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Compulsory School Attendance Law Requirements for School-Aged Children


Revised: August 13, 2019

JACKSON, Miss – As the new school year begins, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE), Office of Compulsory School Attendance Enforcement would like to remind area parents about the law governing school attendance.  

Based on the Compulsory School Attendance law, a compulsory-school-age child means a child who has reached the age of 6 years on or before September 1 of the calendar year and who has not reached the age of 17 years on or before September 1 of the calendar year, and shall include any child who has attained or will attain the age of 5 years on or before September 1 and has enrolled in a full-day public school kindergarten program. 

Parents interested in providing educational services to their child/children at home are required to complete a certificate of enrollment, which includes a simple description of the educational services. Certificate of enrollment must be submitted to the School Attendance Officer by September 15 of each year. Failure to comply with the Compulsory School Attendance law may result in the parent, guardian or custodian being fined up to $1,000, serving a year in jail, or both.   

For additional information, please contact the local school district or the School Attendance Officer in your county.


Media Contact: 

Patrice Guilfoyle, APR
Director of Communications

Jean Cook, APR
Director of Public Relations