Arizona Regulation of Private Schools

Accreditation/Registration/Licensing/Approval

  • No requirements for Accreditation.
  • No requirements for Registration.
  • No requirements for Licensing.
  • No requirements for Approval.
  • “Private school” is defined as “a nonpublic institution, other than the child’s home, where academic instruction is provided for at least the same number of days and hours each year as a public school.” Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-802F.2.
  • “Nothing in this title shall be construed to provide the state board of education or the governing boards of school districts control or supervision over private schools.” Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-161.

Teacher Certification

  • Teacher certification is not required.

Length of School Year/Days

  • To comply with the Arizona compulsory school attendance statute, private school students must attend school for the full time school is in session in the local school district. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-802B.2.

Curriculum

  • Every child between the ages of six and sixteen years shall attend a school and shall be provided instruction in at least the subjects of reading, grammar, mathematics, social studies and science. The person who has custody of the child shall choose a public, private, charter or homeschool as defined in this section to provide instruction.‖ Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-802A.
  • If a student transfers from a private school to a public school then the public school must provide the student with a list that indicates which credits are accepted and denied by the school district. The student is allowed to take an examination in each course denied credit. If the student earns a passing score on a test designated by the school district that was evaluated by a teacher in the school district then that student will receive credit for the course. The governing board of the school district may recommend requirements regarding the acceptance of the credits of private school students transferring to public school. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-701.01G.

Recordkeeping/Reports

  • On enrollment, private schools must maintain a copy of reliable proof of the pupil’s identity and age, e.g. birth certificate or baptismal certificate, in the pupil’s file. Any inaccurate or suspicious affidavit must be reported to the local law enforcement agency. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-828A, C, E.
  • Within five school days after enrollment of a transfer, a school must request directly from the pupil’s previous school a certified copy of the transcript’s record with ―due diligence. Any school requested to forward a copy of a student‘s record must forward it within 10 days unless financial debt is owed or the record has been flagged pursuant to section 15-829. If the record is flagged, the requested school must not notify the local law enforcement agency of the request and not forward the copy of the record. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-828 F.
  • By November 30 of each school year, private schools must report the following to the health department and the department of health services on forms provided: 1) the number of pupils immunized or who have submitted laboratory evidence of immunity; 2) the number of students with incomplete immunization; 3) the number of students exempt from immunization. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-874 D.
  • Parents enrolling students in private schools must file an affidavit with the county superintendent stating that the student is attending a school for the fulltime that the schools in the school district are in session and the name and address of the school that the child is attending. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-802B.2.
  • Before January 15 each year, the superintendent of public instruction must make an annual report to the governor and state legislature of the number of children attending private schools. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-255.

Health and Safety Requirements

  • Children are not allowed to attend school without submitting documentary proof of immunization to the school administrator, unless they are exempt under §15-873, or in the process of immunization. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-872.
  • The fire marshal is responsible for establishing programs for evacuating school buildings and instructing students in private schools on the importance of fire preventions and control. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§41-2165; 2163A.4.
  • Arizona requires students, teachers, and visitors in private schools to wear eye protective ware while participating or observing certain educational activities in vocational, technical, industrial arts, art or laboratory science. Private or parochial schools must equip their schools with the appropriate eye protective ware. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-151.
  • Arizona places additional criminal penalties on persons convicted of selling illegal drugs in a drug-free school zone. The administrative officer of a nonpublic school shall place and maintain signs identifying the school and its grounds as a drug-free school zone. Illegal drug transactions observed by school personnel must be reported. School records of alleged student violations must be made available to the peace officer upon written request. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §13-3411.

Transportation, Textbooks, Testing, Technology, Professional Development, Reimbursement for Performing State/Local Functions

  • There is no state policy at this time.

Special Education

  • School districts or county school superintendents may contract with private schools to provide education and related services for public school students with disabilities. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-765D.
  • Arizona provides special education residential vouchers for special education students publicly placed in private special education facilities providing 24-hour residential care. Private schools accepting vouchers may not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, creed, color, national origin or disability. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-1184. See Public Aid for Private Education for Arizona Scholarship for Pupils with Disabilities Program.

