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News Link • Education: Private Secular Schools and Home School

The Rise of Homeschooling Was Broad and Bipartisan

•, Kerry McDonald

Homeschooling Used to Be Illegal

Despite the fact that the proclaimed "father of American public education," Horace Mann, homeschooled his own three children, even while passing the country's first compulsory schooling statute in 1852, homeschooling for most families began to decline in the late-19th century.

Strict statutes that mandated school attendance under a legal threat of force were eventually adopted by all states, with Mississippi, the final hold-out, passing its compulsory attendance law in 1917. According to the FindLaw database, "Parents who refused to send their children to school were fined and (in some cases) stripped of their parental rights, and their children apprenticed to others."

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