Kansas State Regulations

Updated June 24, 2015 State Regulation of Private Schools (Revised July 2009) is the last full report.

Private Schools

Accreditation, Registration, Licensing, and Approval

  • Accreditation: optional
    • The Kansas State Board of Education accredits public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools. Kansas Statutes Annotated (K.S.A.) §72-7513(a)(3).
    • Accreditation regulations can be found at Kansas Administrative Regulations (K.A.R.) 91-31-31 et seq.
  • Registration: mandatory
    • Registration is mandatory for non-accredited private schools. The official custodian of every non-accredited private elementary or secondary school must register the school’s name and address with the Kansas State Board of Education. The purpose of this provision is to make available the name and location of the school for the request of student records in the event of a student transfer. K.S.A. §§72-53,101 and 72-53,102.
  • Licensing: no requirements
  • Approval: optional
    • To satisfy the Kansas compulsory attendance statute, approval by the Kansas State Board of Education is mandatory for the education provided at the high school level by churches or religious denominations. K.S.A. §72-1111(g).
    • Approval is granted for a two-year period based on the following criteria: 1) Attendance is mandatory in at least five hours of learning activities for each day the public school is in session in the public school district where the child resides. 2) Acceptable learning activities may include parent-supervised projects in agriculture and homemaking, work-study programs, or accredited correspondence courses. 3) The program includes at least 15 hours per week of classroom work under the supervision of a competent instructor. 4) Regular attendance reports must be filed and students reported as absent if they do not complete five hours of learning activities. 5) The instructor maintains complete records of the students’ work and files the records on a monthly basis with the Kansas State Board of Education and the local board of education. K.S.A. §72-1111(g).

Teacher Certification

  • Teacher certification is not required for teachers and administrators of non-accredited private schools as long as they are “competent instructors.” K.S.A. §72-1111(a)(2).
  • Teacher certification from the Kansas State Board of Education is required for teachers and administrators employed at accredited nonpublic schools. K.S.A. §72-7513(a)(4) and K.A.R. §91-31-32(c)(5).
  • Accredited nonpublic schools are under a statutory duty to adopt a written personnel evaluation policy and procedure for certified personnel. The policy must require all evaluations to be in writing and be maintained in a file for at least three years. Every employee must be evaluated at least one time per semester in the first two consecutive school years of employment, but not later than the 60th day of the semester. During the third and fourth years of employment, evaluations must occur annually, but not later than February 15. Thereafter, evaluations must occur at least once every three years but not later than February 15. K.S.A. §§72-9002 and 72-9003.

Length of School Year and Days

  • To satisfy the Kansas compulsory attendance statute, private schools must offer instruction for a period of time that is “substantially equivalent” to the period of time public schools are open (465 hours per year for kindergarten, 1,116 hours per year for grades 1 through 11, and 1,086 hours per year for grade 12). K.S.A. §72-1106(b).


  • Every accredited elementary school must teach reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, spelling, English grammar and composition, history of the United States and of Kansas, civil government and citizenship, health and hygiene, and other subjects as the Kansas State Board of Education determines. K.S.A. §72-1101.
  • Accredited private and parochial elementary schools are required to provide a complete course of instruction in civil government, United States history, patriotism, and citizenship. Accredited private and parochial high schools must give a course of instruction in the government and institutions of the United States, particularly the Constitution of the United States. No student can graduate from high school without successfully passing such a course. K.S.A. §72-1103.
  • Private or parochial schools have a duty to display the United States flag and official state flag every school day from a flagstaff or, in inclement weather, within the school building. K.S.A. §§73-707 and 73-712.
  • It is a defense to being prosecuted for promoting obscenity and promoting obscenity to minors if the obscene material was acquired by the private or parochial school and distributed as part of an approved course of instruction at the school. K.S.A. §21-6401(g)(3).
  • Accredited schools in Kansas must provide instruction on Kansas history and government to all students graduating from high school. K.S.A. §72-1117.
  • Every accredited school shall teach the subjects and areas of instruction adopted by the Kansas State Board of Education as of January 1, 2005. K.S.A. §72-1127(a).