Nursing and Health

  • Private schools may participate in school meal programs offered by the state and through federal assistance programs. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-1151.

Tax Exemption

  • No tax may be laid or appropriation of public money made in aid of any private or sectarian school. Arizona Constitution, Art. 9, Sec. 7.
  • Property of educational, charitable and religious associations or institutions not used or held for profit may be exempt from taxation by law. Arizona Constitution, Art. 9, Sec. 2.

Public Aid for Private Education

  • Constitutional provisions: No public money or property may be appropriated or applied to any religious instruction or support of any religious establishment. Arizona Constitution, Art. 2, Sec. 12.
  • The state school fund may only be apportioned for public education. Arizona Constitution, Art. 11, Sec. 8.
  • Programs for financial assistance for attendance at private schools: Arizona has four such programs.
    1. Individual School Tuition Organization Tax Credit was enacted in 1997 and implemented in 1998. This program provides tax credits to individual taxpayers for contributions made to school tuition organizations (STOs). An STO is defined as a 501(c)(3) organization that “allocates at least 90 percent of its annual revenue for education scholarships or tuition grants to children” to allow them to attend the school of their choice, including private and/or parochial schools. The amount of the credit is equal to the amount contributed, with a maximum credit of $500 to a single taxpayer and $1,000 for a married couples filing jointly. STOs determine the amount of the scholarship and student eligibility. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §43-1089. This program‘s constitutionality was upheld by the Arizona Supreme Court in Kotterman v. Killian (1999).
    2. Corporate School Tuition Organization Tax Credit became law in 2006 and allows corporations to receive a tax credit for contributing to a school tuition organization. The amount of the credit is equal to the amount contributed. The maximum aggregate amount of tax credits is $10 million, which increases by 20 percent annually. Tax credits are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The scholarships have maximum limits of $4,200 and $5,500 for students, grades K–8 and 9–12 respectively. A student is eligible if his or her family‘s income does not exceed 185 percent of the income limit required for students to qualify for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §43-1183.
    3. Arizona Scholarships for Pupils with Disabilities Program was implemented in the 2006–07 school year and provides special needs children with the option of attending another public school or receiving a scholarship for attendance at a qualified private school. In order to be a state-qualified school, the school may not discriminate on the basis of race, color, disability, familial status or national origin. An eligible student must have an Individualized Education Program and attended a public school in the prior year. The amount of assistance is the school‘s tuition and fees or actual cost per pupil, whichever is greater, but may not exceed the amount of funding the student would have generated had he or she remained in a public school. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§15-891–891.06.
    4. Displaced Pupils Choice Grant Program became law in 2006 and began in the 2007–08 academic year. A student is eligible to receive this voucher if he or she has been in the foster care system any time before high school graduation. Vouchers are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and can be used to pay tuition at any private school in the state of Arizona. Participating schools may not discriminate on the basis of race, color, disability, familial status or national origin. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§15-817–817.07.

Homeschooling

  • “Home school” is defined as ―a school conducted primarily by the parent, guardian or other person who has custody of the child or instruction provided in the child’s home.‖ Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-802F.1.
  • Each county has jurisdiction over home schooling within its borders. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-802, 15-802.01.
  • Parents or guardians are required to complete, notarize, and file an affidavit of home schooling with the county school superintendent in the county in which they live within 30 days of beginning to home school their child. If a child returns to a public school, the parent is again obligated to report this change of placement to the county school superintendent within 30 days. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§15-802, 15-802.01.
  • The parent must also submit to the county school superintendent within 30 days of the start of home instruction at least one of the following: a birth certificate, reliable proof of the child‘s identity and age, a letter from the authorized agency with custody of the child. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-828 B.
  • If the parent does not comply with the notification requirements then, the school, school district or county school superintendent will notify the parents in writing and if the parent does not comply within ten days, the case will be referred to the local law enforcement agency for investigation. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-828 D.
  • There are no annual testing requirements. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§15-802, 15-802.1.
  • Arizona Families for Home Education https://www.afhe.org/

