Wisconsin Home Schooling – know the law

Have you wondered why the Department of Public Instruction requires a form to be each year?

Pasted below is the Wisconsin statutory language concerning filing PI-1206. (To find it yourself go to http://nxt.legis.state.wi.us/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm&d=stats&jd=115.30%20%283%29)

(1) The department shall prepare for the use of school officers suitable forms for making reports, and suitable outlines as aids in conducting school meetings. With the exception of changes due to statute or rule revision, the department shall give school districts a one-year advance notice of any changes to be made to the forms and reports. School district officers and employees shall maintain a uniform recording of accounting as prescribed by the department and make such reports to the department as will enable it to distribute state school fund appropriations and state educational appropriations to the schools and persons entitled thereto, and to properly discharge the other duties of the department.

(2) The department may require all school boards to report to it, on forms provided, the name of the school and its location, the name and address of the teachers, the number of months of school maintained during the year, the opening and closing dates, the names and ages of all pupils enrolled between the ages of 6 and 18, the names and post-office addresses and places of residence of the parents of such pupils, the number of the school district and the distance such pupils reside from the schoolhouse, the number of days each pupil was present during each month and any other information requested by it.

(3) On or before each October 15, each administrator of a public or private school system or a home-based private educational program shall submit, on forms provided by the department, a statement of the enrollment on the 3rd Friday of September in the elementary and high school grades under his or her jurisdiction to the department which shall prepare such reports as will enable the public and private schools and home-based private educational programs to make projections regarding school buildings, teacher supply and funds required. The administrator of each private school system and home-based private educational program shall indicate in his or her report whether the system or program meets all of the criteria under s. 118.165 (1).

Basically, the State of Wisconsin Legislature lists in the statutes the reports that the State Superintendent of Schools is to file.

Home-Based Education falls under Private Instruction, where the filing of the DPI form applies…

From the DPI Questions and Responses Relating to Home-Based Private Educational Programs, 2009-2010 School Year:

“Wisconsin Statute 118.15(4), states that “instruction in a home-based private educational program that meets all of the criteria under s. 118.165(1) may be substituted for attendance at a public or private school.” Section 118.165(1), Wis. Stats., requires that a program of at least 875 hours of instruction be provided each school year. In addition, the educational program must provide a sequentially progressive curriculum of fundamental instruction in six subject areas (reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and health). It is your responsibility to ensure that these requirements are met. The DPI recommends that you maintain in the home a school calendar verifying the minimum of 875 hours of instruction and course outlines verifying that there exists a sequentially progressive curriculum of fundamental instruction, as well as a copy of your printed, submitted electronic PI-1206 form.”

Home-based and public school enrollment by SCHOOL DISTRICT is available on a year-by-year basis. Due to student privacy law, the enrollment for school districts having 5 or less home-based students has been changed to an asterisk. Here’s the data available online for 2008-2009 from the DPI website.

You may access the DPI statistical compilation of Enrollment Trends where the comparison of enrollment in the home-based private educational programs and public and private school enrollment is available in a multi-year listing for the years 1984-85 to 2008-09.


One response to “Wisconsin Home Schooling – know the law

  1. Pingback: Have we been let down by the DPI? « Southwest Wisconsin Community of Homeschools

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