This February, the Alabama Legislature introduced House Bill 208. The original version of HB 208 would have made kindergarten mandatory for five‑year‑olds, which would have effectively required children to start formal schooling at age five, rather than six.

For homeschooling families, this would have required them to select a homeschooling option and comply with reporting requirements one year earlier.

HSLDA opposed the original language of HB 208 because it would have restricted the liberty of Alabama families to choose when each unique five‑year‑old child is ready for more formal learning. In response to HSLDA’s advocacy campaign, homeschoolers contacted their representatives and expressed opposition to the bill.

Positive Change

Thankfully, legislators listened to homeschoolers’ voices.

The Education Committee amended HB 208 to take out the language that would negatively impact homeschool families. Instead, the amended version requires public schools to admit five‑year‑olds into kindergarten and places conditions on public school students’ entry into 1st grade.

On February 23, the House voted to pass this amended version. We will continue monitoring HB 208 to ensure it does not impact homeschool students.

Thank you to Alabama homeschool advocates for standing with us for freedom!