Compulsory
Attendance: Mississippi Code Annotated § 37-13-91.

Ages: “age of 6 on or before September 1…and has not attained the age of 17 on or before September 1.”

Days: 180 days. “except that the ‘nonpublic’ school term shall be the number of days that each school shall require for promotion from grade to grade.” (Home instruction programs are included in the definition of “nonpublic school.”) § 37-13-91(2)(i).

Subjects: Required subjects repealed July 1, 1984.

Home School Statutes: Miss. Code Ann. § 37-13-91(3)(c).

1. The child must be educated in a legitimate home instruction program.

2. The parent, guardian, or custodian of the children must file a “certificate of enrollment” including names, address, and telephone number of parents and children, dates of birth and social security numbers of children, and a “simple description of the type of education the children are receiving.” (An individual’s refusal to disclose his social security account number is protected by the Federal Privacy Act of 1974. Therefore, parents are not required to furnish this information.) The certificate must be submitted by September 15 of each school year to the school attendance officer where the child resides.

“Any parent, guardian, or custodian found by the school attendance officer to be in noncompliance with this section shall, after written notice of such noncompliance by the school attendance officer, comply with this subsection within 10 days after such notice or be in violation of this section.”

3. A parent who has enrolled their child in the public school may, after Sept. 15, still enroll the child in a “legitimate home instruction program and send the certificate of enrollment to the school attendance officer” even though they missed the deadline.

4. A legitimate home instruction program is one that is not operated for the “purpose of avoiding or circumventing the compulsory attendance law.”

5. “It is not the intention of this section to impair the primary right and the obligation of the parents . . . to choose the proper education and training” for their children, “and nothing in this section shall be construed to grant the State of Mississippi . . . authority to control, manage or supervise” the private education of children. “And this section shall never be construed so as to grant, by implication or otherwise, any right or authority to any state agency or other entity to control, manage, supervise, provide for or affect the operation, management, program, curriculum, admissions policy or discipline of any such school or home instruction program.” Miss. Code Ann. § 37-13-91(10)

Teacher Qualifications: None.

Standardized Tests: None.