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HSLDA UPDATE: Bills Target Homeschool Freedom

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

The Mississippi Legislature began its 2020 lawmaking session on January 7. As always, Home School Legal Defense Association is working closely with Mississippi Home Educators Association (MHEA) to review, analyze, and monitor legislation that may impact homeschooling families. We’ve identified several categories of legislation that, if passed, would expand the state’s role in education and restrict the freedom of homeschooling families.

Please review the summary of each issue below and take action as recommended to ask your elected officials to oppose these bills.

 

COMPULSORY SCHOOL AGE EXPANSION

 

  • House Bills 134 and 276 would raise the age until which a child must legally remain in school (or be homeschooled) from age 17 to 18.

  • House Bill 663 and Senate Bill 2022 and 2062 would lower the age at which a child must begin school (or be homeschooled) from age 6 to 5.

These bills have been referred to the House and Senate Education Committees, respectively. H.B. 2022 has also been referred to the House Appropriations Committee. Click here to learn more about this issue and contact your elected officials.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

 

  • House Bill 168 would increase the state’s involvement in early childhood education by providing funding for universal prekindergarten. While not directly impacting homeschooling, empirical studies suggest the costs of early childhood education outweigh the benefits. These programs are also often a precursor to expanding the compulsory school age.

This bill has been referred to the House Education and Appropriations Committees. Click here for more detailed information on early childhood education programs.

MANDATORY CURRICULUM REQUIREMENTS

 

  • House Bill 188 appears to mandate specific curriculum requirements on homeschool programs. More specifically, it would require homeschools to provide a particular comprehensive course in Mississippi history and United States government during high school.

While homeschooling parents embrace teaching history and government, this bill gives the state authority to dictate curricular content, which undermines parents’ freedom to tailor their child’s educational program. This bill has been referred to the House Education Committee. Click here to learn more about H.B. 188 and contact your representative.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Sincerely yours,
Dan Beasley
HSLDA Attorney