News & Announcements

Aug 26, 2013
Press

NCHE Board members featured in Triad News Segment

NCHE Board members Amanda Wares (Region 5 Director) and Kevin McClain (President) are featured in a News14 Greensboro segment on North Carolina homeschool standards and accountability.

The segment began airing August 25.

The segment is viewable online for Time Warner Cable subscribers.

A full transcript of the segment is available for the general public.

To access the segment and transcript, go to the Triad News 14: Advocates speak out in favor of homeschooling.

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Related: The Accountability of Home Educators

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Support NCHE's homeschool advocacy efforts.

Aug 24, 2013
Editorial

The Accountability of NC Home Educators

The Rowan County case of a missing girl, Erica Parsons, whose adopted parents, Casey and Sandy Parsons, filed an intent to homeschool but were not legally homeschooling Erica has caused some to question NC home education practices and law.

The NC state law governing home education, Article 39 of chapter 115C of the General Statutes, includes the requirements:  The home educating family must notify the state of their intent, provide instruction to their students, maintain records of attendance and immunization, operate on a regular schedule, and annually take a nationally-standardized assessment, keeping the results on file for at least a year, and make available to a state representative upon inspection.

NCHE believes that North Carolina homeschool law is a good one with the right amount of accountability for those who will obey law and be active citizens. NCHE is concerned about the abuse or neglect of any child and has discussed what we can do to help prevent this. The law in NC is that any citizen who suspects an adult of engaging in child abuse or neglect is to report it to the authorities.   We have communicated this law to our constituents.  It is important for the public to understand that NC public schools are not uniquely charged or empowered with preventing child abuse or neglect.  NC public schools are charged with educational services to citizens who choose to forgo other means of providing an education to their children. Ongoing child abuse and neglect speaks to a larger problem of our society, the loss of community.  The typical homeschooling family is engaged and active in their community. The typical home educator participates in religious and civic associations.  They collaborate with other homeschoolers and frequent educational public services, like parks,  museums and science centers.

NC law rightly recognizes that educational entities, such as private schools and homeschools, which do not receive funds from the state for educational services, are not responsible to the state to give account of the educational progress of students. In contrast, NC public schools are taxpayer-funded. Therefore they are accountable to NC citizens for the educational progress of enrolled students.

However, NC's home education law recognizes that attendance records and assessment results are useful for educational accountability. There is ample evidence that homeschoolers are making good use of these records and results.

In a study of homeschool students published in 2011, NC homeschool students ranked 84% in nationally standardized achievement tests. That means they scored higher than 83% of the students in the nation. The national average, by definition, is 50%.

In legal principle, NC's home education law functions similar to the car child restraint laws. These laws strike an important balance between protecting children and maintaining the freedom of parents to act. When a family disregards the law, children are endangered. The authorities do what they can to make sure that parents obey these laws, but in the case of child restraint laws, to stop and inspect every car on the road to make sure the parent is obeying these laws is to severally restrict the capacity to travel and at a great financial expense to the state.  Responsible parents are citizens who have a high regard for good laws, thus providing an optimal journey for all those involved.

Each NC citizen bears responsibility for the welfare of our children.  The typical NC homeschool family is deeply invested in the welfare of children. The typical NC homeschool family supports public education through taxes, educates responsibly in the home, is an active community member and has a high regard for the law.

It is individuals who disregard the law who endanger the welfare of others. They are the ones who need to be held accountable.

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Support NCHE's homeschool advocacy efforts.

Aug 19, 2013
Conferences

Rachael Carman to Speak at 2014 Conference

NCHE is excited to announce that Rachael Carman will be one of the featured speakers at the 2014 Annual Conference.

Rachael Carman is a wife and mother, and she is passionate about both roles. She and Davis have been married twenty-five years, and they have been blessed with seven children ranging in age from nine to twenty-two. Her journey into homeschooling included a bumpy start, but she is grateful that God brought her to this place. She is thankful for the daily experience of His faithfulness and grace in this adventure of a lifetime. 

Since 2002, Rachael has been on the board of North Carolinians for Home Education. A year later, she started Real Refreshment Retreats for homeschool moms. In 2005, she had the privilege of authoring a book for Focus on the Family entitled Soundbites from Heaven—What God Wants Us to Hear When We Talk to Our Kids

The most recent step in her journey has been to enter the world of homeschool curriculum publishing. In June 2008, Rachael and Davis became the new owners of Apologia Educational Ministries. God has given them a vision to expand the ministry of Apologia by bringing the moms’ retreat under its umbrella. Apologia held its first Real Refreshment Retreat in Baltimore in 2009; and the retreat has expanded to other locations, including Chicago, Austin, Atlanta, and Big Lake, Alaska. Her ultimate goal, and the Apologia mission, is to help homeschool families learn, live, and defend the Christian faith.

