Private School Regulation
Registration/Licensing/Accreditation: The Nonpublic
Education Council may recognize educational accrediting agencies. Minn.
Stat. Ann. §123B.445.
Recordkeeping/Reports: Nonpublic schools must report
the name, age, and address of each child receiving instruction to the
local superintendent by October 1 of each school year. In addition, nonaccredited
nonpublic schools must also report the name of each instructor with evidence
of qualifications; provide an annual instructional calendar showing that
instruction will occur at least 170 days; and make available documentation
that the requisite subjects are being taught, including class schedules,
materials for instruction, and descriptions of methods used to assess
student achievement. Minn. Stat. Ann. §120A.24
A local superintendent or his designee may make an annual on-site
visit at a mutually agreed upon time to an unaccredited or an accredited
nonpublic school to monitor compliance with the compulsory education
law. If there is evidence of noncompliance, the superintendent may
make additional visits during the school year. Minn. Stat. Ann. §120A.26
Every school must maintain immunization records for students in
attendance. The local department of health and board of health must
be given access to the files. Within 60 days of the commencement
of school, the administrator must file a report with the Commissioner
of Education on forms provided, documenting the number of persons
in attendance, the number of persons who have not been immunized,
and the number of persons exempt from immunization. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 121A.15
Subd. 7 and 8. See Safety, Fire Drill Records.
Instruction in English: Instruction, textbooks,
and materials must be offered in the English language. Minn. Stat.
Ann. § 120A.22. Another language may be used for students with
limited English proficiency. Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 124D.59-124D.61 et
Discrimination: Minnesota defines nonpublic school
as any school, church or religious organization, or home school where
a student can fulfill compulsory education requirements, that is
located in the state, and that meets the requirements of Title VI
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 123B.41,
Educational institutions are prohibited from discriminating on the
basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age,
marital status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation,
or disability or failing to ensure physical and program access for
disabled persons. Religious corporations, associations, and societies
are exempt with respect to qualifications based on religion or sexual
orientation, when these are bona fide occupational qualifications.
Religious or denominational institutions may limit or give preference
to applicants of the same religion. Single-sex private schools are
also permitted. Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 363.02 Subd. 1, 3;
363.03 Subd. 5.
Teacher Certification: Private school instructors
must meet one of 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 a state
recognized accrediting agency; or, 5) hold a baccalaureate degree.
Minn. Stat. Ann. § 120A.22, Subd. 10.
Curriculum: Minnesota's compulsory education law
requires instruction in 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. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 120A.22,
Students attending nonaccredited nonpublic schools must be assessed
annually using a nationally norm-referenced standardized achievement
examination. Students attending nonpublic schools accredited by a
state recognized accrediting agency are exempt from the testing requirement.
Minn. Stat. Ann. § 120A.22, Subd. 11.
Special Education: Disabled students attending
nonpublic schools that fulfill the compulsory instruction requirements
and comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 may not
be denied special instruction and services on a shared time basis
through the public school. Transportation to and from the nonpublic
school may be provided by the school district. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 125A.18.
Health: Immunizations are mandatory for students
attending any elementary or secondary school in Minnesota unless
contraindicated for medical reasons or contrary to conscientiously
held beliefs of the parent/guardian or emancipated student. Minn.
Stat. Ann. § 121A.15.
The Department of Education may assist nonpublic schools participating
in a local school district's AIDS prevention or AIDS risk reduction
program at a neutral site. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 121A.23.
Safety: Nonpublic schools are
required to have at least 9 fire drills each school year and to keep
all doors and exits unlocked from the inside during school hours.
Records of drills must be posted for review by the state fire marshall.
Minn. Stat. Ann. § 299F.30. All schools must be operated in
compliance with the uniform fire code. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 299F.391.
Nonpublic schools may develop a voluntary fingerprinting program
for pupils in conjunction with law enforcement agencies having jurisdiction
where the nonpublic school is located. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 123B.07.
