Follow homeschoolCA on Twitter Facebook badge Google Plus badge Pinterest Badge

Homeschool Directory
Member Login
Forgot Your Password?
Powered by CitySoft Community Enterprise

Filing a Private School Affidavit (PSA)

The step-by-step instructions included were updated September 30, 2020. The Private School Affidavit Form is essentially the same as last year, though the order of information required has changed..

Step-by-Step Instructions to File the 2020-2021 PSA

An excerpt from The California Homeschool Manual: A guide to private home education in California

Because the procedure for filing the annual Private School Affidavit (PSA) may change after the publication date for this manual, please check the CHEA website just prior to filing to see if there are any updates.

What Filing the Affidavit Does

The Education Code requires private schools to file an affidavit each year, but it is important to understand that filing the form does not create a school. If that seems confusing, think of it like you would think of your car: renewing your car’s registration each year does not make it a car. Even registering a brand new car for the first time does not make it a car. Registering is simply a legal requirement with which owners of cars must comply. In the same way, filing the affidavit is simply a registration requirement for schools; it has nothing to do with creating a private school.

Additionally, filing the affidavit does not mean any official recognition or approval is given to your school by the government; nor does it mean your school is accredited. Filing the affidavit simply means your school has complied with E.C. § 33190, which requires the annual filing.


The CDE website includes a section of “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ). Their information on homeschooling changes every year or so. The current information is generally not as scary or intimidating as it used to be, but there are still some troubling sections. For example, one question and answer suggest it’s a good idea to call your local school district and announce that you plan to homeschool. Don’t do that. It’s not required and is more likely to raise questions and create problems than to help. Another question and answer indicate that the local attendance supervisor can have a look at your records any time he or she wants. That’s not accurate either. The authority is limited to verifying that the affidavit is filed. Unless someone has a court order or warrant, you don’t need to show your records. If someone ever insists that you show your records, call HSLDA.


Where to Go for Help

Do not call public school officials for information on private home education nor on filing a private school affidavit (PSA). Because the public school officials of necessity specialize in public schools, they typically do not understand the law as it relates to private education. Confusing or inaccurate information has been given to private home educators who have contacted the California Department of Education, County Board of Education, or local public school officials. Instead, if you have questions after reading the information here and checking the CHEA website for updates, if you are a member of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) contact their office for answers to legal questions. If you are not a member of HSLDA, it’s recommended that you join.

Who Should File a PSA?

Only private schools file PSAs. And only one PSA is filed for each school. So if you’re running your own private school in order to homeschool your children, you should file.

Additionally, only children between ages six and 18 are required to attend school. So only file if you have students between those ages. If your oldest child is four or five and you’re teaching kindergarten or prekindergarten, you don’t need to file yet—not unless your oldest child will be turning six before September 1.

If you are joining a PSP do not file your own affidavit. You are enrolling your children in an existing private school, and the administrator should file the affidavit each year.

If you are homeschooling under the tutorial exemption because you are a credentialed teacher or have hired one, you do not need to file a PSA. However, many who are qualified to use the tutorial exemption choose to establish a private school in their home and use that exemption instead because the hours and days requirements are more flexible for private schools than for tutors. So you are free to make the choice of which exemption to use if you are qualified for both. If you choose to operate as a tutor, don’t file; if you choose to operate as a private school, then do file.

When to File the PSA

California Education Code (E.C.) Section 33190 requires that every private school file a private school affidavit with the Superintendent of Public Instruction at the California Department of Education between October 1 and 15 of each year. If you are setting up your school after October 15 and the private school affidavit is still available online, we recommend that you go ahead and file regardless of the time of year.

How to File the PSA

Before you can fill out the PSA form, you will have to choose a name for your school and designate at least one administrator, who may also be the teacher. In homeschools, it’s common for the father to be the principal and teacher, and for the mother to be the administrator and teacher.

The PSA is available online at the California Department of Education (CDE) website:

Only information required by E. C. 33190 must be included on the affidavit. However, the computerized online affidavit form has been programmed by the CDE to ask for some additional information. When filing online, we recommend that you provide only the asterisked information, which is what is necessary to file your affidavit online.

Because the PSA form requests non-required information, some private schools chose to file their affidavit by sending a letter Chapter Two: Establishing a Private School 87 rather than using the CDE form. The CDE calls this filing an affidavit by a “Letter in Lieu” of the application form.

Step-by-step instructions

We recommend that if you are setting up your school for the first time, or if you are new to the online filing system, you  purchase CHEA's The California Homeschool Manual: A guide to private home education in California and read the entire chapter on the PSA before filing. The manual includes complete details including "File or Not File" and "Letter in Lieu." If you have any questions or difficulties, please don’t hesitate to contact our office: (562) 864-2432 or

Thank you to Family Protection Ministries and HSLDA for their help on this subject.


Join CHEA   |   Donate   |   Contact Us   |  Advertising  |   Badges   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms of Service

©1997-2015 Christian Home Educators Association of California

Follow homeschoolCA on Twitter Facebook badge Google Plus badge Pinterest Badge

Why Support CHEA
Get The CHEA Connection
Homeschool411 Blog
New To Homeschooling
CHEA Online Store
National Home Education Research Institute
SPED Homeschool

Christian Community Credit Union

Proud Sponsor of CHEA's Annual Homeschool Convention!

Click here for details!

AC21 SaveTheDate promo

CHEA 2021 Annual Homeschool Convention

Save The Date!

Click here for details!

CHEA Summer Series

CHEA Summer Series

Click here for more info!

Chea Volunteer promo

CHEA Volunteers Needed Now!

Join the team here!

CHEA Homeschool Directory

Find a Homeschool Group.

Click here to learn more

three sets of hands holding a small house

CHEA Membership

Your passport to valuable benefits.

Join Today!

The 36th Annual CHEA Convention Menu

Attend Free
Bloggers Night Out
Children᾿s Convention
College Prep/College Fair Night
Exhibitor Workshops
Facility Maps
Free Mini-Conference for New Homeschoolers

General Information
Graduation Ceremony
Hotel & Parking
Information & Procedures
Leadership Conference
Local Attractions
Parents of Preschoolers

Speakers Bios
Teen Convention
Ultimate Giveaway
Used Curriculum
Workshop Descriptions
Workshop Grid
Workshops by Topic

The 35th Annual CHEA Convention Menu
The 34th Annual CHEA Convention Menu
The 33rd Annual CHEA Convention Menu