Innovative “learning pods” or "micro schools" became very popular during the pandemic, and they are showing remarkable staying power. These creative learning environments allowed parents to band together to hire an instructor for the family's children. Many parents were so impressed by the personalized learning environment that they want to keep their children in these programs. To do that, however, parents must navigate a morass of state and local regulations.
Most states allow home schooling, but those laws apply only to teaching to one’s own children. When families band together, states tend to treat them as either childcare centers or private schools. Only one state treats learning pods as an extended homeschool. Georgia passed the "Learning Pod Protection Act," which exempts learning pods from most state and local regulations. Florida legislator proposed legislation last year, but it died in committee.
In addition to childcare or private school regulations, parents must navigate local zoning ordinances, fire marshal rules, and local building codes. The Fire Marshal in Cobb County, Georgia attempted last month to require a learning pod hosted at a church to get a certificate of occupancy for schools, until the Institute for Justice reminded that office of the Georgia exemption.
If you are interested in starting a learning pod, you may need legal help to navigate all of the various regulations and requirements. Taylor English attorneys are available to help you stay within those laws as you pursue the best way to educate your children.