- Homeschool statute: Parents must provide annual notice of homeschooling to the local superintendent, offer instruction in reading, writing, literature, fine arts, math, science, history, geography, government, health, and physical education, maintain academic records, and have their children tested annually. Parents are not required to submit the test results, and there is no minimum score. Teacher qualifications apply only to instructors who are not children’s parents, and academic records need only be submitted when enrolling a previously homeschooled child in public school. There are no instruction time requirements.
“For the purpose of compulsory attendance, a “school” means a public school . . . or a nonpublic school, church or religious organization, or home school in which a child is provided instruction in compliance with this section and section 120A.24.” See Minn. Stat. Ann. § 120A.22 Subd. 4. For the full law related to homeschooling, see Minn. Stat. Ann. § 120A.22 and § 120A.24.
|Notification:||A “full report” must be filed with the local superintendent by October 1 of the school year after the child reaches age seven, within 15 days of withdrawing a child from public school, or by October 1 after moving to a new school district (parents must notify their previous district within fifteen days of moving away). This report must include the child’s name, birth date, address, the name of each instructor and evidence that they meet the instructor qualification requirements, immunization records, and the annual test intended to be used. Parents must then file a “letter of intent to continue to provide instruction” by October 1 of each following school year, noting any changes to what was previously reported.|
|Qualifications:||A homeschool instructor must meet one of the following requirements: 1) hold a valid Minnesota teaching license in the field and for the grade grade taught; 2) be directly supervised by a person holding a valid Minnesota teaching license; 3) successfully complete a teacher competency examination (Minnesota does not currently have an examination that fulfills this requirement); 4) provide instruction in a school that is accredited by an accrediting agency; 5) hold a bachelor’s degree; or 6) be the parent or legal guardian of the child.|
|Days or hours:||None.|
|Subjects:||Instruction must be provided in reading, writing, literature, fine arts, math, science, history, geography, government, health, and physical education. Instruction must be in English.|
|Bookkeeping:||Parents must maintain both records indicating that the required subjects are being covered (this must include class schedules, copies of materials used for instruction, and descriptions of the methods used to asses student achievement) and proof that the required nationally standardized tests are being administered. Parents must submit this documentation when enrolling a previously homeschooled child in public school and must make it available to the county attorney in case of prosecution.|
|Assessment:||Homeschooled students must take an annual nationally norm-referenced standardized achievement examination agreed upon by the parent and superintendent. The results of this test do not need to be submitted to the school district. Unless a parent has a teaching license, has passed the teaching competency exam, or is homeschooling under the supervision of a certified teacher, the parent must asses the student in subject areas required by law but not covered by the test.|
|Intervention:||(1) “If the results of the assessments . . . indicate that the child’s performance on the total battery score is at or below the 30th percentile or one grade below the performance level for children of the same age, the parent must obtain additional evaluation of the child’s abilities and performance for the purpose of determining whether the child has learning problems.” (2) If parents are out of compliance with the reporting or assessment requirements, the superintendent will notify the family and attempt to resolve the issue. Should this not succeed, the superintendent must request that the Minnesota Department of Education become involved; that department will then contact the family by mail. If this does not succeed, the superintendent will refer the issue to the county attorney. (3) Failure to educate is included in the state’s definition of neglect; anyone suspecting educational neglect of a homeschooled child may report it to the local county social services office; as mandatory reporters, superintendents are required to report suspected educational neglect.|
Services Available to Homeschooled Students
|Part-time enrollment:||“Nonpublic school students—including homeschoolers—without an IEP can also request shared-time instruction from any public school in Minnesota but local policy will determine whether the shared-time option is available to the student and, if so, what the limitations are.” See the Minnesota Department of Education.|
|Extracurriculars:||Homeschooled students have full access to participation in extracurricular activities. According to the statute, homeschooled students are “eligible to fully participate in extracurricular activities on the same basis as public school students.” Minnesota Statutes Annotated, 123B.49, Subd. 4(a).|
|Special needs:||“Resident public school districts must allow homeschool students to receive shared-time special education services.” See the Minnesota Department of Education.|
This overview is for informational purposes only and does not constitute the giving of legal advice.