General Overview of the Homeschooling Laws in Montana
The law that deals with home schools in the state of Montana are the Montana Code Annotated Section 20-5-102(2). It states homeschool as an exception to the public school compulsory attendance regulations. It is expressly written in the said section that a parent, legal guardian or other people shall enroll the student or child in the school chosen by the district’s trustees within the first week of the current school term or when the residence of the child is established in the district. However, this is not applicable if the child is enrolled in a nonpublic or homeschool that is in compliance with the provisions of the state’s laws.
Learn more about Montana Homeschooling in this short video below:
As defined by the law of Montana, home school is the instruction of his child, stepchild, or ward by a parent in his residence. A nonpublic school, as also defined, includes a church, parochial, religious, or private school. A parent or legal guardian has the authority to instruct his or her child, stepchild, or ward in a homeschool and is responsible for the homeschool’s educational philosophy, the choosing of instructional materials, textbooks and curriculum, the schedule, venue and method of instruction to be used, and lastly, the evaluation of the home school instruction.
Notification of Intent to homeschool in Montana
The Montana Homeschool Law requires a parent or legal guardian to notify the superintendent of schools of the county. They must do the notification every year that they have chosen to homeschool. The Superintendent of Schools of the county will then provide the parent or legal guardian with a notification form that is needed to be filled out and to be sent in afterward. They may also provide an attendance sheet to keep track of the student attendance in that homeschool. During every school fiscal year which is from the 1st of July to the 30th June, the parent or legal guardian must notify the school’s superintendent of the county where their homeschool is situated. This is to notify them every year of their choice that child is being homeschooled.
Qualifications required to homeschool in Montana
Under homeschool laws of the state of Montana, no requirements or specific qualifications are needed in order to be eligible to homeschool. The only requirement to homeschool a child is that the one giving the instructions must simply be the parent of the student, his or her step-parent, or legal guardian. The residence in which the home instructions will be held should meet the local and health regulations. Also, it is also not required to use standardized testing in home school situations.
Number of days/hours of instruction required for homeschoolers in Montana
The number of days or hours of instruction required for homeschoolers in Montana is at least three hundred sixty (360) hours for kindergarten students, seven hundred twenty (720) hours of instruction every school fiscal year in the 1st to the 3rd grade, and lastly, the student must accomplish at least one thousand eighty (1080) hours of instruction every school fiscal year in the 4th to the 12th grade.
What subjects need to be covered in Home Education (and for how long) in Montana?
The homeschool must plan and provide a course of study that is organized and which includes instruction in the basic subjects required to be taught in Montana public schools. The subjects need to be covered in homeschools in Montana are Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Arts, Health, and Career Education.
What are the recordkeeping requirements for homeschoolers in Montana?
The recordkeeping requirements for homeschooler in Montana is quite simple. The parent or legal guardian of the child must maintain records on student attendance and immunization of disease. The parent or legal guardian shall, upon request, make the records available to the school’s superintendent of the county.
Is part-time enrollment permitted in Montana?
No, part-time enrollment is not permitted in Montana. According to the case of Kaptein v. Conrad, the Supreme Courts’ review of cases from other jurisdictions dealing with the participation of home school students to public school courses shows no decisions which recognize the participation of a non-enrolled student to participate in a public school as a constitutional right. The Constitution of the United States, unlike the Constitution of Montana, does not expressly or impliedly guarantee a right to education.
Are homeschoolers permitted to participate in extracurricular activities in Montana?
No, homeschoolers are not permitted to participate in extracurricular activities in Montana. The prevailing rule from the Supreme in the same case mentioned above is that the policy of the school district which prohibits nonpublic students from joining athletic programs was justified and reasonable.