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Minnesota Compulsory Education Laws

All states require children of a certain age to receive a formal education, with some exceptions. State compulsory education laws often include enforcement measures that hold parents or legal guardians liable for their child's truancy, in addition to juvenile court involvement. These laws are not limited to public or private education, though, and generally accommodate homeschooled students as well.

What Are Minnesota's Compulsory Education Requirements?

The state of Minnesota requires children between the ages of seven and 16 to attend school or receive an equivalent education through homeschooling. "Good cause" exceptions are determined by each school board, but generally include:

  • Physical or mental limitations
  • Early completion of graduation requirements
  • Family emergencies
  • Death or serious illness of immediate family member
  • Active duty in the U.S. military

Any student 17 or older who wants to leave school before graduation must (along with his or her parents) attend a meeting to discuss alternatives and sign a written election to withdraw from school.

Additional details of Minnesota's compulsory education laws are listed in the chart below. See FindLaw's Compulsory Education section for more information.

Code Section 120A.22, et seq.
Age at Which School Attendance is Required Between 7 and 16
Exceptions to Attendance Requirements "Good cause" determined by school board including: physical/mental condition prevents it; complete graduation requirements
Home School Provisions Writing, reading, literature and fine arts, math, science, social studies including history, geography, and government, and health and physical education; instruction, textbooks, and materials must be in English; child must be assessed each year with standardized achievement test; superintendent can make on-site visits to evaluate
Penalties on Parents for Noncompliance Misdemeanor (after notifications, mediation, etc.)

Note: State laws are constantly changing. FindLaw makes every effort to maintain the accuracy of these pages, but you may also want to contact a Minnesota education law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

What Is the Disciplinary Process for Noncompliance?

If a student is alleged to be in violation of state education requirements, the superintendent must notify the parent in writing, followed by fact-finding and mediation if the student is still noncompliant after 15 days. If the alleged violations are still not corrected after mediation, then a notice is sent to the county attorney for possible prosecution.

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Minnesota Compulsory Education Laws: Related Resources

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