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Michigan’s Online Learning Law

Thanks to Michigan’s 21f legislation, students in grades K through 12 who are enrolled in a Michigan public school can take up to two online courses per academic term at no cost.

Did you know Michigan students have the legal right to take online courses?

In 2013, the Michigan Legislature expanded student access to digital learning options through Section 21f. As a result, students in grades 6-12 enrolled in a public school academy (PSA) or public local district (including students enrolled through a district on a part-time basis, such as those participating in a shared-time program) are eligible to enroll in up to two online courses during an academic term. It should be noted that districts do have the ability to deny the enrollment of K-5 students in online classes.

A student may be enrolled in more than two online courses if the student’s primary district determines that it is in the student’s best interest, the student agrees with the recommendation of the district, and the district and student have developed an education development plan that is kept on file by the district.

Section 21f Highlights

Michigan’s 21f legislation makes learning more affordable and accessible

Students are granted the opportunity to take additional courses online each semester

Online courses expand students’ potential by adding to their educational experience while making it convenient to retain success

Section 21f Resources

In 2013, the Michigan Legislature expanded student access to digital learning options through Section 21f. As a result, students in grades 6-12 enrolled in a public school academy (PSA) or public local district (including students enrolled through a district on a part-time basis, such as those participating in a shared-time program) are eligible to enroll in up to two online courses during an academic term. It should be noted that districts do have the ability to deny the enrollment of K-5 students in online classes.

A student may be enrolled in more than two online courses if the student’s primary district determines that it is in the student’s best interest, the student agrees with the recommendation of the district, and the district and student have developed an education development plan that is kept on file by the district.

Parent/Guardian Enrollment Request

Let your student’s counselor know that your student is interested in taking online courses through Michigan Virtual. Please fill out this form, click “submit,” print the PDF and have your student take it to his/her counselor.

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Limited Course Capacity

We’re sorry to inform you that we have reached capacity for several of our Semester 1 and Trimester 1 courses. You’ll notice when attempting to enroll students in our Student Learning Portal that some courses are unavailable. While we are no longer accepting new enrollments for these courses at this time, many courses continue to remain open for enrollment.

With many students across the state 100% remote, demand for our online courses is greater than ever before. Because every course we offer is taught by a Michigan-certified teacher, this high volume of enrollments has created capacity issues for our teachers who provide each and every student with individual feedback.

While the Michigan Virtual team anticipated and planned for significant increases in student enrollments this Fall, the increased demand we’ve experienced has been unprecedented. As a result, we are taking steps to hire even more part-and full-time teachers to support larger numbers of student enrollments for Semester 2 as well as for Trimester 2 and 3. 

For schools that still need online learning options this year, please fill out the form at the bottom of our virtual pathways page to meet with someone to discuss other solutions. While some of our teacher-led courses are full, we may still have the capacity to help you in upcoming terms or can discuss timing to implement a whole-school or collaborative program in which local teachers from your school/district use our online course content to teach students. We also have free course content and resources available for you to use.

We know this is an incredibly stressful time for all, and we’re sorry if the courses you’re looking for are unavailable. We never want to turn away a student who wants to learn from us. Our top concern, however, is student success, and we have a policy to not take on additional enrollments if we cannot guarantee that all students will have a quality online learning experience. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the unusually high volume of enrollments we are receiving.