Homeschool Access Law

See the Homeschool Access Law here.

Over the years, some homeschool families in Maine have chosen to access their local public school for classes, programs, services, etc. Be sure to review the Homeschool Access Law, which is available at the link above. There are many situations and factors that lead families to make such choices. Before making this decision, here is food for thought:

12 Things to Do and Consider before Deciding to Access Local Public Schools for Classes, Special Services, or Extra Curricular Activities or Programs

  1. Research all other possible alternatives to meeting your perceived needs through public schools.
  2. Remember that organizations grow by providing support and meeting needs. Allowing the homeschool community to meet your needs will strengthen that community and homeschooling overall.
  3. Consider whether the influence of the public school may be detrimental to your desire to continue homeschooling in the future.
  4. Consider the message you will be sending your child about public education when choosing to access public schools.
  5. Be prepared for hostilities. Homeschoolers may or may not be well accepted by classmates, teammates and/or their parents, teachers or coaches.
  6. Be prepared to deal with the attitudinal and behavioral changes in your child as a result of time spent in public school classrooms and programs.
  7. Consider the cost of a breakdown in family relationships and parental authority.
  8. Consider the loss of time for more important homeschool lessons and experiences.
  9. Request a copy of the local public school's policy regarding access for homeschoolers. More may be required of you than you expect.
  10. Be aware that if you are using the public school access law, then data will be collected on your child. Records may then be made available to any number of government agencies without permission being granted.
  11. If you are enrolled in a RAPPS, be prepared to be asked to file a notice of intent and submit annual assessment results.
  12. Be sure that your Home School Legal Defense Association membership remains current.

Recognized for Attendance Purpose Private Schools (RAPPS) and Public School Access

If your children are enrolled in a home-based RAPPS, then they are considered private school students according to the law. Maine law gives students in recognized private schools the ability to request access to public school co-curricular, extracurricular, and interscholastic activities, as well. Public school principals cannot arbitrarily turn down access requests from students enrolled in recognized private schools. The principal has authority to deny access only if the public school does not have the capacity for the student to participate.

Special Note Concerning Special Education Services:

Federal law provides a small amount of money, distributed through local public school districts, that is specifically directed for use with private school students who have disabilities. Unlike public school students, private school students with disabilities do not have an individual right to special education services. The federal law only requires that the public schools "meaningfully consult" with private school administrators to determine the special education needs of private school students with disabilities who are placed by their parents in private schools within the district's geographic boundaries. It is then up to the public school to decide how to spend the federal money directed to private school students with disabilities, and which private school students receive which services.

  • Please contact HOME for more information, questions, and to aid in your understanding of the homeschool access law in this state. All services are provided free of charge.