Private School Regulation
Connecticut places the duty to instruct a child
or cause him to be instructed on the parents. Conn. Gen.
Stat. § 10-184.
schools must file student attendance reports and "such reports
and returns concerning the school . . . as are required from
boards of education concerning the public schools. . . ." No
report concerning finances is required. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-188.
Nonpublic schools must implement a policy for reporting complaints
related to school transportation safety and maintain a written
record of complaints received. Within 30 days after the end
of the school year nonpublic schools must provide a copy of
the written record of complaints to the Commissioner of Motor
Vehicles. Nonpublic schools must also make written reports
to the Commissioner of any accident involving a motor vehicle
and a student pedestrian near a designated school bus stop
within 10 days of the incident. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-221c.
Instruction in English: The English language
is to be the medium of instruction in private elementary schools
except in bilingual or bicultural programs for pupils who by
reason of foreign birth, ancestry or otherwise, experience
difficulty in reading and understanding English. Conn. Gen.
Stat. § 10-17.
Private schools may with the approval of the state board of
education establish bilingual and bicultural programs of study
in which language other than English are predominately spoken
to enable children to become efficient in English. Conn. Gen.
Stat. § 10-17a.
Teacher Certification: Although teaching
certificates are not required for nonpublic school teachers,
teachers at nonpublic schools approved by the State Board of
Education may obtain Provisional and Professional Educator
Certificates. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-145b.
Curriculum: Connecticut parents have the
duty to instruct their children or cause them to be instructed
in reading, writing, spelling, English grammar, geography,
arithmetic, and United States history and in citizenship. Instruction
may occur outside the public school if "the child is elsewhere
receiving equivalent instruction in the studies taught in the
public schools." Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-184.
Private elementary and high schools, whose property is tax
exempt, must provide instruction in United States history,
government, and the duties and responsibilities of citizenship.
Graduation from such schools is contingent on familiarity with
these subjects. The state board of education will make available
samples of appropriate educational materials. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-18.
Private secondary schools may contract with licensed driving
schools approved by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles for
behind-the-wheel instruction in driver education programs.
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-24d.
Special Education: Connecticut publicly places
children with special education needs in approved private schools
when the educational needs of the child cannot be met by public
school arrangements. Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-76d(d), (g); § 10-76b(a).
The local or regional boards of education also provide transportation
to and from the residence of the special needs child. Conn.
Gen. Stat. § 10-76d(e).
Health: Children enrolled in nonpublic schools
must be protected by adequate immunizations against diphtheria,
pertussis, tetanus, polioneyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella,
and hemophilus influenza. Certain exemptions apply, e.g. a
child whose parents object to immunizations on religious grounds
is exempt. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-204a.
A school nurse, other licensed nurse, principal or teacher
of a school may administer medicine to any student in accordance
with the written order of a licensed physician or dentist and
the written authorization of the child's parent/guardian. Conn.
Gen. Stat. § 10-212a.
Each schoolhouse, i.e. buildings or premises in which
instruction is given to at least ten pupils at one time, must
be kept in a clean and sanitary condition. Schoolhouses must
provide adequate toilets, handwashing facilities, and safe
and adequate water supply. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-203.
Every private and parochial school must maintain toilet accommodations,
water supply drinking cups, washing facilities, heating, lighting
and ventilation in sanitary condition. Public Health Code Regulation § 19-13-830.
Communications made by a student to a professional employee
at a nonpublic primary or secondary school concerning alcohol
or drug abuse is privileged communication if the employee chooses
to make it so. An employee who acts in good faith is immune
from any criminal or civil liability. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-154a.
Safety: Buildings and facilities of public
service are required to be inspected by the local fire marshal
at least once a year and as necessary. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-305.
Each story above the first story of a schoolhouse building
must have at least two remote means of free and unobstructed
egress by enclosed stairways, properly segregated from the
corridors at all floor levels, or approved fire escapes outside.
Stairways, fire escapes and passageways must be constructed
and maintained in accordance with the fire safety regulations.
New school buildings, conversions, and additions to school
buildings must be made in conformity with the fire safety code.
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-389.
Nonpublic school teachers, principals, and guidance counselors
are required to report suspected child abuse. If a school employee
is suspected of the abuse, the supervisory agent of the nonpublic
school is responsible for notifying the parents and making
the necessary report with the appropriate authorities. Conviction
of abuse may lead to revocation of an individual's teacher
certification. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 17a-10(b), (c), (f).
