Private School Regulation
Private schools in Oklahoma may apply to the State Board
of Education for accreditation. Okla. Stat. tit. 70, 3-104.
Registration/Licensing/Accreditation: Private and parochial schools
may apply to the State Board of Education for accreditation and classification
in like manner as public schools. For accreditation, private and parochial
schools must comply with the standards prescribed for public schools and
members of the faculty must hold state certificates as required of teachers
in public schools. Okla. Stat. tit. 70, § 3-104.
Recordkeeping/Reports: Private school principals have a duty to
keep complete records of attendance for all children enrolled at the school
and to notify the attendance officer of the district of absences and the
reasons, if known. Principals have a duty to notify parents of a student's
absence unless the parent has already notified the school. Okla. Stat.
tit. 70 § 10-106.
Administrators at private middle, junior high and high schools accredited
by the State Department of Education must notify the Department of any
pupil dropping out from school. Reports must be made on a monthly basis
on forms provided. Okla. Stat. tit. 70, § 35e.
Length of School Year/Day: A school day consists of not less than
6 hours devoted to school activities for grades 2-12. Okla. Stat. tit.
70, § 1-111.
Special Education: School districts may join in a written agreement
with a private institution within the district to provide special education
for children with disabilities. Okla. Stat. tit. 70, § 13-101.
Health: Students may not be admitted to private or parochial schools
unless they present certification that they have received or are in the
process of receiving immunizations against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus,
measles (rubeola), (rubella) poliomyelitis, and smallpox, or are likely
to be immune as a result of the disease. The list of diseases may be revised
by the State Board of Health. Okla. Stat. tit. 70, § 1210.191.
Children afflicted with contagious disease or head lice may be prohibited
from attending private or parochial schools until they are well. A child
excluded for head lice must present certification from a health professional
that he is no longer afflicted with head lice prior to reentering school.
Okla. Stat. tit. 70, § 1210.194.
Educational facilities serving grades K-12 may prohibit smoking, snuff,
and chewing tobacco on the school grounds. Schools may designate smoking
areas only for adults and must offer a nonsmoking area for school personnel
for breaks, lunch or similar activities. Okla. Stat. tit. 63, § 1-1523.
Safety: Local law enforcement agencies will assist nonpublic schools
that wish to develop voluntary fingerprinting programs for students to
identify and locate missing children. Okla. Stat. tit. 10, § 1633.
Oklahoma criminal law provides enhanced penalties for individuals who
distribute a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of the real property
of a private elementary or secondary school. Okla. Stat. tit. 63, §§ 2-401;
It is a criminal offense to possess a weapon on private school property
or in a vehicle used for transportation of students or teachers unless
authorized. Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 1280.1.
Hazing, i.e. an activity endangering the health or safety of a
student for the purpose of initiation into an organization operating subject
to a private school, is illegal under Oklahoma's criminal law. A copy of
a private school's policy prohibiting hazing must be given to each student
enrolled. Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 1190.
Home Schooling: Oklahoma has no laws governing home schooling.
The compulsory attendance law allows for parents or legal guardians to
home school their children.
Public Aid for Private Schools/Private School Students: The Oklahoma
Constitution prohibits the appropriation of public money or property for
the use of a sectarian institution. Okla. Const. Art. 2, Sec. 5.
Property used exclusively for schools or for religious purposes is exempt
from taxation. Okla. Const. Art. 10, Sec. 6.
Miscellaneous: Sales of tangible personal property or services
to nonprofit private elementary and secondary schools accredited by the
State Department of Education or recognized by the State Board of Education
are exempt from Oklahoma sales tax. Tuition and educational fees, fundraising
sales, and admission tickets and concessions at athletic events up to $75,000,
are also exempt from sales tax. Okla. Stat. tit. 68, § 1356. Coin-operated
vending machines owned and located in a private school are exempt from
state tax. Okla. Stat. tit. 68, § 1503.1.
Proprietors of private and parochial schools have a duty to display the
flag of the United States of America during every school day either from
a flagstaff or pole, and in inclement weather within the school building.
Okla. Stat. tit. 25, § 153.
By statute, a principal of a private secondary school is appointed by
the Governor to serve on the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics
Board of Trustees. Okla. Stat. tit. 70, § 1210.401.
The Oklahoma Heritage Association coordinates annual observance of "Oklahoma
Heritage Week" and includes parochial schools in its efforts. Okla. Stat.
tit. 25, § 90.2.
It is a misdemeanor for any teacher to reveal information about a student
obtained in his capacity as teacher, except as required in the performance
of his duties or upon request by a parent/guardian. Okla. Stat. tit. 70, § 6-115.