Armada of bills shipwrecked
Thanks to efforts of the Mississippi Home Educators Association and home schoolers throughout the state, seven bills threatening the freedoms of home educators have died in the state legislature. Following are brief descriptions of each bill:
House Bill 60—This bill would have required home school students to participate in the statewide testing program along with public school students.
H.B. 299 and 711—These bills would have required parents to include in the certificate of enrollment "a copy of the instructional program for each subject being taught to the child during that school year."
H.B. 302—This bill would have changed the date for submitting the certificate of enrollment from September 15 to within 10 days of when school started. Current law does not require a superintendent to report a child absent from public school until 15 calendar days after the start of the school year. Therefore, a student receiving home instruction would have been placed under an earlier deadline for complying with compulsory attendance than public school students.
H.B. 300 and 1415—These bills would have required a child becoming 17 years old during the school year to continue to be subject to the compulsory attendance law until the end of that school year. Current law states that a child who is not 17 on or before September 1 of the calendar year is subject to the compulsory attendance law. This new language would have prohibited someone who turned 17 after September 1 from dropping out after January 1 ( the next calendar year but the same school year).
H.B. 62—This bill would have increased the compulsory school attendance age from 17 to 18. This expansion of state authority over the education of children would have required home schooling families to submit a certificate of enrollment to public school officials for an additional year beyond what is now required. — Dewitt T. Black