Update May 29, 2020
Proposed Revision to HB 1047 Mandates Annual Reporting

Bill sponsors are planning to propose changes to HB 1047. They plan to remove the requirement to file a new notice of intent each year. However, there are still some concerning mandates.

  • It will require all homeschools to submit an annual update.
  • It will require DNPE to electronically contact all homeschools about the new requirement to update each year.
  • If the homeschool does not update within 60 days, their school would be closed.
  • It will require that homeschools report military-connected students.

NCHE opposes HB 1047 with the proposed revisions for the following reasons.

  • Mandating that homeschools submit annual reports to the NC Division of Non-Public Education (DNPE) will create an undue burden on homeschools and possibly create legal problems for homeschools that don’t receive electronic notices from DNPE.
  • Not all homeschools can receive electronic notices as some choose not to have Internet access, and some live in areas with no  Internet service. DNPE does not have email addresses for all homeschools.  In some cases emails go to spam folders or Internet service providers block some emails before they even get to the recipient.
  • The homeschooling military families we have heard from are adamantly against the state of North Carolina tracking military families. This establishes military information, not for use by the military but by public systems, that can identify movement of military families in and out of the state.
  • Military commands should determine what information school liaison officers receive about military families in North Carolina. DNPE shouldn’t be collecting this information.
  • This bill doesn’t specify what information is to be included in the report on military-connected students. DNPE will have carte-blanche to require any information they want in the report, and they can change the requirements at any time.

Find a list of House committee members and their email addresses below. We recommend emailing each individually. We encourage you to contact House committee members before the meeting on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. to tell them how you want them to vote on this bill or changes you would like to see made.

Update May 27, 2020
House Committee to Meet Tuesday June 2

The North Carolina House Committee on Homeland Security, Military, and Veterans Affairs will meet at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, June 2 to take up HB 1047. If you haven’t sent an email to the House committee members with your opinion, please do so now. Their email addresses are below.

May 6, 2020
Original Post

The North Carolinians for Home Education Legislative Committee voted this morning to oppose NC House Bill 1047 and NC Senate Bill 706 with the short title, “Education Changes for Military-Connected Students.” While these bills were intended to benefit military families with K-12 school age children, NCHE believes these bills have the potential to create more harm than good.

Our main concerns are as follows.

1. These bills will impact all NC homeschools.

On pages 3 and 4 of both bills there is wording that will add regulations for all non-public schools (private schools and homeschools). Section 115C-564 describes how homeschool regulations are different than private schools.

The proposed new regulations would require every NC homeschool to file a type of “notice of intent to operate” (NOI) every year. Those with no changes from a prior NOI would need to file a simplified NOI each year they are open. If there are changes in address, number of students (not required in the current law), age of students (not required in the current law), email address or phone number, a full NOI must be submitted. A homeschool that fails to submit a simplified NOI or a full NOI each year is out of compliance and may have their homeschool closed. This requirement adds an unnecessary burden to homeschool families that could cause them to be out of compliance and result in legal difficulties.

Here is the wording in the current law.

  • 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 diploma or its equivalent. (1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 891, s. 1.)

Here are the copied changes proposed in bills HB 1047 and SB 706.

     SECTION 2.(c) G.S. 115C-564 reads as rewritten:

  • 115C-564. Qualifications and requirements.

(a) 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 as follows:

  1. Any requirement related to safety and sanitation inspections shall be waived if the school operates in a private residence and except that residence.
  2. The testing requirements in G.S. 115C-549 and G.S. 115C-557 shall be on an annual basis.
  3. A home school shall annually report a notice of intent to operate to the Division of Nonpublic Education, and shall comply with the report on military-connected students required in G.S. 115C-550.1 and G.S. 115C-558 in the notice of intent to operate. Continued operation of a home school with no changes from a prior notice of intent shall be indicated through a simplified process established by the Division of Nonpublic Education.

(b) The persons providing academic instruction in a home school shall hold at least a high school diploma or its equivalent.

SECTION 2.(d) The Division of Nonpublic Education shall establish, no later than August 1, 2020, a simplified process for home schools to annually update the notice of intent to operate if no changes are required to the information submitted previously to the Division, as required by G.S. 115C-564(a)(3), as amended by this act.

SECTION 2.(e) This section is effective when it becomes law and applies to all 42 nonpublic schools beginning with the 2020-2021 school year.

2. North Carolina doesn’t need to gather information on military homeschool families.

The DoD and military commands provide NC military school liaisons the data needed to disseminate the information families need and make them aware of the many resources available to them, or the military commands provide information to military families about the local resources that are available to them.