Recordkeeping and Reports

  • The governing authority of a nonpublic school must designate an employee to report students who are not regularly attending school as required by law. The designation must be made by September 1 of each school year and certified by the state board of education to the secretary for children and families or a designee of, to the country or district attorney or designee of, and to the commissioner of education within 10 days. If a student is absent without excuse for three consecutive school days, five or more school days in any semester, or seven school days in any school year, the nonpublic school shall notify the parents of their legal responsibility, and if an appropriate response is not received, file a report of the absences with the above authorities. K.S.A. §72-1113(a), (c), and (d).
  • Every nonpublic school operating within Kansas must require proof of identity, preferably a birth certificate or pupil records from a prior school, whenever a child enrolls in a school for the first time. If proof of identity is not presented within 30 days, the governing authority must give written notice to the local law enforcement agency for an investigation into the identity of the child. Persons with custody of the child must not be informed of the investigation while it is being conducted. K.S.A. §72-53,106.
  • Accredited nonpublic schools, their governing bodies, and their employees are immune from civil liability for any statement, report, or action taken in assisting or referring a pupil reasonably believed to be abusing or incapacitated by drugs or alcohol unless the report was made in bad faith or with malicious purpose. K.S.A. §72-53,104.
  • The governing authority of a nonpublic school must adopt rules for determining valid excuses for absence from school. K.S.A. §72-1113(c)(2), (g).

Health and Safety Requirements

  • Every pupil up to the age of nine years who has not been previously enrolled in any Kansas school must present the results of a health assessment prior to admission to or attendance in school. A health assessment includes a health history, physical examination, and such screening tests as are medically indicated to determine hearing ability, vision ability, nutrition adequacy, and appropriate growth and development. Before the beginning of each school year, nonpublic schools must provide all known incoming students who are subject to this provision with a copy of any governing policy adopted by the governing body of the nonpublic school. Parents are exempt if they are opposed to the assessment based on the religious teachings of their denomination and file a signed statement to that effect. Local health departments and clinics may charge a sliding fee for the health assessment, but no pupil can be denied the health assessment due to inability to pay. K.S.A. §72-5214.
  • Private school students enrolling for the first time must present certification that they have received the tests and inoculations as required by the secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Alternatively, a student may present medical certification that the test or inoculation would seriously harm his or her health or a written statement that the student is an adherent of a religious denomination whose teachings are opposed to such tenets or inoculations. On or before May 15 of each school year, private schools must give a copy of this provision and any relevant school policy to all known pupils who are enrolled or will be enrolling in the school. If a pupil transfers schools, the school must forward the certification or statement with the pupil’s transcript to the new school. The area health department will provide tests and inoculations at public expense, to the extent that funds are available, when parents or guardians have not provided for the pupils and are not exempt on religious or medical grounds. K.S.A. §§72-5209 – 5210.
  • Parochial and private school principals have a duty to exclude children affected with diseases suspected of being infectious or contagious until the expiration of the prescribed period of isolation for the particular disease. K.S.A. §65-122.
  • All private schools must provide a basic vision screening without charge to every pupil not less than once every two years. The school board must designate someone to perform the test and notify parents or guardians if an examination by a physician or optometrist is warranted. K.S.A. §§ 72-5204 – 5205.
  • Students enrolled in accredited nonpublic schools are entitled to free basic hearing screenings during the first year of admission and not less than once every three years thereafter. The child must be provided a basic hearing screening by the accredited nonpublic school or, if requested by the child’s parents, by the school district where the child resides. If the parents request the public school district to provide the screening, it will be conducted at the nonpublic school if the nonpublic school is located within the school district where the child resides. However, the screening must be conducted at a public school within the district where the child resides if the accredited nonpublic school is located outside the school district where the child resides. K.S.A. §72-1205. See Nursing and Health.
  • Private and nonpublic schools are subject to annual safety inspections. The state fire marshall will notify the school of any dangerous conditions that require correction. Schools may petition for review in the local district court if they disagree with the fire marshall’s assessment. K.S.A. §31-144.
  • Administrators of private schools are required to conduct at least one fire drill each month at some time during school hours as prescribed by the state fire marshall. In addition, private schools are required to conduct at least three tornado drills during the school year, subject to the fire marshall’s approval. K.S.A. §31-133(a)(5), (8).
  • Smoking or the use of tobacco products in school buildings is prohibited. K.S.A. §72-53,107.
  • Private school buildings must comply with applicable building, mechanical, electric, and plumbing codes. In addition, the construction of all school buildings must be accessible to persons with a disability to the extent required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. All school building construction plans must bear the seal of a licensed architect or engineer and must be submitted to the Kansas State Board of Education for approval. K.S.A. §31-150.
  • It is a violation of the Kansas criminal code to possess a firearm on the property of an accredited nonpublic school, or to refuse to surrender or immediately remove any firearm when requested to do so by a school employee or a law enforcement officer. K.S.A. §21-6301(a)(11) & (12).
  • Under Kansas’ criminal code, the severity level of the felony increases one level for persons who possess a controlled substance with intent to sell on or within 1,000 feet of any property used for an accredited nonpublic school or extracurricular school activity, even when no children are present. K.S.A. §§21-5701 and 21-5705.
  • No liquor retail, microbrewery, microdistillery, or farm winery license may be issued for premises within 200 feet of a parochial school, unless the school was established within 200 feet of the premises after the license had been issued. K.S.A. §41-710.
  • Students and teachers in private schools working in specified activities in vocational, technical or industrial art shops, or laboratories and/or chemical-physical laboratories are required to wear appropriate industrial quality eye protective devices. K.S.A. §72-5207.