Rachael’s latest book, How to Have A H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids, is published by Apologia. She has enjoyed speaking and encouraging homeschool groups for over fifteen years. It is her heart’s desire to become all God has planned for her to be for His glory. She loves challenging others to dare living in reckless, obedient faith. Rachael is quick to admit her many imperfections and share stories that highlight her shortcomings and the redemptive hand of Jesus Christ. Her humor will put you at ease; her honesty will surprise you; and her heart will inspire you to go deeper, stand firm and be strong!

 
Aug 13, 2013
Conferences

Diana Waring to Speak at 2014 Conference

NCHE is excited to announce that Diana Waring will be one of the featured speakers at the 2014 Annual Conference.

Diana Waring is the author of Beyond Survival, Reaping the Harvest and Diana Waring's History Revealed world history curriculum. Diana discovered years ago that the key to education is relationship. Diana started homeschooling in the early '80s and homeschooled her children through high school. This experience provided her the real life opportunities to learn how kids learn. Mentored by educators whose focus was honoring Him, the creator of all learners, and with an international background (born in Germany, university degree in French, lifelong student of world history), Diana cares about how people learn as well as what they learn. Audiences on four continents have enthusiastically received her energetic speaking style.

Aug 5, 2013
Conferences

Dr. Anthony Bradley to Speak at 2014 Conference

NCHE is excited to announce that Dr. Anthony Bradley will be one of the featured speakers at the 2014 Annual Conference.

Dr. Anthony B. Bradley is an author, professor and conservative public intellectual whose provocative and compelling views have made him a highly sought after lecturer, TV commentator and cultural critic.

Bradley is associate professor of theology and ethics at The King’s College in New York City and Research Fellow at renowned think tank Acton Institute. He is the author of several books, including Black and Tired, Liberating Black Theology, and most recently, Aliens in the Promised Land. Recognized as an authority on issues of race, political economy, welfare policy, religion, hip hop and youth culture, Bradley has appeared on C-SPAN, NPR, CNN/Headline News and Fox News, among other news outlets. He has also published cultural commentary in a variety of periodicals such as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Detroit News, and World Magazine.

Previously, Bradley was assistant professor of systematic theology and ethics at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, where he also directed the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute. He holds a bachelor of science in biological sciences from Clemson University, a master of divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary, a master of arts in ethics and society from Fordham University, and a doctor of philosophy degree from Westminster Theological Seminary.

Visit dranthonybradley.com for more information about his work or watch a sample video of Dr. Bradley speaking below:

Jul 24, 2013
Conferences

Dr. Jeff Myers to Speak at 2014 Conference

NCHE is excited to announce that Dr. Jeff Myers will be one of the featured speakers at the 2014 Annual Conference.

Dr. Jeff Myers is president of Summit Ministries, a highly respected worldview training program whose tens of thousands of graduates are making a difference in politics, law, academic, medicine, science, and business.   He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree and teaches leadership courses through CollegePlus and Bryan College.

In the last 20 years Dr. Myers has become one of America’s most respected authorities on youth leadership development. Focus on the Family founder James Dobson referred to him as “a very gifted and inspirational young leader.” Evangelist Josh McDowell called him “a man who is 100% sold out to preparing the next generation to reflect the character of Christ in the culture.” Through his appearances on Fox News and other media programs, Dr. Myers has become a fresh voice offering humor and insight from a Christian worldview.

He and his wife, Danielle have four children and live in Colorado. 

 

Jul 1, 2013
Inside NCHE

North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE) Offers Membership to Supporters Residing Outside North Carolina

North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE) is pleased to announce a change in the membership policy enabling friends of the organization living outside of the state to join as non-voting members. The change in policy is a result of multiple requests from friends of NCHE who lived just outside the state boundaries and who expressed a desire to support the organization through membership.

The change in membership policy enables persons, who agree with the ideals embraced by NCHE, including educational excellence, parental responsibility and freedom of choice amongst educational alternatives, regardless of residency, to be counted amongst those who support the mission and service provided by North Carolinians for Home Education.

The change in policy also allows those living outside of North Carolina to enjoy NCHE member benefits, such as the annual graduation ceremony, informative emails, and take advantage of offered member discounts to events, such as the annual conference.

A modification to the bylaws to eliminate the long-standing requirement that members have North Carolina residency was recommended by the board. The recommendation was voted on and approved by voting members.