All private elementary and secondary schools must comply with
state regulations concerning eye protection devices in laboratories
and workshops. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§10-214a-1 through
Connecticut law outlines when physical force, otherwise criminal,
is justifiable when exercised by a teacher or other person
entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor for school
purposes. For example, a teacher's physical force is justifiable
to protect him- or herself or others from immediate physical
injury or to obtain possession of a dangerous instrument but
not to merely maintain discipline. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 17a-101.
Professional employees of a nonpublic school are required
to turn over physical evidence indicating a crime has been
or is being committed to school officials or law enforcement
officials. The employee is not required to disclose the name
of the student from whom the evidence was obtained. Conn. Gen.
Stat. § 10-154a.
Transportation: When a majority of students
attending a nonpublic school are residents of Connecticut,
the municipality or school district must provide the nonpublic
school students the same transportation services provided to
K-12 students attending public schools. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-281.
Transportation services for pupils attending private schools
outside the school district is optional. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 10-280a;
Home Schooling: The State Board of Education
acknowledges the right of parents to instruct their children
at home as an alternative to public school attendance, and
advises local and regional boards of education where such child
would otherwise be attending public school to acknowledge home
instruction when the parent or person having control of a child
between the ages of seven and 16 is able to show that the child
is receiving equivalent instruction in the studies taught in
the public schools. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-184. Local boards
must determine whether or not such a child is receiving equivalent
instruction as required under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-220.
It making the decision as to whether or not the child is receiving
equivalent instruction, it is recommended that the local
board of education observe the following procedures: The parent
should file within 10 days of beginning home instruction and
for each subsequent year, a notice of intent to home school.
A complete notice of intent provides basic program information
including name of teacher, subjects to be taught, days of instruction,
and teacher?s methods of assessment. By filing the notice of
intent, the parent assumes the full responsibility for the
education of their child. An annual portfolio review will be
held with parents and school officials to determine if instruction
in the required courses has been given.
Public Aid for Private Schools/Private School Students: The "School
Fund," established to provide a perpetual fund for the support
of public schools, cannot be diverted to any other use. Conn.
Const. Art. 8, Sec. 4. The School Fund cannot be used for the
transportation of private school children. Snyder et al
v. Town of Newton et al., 161 A.2d 770 (1960).
Municipalities may lend money to nonpublic schools located
within the municipality for the construction or renovation
of physical facilities used exclusively for educational purposes.
Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 7-121a; 10-289f.
Connecticut permits local or regional boards of education
to loan textbooks to students attending nonpublic schools within
the district. Parents/guardians or nonpublic school students
may borrow textbooks currently in use in the public school
free of charge. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-228a.
Nonpublic schools may participate in the school breakfast,
lunch, and other feeding programs as regulated by the state
board of education and governed by federal laws. Conn. Gen.
Stat. § 10-215a and b.
Nonpublic school students are eligible for health services
that are currently offered to public school students by the
local district. "Health services" include the services of a
school physician, school nurse, and dental hygienist. Conn.
Gen. Stat. § 10-217a.
Connecticut passed a demonstration scholarship program to
provide parents/guardians an opportunity to enroll their children
in public or private schools in 1972. Participating schools
needed to meet all educational, fiscal, health and safety standards
required by law and other specified criteria including nondiscrimination
based on race, color or economic status. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-239a-b.
However, the initiative was never funded.
All Connecticut educators are eligible to participate in programs
of professional development offered by the Connecticut Department
of Education in cooperation with the regional education service
centers. Participation fees are charged. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-220a(c).
Certified teachers at private special education facilities
approved by the Commissioner of Education may receive training
to supervise, train, and evaluate student teachers and serve
as mentors for beginning teachers. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-22a(d).
Nonpublic schools may participate in the programs and services
offered by the regional education centers. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-66d.
Nonpublic schools pay a prorated share of the costs of any
program or service to which they subscribe. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-66e.
Miscellaneous: Private high schools receiving
state funds must provide the same directory information and
on-campus recruiting opportunities to representatives of the
national armed forces and state armed services as offered to
nonmilitary recruiters or commercial concerns. Governing boards
of these private schools must establish a written uniform policy
for the treatment of all recruiters. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-221b.
Noncustodial parents have a right to student academic records
unless otherwise ordered by the court. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-56(e).
Nonpublic schools must conduct an educational evaluation for
any student named in a Family with Service Needs Petition based
on habitual truancy. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-198a.