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Exemptions from School Attendance - November 2010 Revision

Note: This procedural directive was reviewed and revised in May 2013. We provide this revision for historic purposes only. Please refer to the current procedural Directive.

New Mexico’s Compulsory School Attendance law states that:

Any qualified student, and any person who because of his age is eligible (5 years) to become a qualified student shall attend a public school, a private school, or a state institution until attaining the age of majority (18 years). The student shall be excused from this requirement if:

  1. The person is specifically exempted by law from the provisions of this section;
  2. The person has graduated from a high school;
  3. The person is at least sixteen years of age and had been excused by the local school board or its authorized representative upon a finding that the person will be employed in a gainful trade or occupation or engaged in an alternative form of education sufficient for the person's educational needs and the parent, guardian, or other person having custody and control consents; (See attached Form AD-16.)
  4. With the consent of the parent, guardian, or person having custody and control of the student person to be excused, the student is excused from the provisions of this section by the superintendent of schools of the school district in which the student is a resident. The student must be under eight years of age.

Application for Exemption

Application for exemption from school attendance under the paragraphs of 22-12-2, cited above, must originate with the student and parent or guardian. Upon receiving a request for exemption from compulsory school attendance, a conference with the school counselor and principal will be arranged within five (5) school days to discuss alternatives and the reasons for the request. After a conference with the counselor and principal, the request for exemption, accompanied by the student's transcript and the counselor’s recommendation, in memo form, will be forwarded to the Superintendent or designee within three (3) days.

If the student leaves school before the process is complete, an educational neglect suit will be filed with district court. Exemption from school attendance becomes official when the request is signed by the Superintendent or designee. The student will remain on the school rolls until officially exempted. Completed forms will be on file in the Student Services office.

Exemptions from public school attendance under 22-12-2 are not final and irrevocable. Readmittance to public schools at a later date will be considered if the student and/or parent or guardian makes a request to the school principal.

Cross Ref.: Board Policy J.08

Legal Ref.: 22-12-2 NMSA 1978 (1986 Repl.)

NSBA/NEPN Classification: JHD

Revised: May 1995
Revised: April 1996
Revised: May 1997