To learn more about NCHE membership and to join: www.nche.com/join

May 30, 2013
Law & Policy

Senate Bill 189 Becomes Law

On May 30, 2013, Governor Pat McCrory enacted Senate Bill 189, which redefines the term “home school” in state law. The endeavor that NCHE began in the fall of 2012 was successfully accomplished with the governor’s signature. Here is the definition in the new law: “Home school” means a nonpublic school consisting of the children of not more than two families or households, where the parents or legal guardians or members of either household determine the scope and sequence of academic instruction, provide academic instruction, and determine additional sources of academic instruction. It is effective at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year.
 
The intent in the wording of the new law is that the parent, legal guardian or member of the household provides at least some of the instruction, but that the homeschool instruction is not limited to only them. They may also go outside of the home for additional instruction. The old law was interpreted to require parents to provide all fundamental (first) instruction in core subjects (language arts, math, science and social studies). The new law allows parents to find additional sources of instruction for all subjects. This will allow grandparents to provide instruction, learning specialists to instruct homeschool students with severe learning disabilities, math tutors to provide fundamental calculus instruction, etc.

Apr 6, 2013
Law & Policy

HB 230/SB 189 Update

In our last E-brief, we asked homeschool supporters to contact their senator, if he/she serves on the Committee on Education/Higher Education, and ask him/her to support HB 230/SB 189. If you have not already contacted your senator, please do so and also ask that HB 230 be put on the committee’s calendar.

How You Can Help

Follow this link to see if your senator in on the Senate Committee on Education/Higher Education. You can get committee member contact information by following the links on the page.

What Is Happening with the Bills?

As we have already reported, on March 20, HB 230, Amend Law Defining Home Schools, was passed by the NC House of Representatives with a unanimous vote and crossed over to the NC Senate. On March 21, HB 230 passed its first reading in the Senate and was referred to the Senate Committee on Education/Higher Education.

Since that time, both HB 230 and SB 189 (companion bills) have been in the Senate Committee on Education/Higher Education waiting to be debated. The NCHE legislative committee has been concentrating efforts on members of that committee with phone calls and face-to-face meetings in Raleigh. We have had the opportunity to meet with most of the senators who are members of that committee, and the meetings have been very encouraging. Several senators have said they think the bill will easily pass the Senate with no changes to the wording. Both Democrats and Republicans have expressed support.

I had a conversation with one Senator who wishes to know more about two-family homeschools and how they operate. If you are a part of or know of a two-family homeschool, can you please get in touch with me? It would be a great help.

We have asked several senators why our bills have not moved in the committee, and we have received the same answer. They speculate that the committee may not debate the bill until after the May 16 crossover date because of the large number of bills that they want to get passed (over 700 bills). Bills that are not passed by the House of Representatives or the Senate by May 16 are dead and can’t be considered in the remainder of the Regular Session of the 2013-2014 biennium of the NC General Assembly. After May 16, they will begin to work on the bills, such as ours, that have already crossed over.

Questions Asked about the Bill

(These are two common questions that we hear. If you have others, let me know, and we will get them answered.)

How does the bill allow for a co-op gathering of more than two families?
A. The intent of the bill was to give homeschools more freedom to choose what is best for their children and their families without taking away any freedoms we already enjoy. The bill reads, “Home school” means a nonpublic school consisting of the children of not more than two families or households, where the parents or legal guardians or members of either household determine the scope and sequence of academic instruction, provide academic instruction and determine additional sources of academic instruction. The bill, if it becomes law, will still allow two families to establish a single homeschool. Once established, this two family homeschool will function as any other homeschool. The last phrase of the bill, “determine additional sources of academic instruction,” gives the homeschool teacher the authority to select any number of additional sources of academic instruction for their children. These sources may include, but are not limited to, the following: a tutor to provide foundational instruction in core subjects, meeting together with other homeschools in a co-op, a dual enrollment college course that is not included in “Career and College Promise.”

Would this bill require homeschoolers to keep a record of their scope and sequence in case the authorities ask to see a copy?
A.  No. Adding the phrase authorizing the homeschool teacher to “determine the scope and sequence of academic instruction” makes it clear that it is the parent, not the state, that determines what their children learn and when they learn it. The bill will not change the requirements exclusive portion of the homeschool law that says, “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.” Our current law requires that homeschools maintain only immunization, attendance and standardized test records. The law will not allow authorities to ask for scope and sequence record

Mar 20, 2013
Law & Policy

HB 230 passed by the House Unanimously!

Late this afternoon the House of Representatives passed HB 230 with a unanimous vote. The bill now crosses over to the Senate. The companion bill to HB 230, SB 189 is now in the Senate Committee on Education/Higher Education.

Please contact the members of the Senate Committee on Education/Higher Education via mail, phone call or email to ask them to support SB 189. If you are a constituent, your request will be more effective. When you call your senator, you will most likely speak with the legislative assistant. Simply ask that the senator support SB 189.