What is the Approved Tutor Provision?
The Code of Virginia says that a parent may “have such child taught by a tutor or teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education and approved by the division superintendent” as one means of complying with the Compulsory Attendance Code. To read the full text of the law, see Compulsory Attendance Code (§22.1-254).
Once a family has successfully filed under the approved tutor provision, the tutor/parent is responsible for determining curriculum and assessment as needed. The family is not required by law to file an annual notice of intent or submit testing/evaluation results to the local school division.
May a parent be an “approved tutor” for his or her own children?
Yes. In Prince William Co. School Board v. Charles Berlin (1993), a Prince William County Circuit Court judge ruled that homeschool parents can use the tutor provision to teach their own children. Thanks to The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers, this was affirmed later in a Virginia Department of Education State Superintendent’s Memo.
For more information on the history of the Approved Tutor Provision, read The Certified Tutor Provision Demystified. To read a copy of the Superintendent’s Memo see July 1994 Virginia Department of Education State Superintendent’s Memo.
How does a parent file under the “approved tutor” provision?
To qualify as an “approved tutor or teacher of qualifications”, a parent must have a valid Virginia teacher’s license. Information on what is required can be found on the VDOE website: Division of Teacher Education and Licensure.
To file under this option, write to the local school division superintendent saying that you are filing under the approved tutor provision of the Compulsory Attendance Code (§22.1-254) and attach a copy of your license. It can be helpful to quote the law in the letter. To avoid confusion, it is also recommended that you do not mention “homeschooling” in your letter, as the approved tutor provision is a way of satisfying the Compulsory Attendance Statute and is not officially considered homeschooling under the law. Contact information for school divisions can be found on the VDOE website: Virginia School Divisions.
Parents with valid teacher’s licenses from another state may receive a Virginia teacher’s license through the Virginia Department of Education. For more information see Routes to Licensure in Virginia.
To renew your Virginia teacher’s license, contact the Virginia Department of Education. For more information, see Virginia Licensure Renewal Manual.
Once the division superintendent approves a family’s approved tutor provision status, the tutor/parent is responsible for keeping his or her teacher’s license current, and for sending recertification paperwork to the school division as needed. If the parent’s teacher’s license expires and is not renewed, then the parent needs to choose another way of complying with the compulsory attendance law.
Parents with valid teacher’s licenses also have the option of filing under Option (ii) of the Home Instruction Statute (§22.1-254.1). For more information on this option, see Filing Your Notice of Intent. Parents who file under the home instruction statute are required by law to submit annual notices of intent and testing/evaluation results to the local school division.
How can I hire an “approved tutor” to educate my children full time?
Under the Compulsory Attendance Code (§22.1-254), parents may hire a “tutor or teacher of qualifications” to be the primary education provider for their child.
Possible sources for full-time and part-time certified tutors include the “tutors” section of the local Yellow Pages, the local school division, local colleges and universities, the classified section of local newspapers, employment agencies, and local homeschool groups (to find a group in your area, see Virginia Homeschool Groups.) We strongly recommend that you check references, background, certification, and employment history before hiring a tutor for this purpose.
Do children who are educated under the approved tutor provision have to be vaccinated?
Yes. Using the approved tutor provision does not exempt children from the state vaccination law. To learn more about state vaccination requirements, see Vaccination Laws Pertaining to Homeschoolers.
Can tutored children enroll in classes on a part-time basis through the public schools?
Virginia law on part-time enrollment does not mention children educated under the approved tutor provision. School divisions will not receive reimbursement for part-time students who file under the approved tutor provision. For this reason, some school divisions may not allow students filing under this option to enroll part-time. For more information on part-time enrollment, see Homeschoolers Access to Public School Classes.
This information is provided as a courtesy of VaHomeschoolers. It is not intended as legal advice. For legal advice, contact a licensed attorney.
The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers is a non-profit public charity with 501(c)(3) status; your donation is tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. A financial statement is available from the Virginia Division of Consumer Affairs upon request.