Also referred to as compulsory education laws, laws that required children to be enrolled in school until the age of 16 were set in place in the states in 1852. The first state to require that children attend classes was Massachusetts, and it was done to discourage parents from forcing children to work on farms and to improve reading and writing.
The Massachusetts law stated that every established state had to open a school for children to learn basic grammar and math. Parents who would not send their children to school usually had to pay a large fine. If the parent still refused to send the child to school, the child was placed into another home and the individuals would lose their parental rights.