R7-2-302 Minimum Course of Study and Competency Requirements for Graduation from High School

  • The Board prescribes the minimum course of study and competency requirements as outlined in subsections (1) through (5) and, beginning with the graduating class of 2017, receipt of a passing score of sixty correct answers out of one hundred questions on a civics test identical to the civics portion of the naturalization test used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services as prescribed in A.R.S. § 15-701.01(A)(2).
    1. Subject area course requirements. The Board establishes 22 credits as the minimum number of credits necessary for high school graduation. Students shall obtain credits for required subject areas as specified in subsections (1)(a) through (e) based on completion of subject area course requirements or competency requirements. At the discretion of the local school district governing board or charter school, credits may be awarded for completion of elective subjects specified in subsection (1)(f) based on completion of subject area course requirements or competency requirements. The awarding of a credit toward the completion of high school graduation requirements shall be based on successful completion of the subject area requirements prescribed by the State Board and local school district governing board or charter school as follows:
      1. Four credits of English or English as a Second Language, which shall include but not be limited to the following: reading American and other world literature, reading informational text, writing, research methods, speaking and listening skills, grammar, and vocabulary.
      2. Three credits in social studies to minimally include the following:
        1. One credit of American history, including Arizona history;
        2. One credit of world history/geography;
        3. One-half credit of American government, including civics and Arizona government; and iv. One-half credit in economics.
      3. Four credits of mathematics to minimally include:
        1. Three credits containing course content in preparation for proficiency at the high school level on the statewide assessment and aligned to the Arizona Mathematics Standards for Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II. These three credits shall be taken beginning with the ninth grade unless a student meets these requirements prior to the ninth grade pursuant to subsection (1)(c)(iii). The requirement for the third credit covering Algebra II, may be met by, but is not limited to the following: a math course comparable to Algebra II course content; computer science, career and technical education and vocational education, economics, science and arts courses as determined by the local school district governing board or charter school.
        2. A fourth credit that includes significant mathematics content as determined by the local school district governing board or charter school.
        3. Courses successfully completed prior to the ninth grade that meet the high school mathematics credit requirements may be applied toward satisfying those requirements.
        4. The mathematics requirements may be modified for students using a Personal Curriculum pursuant to R7-2-302.03.
      4. Three credits of science in preparation for proficiency at the high school level on the statewide assessment.
      5. One credit of the Arts or career and technical education and vocational education.
      6. Seven credits of additional courses prescribed by the local school district governing board or charter school.
      7. A credit or partial credit may apply toward more than one subject area but shall count only as one credit or partial credit toward satisfying the 22 required credits.
    2. Credits earned through correspondence courses to meet graduation requirements shall be taken from an accredited institution as defined in R7-2-601. Credits earned thereby shall be limited to four, and only one credit may be earned in each of the following subject areas:
      1. English as described in subsection (1)(a) of this Section,
      2. Social Studies,
      3. Mathematics, and
      4. Science.
    3. Online and distance education courses may be offered by the local governing board or charter school if the course is provided through an Arizona Online Instruction Program established pursuant to A.R.S. § 15-808.
    4. Local school district governing boards or charter schools may grant to career and technical education and vocational education program completers a maximum of 5 ½ credits to be used toward the Board English, mathematics, science, and economics credit requirements for graduation, subject to the following restrictions:
      1. The Board has approved the career and technical education and vocational education program for 7 A.A.C. 2 Arizona Administrative Code Title 7 CHAPTER 2. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION Page 12 Supp. 19-2 June 30, 2019 equivalent credit to be used toward the Board English, mathematics, science, and economics credit requirements for graduation.
      2. A credit or partial credit may apply toward more than one subject area but shall count only as one credit or partial credit toward satisfying the 22 required credits.
      3. A student who satisfies any part of the Board English, mathematics, science, and economics requirements through the completion of a career and technical education and vocational education program shall still be required to earn 22 total credits to meet the graduation requirements prescribed in this Section.
    5. Competency requirements.
      1. The awarding of a credit toward the completion of high school graduation requirements shall be based on the requirements outlined in A.R.S. § 15-701.01 and the successful completion of State Board adopted academic standards for subject areas listed in subsections (1)(a) through (1)(e) and the successful completion of the competency requirements for the elective subjects specified in subsection (1)(f). Competency requirements for elective subjects as specified in subsection (1)(f) shall be the academic standards adopted by the State Board. If there are no adopted academic standards for an elective subject, the local school district governing board or charter school shall be responsible for developing and adopting competency requirements for the successful completion of the elective subject. The school district governing board or charter school shall be responsible for developing and adopting the method and manner in which to administer a test that is identical to the civics portion of the naturalization test used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and a pupil who does not obtain a passing score on the test may retake the test until the pupil obtains a passing score.
      2. The determination and verification of student accomplishment and performance shall be the responsibility of the subject area teacher.
      3. Upon request of the student, the local school district governing board or charter school shall provide the opportunity for the student to demonstrate competency in the subject areas listed in subsections (1)(a) through (1)(f) of this Section above in lieu of classroom time. In appropriate courses, a school district governing board or charter school shall include as a mechanism to demonstrate competency a score determined by the State Board as college and career ready on the appropriate assessment adopted by the State Board pursuant to A.R.S. §§ 15-741 or 15- 741.01.
    6. The local school district governing board or charter school shall be responsible for developing a course of study and graduation requirements for all students placed in special education programs in accordance with A.R.S. Title 15, Chapter 7, Article 4 and A.A.C. R7-2-401 et seq. Students placed in special education classes, grades 9-12, are eligible to receive a high school diploma upon completion of graduation requirements.

