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J. Michael Smith, Esq.

Michael P. Farris, Esq.

Public School Access for Homeschoolers—A Legal Summary


A school board shall allow a pupil enrolled in a home-based private educational program who has met the standards for admission to the course to attend up to 2 courses at a public school in the district during each school semester if the school board determines that there is sufficient space in the classroom. The school board shall determine the minimum standards for admission to a course. The pupil may attend one course in each of 2 school districts, but may not attend more than 2 courses in any semester. Wisconsin Statutes 118.53

Section 1828 of 2013 Wisconsin Act 20, effective July 2, 2013, gave school boards the new power to establish admission standards for admission to individual courses. It also expanded the potential availability of classes from high school classes only to classes at any grade level. Act 20 removed the reference to homeschooling in §118.145 and created a new statute, §118.53, to govern homeschool access.

Effective July 13, 2015, Wisconsin statute 118.133 requires school boards to permit homeschool students to participate in sports and extracurricular activities on the same basis and to the same extent as public school students. The school board may ask the family to provide a statement confirming that the student meets the board’s requirements relating to age, and academic and disciplinary records. A temporary rule issued by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association states that a statement of enrollment (PI-1206) must be on file with respect to the homeschool student.

For more information on public school access, see HSLDA’s Issues Library