Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Montana's Home School Law
A list of all the applicable statutes.
Office of Public Instruction - Montana Home School
The Office of Public Instruction receives dozens of calls each year from people with questions about home schooling. Many of those calling request that OPI provide a summary of Montana law pertaining to home schooling. This document outlines key statutes re: private/nonpublic schools in Montana. Attached to this document is the full text of statutes and administrative rules that may be of interest to those with questions about home schooling. The statutes discussed below may also be found in the 2007 Montana Code Annotated and have been in effect for many years. This packet of information is not provided as a complete analysis of the issue nor is it intended as legal advice.
Flathead Home Educator's Association
Our main purpose is to encourage homeschooling. The F.H.E.A. has an annual board meeting in April. This meeting is open to anyone interested in attending. We welcome your input. If you have questions about the association that needs to be addressed sooner you can contact the board by filling out a contact form. We are open to all but are Christian based. Our group has a variety of backgrounds so please do your homework and make sure activities are not offensive to your family morals or beliefs.
20-5-102. Compulsory enrollment and excuses.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), any parent, guardian, or other person who is responsible for the care of any child who is 7 years of age or older prior to the first day of school in any school fiscal year shall cause the child to be instructed in the program prescribed by the board of public education pursuant to 20-7-111 until the later of the following dates.
20-5-103. Compulsory attendance and excuses.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), any parent, guardian, or other person who is responsible for the care of any child who is 7 years of age or older prior to the first day of school in any school fiscal year shall cause the child to attend the school in which the child is enrolled for the school term and each school day in the term prescribed by the trustees of the district until the later of the following dates.
20-5-104. Attendance officer.
In order to enforce the compulsory attendance provisions of this title, each district shall have at least one person serving as an attendance officer according to the following requirements:
(1) districts of the first class and districts of the second class with a dropout rate higher than the statewide average dropout rate as calculated by the office of public instruction shall appoint one or more of the district's staff as attendance officers;
(2) districts of the second class with a dropout rate at or below the statewide average dropout rate as calculated by the office of public instruction and districts of the third class may appoint one or more of the district's staff as attendance officers; or
(3) the county superintendent must be the attendance officer in second-class or third-class districts that do not appoint an attendance officer.
20-5-109. Nonpublic school requirements for compulsory enrollment exemption.
To qualify its students for exemption from compulsory enrollment under 20-5-102, a nonpublic or home school:
(1) shall maintain records on pupil attendance and disease immunization and make the records available to the county superintendent of schools on request;
(2) shall provide at least the minimum aggregate hours of pupil instruction in accordance with 20-1-301 and 20-1-302;
(3) must be housed in a building that complies with applicable local health and safety regulations;
(4) shall provide an organized course of study that includes instruction in the subjects required of public schools as a basic instructional program pursuant to 20-7-111; and
(5) in the case of home schools, shall notify the county superintendent of schools of the county in which the home school is located in each school fiscal year of the student's attendance at the school.
20-5-110. School district assessment for placement of a child who enrolls from a nonaccredited, nonpublic school.
The trustees of a school district shall:
(1) adopt a district policy on assessment for placement of any child who enrolls in a school of the district and whose previous place of instruction was a nonpublic school that is not accredited;
(2) include in the adopted policy the following provisions:
(a) the specific assessment for placement to be administered to any child subject to the provisions of subsection (1);
(b) a procedure for grade and program placement of the child based on results of the assessment for placement, including considerations for the age and identified abilities of the child; and
(c) a hearing process before the board of trustees of the district if the parent or guardian of a child is not in agreement with the placement of the child and requests a hearing before the board; and
(3) administer the adopted policy required in subsection (1) in a uniform and fair manner.
20-5-111. Responsibilities and rights of parent who provides home school.
Subject to the provisions of 20-5-109, a parent has the authority to instruct the parent's child, stepchild, or ward in a home school and is solely responsible for:
(1) the educational philosophy of the home school;
(2) the selection of instructional materials, curriculum, and textbooks;
(3) the time, place, and method of instruction; and
(4) the evaluation of the home school instruction.
20-1-301. School fiscal year.
(1) The school fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30. At least the minimum aggregate hours defined in subsection (2) must be conducted during each school fiscal year, except that 1,050 aggregate hours of pupil instruction for graduating seniors may be sufficient.
(2) The minimum aggregate hours required by grade are:
(a) 360 hours for a half-time kindergarten program or 720 hours for a full-time kindergarten program, as provided in 20-7-117;
(b) 720 hours for grades 1 through 3; and
(c) 1,080 hours for grades 4 through 12.
(3) For any elementary or high school district that fails to provide for at least the minimum aggregate hours, as listed in subsections (1) and (2), the superintendent of public instruction shall reduce the direct state aid for the district for that school year by two times an hourly rate, as calculated by the office of public instruction, for the aggregate hours missed.
(13) (a) "Minimum aggregate hours" means the minimum hours of pupil instruction that must be conducted during the school fiscal year in accordance with 20-1-301 and includes passing time between classes.
(b) The term does not include lunch time and periods of unstructured recess.
Search the Library to locate books, e-books, videos, articles, journals...
Other Search Options