Microschool Education Act

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Summary

This model provides a home-based microschool and micro-education entity with certain similar duties, requirements, waivers, and rights as private and charter schools.

Microschool Education Act

Section 1. Definitions

(A) For purposes of this Act:

(a) “Home-based microschool” means an individual or association of individuals, not including a daycare, that:

(i) Registers as a business entity in accordance with state and local laws; and

(ii) For compensation, provides kindergarten through grade 12 education services to 16 or fewer students from an individual’s residential dwelling, accessory dwelling unit, or residential property.

(b) “Instructor” means an individual who teaches a student as part of a home-based microschool or micro-education entity.

(c) “Micro-education entity” means a person or association of persons, not including a daycare, home-based microschool, private school, or public school, that:

(i) Registers as a business entity in accordance with state and local laws; and

(ii) For compensation, provides kindergarten through grade 12 education services to 100 students or fewer.

Section 2. Land Use, Occupancy, and Building Requirements.

(A) A home-based microschool or micro-education entity shall be considered a permitted use in all zoning districts within a political subdivision.

(B) Each land use application for any approval required for a home-based microschool or micro-education entity, including an application for a building permit, shall be processed on a first priority basis.

(C) Parking requirements for a micro-education entity may not exceed the minimum parking requirements for schools or other institutional public uses throughout the political subdivision.

(D) If the political subdivision has designated zones for a sexually oriented business, or a business which sells alcohol, a micro-education entity may be prohibited from a location which would otherwise defeat the purpose for the zone unless the micro-education entity provides a waiver.

(E) A micro-education entity may seek a certificate authorizing permanent occupancy of a school building from:

(a) The state superintendent of public instruction if the micro-education entity used an independent building inspector for inspection of the school building; or

(b) An official of the political subdivision with authority to issue the certificate, if the micro-education entity used a building inspector of the political subdivision for inspection of the school building.

(F) A school district may issue its own certificate authorizing permanent occupancy of a school building if it used its own building inspector for inspection of the school building.

(G) A micro-education entity may seek a certificate authorizing permanent occupancy of a school building from a school district official with authority to issue the certificate, if the micro-education entity used a school district building inspector for inspection of the school building.

(H) A certificate authorizing permanent occupancy issued by the state superintendent of public instruction or a school district official with authority to issue the certificate shall be considered to satisfy any requirement for an inspection or a certificate of occupancy.

(I) A micro-education entity may operate in a facility that meets Group E Occupancy requirements as defined by the International Building Code, provided that the micro-education entity:

(a) May have up to 100 students in the facility; and

(b) Shall have enough space for at least 20 net square feet per student.

(J) A micro-education entity may operate in a facility that is subject to and complies with the same occupancy requirements as a Class B Occupancy as defined by the International Building Code, provided that:

(a) The facility has a code compliant fire alarm system and carbon monoxide detection system;

(b) The structure has a code compliant fire sprinkler system;

(c) The facility has an automatic fire sprinkler system in fire areas of the facility that are greater than 12,000 square feet; and

(d) The facility has enough space for at least 20 net square feet per student.

(K) A home-based microschool is not subject to additional occupancy requirements beyond occupancy requirements that apply to a primary dwelling, except that the home-based microschool shall have enough space for at least 35 net square feet per student.

(L) If a floor that is below grade in a home-based microschool is used for home-based microschool purposes, the below grade floor of the home-based microschool shall have at least one emergency escape or rescue window that complies with the requirements for emergency escape and rescue windows as defined by the International Residential Code.

(M) Nothing in this section prevents a political subdivision from:

(a) Requiring a home-based microschool or micro-education entity to comply with zoning and land use regulations that do not conflict with this section, including:

(i) Parking;

(ii) Traffic; and

(iii) Hours of operation;

(b) Requiring a home-based microschool or micro-education entity to obtain a business license;

(c) Enacting laws and regulations consistent with this section;

(d) Subjecting a micro-education entity to standards within each zone pertaining to setback, height, bulk and massing regulations, off-site parking, curb cut, traffic circulation, and construction staging; and

(e) Imposing regulations on the location of a project that are necessary to avoid risks to health or safety.

Section 3. Waivers and Exemptions.

(A) A home-based microschool or micro-education entity:

(a) May form to provide education services to school-age children; and

(b) Is not a part of the public school system.

(B) A local health department may not require a home-based microschool or micro-education entity to obtain a food establishment permit or undergo an inspection in order to prepare or provide food if staff of the home-based microschool or micro-education entity does not prepare and serve food.

Section 4. Transfers

(A) When a home-based microschool student or a micro-education entity student transfers from a home-based microschool or a micro-education entity to a public school, the public school shall place the student in the grade levels, classes, or courses that the student’s parent and the school administrator determine are appropriate based on the parent’s assessment of the student’s academic performance.

(B) Within 30 days of a student’s placement in a public school grade level, class, or course, either the student’s teacher or the student’s parent may request a conference to consider changing the student’s placement.

(C) If the student’s teacher and the student’s parent agree on a placement change, the public school shall place the student in the agreed upon grade level, class, or course.

(D) If the student’s teacher and the student’s parent do not agree on a placement change, the public school shall evaluate the student’s subject matter mastery in accordance with section 4(E).

(E) The student’s parent has the option of:

(a) Allowing the public school to administer, to the student, assessments that are:

(i) Regularly administered to public school students; and

(ii) Used to measure public school students’ subject matter mastery and determine placement; or

(b) Having a private entity or individual administer assessments of subject matter mastery to the student at the parent’s expense.

(F) After an evaluation of a student’s subject matter mastery, a public school may change the student’s placement in a grade level, class, or course.

(G) This section does not apply to a student who is dual enrolled in a public school and a home-based microschool or micro-education entity.