Certificate of Enrollment Difficulties Continue
As first reported in the November/December 1999 Court Report, home schooling families in Mississippi are having difficulties with attendance officers insisting that the Certificate of Enrollment for the home instruction program include information beyond what is required by state law. Since the beginning of the 2000-2001 school year, Home School Legal Defense Association has assisted 15 families who did not provide the additional information and were threatened by attendance officers with prosecution for truancy.
State law requires that the Certificate of Enrollment filed with the school attendance officer include, among other things, a simple description of the type of education the compulsory-school-age child is receiving. Under Mississippi law, the types of education are public or nonpublic school, including a private school, church school, parochial school, and home instruction program. Thus, it appears that the type of education to be described in the Certificate of Enrollment is simply to indicate that the child is enrolled in a home instruction program. There is no requirement that parents provide a description of the instruction program such as a list of subjects being taught, the titles of textbooks being used, or grade levels of the children.
HSLDA is prepared to defend in court any of our member families facing truancy charges for failure to provide information not required by state law. Dewitt T. Black