Originally Sent: 1/28/2014

From the HSLDA e-lert service…
Home School Legal Defense Association

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Calls Needed to Oppose Compulsory Attendance Age Bills

Homeschooling in Mississippi

Call or email today.

Senior Counsel Dee Black answers questions and assists members with legal issues. He and his wife homeschooled their children.

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

How would you like it if your homeschool had to be licensed by the State of Mississippi in order to be legal? Scary as that sounds, that appears to be the effect of four of seven bills that would lower Mississippi’s compulsory school attendance age from 6 to 5. House Bill 826 and Senate Bills 2352, 2815, and 2842 would not only lower the compulsory attendance age but could be interpreted to require that children of kindergarten age attend a “licensed” school. These bills define the term “school” for kindergarten-age children as “any licensed public, parochial, or nonpublic school kindergarten program which promotes services that address the cognitive, social and emotional needs of five-year-old children.” Home instruction programs in Mississippi are nonpublic schools. House Bills 723 and 1134 would lower the compulsory attendance age to 5 but would make enrollment of a 5-year-old child voluntary. Senate Bill 2349 would simply lower the compulsory attendance age to 5.

All of the House of Representatives bills are in the House Education Committee, while the Senate bills are pending consideration by the Senate Education Committee. Both committees could vote on their bills at any time. Members of these committees need to hear from hundreds of you in order to stop these bills that threaten your fundamental freedom to homeschool your children.

Action Requested

1. Please call and/or email members of the House Education Committee and the Senate Education Committee with this message or something similar in your own words:

For the House Education Committee:

“Please vote against House bills 723, 826, and 1134, which would lower Mississippi’s compulsory school attendance age from 6 to 5. House Bill 826 would also require that kindergarten-age children attend a state-licensed school. Such licensing would undermine the fundamental freedom of nonpublic education. Further, parents, not state officials, are best able to determine when their child is ready for formal education.”

For the Senate Education Committee:

“Please vote against Senate bills 2349, 2352, 2815, and 2842, which would lower Mississippi’s compulsory school attendance age from 6 to 5. All of these bills except Senate Bill 2349 would require that kindergarten-age children attend a state-licensed school. Such licensing would undermine the fundamental freedom of nonpublic education. Further, parents, not state officials, are best able to determine when their child is ready for formal education.”

The members of the House Education Committee are as follows:

John L. Moore, Chairman
(601) 359-3330

Alyce G. Clarke, Vice-Chairman
(601) 359-9465

William Tracy Arnold
(601) 359-2438

Nick Bain
(601) 359-3338

Mark Baker
(601) 359-3388

Toby Barker
(601) 359-3362

Randy P. Boyd
(601) 359-2435

Clara Burnett
(601) 359-2422

Charles Busby
(601) 359-3373

Credell Calhoun
(601) 359-2429

Gary Chism
(601) 359-3364

Carolyn Crawford
(601) 359-2430

Becky Currie
(601) 359-5334

Dennis DeBar
(601) 359-2436

Reecy L. Dickson
(601) 359-2433

Chuck Espy
(601) 359-9391

James Evans
(601) 359-2461

Mark Formby
(601) 359-3359

Herb Frierson
(601) 359-3340

Jeffrey S. Guice
(601) 359-2508

Eugene Forrest Hamilton
(601) 359-4075

Gregory Holloway
(601) 359-2435

Wanda Jennings
(601) 359-3327

Rita Martinson
(601) 359-3131

Steve Massengill
(601) 359-3338

Brad Mayo
(601) 359-2431

Pat Nelson
(601) 359-3339

Rufus Straughter
(601) 359-2421

Sara R. Thomas
(601) 359-2845

Joseph L. Warren
(601) 359-3014

Tom Weathersby
(601) 359-3336

The members of the Senate Education Committee are as follows:

Gray Tollison, Chairman
(601) 359-2395

Nancy Adams Collins, Vice-Chairman
(601) 359-2395

David Blount
(601) 359-3232

Terry C. Burton
(601) 359-3234

Videt Carmichael
(601) 359-3244

Steve Hale
(601) 359-3252

Angela Burks Hill
(601) 359-2886

W. Briggs Hopson III
(601) 359-3237

Russell Jolly
(601) 359-2886

David Jordan
(601) 359-3244

Chris Massey
(601) 359-2886

John A. Polk
(601) 359-3246

Tony Smith
(601) 359-2886

Brice Wiggins
(601) 359-3232

J. P. Wilemon, Jr.
(601) 359-3232

2. Please forward this email to every family you know who is not a member of HSLDA and urge them to contact members of the committees about these bills.


Many education experts have concluded that beginning a child’s formal education too early may actually result in burnout and poor scholastic performance later.

Lowering the compulsory attendance age erodes the authority of parents who are in the best position to determine when their child’s formal education should begin. This bill would restrict parents’ freedom to decide if their children are ready for school.

Another significant impact of expanding the compulsory attendance age would be an inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom space and teachers to accommodate the additional students compelled to attend public school.

View the text of House Bill 723.

View the text of House Bill 826.

View the text of House Bill 1134.

View the text of Senate Bill 2349.

View the text of Senate Bill 2352.

View the text of Senate Bill 2815.

View the text of Senate Bill 2842.

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our memorandum.

Please call or email today!


Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

P.S. We greatly value you and your support—it is a privilege to serve you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>

• • • •

Extreme makeovers are for extreme circumstances...

Most homeschools don’t need an extreme makeover, but there is something to be said for attention to detail and recognition of accomplishments. Watch the media and you’ll soon see that not everyone wants home educators and homeschooling to look good. HSLDA works hard to shed light on the good work of home educators so it’s obvious that we don’t need someone “making-over” our homeschools. Join HSLDA and help us show the world that we’re fine as we are…thank you!

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Phone: (540) 338-5600 • Fax: (540) 338-2733 • Email: info@hslda.org
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