The Home School Court Report
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November / December 2005

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Homeschool law changes

Senate Bill 170, signed into law by Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer on March 30, 2005, changed the instruction requirements for homeschool students. Prior law required the homeschool to provide at least 180 days of pupil instruction, or the equivalent in hours, as required for public schools. The new law eliminates the days of instruction requirement and substitutes the "minimum aggregate hours" established for public schools. The revised law requires 720 hours of instruction per year for grades 1-3 and 1,080 hours for grades 4-12. Graduating seniors are only required to complete 1,050 aggregate hours in their final year of high school. Only 360 aggregate hours of pupil instruction must be conducted for a kindergarten program. The school fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.

Parents are still required to maintain attendance records under the revised law. They also should log the number of hours of instruction in order to document compliance with the new requirements.

— by Dewitt T. Black