  • Students of accredited private or parochial schools are entitled to transportation along the regular route of the school bus if transportation is provided to public school students. Public school districts may also provide additional transportation for students of accredited private or parochial schools located within the public school district. Such additional transportation is based on the public school district’s discretion. The terms and conditions for transportation services must be the same for public and nonpublic students. K.S.A. §72-8306.
  • The board of a public school district may contract with the governing body of any nonpublic school for the transportation of the nonpublic school’s students to or from interschool or intraschool activities. K.S.A. §72-8316(a)(2).
  • Privately owned school buses operated under contract with a nonpublic school must comply with state rules and regulations adopted by the state board of education that govern the design and operation of school buses. This includes that all seats should be forward facing, and that the rules and regulations must by reference be part of any contract. K.S.A. §8-2009.


  • Public schools are not obligated to make textbooks or academic materials available to nonpublic school students. However, the public school district may allow students attending accredited nonpublic schools to purchase textbooks from the public school district. K.S.A. §72-4160.


  • Testing requirements are not placed on non-accredited private schools.
  • Accredited private schools must have 95 percent or more of all students and 95 percent or more of each student subgroup take the state assessments. K.A.R. 91-31-32(b)(2).

Special Education

  • Local school boards for the public school districts have the authority to contract with any private, nonprofit corporation or public or private institution within or without Kansas that has proper special education services for exceptional children. The state board of education shall approve the curriculum. K.S.A. §72-967(a).
  • Upon the request of a parent or guardian, every public school district must provide special education services for exceptional children who reside in the district and attend a private, non-profit elementary or secondary school. K.S.A. §72-5393.
  • If such special education services are provided in the public schools, equal services must be provided for exceptional elementary and secondary school children who reside in the district and attend a private, non-profit school. The special education services may be provided in either the public or the nonpublic schools in the district; if the services are offered in the public schools, the public school district must provide transportation for private school students. If such special education services are provided at the private, non-profit school, amounts to be expended do not have to exceed the average cost of providing the same services in the public school for children with the same disability. K.S.A. §72-5393.
  • Private, nonprofit elementary or secondary schools are defined as organizations regularly offering elementary or secondary education, exempt from federal income tax under §501 of the Internal Revenue Code, conforming to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and satisfying compulsory school attendance laws. K.S.A. §72-5392(c).

