Home education is a growing movement in North Carolina and our nation. Homeschooling is not new, but old as history. In Deuteronomy 6:5-9, God clearly makes parents responsible for the education of their children. America’s own educational heritage is rooted in both home and church sponsored schooling. Many of our nation’s greatest leaders received their education at home.
North Carolinians for Home Education is an organization of families who support home education in North Carolina. It has grown from a small group of concerned parents into a statewide organization serving homeschoolers and advocating for home education. The following bylaws are adopted to clarify our vision and structure and to unite homeschoolers in North Carolina for the common good of home education.
Article I – Name
The name of this organization is North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE), Inc., a nonprofit organization incorporated under the laws of the State of North Carolina. Our name was selected so as to include all who are for home education, not just those who are currently homeschooling.
Article II – Mission
NCHE has a vision for flourishing families and thriving generations in which people remain passionate, curious and actively engaged in their faith and in their learning. Home education is a great way to educate children, especially young children, and to nurture future generations. Home education situates a child’s development in their natural environment and encourages learning that is experiential and knowledge that is integrated. Home education fosters strong social relations, starting in the home. As a result, home education nurtures the whole child. NCHE encourages parents in their home education and advocates for a state which respects and protects the right of parents to practice home education.
Article III – Purpose
NCHE affirms the right and responsibility of parents to direct the education of their children. Our purpose is to protect the freedom to educate at home, to provide encouragement and support to families choosing home education for their children, and to promote home education as an excellent means of education.
Article IV – Core Values
A. NCHE is operated on the basis of biblical principles, welcoming members of all races, nationalities, and religions who support home education.
B. NCHE shall promote the positive aspects, and excellent quality of home education. There shall be no public statements or any materials distributed that denigrates other organizations, religious affiliations, or any governmental officials or agencies. However, NCHE shall defend home education against specific policies, which jeopardize the freedom to homeschool.
C. NCHE shall work to establish and maintain a professional working relationship with other organizations, the NC General Assembly, and government agencies to affect our mission and carry out our purpose.
D. As parents have the freedom to choose the methods and materials with which to educate their children, NCHE will not develop or endorse any specific curriculum or methodology for use in homeschooling. NCHE does encourage individual members to share their curricular and method experiences with other homeschooling families.
Article V – Membership
A. Classes of membership: There are two classes of membership, regular members and members with restricted privileges.
B. Eligibility for regular membership: Anyone over eighteen (18) years of age and residing in North Carolina who supports homeschool education may join NCHE, having the privilege of membership and one (1) vote per family. A family or household member who homeschools must be in compliance with existing North Carolina law. The board of directors has the authority to require a minimum level of contributions or dues for regular membership.
C. Eligibility for membership with restricted privileges: A family or an individual over eighteen (18) years of age residing outside the borders of North Carolina who supports home education may join NCHE with restricted privileges, having the benefits of membership, but not having the privilege of voting. The board of directors has the authority to require a minimum level of contributions or dues for membership with restricted privileges.
D. Qualifications to vote: All families who have been enrolled as regular members at least six (6) weeks prior to any election or ballot may vote.
E. Membership roll: The names, addresses and telephone numbers of members shall not be sold, published or distributed for use outside of NCHE.
Article VI – Board of Directors
A. Authority of board: The control, administrative, and judicial authority of NCHE shall be vested in the board of directors (board). The board shall have the authority to engage and dismiss such employees and contractors as necessary for the operation of NCHE.
B. Voting board members: There shall be twelve (12) voting officers elected annually: the president, development director, media manager, IT director, marketing director, events director, activities director, community relations director, homeschool helps director, law and policy director, secretary, and treasurer.
C. Non-voting members: Non-voting members of the board shall be advisors elected by the board and the spouses of the elected officers.
D. Board member qualifications: Board members shall be 1) actively homeschooling at least one child in their home except in cases where there are no school age children in the home, 2) believers in and followers of Christ, 3) an NCHE member for at least one year and have at least three (3) years of homeschooling experience prior to taking office and 4) in agreement with the NCHE mission, purpose and core values.
E. Members ineligible: No individual shall become or continue as a member of the board if he/she is a director, officer, or employee of any other homeschool organization providing services similar to that of NCHE (This shall not apply to local support group leaders.)
