublic students, including homeschoolers, to educational opportunities offered at the local public schools. These include sports, extracurricular activities, and courses. Further, all students in the state are eligible for special education services.

State Data

Utah reported homeschool participation for years but recently stopped publicly reporting. The reason for this change is unclear. U.S. Census estimates indicate that around 5.7% of Utah families homeschooled in the spring of 2020 and increased to 11.2% by the fall of 2020. Considering the 2022 and 2023 school years, the U.S. Census found that an average of 5% of K-12 students in Utah were homeschooled.

A bar chart showing homeschool rates in Arkansas from 2002 to 2017, with rates slightly increasing from 2005 to 2009, dropping slightly in 2010, then growing steadily through 2017.

Download Homeschool Hub State Data

Cross-Sector Comparison

We cannot calculate a cross-sector comparison because we lack information on homeschool participation.

School Choice Context

In addition to homeschooling, parents in Utah have multiple school choice options, including a new universal education savings account called Utah Fits All Scholarship Program, passed in 2023. Other options include enrollment in traditional public schools through inter- and intra-district choice, private, magnet, charter, and virtual schools. The new Education Savings Account (ESA) is available to homeschooling families, although they are reclassified as “home-based” education participants.

Commentary

Utah could improve transparency by resuming the reporting of homeschool and home-based education participation in the state. Utah could also release more of the information they currently collect from homeschool parents. For example, simply reporting by district on participant number and age/grade would aid in the understanding of homeschool growth in the state and the nation.

Last updated December 2023.