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What is a Microschool in Utah? Three Things to Know As You Explore Starting a Microschool


As I've been researching how to start a microschool, (and seeing posts from people looking for them), I thought it might be helpful to share some things I'm learning about the law: (and if I've interpreted something incorrectly, please tell me!)


1. The new law (SB13 as of May 1, 2024) allows a microschool or micro-education environment of up to 16 students to operate in a residential area (including your own residence) provided that there are at least 35 square feet per student. Normal residential building codes apply but they are exempt from additional codes usually enforced for private schools.


2. A microschool that wants to be a full time private school would be expected to meet the compulsory attendance requirements. The other option is to be a learning environment/service that supports homeschooling families. In this scenario, the families would still certify that they are homeschoolers with the state affidavit or by using a school such as harmony or my tech high, in which case the parent is claiming responsibility for their child's education and then using your service as support. Either way, you need to file with the state as a business to take advantage of the new zoning allowances.


3. A third option is to form a co-op which can take on all shapes and sizes. This is generally a group of families sharing responsibility to teach kids and doesn't involve payment of tuition, but rather all take turns hosting or planning or teaching, etc. These still are and always have been allowed in residential areas.


Because the concept is so new, this is only the beginning of the state defining these types of alternative education models. The zoning exceptions are a huge help because finding space has been the biggest hurdle in the past. But also, when someone asks for a microschool, our own ideas are still really broad as well. I thought this clarification might help people who are looking for part-time and hybrid type options.


Useful References:

Types of business entities in Utah and how to determine which one to set up


Free legal support for edupreneurs. This was really helpful!


Senate Bill 13 which was enacted May 1st, 2024. Defines microschools and allows for zoning exemptions for microschools with up to 16 students.

 

Jennie Jones

St. George Homeschooler

Originally written for Facebook on May 14, 2024

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