Nonpublic schools may participate in school district chemical abuse
programs. Teachers at participating schools have a duty to report
incidences of chemical abuse on school property or at school-related
activities. Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 121A.26; 121A.29.
Local authorities may establish the speed limit within a school
zone of a nonpublic school based on an engineering and traffic investigation.
Minn. Stat. Ann. § 169.14, Subd. 5a.
The Commissioner of Public Safety distributes a missing children's
bulletin to nonpublic schools on a quarterly basis. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 299C.54.
An assault against a private school teacher performing official
duties that results in demonstrable bodily harm is a gross misdemeanor.
Minn. Stat. Ann. § 609.2231 Subd. 5.
Nonpublic school instructional or supervisory staff may use reasonable
force to restrain a student from self-injury or injury to another
or to property. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 609.379.
Transportation: A school district eligible to
receive state aid for transportation must provide equal transportation
within the district for all school children to any school when transportation
is necessary because of distance or traffic condition. Transportation
may be provided under limited circumstances to out-of-district schools.
Minn. Stat. Ann. § 123B.86. Transportation is also authorized
for nonpublic school students receiving pupil support services at
public schools or neutral sites.
Home Schooling: Home schools have the same responsibilities
under Minnesota as non-public schools.
Public Aid for Private Schools/Private School Students: Minnesota
provides educational aids, such as textbooks, standardized tests
and pupil support services for nonpublic school children. Minn. Stat. §§ 123B.40
? 123B.46. Textbooks include only secular, neutral and nonideological
textbooks available to public school students. Pupil support services
include health, guidance and counseling services. Health services
may be provided on the nonpublic school grounds. Textbooks and instructional
materials are loaned directly to pupils upon request of a parent
on designated forms. If the state appropriation for services is not
sufficient, the Department of Education must notify the school districts
of the need to prorate the appropriation. Minn. Stat. § 123B.47.
School districts may provide nonpublic school students of limited
English proficiency opportunity to participate in specially designed
programs for such students attending public school. Minn. Stat. § 124D.65,
Nonpublic school students may participate in the state's milk program
that ensures all students have access to milk on a daily basis. Minn.
Stat. Ann. §124D.118.
If a nonpublic school participates in the school lunch aid program
or school breakfast program, the school must make lactose-reduced
milk available to students. Minn. Stat. Ann. §124D.114.
Nonprofit, nonpublic, nonsectarian schools may contract with local
school districts to provide educational services to at-risk children
under the state's High School Graduation Incentives Program. Minn.
Stat. Ann. §124D.68.
Minnesota may pay all or part of the fee for advanced placement
examinations for needy students attending nonpublic schools. Minn.
Stat. Ann. §120B.13.
Nonpublic schools may contract with local school districts to provide
American Indian language and culture education programs to American
Indian children. Minn. Stat. Ann. §124D.74.
The Department of Education may provide assistance to nonpublic
schools participating in a local school district's violence prevention
education program at neutral sites. Minn. Stat. Ann. §120B.22.
Miscellaneous: The Minnesota Academic Excellence
Foundation was established to promote academic excellence in Minnesota
public and nonpublic schools. Through the foundation, students and
teachers are recognized for academic excellence and an academic league
provides competition for public and nonpublic students in elementary
and secondary schools. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 124D.94, Subd. 2.
Nonpublic school administrative units are eligible for nonvoting
associate memberships in the Educational Cooperative Service Units.
The ECSU performs educational planning on a regional basis and provides
educational programs and services. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 123A.21,
Nonpublic school administrators are responsible for issuing age
certificates for students in attendance who wish to obtain employment.
Minn. Stat. Ann. § 181A.06.
Compulsory instruction in Minnesota affects those from ages 7 to
16. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 120A.22, Subd. 5. But students between
16 and 18 years old, who seek to withdraw from school, and their
parents, must 1) attend a meeting with school personnel to discuss
educational opportunities and alternatives; and 2) sign a written
election to withdraw from school. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 120A.22,