Public School Timeframe Imposed on Home Schoolers
At the beginning of the 2000-2001 school year, Lincoln County Schools informed local home schooling families that they must adhere to day and hour requirements established by law for public schools. State law requires that public schools conduct instruction for at least 180 days. Additionally, instruction must be conducted for at least two hours for kindergartners, at least four hours for grades 1-3, and at least six hours for grades 4-12. These requirements for public school students are found in Montana Code Annotated § 20-1-301 and 20-1-302.
Home School Legal Defense Association wrote the Superintendent of Lincoln County Schools and pointed out that § 20-5-109 of the code governing home schools states that parents must provide at least 180 days of pupil instruction or the equivalent in accordance with 20-1-301 and 20-1-302. Thus, parents conducting home schools have a choice of either instructing their children for 180 days (with no hour requirements) or the equivalent of what is provided to public school students. The superintendent responded and acknowledged that home school students do not have to meet the attendance requirements of public school students. Dewitt T. Black