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Senate Bill 1306 — Parent as teacher micro-school

Senate Bill 1306 — Parent as teacher micro-school

Ronald M. Nate, Ph.D.
February 16, 2024

Bill Description: Senate Bill 1306 explicitly provides legislative support and funding for a parents-as-teacher education model where instruction is provided largely in the home by the parents. 

Rating: -1

Does the bill expand the existing government monopoly on education and shrink family and student choice or agency?

Senate Bill 1306 would create Section 33-1637, Idaho Code, to define micro-schools and specify how the parents-as-teacher education model would work.

The bill would define "parent-as-teacher model microschool" as an instructional model in which “a sponsoring school district assigns a teacher to work with a parent or parents who are providing some or all of the instruction to their children. In such a model, the sponsoring school district provides accountability measures such as required sampling of assignments and state testing and the student must be enrolled in the sponsoring school district for state funding purposes. The sponsoring school district may reimburse the parent working in the parent-as-teacher model for eligible expenses detailed in the district or charter school policy."

The bill would allow parents who use this model to use alternative curricula, and it would expand educational options for parents and students. The funding would follow the student at least in part.


Does the bill allow schools to be more flexible, improve feedback mechanisms, and decentralize decisions to the family or individual level?

The bill adds a series of regulations on the schools and on the parents to engage in the model, however. It would require districts that wanted to participate to develop and publish micro-school policies. Parents would be required to apply to the district to get the support and funding already provided to the district on behalf of their children. The law gives the power and authority to the school district to implement and approve the micro-school model.

If the parent-as-teacher model is currently in practice as the bill and statement of purpose state, then these new regulations will reduce flexibility, and add constraints to the model. School districts will be required to write a policy, families will be required to apply to the program. 


In addition to creating new requirements for regulations and applications, the bill says, “Students in a microschool must take any required state testing.” This undermines the principle of allowing parents to choose alternative curriculum. When the state requires its own standardized testing, then this necessarily constrains the curriculum choices for the parents who will be assessed according to the students’ performance on those tests. 


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