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J. Michael Smith, Esq.

Michael P. Farris, Esq.

Public School Access for Homeschoolers—A Legal Summary


Missouri Revised Statutes §167.031(1) says a student must attend some “public, private, parochial, parish, home school or a combination of such schools.” This might give homeschool students a right to enroll part time in public school.

§162.1250.1, which deals with public schools offering online programs, says: “Nothing in this section shall preclude a private, parochial, or home school student residing within a school district offering virtual courses or virtual programs from enrolling in the school district in accordance with the combined enrollment provisions of section 167.031 for the purposes of participating in the virtual courses or virtual programs.” This clearly gives public schools the authorization, and perhaps even the duty, to allow homeschool students to participate in public school online programs.

Missouri State High School Athletic Association By-law 2.3.4.c (effective July 1, 2017) allows homeschool students to participate in activities if the student is taking at least two seat-time classes at their local public school (for a total of at least one unit of credit in progress), if the local school confirms that the student is carrying (in effect) a full-time work load considering all classes together, and if the public school confirms the student is academically eligible, using whatever standards the public school sets. By-law 2.3.4.d provides that a homeschool student entering this program will be treated as a transfer student. (Transfer issues are outlined in rule 3.10 and under some circumstances will exclude a student from participating for 365 days.)

The Missouri Department of Education states that public schools must give homeschool students access to the district’s gifted education programs. See page 8: Education Programs Procedure Manual

Updated July 14, 2017