PR 08005.055 Wisconsin

A. PR 03-043 Qualifications for home schools under the laws of the six states in Region V

DATE: January 31, 2001

1. SYLLABUS

Wisconsin recognizes home schooling as home-based education. Wisconsin defines a home-based private educational program as a program provided to a child by the child's parent or guardian, or by a person designated by the parent or guardian; if the program provides for more than one family unit, it is not a home-based private educational program.

The administrator of a home-based educational program must submit to the Department of Public Instruction by October 15 a statement of enrollment of elementary and/or high school age students and a report indicating whether the program meets the requirements of Wisconsin law.

Wisconsin law requires at least 875 hours of instruction each school year. The curriculum must include sequentially progressive instruction in the fundamentals of reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and health.

In every case, ask the parent or home school instructor to furnish evidence that Wisconsin laws are being met.

2. OPINION

In Wisconsin, the compulsory school attendance law generally requires the person having control of a child between the ages of 6 and 18 to attend either a public or private school "regularly" during the full period and hours, excepting religious holidays, that the school in which the child should be enrolled is in session, until the term in which the child turns 18. Wis. Stat. § 118.15(1)(a) (1999). A child engaged in a home-based program which meets all of the criteria under Wis. Stat. § 118.165(1), may substitute that instruction for public or private school attendance. Wis. Stat. § 118.15(4). The administrator of a home-based educational program must submit to the Department of Public Instruction by October 15, a statement of the enrollment of elementary and/or high school age students and a report indicating whether the program meets all of the criteria under Wis. Stat. § 118.165(1). Wis. Stat. § 115.30(3) (1999). It should be noted that the state defines a "home-based private educational program" as a program provided to a child by the child's parent or guardian, or by a person designated by the parent or guardian; if the program provides for more than one family unit, it is not a home-based private educational program. Wis. Stat. § 115.001(3g) (1999).

Wisconsin statute § 118.165(1) requires at least 875 hours of instruction each school year. Wis. Stat. § 118.165(1)(a)-(c). The institution must also provide a sequentially progressive curriculum of instruction in the fundamentals of reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and health. Wis. Stat. § 118.165(1)(d). The institution is not required to include in its curriculum any concept, topic or practice in conflict with its religious doctrines or to exclude any concept, topic or practice consistent with its religious doctrines. Id. Additionally, the institution must not be operating the educational program for the purposes of circumventing the compulsory school attendance law of the state. Wis. Stat. § 118.165(1)(e).

Wisconsin does not have statutory requirements regarding teacher qualification for home schools. However, it is important to remember that the state defines a home school on the basis of a single family unit.

"Regularly" means constantly and uniformly. State v. White, 180 Wis. 2d 203, 215, 509 N.W.2d 434, 438 (Wis. App. 1993).

CONCLUSION

These are the current requirements for home schooling in each of the six states in our region.


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http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/1508005055
PR 08005.055 - Wisconsin - 05/07/2008
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:05/07/2008