Standards of accreditation are outlined in the Montana Code Annotated (MCA) 20-7-101: (1) Standards of accreditation for all schools must be adopted by the board of public education upon the recommendations of the superintendent of public instruction. The Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) contain the standards that guarantee students the benefits of attendance in accredited schools in Title 10, Chapter 55.

The revised ARM 10.55.604 Variances to Standards rule allows a local board of trustees to apply for a variance to a standard or a section of standards, excluding standards stating statutory criteria, standards pertaining to educator licensure and endorsement, and content standards. The intent of the revised Variances to Standards is to: (1) provide options and innovation to school districts to help ensure educational quality and accountability, and (2) create a pre-appointed review board that will make recommendations to the Superintendent of Public Instruction for approval, modification, or rejection of all variance to standard applications.