Minnesota Laws and Regulations


An overview of the homeschool laws and regulations of Minnesota, along with links to legislative source information, additional reference materials and government resources on homeschooling.

Minnesota State Legislature

120A.22 Compulsory instruction.

Subdivision 1. Parental responsibility. The parent of a child is primarily responsible for assuring that the child acquires knowledge and skills that are essential for effective citizenship.

Subd. 2. Applicability. This section and sections 120A.24; 120A.26; 120A.28; 120A.30; 120A.32; and 120A.34 apply only to a child required to receive instruction according to subdivision 5 and to instruction that is intended to fulfill that requirement.

Subd. 3. Parent defined; residency determined. (a) In this section and sections 120A.24, 120A.26, and 120A.41, “parent” means a parent, guardian, or other person having legal custody of a child.

(b) In sections 125A.03 to 125A.24 and 125A.65, “parent” means a parent, guardian, or other person having legal custody of a child under age 18. For an unmarried pupil age 18 or over, “parent” means the pupil unless a guardian or conservator has been appointed, in which case it means the guardian or conservator.

(c) For purposes of sections 125A.03 to 125A.24 and 125A.65, the school district of residence for an unmarried pupil age 18 or over who is a parent under paragraph (b) and who is placed in a center for care and treatment, shall be the school district in which the pupil’s biological or adoptive parent or designated guardian resides.

(d) For a married pupil age 18 or over, the school district of residence is the school district in which the married pupil resides.

Subd. 4. School defined. For the purpose of compulsory attendance, a “school” means a public school, as defined in section 120A.05, subdivisions 9, 11, 13, and 17, or a nonpublic school, church or religious organization, or home-school in which a child is provided instruction in compliance with this section and section 120A.24.

Subd. 5. Ages and terms. (a) Every child between seven and 16 years of age must receive instruction. Every child under the age of seven who is enrolled in a half-day kindergarten, or a full-day kindergarten program on alternate days, or other kindergarten programs shall receive instruction. Except as provided in subdivision 6, a parent may withdraw a child under the age of seven from enrollment at any time.

(b) A school district by annual board action may require children subject to this subdivision to receive instruction in summer school. A district that acts to require children to receive instruction in summer school shall establish at the time of its action the criteria for determining which children must receive instruction.

Subd. 6. Children under seven. (a) Once a pupil under the age of seven is enrolled in kindergarten or a higher grade in a public school, the pupil is subject to the compulsory attendance provisions of this chapter and section 120A.34, unless the board of the district in which the pupil is enrolled has a policy that exempts children under seven from this subdivision.

(b) In a district in which children under seven are subject to compulsory attendance under this subdivision, paragraphs (c) to (e) apply.

(c) A parent or guardian may withdraw the pupil from enrollment in the school for good cause by notifying the district. Good cause includes, but is not limited to, enrollment of the pupil in another school, as defined in subdivision 4, or the immaturity of the child.

(d) When the pupil enrolls, the enrolling official must provide the parent or guardian who enrolls the pupil with a written explanation of the provisions of this subdivision.

(e) A pupil under the age of seven who is withdrawn from enrollment in the public school under paragraph (c) is no longer subject to the compulsory attendance provisions of this chapter.

(f) In a district that had adopted a policy to exempt children under seven from this subdivision, the district’s chief attendance officer must keep the truancy enforcement authorities supplied with a copy of the board’s current policy certified by the clerk of the board.

Subd. 7. Education records. (a) A district from which a student is transferring must transmit the student’s educational records, within ten business days of a request, to the district in which the student is enrolling. Districts must make reasonable efforts to determine the district in which a transferring student is next enrolling in order to comply with this subdivision.

(b) A school district that transmits a student’s educational records to another school district or other educational entity to which the student is transferring must include in the transmitted records information about disciplinary action taken as a result of any incident in which the student possessed or used a dangerous weapon.

Subd. 8. Withdrawal from school. Any student between 16 and 18 years old who seeks to withdraw from school, and the student’s parent or guardian must:

(1) attend a meeting with school personnel to discuss the educational opportunities available to the student, including alternative educational opportunities; and

(2) sign a written election to withdraw from school.

Subd. 9. Curriculum. Instruction must be provided in at least the following subject areas:

(1) basic communication skills including reading and writing, literature, and fine arts;

(2) mathematics and science;

(3) social studies including history, geography, and government; and

(4) health and physical education.

Instruction, textbooks, and materials must be in the English language. Another language may be used pursuant to sections 124D.59 to 124D.61.

Subd. 10. Requirements for instructors. A person who is providing instruction to a child must meet at least The following requirements:

(1) hold a valid Minnesota teaching license in the field and for the grade level taught;

(2) be directly supervised by a person holding a valid Minnesota teaching license;

(3) successfully complete a teacher competency examination;

(4) provide instruction in a school that is accredited by an accrediting agency, recognized according to section 123B.445, or recognized by the commissioner;

(5) hold a baccalaureate degree; or

(6) be the parent of a child who is assessed according to the procedures in subdivision 11.

Any person providing instruction in a public school must meet the requirements of clause (1).

Subd. 11. Assessment of performance. (a) Each year the performance of every child who is not enrolled in a public school must be assessed using a nationally norm-referenced standardized achievement examination. The superintendent of the district in which the child receives instruction and the person in charge of the child’s instruction must agree about the specific examination to be used and the administration and location of the examination.

(b) To the extent the examination in paragraph (a) does not provide assessment in all of the subject areas in subdivision 9, the parent must assess the child’s performance in the applicable subject area. This requirement applies only to a parent who provides instruction and does not meet the requirements of subdivision 10, clause (1), (2), or (3).

(c) If the results of the assessments in paragraphs (a) and (b) indicate that the child’s performance on the total battery score is at or below the 30th percentile or one grade level below the performance level for children of the same age, the parent must obtain additional evaluation of the child’s abilities and performance for the purpose of determining whether the child has learning problems.

(d) A child receiving instruction from a nonpublic school, person, or institution that is accredited by an accrediting agency, recognized according to section 123B.445, or recognized by the commissioner, is exempt from the requirements of this subdivision.

Subd. 12. Legitimate exemptions. A parent, guardian, or other person having control of a child may apply to a school district to have the child excused from attendance for the whole or any part of the time school is in session during any school year. Application may be made to any member of the board, a truant officer, a principal, or the superintendent. The board of the district in which the child resides may approve the application upon the following being demonstrated to the satisfaction of that board:

(1) that the child’s bodily or mental condition is such as to prevent attendance at school or application to study for the period required; or

(2) that for the school years 1988-1989 through 1999-2000 the child has already completed the studies ordinarily required in the 10th grade and that for the school years beginning with the 2000-2001 school year the child has already completed the studies ordinarily required to graduate from high school; or

(3) that it is the wish of the parent, guardian, or other person having control of the child, that the child attend for a period or periods not exceeding in the aggregate three hours in any week, a school for religious instruction conducted and maintained by some church, or association of churches, or any Sunday school association incorporated under the laws of this state, or any auxiliary thereof. This school for religious instruction must be conducted and maintained in a place other than a public school building, and it must not, in whole or in part, be conducted and maintained at public expense. However, a child may be absent from school on such days as the child attends upon instruction according to the ordinances of some church.

Subd. 13. Issuing and reporting excuses. The clerk or any authorized officer of the board must issue and keep a record of such excuses, under such rules as the board may from time to time establish.

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