- Homeschool statute: Parents must provide “an organized educational program in the subject areas of reading, spelling, mathematics, science, history, civics, literature, writing, and English grammar.” There are no notification, parent qualification, instruction time, bookkeeping, or assessment requirements.
- Private school: Parents may operate homeschools as private schools, thus gaining access to a wider array of services. Parents must provide annual notice, have at least a bachelor’s degree or a teaching certificate (this requirement is waived in the case of religious objections), provide instruction in subjects “comparable to those taught in the public schools to children of corresponding age and grade,” and keep basic records. There are no instruction time or assessment requirements.
(1) Homeschool Statute
A child is excused from compulsory public school attendance if “the child is being educated at the child’s home by his or her parent or legal guardian in an organized educational program in the subject areas of reading, spelling, mathematics, science, history, civics, literature, writing, and English grammar.” See MCLA § 380.1561(3)(f).
|Days or hours:||None.|
|Subjects:||Parents must offer “an organized educational program in the subject areas of reading, spelling, mathematics, science, history, civics, literature, writing, and English grammar.”|
|Intervention:||Failure to educate is not included in the state’s definition of neglect, meaning that Michigan Child Protective Services does not have the authority to investigate educational neglect. If there is ever a question regarding whether a homeschooled child is being provided the required instruction, the state has the burden of proving that education is not taking place.|
(2) Private School
A homeschool may register as a “nonpublic school” and report directly to the Michigan Department of Education. See MCLA § 380.1561(3)(a).
|Notification:||At the beginning of each school year, parents must provide the local or intermediate superintendent with the name and age of each child enrolled, the name of the school district and city or township or county, the name and address of the parent, and the name and age of any child enrolled but not in regular attendance. See MCLA § 380.1578. The Michigan Department of Education requests parents to fill out a Nonpublic School Membership Report, but this is voluntary.|
|Qualifications:||Each individual teaching in nonpublic schools must have a teaching certificate, teaching permit, or a bachelor’s degree. However, in People v. DeJonge (1993) the Michigan Supreme Court held that requiring teacher certification violated the first amendment. Therefore, families with religious objections are exempt from this requirement.|
|Days or hours:||None.|
|Subjects:||Subjects covered must be “comparable to those taught in the public schools to children of corresponding age and grade” and should include mathematics, reading, English, science, and social studies, and U.S. Constitution, Michigan Constitution, the history and present form of the civil government of the U.S., Michigan, and the political subdivisions and municipalities of Michigan in the high school grades.|
|Bookkeeping:||Home schools operating as nonpublic schools are required to submit records of pupil enrollment, courses of study, and teacher qualifications if requested by the state Department of Education.|
|Intervention:||A homeschool operating as a nonpublic school is assumed to be in compliance with the law unless an administrative hearing finds to the contrary.|
|Other:||Students in nonpublic schools are eligible for auxiliary services, including health and nursing services and examinations, National Defense Education Act testing, speech and language services, social work services, school psychological services, teacher consultant services for children with disabilities, remedial reading, and other services determined by the legislature. See MCLA § 380.1296.|
Services Available to Homeschooled Students
|Part-time enrollment:||Yes. Homeschool students may enroll in nonessential elective classes at the resident public school, including advanced placement classes.|
|Extracurriculars:||Yes, at the district’s discretion.|
|Disabilities:||Yes and No. To obtain services for students with disabilities, a homeschool must operate as a nonpublic school and the parent must file a Nonpublic School Membership Report with the Michigan Department of Education. Children homeschooled under the homeschool law may be tested for disabilities at their local public school but are not eligible for services for students with disabilities.|
A bill was introduced by Rep. Stephanie Chang (D) on April 21, 2015
to mandate that parents of children who are homeschooled submit the name and age of each child to the local public school district at the start of each school year. Also, to mandate that home school children must “meet in person at least twice a year” with either a physician, social worker, friend of the court employee, school counselor or teacher, audiologist, psychologist, law enforcement officer, marriage and family therapist, member of the clergy, or regulated child care provider. This bill and other bills that have attempted to require homeschool families to register with the state have failed.
This overview is for informational purposes only and does not constitute the giving of legal advice.