Individual Mississippi districts decide policy regarding accepting homeschool grades and credits for students returning to public schools.

History

Mississippi is in the southern United States. Education from home has been legal since 1972. However, the current homeschool law in Mississippi was passed in 1982. Policies regarding accepting homeschool grades and credits are set at the district level.

Regulation

Parents in Mississippi who wish to homeschool their children between the ages of 6 to 17 must fill out a form with their local school attendance officer in September of each year. Parents are advised to review the Mississippi standards and create and maintain a portfolio of work, assessments, and a log of books and materials used for instruction. Otherwise, there are few specific curricular or instructional requirements.

Mississippi provides no access for any nonpublic students to sports, extracurriculars, or courses offered in the local public schools. Access to special needs services is also restricted.

State Data

There is limited homeschool participation data for Mississippi. For example, there were fewer than 20,000 homeschooled students prior to the pandemic, increasing to 30,000 the following year. While participation has since declined, participation is still higher than pre-pandemic.

Homeschool participation rates over time in Mississippi

Additional information on homeschool participation in the state comes from the U.S. Census estimates. These estimates indicate that about 3.4% of Mississippi families homeschooled in the early spring of 2020. That percentage increased to 15.0% by the fall of 2020. This is about 4% points more than the national average during the same period. For the 2022 and 2023 school years, estimates from the U.S. Census indicate that 5.5% of all K-12 students in Mississippi, on average, were homeschooled.

Download Homeschool Hub State Data

Cross-Sector Comparison

During the 2019-20 academic year, 3.6% of Mississippi’s K-12 students were homeschooled. Homeschool participation in the state was nearly half of the 7% of Mississippi students attending private schools. Charter school participation in the state was much lower than private school participation, at only 0.41%. In 2021-22, 4.8% of Mississippi’s K-12 students were homeschooled. About 8.5% of Mississippi students attended private schools. Charter school participation increased slightly to 0.57%.

A pie chart showing home, charter, private, and traditional public school percentages in Mississippi in 2021-22

School Choice Context

In addition to homeschooling, parents in Mississippi have multiple school choice options. These include enrollment in traditional public, private, magnet, limited charter, and virtual online schools. Mississippi also has three private school choice programs for students with special needs.

Commentary

Mississippi could do more to remove barriers to all nonpublic students by increasing access to public school offerings like extracurriculars and courses.

Last updated December 2023.