Home schools and micro-schooling defined under new Utah bill

Feb 7, 2023, 8:00 AM

Utah 2022 legislative session...

Aerial view of the Utah State Capitol. Federal disaster relief is on its way to Utah to help those impacted by flooding and wildfires. Photo: Ravell Call, Deseret News, KSL-TV Chopper 5

SALT LAKE CITY — Home schools and micro-schools in Utah could get an update under a new bill seeking to define them under Utah law.

S.B. 166, run by Sen. Lincoln Fillmore (R-South Jordan), would also set up some of the schools’ zoning rules. This means where and how they can operate in a city or town.

According to the current language of the bill, home schools would be defined as 25 kids or fewer. Along with this, micro-schools would be two or more families “jointly providing education” with 150 kids or fewer.

Can a school be set up anywhere?

For home schools, the current text of the bill says they are “not subject to additional occupancy requirements beyond those required of a primary dwelling.”

And for micro-schools, they would largely be included in the zoning rules that apply to Utah’s charter schools.

“[Charter schools] became what’s called ‘permitted use’ years ago,” said Connor Boyack of the Libertas Institute. He told KSL NewsRadio’s Dave and Dujanovic that they asked Fillmore to run this bill. The group was also behind the hotly debated, newly enacted law to create a school choice program called Utah Fits All.

He argues Utah should be making it easier for these schools to set up.

“[Charters] can go into any zones, cities just have to let them in so that we can have more schools,” Boyack said. “The only policy change is really to say is that these micro schools benefit from that same local government zoning flexibility.”

What about micro-schools?

Sen. Kathleen Riebe (D-Cottonwood Heights) says she has “serious concerns” with the bill.

“Twenty-five kids, that’s a lot of kids,” she said.

Riebe argues this bill allows micro-schools to set up in areas where things like roads, traffic congestion and even the sewer systems might not be set up for it.

“You just can’t have this much traffic coming and going,” she said. “You have to give our local areas the ability to say I don’t want this to happen in my neighborhood,” she said.

“[A residential street] wasn’t zoned for [home schools allowing 25 kids], this wasn’t planned for this,” she said. “It’s just some random person saying we’re going to add 25 cars twice a day at least.”

Riebe also took to Twitter over the weekend arguing this was a companion bill to the school choice or so-called school voucher bill. 

Boyack told Dave and Dujanovic it was not.

Sen. Fillmore said the bill is still in negotiations but declined to comment further. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Education + Schools

Seventy percent of Gen Z looks to TikTok for career advice....

Derrick Jones

TikTok, the Gen Z source for career and salary advice

A whopping 70% of Gen Z uses TikTok for career guidance, with 20% considering it their primary source of such advice.

7 hours ago

students walk on the U of U campus, political positions from a public college or university is no l...

Sam Herrera

Utah Board of Higher Education’s free speech resolution won’t eliminate political opinions on campus, expert says

Any public Utah college must commit to neutrality following the free speech resolution. But it doesn't apply to indivuduals.

9 hours ago

The block U appears on the front of the J. Willard Marriott Library on the University of Utah campu...

Peter Johnston

University of Utah students face charges after protesting movie they call “transphobic”

The students protesting the movie they said was transphobic are part of a self-proclaimed socialist club on the University of Utah campus.

13 hours ago

Image of four monolithic domes in Genola, Utah County, designed by Leland Gray and built as a facil...

Curt Gresseth

As some Utah school populations dwindle, could dome schools help?

The idea of dome schools was born in Utah but only one Utah town has them. Could they help more school districts and communities?

20 hours ago

a person types on a laptop...

Amanda Dickson

How private is “incognito mode?”

People think when they're in incognito mode that they can't be tracked, but ad trackers are craftier and craftier.

4 days ago

Image of an outdoor light post at Glendale Middle School, one of several schools in the Salt Lake C...

Adam Small

Copper wire stolen from Salt Lake City schools

Liberty, Rose Park, and Parkview Elementary Schools, along with Hillside and Glendale Middle School have all experienced copper wiring theft.

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

Home schools and micro-schooling defined under new Utah bill