Legal/Homeschool Laws
Laws that regulate home education vary from state to state. It is important to understand the legal requirements in your state and to be aware of legislative and other legal issues that affect homeschoolers in your community. We've compiled resources that will help you become informed. Although homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, and the vast majority of homeschoolers face no problems, you may find that you need legal assistance at some point in your homeschooling career. We've compiled a list of resources to help you find the support you need. And if you'd like to become more involved in working towards homeschooling freedoms, we discuss some of the issues facing homeschoolers that we hope you find compelling.
State Laws
Read the laws regulating home education in North Carolina and browse through the case law and legal opinions relating to those laws, along with government publications relating to homeschooling and summaries of the laws.
Forms
Which forms do you need to fill out? Where can you get them? Here is a list of useful forms for homeschooling in North Carolina.
Legal Support
If you need legal information or have run into a legal situation regarding your decision to homeschool, these resources will be helpful.
Lobbying Groups
A listing of local and national lobbying groups and information on how you can become involved in the political process to ensure the freedom to homeschool is protected.
Attorneys
When searching for an attorney, it is helpful to know whether he or she has experience working with homeschoolers and is interested in protecting the right to homeschool.
Legal Issues
Is homeschooling legal? Which laws pertain to homeschoolers and which don't? How do homeschoolers protect their rights to freely educate their children and to preserve their privacy?
Government Resources
A listing of local and state government resources, including your state's Department of Education, school districts, and Senate and House of Representative information.
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§ 115C-561. Duly authorized representative.
The duly authorized representative of the State of North Carolina to whom reports of commencing operation and termination shall be made and who may inspect certain records under this Part shall be designated by the Governor.
§ 115C-552. New school notice requirements; termination.
(a) Any new school to which this Part relates shall send to a duly authorized representative of the State of North Carolina a notice of intent to operate, name and address of the school, and name of the school's owner and chief administrator. (b) Any school to which this Part applies shall notify a duly authorized representative of the State of North Carolina upon termination of the school.
§ 115C-547. Policy.
In conformity with the Constitutions of the United States and of North Carolina, it is the public policy of the State in matters of education that "No human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience," or with religious liberty and that "religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind . . . the means of education shall forever be encouraged."
§ 115C-566. Driving eligibility certificates; requirements.
(a) The Secretary of Administration, upon consideration of the advice of the Division of Nonpublic Education in the Office of the Governor and representatives of nonpublic schools, shall adopt rules for the procedures a person who is or was enrolled in a home school, in a nonpublic school that is not accredited by the State Board of Education, or in an educational program found by a court, prior to July 1, 1998, to comply with the compulsory attendance law, must follow and the requirements...
State of North Carolina Home School Information
The North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education has created this informational site to guide home educators in the state through the law and requirements.
§ 115C-553. Duly authorized representative.
The duly authorized representative of the State of North Carolina to whom reports of commencing operation and termination shall be made and who may inspect certain records under this Part shall be designated by the Governor.
§ 115C-565. Requirements exclusive.
No school which complies with this Part shall be subject to any other provision of law relating to education except requirements of law respecting immunization. The Division of Nonpublic Education, Department of Administration, shall provide to home schools information about meningococcal meningitis and influenza and their vaccines. This information may be provided electronically or on the Division's Web page. The information shall include the causes, symptoms, and how meningococcal meningitis a...
§ 115C-564. Qualifications and requirements.
A home school shall make the election to operate under the qualifications of either Part 1 or Part 2 of this Article and shall meet the requirements of the Part elected, except that any requirement related to safety and sanitation inspections shall be waived if the school operates in a private residence and except that testing requirements in G.S. 115C-549 and G.S. 115C-557 shall be on an annual basis. The persons providing academic instruction in a home school shall hold at least a high school...
A New Charter for Homeschooling?
Discusses some of the issues relating to homeschoolers in North Carolina placing their children in public charter and virtual charter schools for some or all of their education. Using examples from Alaska, California, and other parts of the country, author Dr. Karen Palasek examines why homeschooling parents need to be informed about the implications of this type of enrollment.
§ 115C-556. Attendance; health and safety regulations.
Each qualified nonpublic school shall make, and maintain annual attendance and disease immunization records for each pupil enrolled and regularly attending classes. Attendance by a child at any school to which this Part relates and which complies with this Part shall satisfy the requirements of compulsory school attendance so long as the school operates on a regular schedule, excluding reasonable holidays and vacations, during at least nine calendar months of the year. Each school shall be subje...
Home School Attendance Record Form
This sample form is provided by the NC Division of Non-Public Education.
Complying with the State of North Carolina Homeschool Law
During the 1988 session of the North Carolina General Assembly, Article 39 of chapter 115C of the General Statutes was amended to allow home instruction, under certain conditions, as a means of complying with compulsory school attendance requirements. This is a summary of that law.
§ 115C-549. Standardized testing requirements.
Each private church school or school of religious charter shall administer, at least once in each school year, a nationally standardized test or other nationally standardized equivalent measurement selected by the chief administrative officer of such school, to all students enrolled or regularly attending grades three, six and nine. The nationally standardized test or other equivalent measurement selected must measure achievement in the areas of English grammar, reading, spelling and mathematics...
North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE)
In 1984, NCHE was organized to support and encourage home educators and to protect the right to freely home educate in North Carolina. From a small group of concerned parents, NCHE has grown into an increasingly stronger statewide service organization. NCHE is a representative organization governed by a board of seven officers elected by all NCHE members and 12 regional directors, elected by the NCHE members in each region. NCHE is operated on the basis of Biblical principles and living faith, w...
§ 115C-559. Voluntary participation in the State programs.
Any such school may, on a voluntary basis, participate in any State operated or sponsored program which would otherwise be available to such school, including but not limited to the high school competency testing and statewide testing programs.
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