When and How to File the PI-1206 Homeschool Report

  1. What is the PI-1206 Homeschool Report?

The PI-1206 Homeschool Report is a two-part form, created and administered by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Section I is a statement of enrollment in your homeschool (Home-Based Private Education Program (HBPEP)) on the third Friday in September. Section II is an affirmation that your homeschool meets all the statutory requirements under Wisconsin law. You can see a sample form here: https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/sms/pdf/PI-1206_sample_form.pdf

  1. Do I need to file the PI-1206 Homeschool Report?

All homeschooling parents / guardians in Wisconsin must properly submit this form to the DPI every year that they are homeschooling.

  1. What is the law related to the PI-1206 Homeschool Report?

Two important laws related to homeschooling in Wisconsin require filing the PI-1206 Homeschool Report every year: a compulsory attendance law, and a law requiring a statement of enrollment.

Wis Stat 118.15 is Wisconsin’s compulsory attendance law. It states that all children between the ages of 6 and 18 years of age must attend school. It includes an exception for all students receiving instruction in a HBPEP, or homeschool.

  • Except as provided under pars. (b) to (d) and (g) and sub. (4), unless the child is excused under sub. (3) or has graduated from high school, any person having under control a child who is between the ages of 6 and 18 years shall cause the child to attend school regularly during the full period and hours, religious holidays excepted, that the public, private, or tribal school in which the child should be enrolled is in session until the end of the school term, quarter or semester of the school year in which the child becomes 18 years of age. (Wis Stat 118.15(1)(a))
  • Instruction in a home-based private educational program that meets all of the criteria under s. 118.165(1) may be substituted for attendance at a public or private school. (Wis Stat 118.15(4))

Wis Stat 115.30 (3) is Wisconsin’s law related to creation and filing of school enrollment forms.

  • On or before each October 15, each administrator of a public or private school system or a home-based private educational program shall submit, on forms provided by the department, a statement of the enrollment on the 3rd Friday in September in the elementary and high school grades under his or her jurisdiction to the department which shall prepare such reports as will enable the public and private schools and home-based private educational programs to make projections regarding school buildings, teacher supply and funds required. The administrator of each private school system and home-based private educational program shall indicate in his or her report whether the system or program meets all of the criteria under s. 118.165(1). (WI stat 115.30(3))

This Statute says:

The DPI must provide a form for homeschoolers to report their enrollment. The form must include two parts: a statement of enrollment on the third Friday in September of all children ages 6-18, and an indication of whether the homeschool meets the requirements under Wisconsin law.

The PI-1206 Homeschool Report must be filed on or before October 15.

The filing of this form fulfills all Wisconsin homeschoolers’ duties to the DPI.

  1. When should I file the PI-1206 Homeschool Report?

You MAY file the PI-1206 any time from the date it is made available by DPI until or on October 15.

You MUST file the PI-1206 on or before October 15.

If you begin homeschooling after October 15, you must file the PI-1206 immediately, before you can start homeschooling.

WHPA ENCOURAGES YOU TO FILE THE PI-1206 ONLY DURING THE WINDOW BETWEEN THE THIRD FRIDAY IN SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER 15. This has been WHPA guidance for decades, and for good reason.

WHPA encourages you not to file the form earlier than statutorily required because waiting serves to protect our reasonable homeschooling laws for all Wisconsin families. Often in law, doing more than the minimum required by law creates both the belief that doing more than the minimum is required and the belief that doing more than the minimum is expected.

For example, imagine your town has a law that requires you to bring two forms of ID in order to start a basketball team at the rec center. If you bring two forms of ID and a fruit basket, and you tell all your friends to bring two forms of ID and fruit basket, pretty soon the fruit basket is both expected and believed to be required in order to start a basketball team. This kind of erosion of rights through doing more than the law requires can happen quickly and easily, especially when the law in question applies to a small minority, and is poorly understood by laypeople. Wisconsin’s homeschooling laws have remained reasonable and, for the most part unchanged, since 1984, due in great part to the insistence of homeschooling families who came before you, who refused to do more than the law requires.

As a Wisconsin homeschooler, it is your obligation under the law to file the PI-1206 Homeschool Report on or before October 15. You have no duty under the law to file before October 15. It is your choice to do so in a way that ensures and protects your rights, and the rights of all other Wisconsin homeschoolers now and in the future.

It is also the mission of WHPA to encourage parents to act in a way that both meets the minimum requirements of Wisconsin law, and protects our reasonable homeschooling law for all Wisconsin families, now and in the future.

  1. How do I file the PI-1206 Homeschool Report?

    STEP 1: The form must be filed online. Go to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) website.

    STEP 2: Follow the instructions on the DPI website to report your homeschool’s enrollment information, and affirm that your homeschool is meeting the requirements of the law, using the HOMER system. Create a username and password. (You are not required to use your email address if you do not wish to use it.) You will need your username and password to log back in to print additional copies of your PI-1206 or to update your contact information or the number of children in your homeschool.

    STEP 3: When you have filed your form, print a copy of your PI-1206 Homeschool Report for your records, and save an electronic copy.

    • For printable, detailed, step-by-step instructions for using the HOMER system on the DPI website, click here.
    • For a sample completed PI-1206 Homeschool Report from a previous year, click here.
  1. What else should I know about the PI-1206 Homeschool Report?

Keep Copies

The DPI only keeps copies for seven years.

It is incumbent on homeschooling parents to maintain copies of their properly filed PI-1206 Homeschool Report for each child for every year.

Update forms as needed

If you add or withdraw a child in your homeschool, return to the DPI HOMER link, and edit your form appropriately.

If you move or your contact information changes, return to the DPI HOMER link, and edit your form appropriately.

If you move away from Wisconsin, return to the DPI HOMER link, and change the number of students to zero.

Interactive Decision Tool
If and When to File Your
PI-1206 Homeschool Report

 

Legal Notice
WHPA provides information about homeschooling in Wisconsin. WHPA does not provide specific legal advice to any specific individuals in the context of any specific matters. It is the responsibility of each homeschool administrator/parent or guardian to read original source material and make decisions about compliance for themselves.

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