Where and When to File the PSA
The PSA may be filed online at the California Department of Education website from October 1 to October 15 of every year. Schools that are created after the filing period should file at the time the school is established. CHN recommends that you file electronically using the CDE’s online form. If you provide a working email address, you will immediately receive a confirmation number and a link to view your PSA online. Keep that information in case anyone requests a confirmation! Web address for the on-line form (under 6 students) is: http://www3.cde.ca.gov/psa/form.asp?formtype=blank or click on the button below. The CDE does not accept affidavits during the months of August and September, even if your school begins during these months.
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Once you submit the form and receive your confirmation number, you should print a copy for your records.
Need help filling out the PSA? CHN has detailed line by line instructions for completing the online PSA (this information is updated every year in October after the new PSA is available online). Click on the button below for instructions.
If you need to file your affidavit and cannot do so electronically, you have two choices. First, you may request a paper PSA from the state. To receive a paper PSA, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (916) 445-7331. Secondly, CHN has developed a “Statement in Lieu” that has been accepted by the CDE.
How the Private School Affidavit Works
The affidavit does not license, evaluate, recognize, approve of, or endorse a private school. The State of California accredits neither public nor private schools. The affidavit itself is a statistical tool, and necessary to effect the pupil’s exemption from compulsory public school enrollment and attendance. By filing an affidavit you are showing intent to establish a private school, and informing the state, as required by law. Parents have been legally using this provision for many years to conduct their own home-based private schools.
California Private School Requirements
Education Code sections §48222, §48415, §33190, §51210 and §51220 set the criteria for a private school. The following legal requirements apply to all private schools regardless of size:
- The administrator of every private school must file an affidavit with the Superintendent of Public Instruction between October 1 and October 15 of each year.
- Private school instructors must be “capable of teaching.” There is, however, no requirement in the CA Education Code that mandates that teachers in a private school setting hold a state teaching credential or have the equivalent training.
- The names and addresses, including city and street, of the faculty must be kept on file, as must a record of the educational qualifications of each instructor.
- Instruction must be in English.
- Instruction must be offered “in the several branches of study required to be taught in the public schools.” The materials and methods you use to teach these areas are up to you. You are not required to teach every subject as long as it is offered and available to the student:
- Grades 1-6: English, math, social sciences, science, fine arts, health and physical education.
- Grades 7-12: All that is included in the above plus foreign language, applied arts, vocational education, and driver’s education.
CHN’s School Record Keeping page has links to forms and examples to help you understand the record keeping requirements.
Answers To Frequently Asked Questions
If you still have questions, call your CHN Local Contact or The Homeschool Hotline at (800) 327-5339 for more information. Email the Legal Rights Committee about any problems you may have with Department of Education officials.