Michigan Homeschool Laws Excerpts

This page contains Excerpts pertaining to Homeschooling from the Michigan Department Of Education Information On NonPublic and Home Schools of September 2015 http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-6530_6569_35175—,00.html

Link to MDE’s entire document http://www.michigan.gov/documents/Info2005_132227_7.pdf

ATTENDANCE
The Michigan law governing compulsory attendance requires a parent, legal guardian, or other person having control or charge of a child ages 6 to 16 to send the child to school during the entire school year [MCL 380.1561].  In 2010, the law was amended to increase the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18 for a child who turned 11 after December 1, 2009, or who entered grade 6 after 2009.  However, the compulsory school attendance age would remain at 16 for children whose parents provided school officials with a written notice that their children had their permission to stop attending school. A child is not required to attend a public school in the following cases:
(3) (a) The child is attending regularly and is being taught in a state-approved nonpublic school, which teaches subjects comparable to those taught in the public schools to children of corresponding age and grade, as determined by the course of study for the public schools of the district within which the nonpublic school is located.
(3) (f) 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.
(4) For a child being educated at the child’s home by his or her parent or legal guardian, exemption from the requirement to attend public school may exist under either subsection (3)(a) or (3)(f), or both.

NONPUBLIC SCHOOL DEFINITION
A nonpublic school is defined under Section 2 of the Private, Denominational and Parochial Schools Act, PA 302 of 1921 [MCL 388.552].

A home school operating under Section 1561(3)(a) of the Revised School Code (MCL  380.1561) as described above is considered a nonpublic school if in compliance with the Private, Denominational and Parochial Schools Act, PA 302 of 1921.  If a home school family chooses to operate under exemption (a), it reports to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE).

REPORTING
The Nonpublic School Membership Report is an annual report used by MDE.  Information requested on the form includes the number of students in each grade, teacher qualifications, and the course of study offered.  Use of the form is authorized by section 5 of the Nonpublic School Act, and was approved by the Michigan Supreme Court in Sheridan Road Baptist Church v Department of Education, 426 Mich 462, 472, n 5; 396 NW2d 373 (1986) and Clonlara, Inc v State Board of Education, 442 Mich 230, 242, 501 NW2d 88 (1993).
The Nonpublic School Membership Report is available on www.michigan.gov/nonpublicschool in August with a September 30, 2015, due date.  Nonpublic schools that are already registered must complete this form online through the Michigan Electronic Grants System Plus (MEGS+).
MDE posts the list of nonpublic schools that have completed the reporting process on www.michigan.gov/nonpublicschool under the Resources and Related Information Section.  This list is used by intermediate and local public school districts to determine the nonpublic schools to be invited to participate in federal programs.

If a home school operates under exemption (f), it does not report to MDE.  Additional information on exemption (f) can be found www.michigan.gov/nonpublicschool.

COURSES OF STUDY
Nonpublic schools shall provide curricula comparable to those provided in local school districts.  This curricula includes mathematics, reading, English, science, social studies in all grades, and the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of Michigan, and the history and present form of civil government of the United States, the State of Michigan, and the political subdivisions and municipalities of the State of Michigan in high school.

The state does not require specific content in the basic courses.  Nonpublic or home schools, however, may wish to use the Michigan content standards that have been developed for public schools in Michigan.  These standards are available on the MDE webpage at http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-28753_64839_65510—,00.html.  Contact the Curriculum and Instruction Unit at (517) 241-4285.

SCHOOL CALENDAR
In 1993, the Michigan Supreme Court in Clonlara, Inc v State Board of Education (442 Mich 252) ruled that the Nonpublic School Act did not require a nonpublic school to be in session for 180 days required for public schools.  MDE recommends, however, that a nonpublic school develop a school year calendar comparable to the public school district where the nonpublic school is located.
Public schools are required to provide a minimum of 175 days and 1,098 hours of pupil instruction [MCL 388.1701(3)] for the 2015-16 school year. Beginning in 2016-2017, the required minimum number of days of pupil instruction for public schools will be 180.

CURRICULUM MATERIALS
Nonpublic schools and home school families may purchase the textbooks and the instructional materials they deem necessary.

ENROLLMENT IN PUBLIC SCHOOL CLASSES
Nonpublic and home school students may enroll in nonessential elective courses in a district, public school academy, or intermediate district site (MCL 288.1766b).  Nonpublic students may enroll in nonessential elective courses that are offered by a district at the nonpublic school site. Home-schooled students may enroll in nonessential elective courses that are offered by their resident district at the nonpublic school site.

Eligible courses include nonessential electives in the subject areas of physical education, art, foreign language, music, driver’s education, and computer science unless a district has developed 9 graduation requirements that deem a course in one of the named subject areas otherwise.  In addition to courses in these subject areas, courses that are part of a career and technical education program, and those that are advanced placement are considered nonessential electives.

REGIONAL EDUCATIONAL MEDIA CENTERS (REMC)
A Regional Educational Media Center (REMC) provides a service that is available to nonpublic and home school students.  The REMCs work cooperatively with one or more intermediate school districts for the improvement of instruction in Michigan’s elementary and secondary schools.  Many REMCs offer instructional materials including video, video disk, and computer software; cooperative purchasing of equipment, supplies and media; Internet access and support; production services; technological problem solving; training in the use of all types of equipment; training in the integration of media into instruction, media and technology consulting; and a distribution system.  Additional services include inservice media; AV, video and computer equipment repair; desktop publishing, graphic design and layout; printing; video production, editing and duplication; professional library and online services; instructional television or building-based video collections; and satellite downlink services.
For additional information regarding REMCs, please contact your intermediate school district or visit their webpage at http://www.remc.org.

