Home School Legal Defense Association

P.O. Box 3000, Purcellville, VA 20134

For Immediate Release Contact: Sandra Kim
April 5, 2022 (540) 338-8864

PURCELLVILLE, Va.– After serving over 20 years as the leader of the largest homeschool legal advocacy group in the United States, Mike Smith, president of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), has announced his retirement. Smith said he is also stepping down as president of HSLDA Action (a sister organization focused on policy advocacy).

“I will continue serving on the HSLDA Board and remain involved in the fundraising work of HSLDA,” Smith said in an email to member families. “But I’m also looking forward to spending more time with my lovely wife, Elizabeth—and maybe getting in some golf, too.”

Under Smith’s leadership, HSLDA’s membership has topped 100,000 families across America, and HSLDA continues to support the growing homeschooling movement around the globe, promoting homeschool freedom for millions.

“Serving as president of HSLDA has been a tremendous privilege,” said Smith. “As I reflect over the past decades, I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to share the wonderful educational choice of homeschooling with many families and encourage them on their journey. And getting to see the numbers of homeschoolers in the US grow from 20,000 households in the early 1980s, to possibly 11 million households today—what a remarkable trajectory!”

Since Mike Farris (now HSLDA’s board chairman) and Mike Smith co-founded HSLDA in 1983, the organization has been pivotal in legalizing homeschooling in all 50 states and fostering the homeschool movement. HSLDA’s legal advocacy for homeschool families and active role in shaping legislative policy to support educational choice has made it one of the most influential thought leaders in homeschooling.

“Mike has faithfully led this organization. He has loved this team at HSLDA in a superlative fashion and has been instrumental since day one. Mike has done an absolutely terrific job, and we're so proud of his service to HSLDA,” said Farris.

HSLDA’s Board of Directors has chosen Vice President of Litigation James R. Mason III to succeed Smith as president.

“Jim is a dear friend and colleague,” Smith wrote to HSLDA members. “He has been HSLDA’s lead litigation counsel for over 20 years, and has served as a vice president since 2015, so I am very confident in his ability to lead HSLDA into the coming years while staying true to our founding mission.”

“I can't really express how much Mike Smith has meant to me over the years. We're going to miss him enormously,” said Jim Mason. "Looking forward to the future, I am excited for both the homeschooling movement and for us as an organization. The mantle that Mike Smith is passing on to me is that we stand for liberty, and we advance liberty for homeschooling.”