Testing Requirements

Civics Test

Civics Test and Administration Manual

Beginning with the graduating class of 2017, high school graduates are required to pass (60/100) a civics test identical to the civics portion of the naturalization test used by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. As a courtesy, the Arizona Department of Education, with help from the Maricopa County Education Service Agency and Arizona educators, has developed a mostly multiple choice version of the required test.

AzM2

Passing AzM2 is not a state requirement for graduation; however, local schools may choose to develop their own academic requirements related to the AzM2 assessment. See the AzM2 webpage for more information about this state level summative assessment.

Menu of Assessments

Pursuant to state statute, the State Board of Education adopted a menu of locally procured achievement assessments for grades 9-12, referred to as the Menu of Assessments, to measure pupil achievement of the state academic standards. Local school districts and charter schools will be able to select an assessment from the Menu to administer in high schools for 11th grade students. Assessments on the menu must:
(1) Be high quality;
(2) Meet or exceed the level of rigor of the state academic standards; and
(3) Be able to be scaled for accountability purposes (A.R.S. 15-741.02).

AIMS

As of February 20, 2015, passing AIMS Reading, Writing and Mathematics is no longer required for graduation from high school.

AIMS Science is required for [public and charter] students in grades 4, 8, and high school for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years.

Table 5.14. Number of instructional days and hours in the school year, 2018

  • Instructional Days: 180 days (From 15-341.01 “For the purposes of this section, “one hundred eighty days” means one hundred eighty days of instruction or an equivalent number of minutes of instruction per school year based on a different number of days of instruction approved by the school district governing board or charter school governing body.”)
  • Minimum amount of instructional times per school year (includes lunch):
    • Half-day kindergarten=356
    • grades 1-3=712
    • grades 4-6=890
    • grades 7-8=1,000
    • grades 9-12=720
  • Minimum number of hours per school day: Not specified in statute or regulation.
  • Start and/or Finish Dates for Schools: Not specified in statute or regulation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Top