General regulations

  • There are no requirements for licensing, approval, or registration. Accreditation is optionally available.

  • The Montana Office of Public Instruction has assembled a page of detailed requirements for private schools.

  • The US Office of Innovation & Improvement has assembled a summary of regulations for private schools operating in Montana.

  • Homeschooling has to be instructed by a parent or step-parent. Other arrangements would fall under nonpublic instruction.

  • The Montana OPI has no published requirements for school insurance -- consult a professional for guidance in this area.

Education regulations and resources for starting a private school in the state of Montana

State funding sources & support

Montana does not provide funding for private education.

Curriculum requirements

Schools are required to offer the same basic subjects as required by public schools.

Teacher certification & hiring

A Montana educator license is required for all administrators, specialists, and instructors working in an accredited Montana school.

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Our comprehensive Starting a Private School guide includes great information for funding, curriculum, hiring & much more that applies no matter where you’re opening your school.

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Food services / school lunch

In Montana, school lunch requirements, including funding for schools offering the National School Lunch Program, are managed by the Office of Public Instruction.

Length of school year

The school year must consist of the same number of instructional hours as public schools.

Recordkeeping and reports

Schools must maintain student registration and attendance information.

Health and safety requirements

Students must be immunized or provide documentation of a religious or medical exemption. Schools must hold at least 8 disaster drills each year.


Nonpublic school students may ride a public school bus if there is seating capacity available and the child secures a permit from the local school district. The school district may charge the child his or her proportionate share of the cost of operating the school bus.


There is no testing policy currently in place.

State and regional associations

  • Northwest Association of Independent Schools: The Northwest Association of Independent Schools is a nonprofit membership association that provides accreditation, professional development and support services to over 110 schools.

  • Montana Coalition of Home Educators: MCHE was founded to bring homeschoolers together to protect Montana's home school freedom while maintaining the independence and autonomy of the individual families and the existing local and state organizations

Starting a Private School

Want to know more about opening a school? We’ve assembled a complete guide to starting a private school, with considerations for everything from planning and finance to branding, hiring, curriculum, facilities, and more!

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We've done our best to pull together current and accurate information. Even so, there may be omissions or mistakes or content that needs to be updated. If you have recommendations for any resources or corrections, we appreciate your input so we can continue to improve this guide for everyone. 

Nothing in this guide should be construed as legal, business, or tax advice. It is important that you engage qualified professionals who can advise you on such matters, and please visit the Department of Education pages for your state to verify you are in compliance with all regulations.

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