Nebraska Revised Statute 79-1601

Chapter 79 Section 1601

79-1601.

Private, denominational, or parochial schools, teachers, and other individuals; laws applicable; election not to meet accreditation or approval requirements.

(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) through (6) of this section, all private, denominational, and parochial schools in the State of Nebraska and all teachers employed or giving instruction in such schools shall be subject to and governed by the provisions of the general school laws of the state so far as the same apply to grades, qualifications, and certification of teachers and promotion of students. All private, denominational, and parochial schools shall have adequate equipment and supplies, shall be graded the same, and shall have courses of study for each grade conducted in such schools substantially the same as those given in the public schools which the students would attend in the absence of such private, denominational, or parochial schools.

(2) All private, denominational, or parochial schools shall either comply with the accreditation or approval requirements prescribed in section 79-318 or, for those schools which elect not to meet accreditation or approval requirements, the requirements prescribed in section 79-318 and subsections (2) through (6) of this section. Standards and procedures for approval and accreditation shall be based upon the program of studies, guidance services, the number and preparation of teachers in relation to the curriculum and enrollment, instructional materials and equipment, science facilities and equipment, library facilities and materials, and health and safety factors in buildings and grounds. Rules and regulations which govern standards and procedures for private, denominational, and parochial schools which elect, pursuant to the procedures prescribed in subsections (2) through (6) of this section, not to meet state accreditation or approval requirements shall be based upon evidence that such schools offer a program of instruction leading to the acquisition of basic skills in the language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and health. Such rules and regulations may include a provision for the visitation of such schools and regular achievement testing of students attending such schools in order to insure that such schools are offering instruction in the basic skills listed in this subsection. Any arrangements for visitation or testing shall be made through a parent representative of each such school. The results of such testing may be used as evidence that such schools are offering instruction in such basic skills but shall not be used to measure, compare, or evaluate the competency of students at such schools.

(3) The provisions of subsections (3) through (6) of this section shall apply to any private, denominational, or parochial school in the State of Nebraska which elects not to meet state accreditation or approval requirements. Elections pursuant to such subsections shall be effective when a statement is received by the Commissioner of Education signed by the parents or legal guardians of all students attending such private, denominational, or parochial school, stating that (a) either specifically (i) the requirements for approval and accreditation required by law and the rules and regulations adopted and promulgated by the State Board of Education violate sincerely held religious beliefs of the parents or legal guardians or (ii) the requirements for approval and accreditation required by law and the rules and regulations adopted and promulgated by the State Board of Education interfere with the decisions of the parents or legal guardians in directing the student's education, (b) an authorized representative of such parents or legal guardians will at least annually submit to the Commissioner of Education the information necessary to prove that the requirements of subdivisions (4)(a) through (c) of this section are satisfied, (c) the school offers the courses of instruction required by subsections (2), (3), and (4) of this section, and (d) the parents or legal guardians have satisfied themselves that individuals monitoring instruction at such school are qualified to monitor instruction in the basic skills as required by subsections (2), (3), and (4) of this section and that such individuals have demonstrated an alternative competency to monitor instruction or supervise students pursuant to subsections (3) through (6) of this section.

(4) Each such private, denominational, or parochial school shall (a) meet minimum requirements relating to health, fire, and safety standards prescribed by state law and the rules and regulations of the State Fire Marshal, (b) report attendance pursuant to section 79-201, (c) maintain a sequential program of instruction designed to lead to basic skills in the language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and health, and (d) comply with the immunization requirements in section 79-217 if the statement signed by the parents or legal guardians indicate a nonreligious reason pursuant to subdivision (3)(a)(ii) of this section for the student attending a private, denominational, or parochial school which elects not to meet state accreditation or approval requirements. The State Board of Education shall establish procedures for receiving information and reports required by subsections (3) through (6) of this section from authorized parent representatives who may act as agents for parents or legal guardians of students attending such school and for individuals monitoring instruction in the basic skills required by subsections (2), (3), and (4) of this section.

(5) Individuals employed or utilized by schools which elect not to meet state accreditation or approval requirements shall not be required to meet the certification requirements prescribed in sections 79-801 to 79-815 but shall either (a) take appropriate subject matter components of a nationally recognized teacher competency examination designated by the State Board of Education as (i) including the appropriate subject matter areas for purposes of satisfying the requirements of subsections (3) and (4) of this section and (ii) a nationally recognized examination or (b) offer evidence of competence to provide instruction in the basic skills required by subsections (3) and (4) of this section pursuant to informal methods of evaluation which shall be developed by the State Board of Education. Such evidence may include educational transcripts, diplomas, and other information regarding the formal educational background of such individuals. Information concerning test results, transcripts, diplomas, and other evidence of formal education may be transmitted to the State Department of Education by authorized representatives of parents or legal guardians. The results of such testing or alternative evaluation of individuals who monitor the instruction of students attending such schools may be used as evidence of whether or not such schools are offering adequate instruction in the basic skills prescribed in subsections (2), (3), and (4) of this section but shall not be used to prohibit any such school from employing such individuals. Failure of a monitor, who is tested for the purpose of satisfying in whole or in part the requirements of subsections (3) through (6) of this section, to attain a score equal to or exceeding both the state or national average score or rating on appropriate subject matter components of recognized teacher competency examinations designated by the State Board of Education may be by itself sufficient proof that such school does not offer adequate instruction in the basic skills prescribed in subsections (3) and (4) of this section.

(6) The demonstration of competency to monitor instruction in a private, denominational, or parochial school which has elected not to meet state accreditation or approval requirements shall in no way constitute or be construed to grant a license, permit, or certificate to teach in the State of Nebraska. Any school which elects not to meet state accreditation or approval requirements and does not meet the requirements of subsections (2) through (6) of this section shall not be deemed a school for purposes of section 79-201, and the parents or legal guardians of any students attending such school shall be subject to prosecution pursuant to such section or any statutes relating to habitual truancy.

Source

Cross References

  • Admission to public college or university, see section 85-607.
  • Identification of students, home school duties, see section 43-2007.
  • Religious beliefs, conflict with required immunizations, see section 79-221.
  • Sales and use tax exemption, see section 77-2704.12.
  • Student transfer, access to student files or records, see section 79-2,105.

Annotations

  • This section does not set out a deadline for an exempt school to begin operations. State v. Thacker, 286 Neb. 16, 834 N.W.2d 597 (2013).

  • Requirement of minimal school standards did not infringe upon constitutional rights of parents of school children. Meyerkorth v. State, 173 Neb. 889, 115 N.W.2d 585 (1962).