NC Homeschool Law requires each homeschool to maintain certain records: attendance, immunization and national standardized achievement test scores. The homeschool law gives the Division of Non-Public Education (DNPE) the authority to inspect homeschool records. Currently, it is not DNPE practice to visit homeschools to inspect records. The division is not staffed to carry out such a task. Instead, DNPE has a policy of randomly selecting homeschools to meet voluntarily at a local, public center for an inspection of the homeschool’s records. This meeting is called a “Record Review Meeting.”
DNPE has the authority to verify a homeschool is in compliance with NC law. However, DNPE does not have authority to require a homeschool administrator to meet for a Record Review Meeting, nor the authority to inspect any homeschool materials other than records of attendance, immunization and scores on standardized achievement tests. If a DNPE official visits a homeschool and requests to inspect the records, then the law requires the homeschool to provide the attendance, immunization and standardized achievement test records. But, because the homeschool administrator is asked to meet with the DNPE official at a local, public place, the homeschool administrator is free to accept or to decline the invitation. A decision to meet therefore is a voluntarily arrived at decision on the part of the homeschool administrator.
NCHE Analysis and Advice to NC Home Educators
Government officials are charged with maintaining the integrity of the law. It is important that one’s relations with government officials remain civil. While it is the decision of each homeschool administrator as to how to respond to a Record Review Meeting request by DNPE, NCHE advises cooperation. NCHE encourages homeschools to be in compliance with the law, and to assist government officials in carrying out their task, within the bounds of the law. It is NCHE’s view that the current regulations on North Carolinians for record maintenance are not over-burdensome, and that DNPE has demonstrated itself to be in support of alternatives to public-sponsored education. Lack of cooperation may raise questions by some regarding the integrity of the law and validity of the practice of home education. In contrast, a working, cooperative relationship with government officials communicates a respect for civil governance and the common good.
- These inspections are voluntarily being done with homeschools randomly selected by DNPE.
- If you’re invited to one of these meetings, and you choose to participate, you’re asked to bring your attendance and immunization records or your letter of exemption, and the results of the most recently administered national standardized achievement test your children have taken.
- Remember, the law DOES require we keep records, and DNPE is the agency that’s responsible for inspecting them — whether they come to our home, or see us at a local meeting.
- It’s important that homeschoolers recognize that we’re in danger of having more regulations added if there’s a perception that we’re doing a poor job or there’s a lack of sufficient oversight.
- We at NCHE believe cooperating with DNPE on these inspections is the best way to protect our present freedoms. DNPE understands homeschools and has supported our mode of education from the beginning. On the other hand, the Department of Public Instruction is not supportive and would be a disastrous substitute.
- So, if you’re doing a good job teaching your children at home, as NCHE trusts you are, you have nothing to fear from these inspections.