DRIVER EDUCATION and BUS TRANSPORTATION
A nonpublic or home school student is eligible to enroll in a driver education program provided at the public school district where the student is a resident [MCL 257.811].  If a charge or enrollment fee is imposed, it shall be the same for all students who reside within the territory of the public school system [MCL 256.610].  The oversight of driver education programs in Michigan is the responsibility of the Department of State [2004 PA 70 and 71].  Information may be found on the Michigan Department of State, Driver Education website http://www.michigan.gov/teendriver.
For information on school pupil transportation for nonpublic school students, please contact  Ken Micklash in the Office of School Support Services at (517) 373-1806 or email micklashk@michigan.gov. Additional information may be found on MDE’s website http://michigan.gov/schoolbus.

ATHLETICS and EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
The supervision and control of interscholastic athletics are the responsibility of each local board of education.  Most local boards have adopted policies as proposed by the Michigan High School Athletic Association.  Please contact the appropriate local school district or the Michigan High School Athletic Association at (517) 332-5046 or access information at http://www.mhsaa.com/.
In order to participate in public school extracurricular activities, a student should be enrolled part-time in the public school.

STUDENT RECORDS
There is no law that requires nonpublic schools or home schools to maintain student records.  Parents are encouraged to maintain student records of progress throughout the year. These records will assist public or nonpublic school personnel with placement should the student enroll in a public school.

TRANSFER OF GRADES and CREDITS
The granting of credits and placement of students is solely determined by the receiving public or nonpublic school.  Nonpublic schools and home school families are encouraged to determine what the public school policy is for grade placement and granting of credits should a student decide to return to the public system.  If a student attends a nonpublic or home school and returns to a public school, the public school generally reevaluates the student for grade placement and the transfer of credit.
The issuance of report cards, transcripts, and diplomas are the responsibility of the nonpublic school and home school family (based on internal standards).

MEAP and MICHIGAN MERIT AWARD PROGRAM
Nonpublic schools and home school students may choose to take the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) test [MCL 380.1279(14) and MCL 388.1704a(15)]. Nonpublic schools may choose to administer the MEAP test. For more information, contact http://www.michigan.gov/meap.
Starting in Spring 2007, the Michigan Merit Examination (MME) will replace the MEAP high school assessment, if approved by the U.S. Department of Education. The MME is based on the ACT and WorkKeys tests and will result in students receiving a college-reportable ACT score at no cost. If the U.S. Department of Education does not approve the use of the MME, the MEAP assessments will once again be offered. More information on how nonpublic school students and home school students will participate in the MME can be found at http://www.michigan.gov/mme.
MEAP Test Centers (or MME Test Centers) are operated by the Michigan Department of Education exclusively for the benefit of nonpublic school students whose own school does not offer the MEAP test, and other qualifying students. Registration information is available at http://www.michigan.gov/meap, then click on “MEAP Test Centers.” Students are assigned to Test Center sites on a first-come, first-served basis. Students who do not register by the postmark deadline indicated on the registration form will have fewer desirable locations and dates from which to choose. Nonpublic school students whose own school offers the MEAP or MME tests, or whose own school has made arrangements with another school to test the entire class, are not permitted to test at a MEAP or MME Test Center.
Home school students who wish to take the MEAP tests for purposes of earning a Michigan Merit Award should contact the public school district in which they reside. It is the parent’s responsibility to contact the local public school district and stay informed of testing dates, registration procedures, etc. Home school students are not permitted to test at a MEAP Test Center (or MME Test Center).
The Merit Award Scholarship Act (1999 PA 94) established the Michigan Merit Award Program. The program provides a merit award based on student achievement on the MEAP exams. Under the program, a student may be eligible for a high school award of $2,500 to be used at any approved postsecondary education institution. The award is available to public, nonpublic, and home school students who meet the eligibility requirements. More information on the Merit Award Scholarship Program can be found at http://www.michigan.gov/meritaward.

WORK PERMIT
The Youth Employment Standards Act at MCL 409.104 states:
“…a minor shall not be employed in an occupation regulated by this act until the person proposing to employ the minor procures from the minor and keeps on file at the place of employment a copy of the work permit or a temporary permit. The work permit shall be issued by the issuing officer of the school district, intermediate school district, public school academy, or nonpublic school at which the minor is enrolled, and a copy of the work permit shall be placed in the minor’s permanent school file for as long as the minor is employed. A temporary permit shall be valid for 10 days from the date of issue. A work permit may be issued by the school district in which the minor’s place of employment is located, or by the public school academy or nonpublic school nearest that place of employment.”
Minors seeking employment who are home schooled shall be issued a work permit by the issuing officer of the school district, intermediate school district, public school academy, or nonpublic school in which the minor’s residence or prospective employer is located. The minor must present a signed, written statement from the parent or guardian, as the instructor of record, indicating how many hours per week the student is being home schooled. The issuing officer will review the parent/guardian statement and issue the work permit with those hours reflected. The issuing officer will attach the parent/guardian statement to the work permit and keep a copy of the statement with their copy of the work permit filed at the school.
For additional information, contact Tara Bride, Office of Career and Technical Education, Department of Education, at (517) 335-6041 or emailbridet@michigan.gov.