F. Vacancies on the board: The position held by a member of the board of directors shall automatically become vacant in the event such member 1) is convicted of any felony while holding office, 2) is declared legally incompetent, 3) is absent from regularly called board meetings for six (6) months without an excuse satisfactory to the board, 4) submits a written resignation to the board, or 5) is removed by 3/4 majority of the board. A vacancy of all board positions shall be filled by appointment by the board of a qualified NCHE member to that position for the duration of the unexpired term.
G. Meetings: The board shall meet at least quarterly and otherwise as needed to carry out the business of NCHE. Meetings may be called by the president or by four (4) voting board members who communicate their request to the secretary, and notice of such meetings to all board members is required at least one (1) week before the meeting. The president shall moderate all meetings unless he/she is not present. In the absence of the president, the meeting will be moderated by the community relations director, the law and policy director or the media manager in that order.
H. Quorum: A quorum shall be declared when at least fifty percent (50%) of voting board members are present, and adjournment of a meeting is affected if less than fifty percent (50%) of voting members are present after the meeting has been called to order.
I. Order of business: The order of business for each meeting shall be determined by the president and delivered to each board member at least one (1) week prior to the meeting. The first action of the board at each meeting shall be to approve the order of business. The order of business may be suspended or ordered by a simple majority of those present and voting. A closed session of the board (consisting of voting board members and whomever the board determines needs to be present) may be ordered by a simple majority of those present and voting.
J. Rules of order: The law and policy director will act as board parliamentarian who is or will become knowledgeable of a standard code of parliamentary procedure (such as Robert’s). Such standard code shall stand as the rule of order except when in direct conflict with these bylaws and will control all parliamentary proceedings of the meeting of the board. Rules of order may be suspended by a simple majority of those present and voting.
K. General business: A two-thirds (2/3) majority of those voting members present shall be required to pass motions of general business and policy and to elect committee members unless the there is a specific exception provided for in these bylaws.
L. Policy and Procedures Manual: The board shall maintain a policy and procedures manual that will more clearly define the job descriptions of the board members and the procedures the board will follow.
M. Board members that receive pay from NCHE for any service rendered or have any relatives receiving compensation from NCHE shall not be present during the debate and the vote of any motion that relates to that service or compensation.
Article VII – Election of Officers
A. Nominations of officers: Recommendations for consideration for elected offices shall be called for from the membership at least ninety (90) days prior to the beginning of the new board year. The nominations and elections committee shall review all qualified candidates and nominate at least one (1) NCHE member for each generally elected office and regional liaisons at least sixty (60) days prior to the new board year. No nomination shall be made by the committee without stated agreement by the nominee to serve in the office if elected and agreement of the nominee to uphold the bylaws of NCHE.
B. Election of officers by balloting: If there is only one nominee for an office, that office will not be listed on the ballot and the election will be performed by the NCHE board. If all offices have only one nominee, a ballot will not be sent out. If there is more than one nominee for an office, the nominations and elections committee shall ensure that the applicable biographical sketches of the nominees and ballots are sent to all NCHE regular member families eligible to vote at least thirty (30) days prior to the new board year. To be counted as valid, ballots must be marked for no more than one (1) candidate per office and returned to the nominations and elections committee at least fifteen (15) days prior to the new board year. A majority of valid ballots elects a candidate. Results of the balloting shall be announced to NCHE members prior to new board year.
C. Advisors shall be nominated by board members and elected by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the outgoing board. Vacant positions may be filled by the NCHE board at any time.
Article VIII – Duties and Qualifications of Officers
For general qualifications see Article VI. paragraph D.
A. President: This person is to provide strategic and operational leadership to the organization. The nominee for president shall have a minimum of one (1) year of service on the NCHE board and shall be serving at the time of the nomination.
B. Development Director: This person is responsible for raising funds for NCHE operations.
C. Media Manager: This person will oversee NCHE media assets and will be responsible for the public face of NCHE.
D. IT Director: This person will oversee information technology assets and is responsible for system administration and support. They will function as liaison to third party vendors.
E. Marketing Director: This person will expand NCHE’s mission reach through the strategic development of branding and marketing efforts.
