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May 26, 2023

What began as a microschool in 1967 for Clonlara School founder Pat Montgomery’s two children and six others has grown into an internationally-renowned, K-12 private school serving 2,000 off-campus students around the world through its online program, as well as a small group of on-campus students at its Ann Arbor, Michigan headquarters.

It quickly became clear that parents outside of Ann Arbor were attracted to this learning model, particularly as the modern homeschooling movement gained traction beginning in the 1970s. Some Michigan families were investigated or charged with truancy for homeschooling their children, so Montgomery mounted a lawsuit against the Michigan State Board of Education. Thirty years ago this month, on May 25, 1993, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in Clonlara's favor. That case, and two related ones that were decided on the same day, secured homeschooling rights in the state.

Today, I am so honored to be joined by Pat Montgomery and her daughter, Chandra Montgomery Nicol, who was Clonlara’s first student, served as its longtime Executive Director, and is now Clonlara’s board chair.

Read more about Montgomery and the May 1993 legal decisions in my latest Forbes article.

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