West Virginia was the first state to put a definition for microschool on the books in 2022, but what does that mean?
In the bill passed in West Virginia, states that “Microschool” means a school initiated by one or more teachers or an entity created to operate a school that charges tuition for the students who enroll and is an alternative to enrolling in a public school, private school, homeschool, or learning pod. Beyond this, microschools in West Virginia are held to the same standards as homeschooling in the state, still not being considered homeschooling. So, anyone in West Virginia can open a microschool, and the school can be of any size. Now there are other laws that do affect how many students of certain ages can meet in a location over a period of a week. These laws are part of the Department of Health and Human Resources and so it is not enough to just look at educational law when planning a microschool.
The inclusion of microschools in the state’s educational law is very new and yet to be tested, but the hope is that this will remove the question of the legitimacy of those looking to create new learning opportunities for those students that are not thriving in the school choices. It is possible that more states will add similar definitions to their own educational laws, and this is something that should be watched and advocated for. I personally watched this bill move through the legislature as I made plans to launch my own microschool. It is important to keep an eye on your state’s legislative sessions if you have or are considering your own microschool.