The Home School Court Report
- disclaimer -
January / February 2005

State Legislation Summary—2004
2004 art contest

Our Judges

Winners of the three categories
PHC beats Oxford in debate
GenJ: Into the land

What are Generation Joshua & HSLDA PAC?

Sodrel: One very tight race . . .

Davis: In a dead heat

From the heart

2004 in review

From the director

Impact of the fund

Mission statement of HSF
Across the states
Active cases
Members only
About campus
President's page


On the other hand: a Contrario Sensu

HSLDA social services contact policy/A plethora of forms

HSLDA legal inquiries

Prayer & Praise




AL · CA · CO · FL · GA · IA · KY · MI · MS · MO · NV · NJ · NM · NY · ND · OH · OK · OR · PA · RI · TX · UT · VT · VA · WA · WI


Officer seeks curriculum information

At the beginning of this school year, the school attendance officer in Marshall County sent letters to two Home School Legal Defense Association member families advising them that the Certificate of Enrollment card filed with her office had to include "a copy of the entire curriculum" to be studied by each child.* Since this request was not authorized by state law, HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black responded in a letter on behalf of our member families.

Subsection (3) of § 37-13-91 of the Annotated Mississippi Code sets forth the information required in the Certificate of Enrollment , including a "simple description of the type of education the compulsory-school-age child is receiving . . . ." The "type of education" may be public school or nonpublic school, which includes private school, church school, parochial school, or a home instruction program. Thus, parents may provide a simple description of the type of education their child is receiving by indicating on the form that it is "home instruction." State law does not prescribe any required courses for students in a home instruction program, so it is not necessary for parents to indicate the curriculum utilized or subjects taught.

Section 37-13-85 of the code sets forth the powers and duties of the Office of Compulsory School Attendance Enforcement. Subsection (o) of this section states that the policies or guidelines adopted by the office "shall not add to or contradict with the requirements of Section 37-13-91." The school attendance officer's insistence that the parents provide her with a copy of the entire curriculum for their home instruction program was an addition to the requirements of § 37-13-91 and, therefore, contrary to state law.

After receiving information from HSLDA regarding the requirements for the Certificate of Enrollment , the school attendance officer made no further attempts to obtain the extra curriculum information from the parents. HSLDA member families encountering these types of problems with the filing of their Certificate of Enrollment should contact us for assistance.

— by Dewitt T. Black

* See "A plethora of forms".