Nursing and Health

  • Nonpublic schools may participate in the federal food service programs that are administered by the state board of education and receive reimbursement for meals served. K.S.A. §72-5112 et seq.
  • “Every pupil enrolled in a school district or an accredited nonpublic school shall be provided basic hearing screening without charge during the first year of admission and not less than once every three years thereafter.“ K.S.A. §72-1205. See Health and Safety Requirements.


  • The state library and the state board of education may contract with nonpublic schools to provide computerized information search services. K.S.A. §§72-7527 and 75-2563.

Professional Development

  • Kansas provides for nonpublic school representation on the Teaching and School Administration Professional Standards Advisory Board. By statute, two members of the 21-member board come from accredited nonpublic schools. K.S.A. §72-8502(d)(8)(9).

Reimbursement for Performing State and Local Functions

  • Students attending accredited nonpublic schools and enrolled in an approved course in driver training offered at the school may participate in the state safety fund and receive remuneration for their expenses if the student completes the course. In addition, students attending accredited nonpublic schools who have enrolled in and completed an approved motorcycle safety course offered at the school may participate in the motorcycle safety fund and receive remuneration for their expenses. K.S.A. §8-272.

Tax Exemption

  • Property used exclusively for educational purposes is exempt from property taxation in Kansas. Kansas Constitution, 2007 Supp. Art. 11, Sec. 1. (b); K.S.A. 2007 Supp. §79-201.

Public Aid for Private Education

  • Constitutional Provisions: The Kansas Constitution prohibits any control of the public educational funds by religious sects. Kansas Constitution., Art. 6, Sec. 6.
  • Programs for Financial Assistance for Attendance at Private Schools: An eligible student may qualify for a Low Income Students Scholarship to attend any nonpublic school that has notified the state board of education of its intention to participate in the program and complies with the program requirements. An applicant must be eligible for free lunch under the National School Lunch Act and attend a school that qualifies as either a Title I Focus School or a Title I Priority School or be the previous recipient of a scholarship under this program. Those eligible may not have already graduated from high school or reached 21 years of age. The scholarship may not exceed $8,000 per school year. Contributions are made by scholarship-granting organizations that receive tax credits equal to 70 percent of the contribution. K.S.A. 2014 Supp. §§72-99a01 – 72-99a07 and 72-6407.

Home Schools

Home Education Programs

  • Kansas does not have a home school statute, but the Kansas legislature enacted the Parental Rights Act in 1996 stating, “It shall be the public policy of this state that parents shall retain the fundamental right to exercise primary control over the care and upbringing of their children in their charge.” K.S.A. §38-141(b).

Initial and Renewal Application

  • Home schooling falls within the general classification of non-accredited private schools and must comply with the provisions for non-accredited private schools. This requires the school to choose a name, and register its name and address with the Kansas State Board of Education. K.S.A. §72-53,101.

Curriculum and Instruction

  • In order to satisfy the compulsory attendance statute, a home school must have a “competent” instructor and instruction time must be “substantially equivalent” to the public school (465 hours per year for kindergarten, 1,116 hours per year for grades 1-11, and 1,086 hours per year for 12th-graders). K.S.A. §§72-1106(b) and §72-1111(a)(2).

Assessment and Diplomas

  • As non-accredited private schools, home schools must have instruction that is planned and scheduled with periodic testing. When determining if a home school satisfies the compulsory attendance statute, courts will consider the planning, scheduling, and periodic testing that occurs. If a home school does not satisfy the compulsory attendance statute, children can be found to be in need of care and subject to the authority of the state. In Re Sawyer 234 Kan. 436, 672 P.2d 1093 (1983) and Kansas Attorney General Opinion No. 85-159 (1985).

Special Education

  • Upon the request of a parent or guardian, every public school district must provide special education services for exceptional children who reside in the district and attend a private, non-profit elementary or secondary school. K.S.A. §72-5393.

Public School Access

  • No state policy for public school access at this time.

Web Resources

Information and Legislative

Contact Information – State and Federal Departments of Education

    Kansas State Department of Education
    Landon State Office Building
    900 SW Jackson St.
    Topeka, KS 66612-1212
    Phone: 785-296-3201
    Website: http://www.ksde.org/
    U.S. Department of Education, Kansas

    Updated June 24, 2015