F. Events Director: This person oversees NCHE events and develops new event offerings.
G. Activities Director: This person shall oversee and develop NCHE sponsored activities.
H. Community Relations Director: This person will function as a liaison to the community, focusing on North Carolina, working to develop positive relationships with home educators, other non-profit organizations, and the general public.
I. Homeschool Helps Director: This person is responsible for homeschool community parent education and encouragement.
J. Law and Policy Director: This person will be responsible for monitoring the actions of the NC General Assembly and government agencies to determine the effect of pending legislation or regulations on the homeschool community and manage grassroots and direct legislative action as needed.
K. Treasurer: This person shall oversee the management and reporting of NCHE’s finances.
L. Secretary: This person shall ensure that records of NCHE board actions are accurately recorded and organized for easy access for official purposes.
M. Advisor: These people will draw from their experience on the board to advise current board members. They will serve on the nominations and elections committee. Nominees for advisor shall have a minimum of three (3) years of service on the NCHE board.
Article IX – Regional Liaisons
The nominations and election committee will make nominations for these volunteer positions, and they shall be elected by a two-thirds (2/3) majority by the board. They shall keep abreast of happenings in designated NCHE regions.
Article X – Committees
A. Standing and ad hoc committees: NCHE shall have the following standing committees: bylaws, conference, community relations, finance, legislative, marketing, media, and nominations and elections. Ad hoc committees may be appointed by the board with the period of existence and goals and objectives of such committees determined by the board.
B. Bylaws committee: The law and policy director shall chair this committee and appoint members with approval from the board. This committee shall make an annual review of the bylaws and propose to the board revisions necessary to update the bylaws. This committee will give consideration to any proposed changes to the bylaws and will advise the board of their merit.
C. Conference committee: The events director shall chair this committee and appoint members with approval from the board. This committee shall handle arrangements for publicity, registration, vendor services and accommodations for speakers, meetings and workshops, and all other conference needs. The committee through its chairperson shall report at each board meeting on the plans and progress for upcoming conferences.
D. Community relations committee: The community relations director shall chair this committee, and shall appoint members with board approval. This committee shall develop outreach initiatives to engage homeschool families and homeschool groups and provide support to help them meet their objectives.
E. Finance committee: The treasurer shall chair this committee and appoint members with the approval of the board. This committee shall develop an annual budget and keep NCHE finances in order.
F. Legislative committee: The law and policy director shall chair this committee and appoint members with the approval of the board. This committee shall keep current a network of legislative contacts, ensure that NCHE is apprised of pending legislation that might affect home education and inform the membership of issues raised publicly which have impact on homeschooling.
G. Marketing committee: The marketing director shall chair this committee and shall appoint members with board approval. This committee shall develop marketing campaigns that are in keeping with our brand identity for NCHE events.
H. Media committee: The media manager shall chair this committee and shall appoint members with board approval.
This committee shall oversee NCHE publications and shall provide resource assistance for NCHE publications. The board shall appoint or employ an editor of periodical publications who shall have the responsibility of preparing NCHE’s periodicals for publication and distribution on a timely and regular schedule. This editor shall be an ex-officio member of this committee. An editorial board made up of the president, the media manager, the law and policy and community relations directors shall directly review the content of each issue before publication to insure that the publication meets the standards stated in NCHE core values.
I. Nominations and elections committee: The nominations and elections committee shall be composed of six (6) members: the community relations director (who shall chair the committee), advisory board members, and additional committee member/s elected by the board by a two-thirds (2/3) majority. This committee shall make nominations for officers as provided in Article VI of these bylaws. This committee shall oversee the elections of board positions as well as the sending, receiving and counting of ballots for officer elections and votes for bylaw changes.
Article XI – Amendments
Any five or more regular member families may propose changes to these bylaws by submitting these to the bylaws committee. If the board shall approve, the nominations and elections committee shall publish such proposed changes along with the board’s recommendations for adoption or rejection and submit them to the membership eligible to vote for vote by ballot. Affirmative vote of at least two-thirds (2/3) of the members returning ballots by the election closing date shall constitute adoption.
Article XII – Adoption
These bylaws shall be adopted after review by the NCHE board and presentation to the regular membership for approval by ballot. A two-thirds (2/3) majority of families returning ballots within thirty (30) days shall affect adoption which shall take effect upon the date of adoption.