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 Mississippi official concerned homeschooling too popular

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MERIDIAN, Miss. - A state education official says she's concerned about the growing popularity of homeschooling in Mississippi.

Peggy Peterson, director of compulsory school attendance enforcement with the Mississippi Department of Education, said she fears that some children may not be receiving top quality education instruction from their parents.

Mississippi Department of Education statistics show that the number of families homeschooling in the state has increased since 1999, when officials began monitoring enrollment.

A total of 11,063 Mississippi children were homeschooled last year, up from 8,768 in May 1999. Lauderdale County alone had 281 families homeschooling their children in May of this year.

Peterson said some parents have done a good job of educating their children, "but I am concerned about the ones who are not qualified to teach their children."

Peterson's office is the only one with the state Department of Education that has anything to do with homeschooling. Families that homeschool their children must register with their county's school attendance officer; the officer, in turn, reports to Peterson's office.


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