After 39 years with Home School Legal Defense Association, Mike Smith has announced that he is retiring from his roles as president of HSLDA and HSLDA Action.
“I will continue serving on the HSLDA Board and remain involved in the fundraising work of HSLDA,” Mike wrote in an email to members last week. “But I’m also looking forward to spending more time with my lovely wife, Elizabeth—and maybe getting in some golf, too.”
Reflecting back over four decades, he said, “Michael Farris [now chairman of HSLDA’s board] and I co-founded HSLDA in 1983. Advocating for home education has been my full-time vocation since 1985.”
“Homeschooling was not safe or even recognized as legal in many states when we started HSLDA,” Mike Smith recalled. “It was the courage and tenacity displayed by so many parents in those early years to risk their personal security to do what they believed was best for their children that ignited homeschool freedom’s flame across the United States.”
He added: “Over and over, we heard from yet another set of parents who said, ‘I feel safe in my state, but I’m joining to help the families who are fighting for their right to homeschool.’ That is the spirit that carried homeschooling forward and made it possible for HSLDA to protect families and advance homeschooling freedom.”
Mike became president in 2000. He said that HSLDA’s board has chosen Vice President of Litigation Jim Mason as his successor, and he’s excited about HSLDA’s choice.
“Jim is a dear friend and colleague,” Mike said. “He has been HSLDA’s lead litigation counsel for over 20 years, and has served as a vice president since 2015, so I know him very well and am very confident in his ability to lead HSLDA into the coming years while staying true to our founding mission. Please pray for a smooth transition in the coming weeks.”
Mike assured members that HSLDA will continue to build on its legacy of championing homeschool freedom so families can help their children thrive.
“I am confident that there are many opportunities for homeschooling to grow and flourish in the coming years,” Mike said. “I hope to see many more families experience the blessing and joy of close relationships with their own children that we have enjoyed.”