Legal/Homeschool Laws
Laws that regulate home education vary from state to state. It is important to understand the legal requirements in your state and to be aware of legislative and other legal issues that affect homeschoolers in your community. We've compiled resources that will help you become informed. Although homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, and the vast majority of homeschoolers face no problems, you may find that you need legal assistance at some point in your homeschooling career. We've compiled a list of resources to help you find the support you need. And if you'd like to become more involved in working towards homeschooling freedoms, we discuss some of the issues facing homeschoolers that we hope you find compelling.
State Laws
Read the laws regulating home education in Montana and browse through the case law and legal opinions relating to those laws, along with government publications relating to homeschooling and summaries of the laws.
Forms
Which forms do you need to fill out? Where can you get them? Here is a list of useful forms for homeschooling in Montana.
Legal Support
If you need legal information or have run into a legal situation regarding your decision to homeschool, these resources will be helpful.
Lobbying Groups
A listing of local and national lobbying groups and information on how you can become involved in the political process to ensure the freedom to homeschool is protected.
Attorneys
When searching for an attorney, it is helpful to know whether he or she has experience working with homeschoolers and is interested in protecting the right to homeschool.
Legal Issues
Is homeschooling legal? Which laws pertain to homeschoolers and which don't? How do homeschoolers protect their rights to freely educate their children and to preserve their privacy?
Government Resources
A listing of local and state government resources, including your state's Department of Education, school districts, and Senate and House of Representative information.
What's Popular
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 shall: (1) maintain records on pupil attendance and disease immunization and make the records available to the county superintendent of schools on request; (2) provide at least 180 days of pupil instruction or the equivalent in accordance with 20-1-301 and 20-1-302; (3) be housed in a building that complies with applicable local health and safety regulations; (4...
Montana Office of Public Instruction
This is the official website for the Montana Office of Public Instruction (the Montana Department of Education).
Montana Home School Laws from HSLDA
The Home School Legal Defense Association provides a brief summary of the homeschooling laws in Montana. Includes a link to a legal analysis of laws relating to homeschooling in Montana.
Homeschooling in Montana – The Battle for Freedom Continues
For many years, Montana homeschoolers have fought hard for the freedoms that many now enjoy. Homeschool parents need to be more involved in helping elect individuals to office who demonstrate support for Montana parents and families. Read about the battle in the spring of 2005 to preserve the freedom to homeschool in Montana.
Alliance for the Separation of School & State
An advisory group concerned with educating people about the need to eliminate government involvement in education and the rights of parents to educate their own children. On this site, you will find a public proclamation for the separation of school and state, which you can sign.
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: (a) the child's 16th birthday; (b) the date of completion of the work of the 8th grade. (2) A parent, gua...
Together We Stand Free
Details the importance of support alternative educational choices, including private schools and vouchers, along with homeschooling.
Pacific Justice Institute (PJI)
Pacific Justice Institute is a non-profit legal defense organization specializing in the defense of religious freedom, parental rights, and other civil liberties. PJI provides free representation to parents who are unlawfully denied the right to homeschool their children. PJI also provides legal counsel to those parents wishing to homeschool, but do not know their legal options or obligations.
Keeping Homeschooling Private
Homeschoolers have been vigilant in protecting their rights, rising to the occasion when they discover threats to clamp down on their activities. Discusses some of the criticisms by opponents of homeschooling, along with the examples of some legal fights in Connecticut and Montana.
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 and second class shall employ and appoint one or more attendance officers; (2) districts of the third class may employ and appoint an attendance officer or may appoint a constable or other peace officer as an attendance officer; or (3) the county superintendent...
Pierce v. Society of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
In Pierce v. Society of the Sisters, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that "the fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments of this Union repose excludes any general power of the state to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the creature of the state."
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 he is enrolled for the school term and each school day therein prescribed by the trustees of the district until the later of the following dates: (a) the child's 16th birthday; (b) the date of completion of the work of t...
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 his 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.
Montana Coalition of Home Educators
The Montana Coalition of Home Educators came together in 1988 as a cooperative effort of many individuals, organizations, and support groups in the state. The goal was to bring homeschoolers together to protect Montana's home school freedom while maintaining the independence and autonomy of the individual families and the existing local and state organizations. To accomplish this goal, a loose network of these groups, individuals and organizations was formed. An executive committee was selected ...
20-5-110. 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 c...
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