3. This will create another online database that could be hacked and threaten the security of military families.

The bills have provisions to keep reports on military-connected students out of public records, but these bills will create an unneeded database with information that could possibly be hacked and exploited, endangering our NC homeschools with military connections.

Please let your legislator know what you think about these bills.

House Bill 1047 in in the House Committee on Homeland Security, Military, and Veterans Affairs. If passed by that committee, it will go to the House Committee Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House. Here is the link to the House Committee on Homeland Security, Military, and Veterans Affairs member contact information, https://www.ncleg.gov/Committees/CommitteeInfo/HouseStanding/94.

Members of the House Committee Homeland Security, Military and Veterans Affairs

Chair REPRESENTATIVE GEORGE G. CLEVELAND (REP) George.Cleveland@ncleg.net

Chair REPRESENTATIVE MICHAEL SPECIALE (REP) Michael.Speciale@ncleg.net

Vice Chair REPRESENTATIVE HOLLY GRANGE (REP) Holly.Grange@ncleg.net

REPRESENTATIVE DEAN ARP (REP) Dean.Arp@ncleg.net

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN AUTRY (DEM) John.Autry@ncleg.net

REPRESENTATIVE JAMES L. BOLES, JR. (REP) Jamie.Boles@ncleg.net

REPRESENTATIVE JERRY CARTER (REP) Jerry.Carter@ncleg.net

REPRESENTATIVE WESLEY HARRIS, PHD (DEM) Wesley.Harris@ncleg.net

REPRESENTATIVE D. CRAIG HORN (REP) Craig.Horn@ncleg.net

REPRESENTATIVE JAKE JOHNSON (REP) Jake.Johnson@ncleg.net

REPRESENTATIVE CAROLYN G. LOGAN (DEM) Carolyn.Logan@ncleg.net

REPRESENTATIVE NASIF MAJEED (DEM) Nasif.Majeed@ncleg.net

REPRESENTATIVE GRIER MARTIN (DEM) Grier.Martin@ncleg.net

REPRESENTATIVE GRAIG R. MEYER (DEM) Graig.Meyer@ncleg.net

REPRESENTATIVE GARLAND E. PIERCE (DEM) Garland.Pierce@ncleg.net

REPRESENTATIVE LARRY W. POTTS (REP) Larry.Potts@ncleg.net

REPRESENTATIVE DAVID ROGERS (REP) David.Rogers@ncleg.net

REPRESENTATIVE PHIL SHEPARD (REP) Phil.Shepard@ncleg.net

REPRESENTATIVE RAYMOND E. SMITH, JR. (DEM) Raymond.Smith@ncleg.net

REPRESENTATIVE JULIE VON HAEFEN (DEM) Julie.vonHaefen@ncleg.net

Senate Bill 706 is in the Committee On Rules and Operations of the Senate. If passed by the committee it will go back to the Senate floor for a vote. Here is a link to the contact information of the committee members, https://www.ncleg.gov/Committees/CommitteeInfo/SenateStanding/148.

Members of the Senate Committee Rules and Operations of the Senate

Chair SENATOR BILL RABON (REP) Bill.Rabon@ncleg.net

Vice Chair SENATOR HARRY BROWN (REP) Harry.Brown@ncleg.net

SENATOR DEANNA BALLARD (REP) Deanna.Ballard@ncleg.net

SENATOR DAN BLUE (DEM) Dan.Blue@ncleg.net

SENATOR JAY J. CHAUDHURI (DEM) Jay.Chaudhuri@ncleg.net

SENATOR BEN CLARK (DEM) Ben.Clark@ncleg.net

SENATOR WARREN DANIEL (REP) Warren.Daniel@ncleg.net

SENATOR DON DAVIS (DEM) Don.Davis@ncleg.net

SENATOR CHUCK EDWARDS (REP) Chuck.Edwards@ncleg.net

SENATOR RICK GUNN (REP) Rick.Gunn@ncleg.net

SENATOR KATHY HARRINGTON (REP) Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.net

SENATOR RALPH HISE (REP) Ralph.Hise@ncleg.net

SENATOR BRENT JACKSON (REP) Brent.Jackson@ncleg.net

SENATOR JOYCE KRAWIEC (REP) Joyce.Krawiec@ncleg.net

SENATOR PAUL A. LOWE, JR. (DEM) Paul.Lowe@ncleg.net

SENATOR VICKIE SAWYER (REP) Vickie.Sawyer@ncleg.net

SENATOR JERRY W. TILLMAN (REP) Jerry.Tillman@ncleg.net

SENATOR JOYCE WADDELL (DEM) Joyce.Waddell@ncleg.net

SENATOR ANDY WELLS (REP) Andy.Wells@ncleg.net