Update June 17, 2020
SB 706, “Education Changes for Military-Connected Students” Substitute Adopted
In the the 11:00 a.m. meeting this morning, the Senate Committee on Education/Higher Education adopted, with a unanimous vote, the SB 706 substitute, that removed the section that pertained to non-public schools (private and homeschools.) We are very pleased and excited that our NC senators heard us and responded. We especially want to thank Senator Deanna Ballard and Eric Naisbitt, Education Policy Advisor to Senator Phil Berger. We also want to thank Dan Beasley from HSLDA for supporting our efforts on this bill. Finally, we want to thank the many homeschoolers who took the time to contact legislators to express their opposition to the bill as it was originally worded.
The adopted bill was re-referred to the Senate Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate where it will be taken up in their meeting scheduled tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., Thursday, June 18, 2020. We expect the substitute bill to be adopted by that committee with no amendments or substitutes.
Update June 15, 2020
Homeschools to Be Written Out of SB 706
The Senate Committee on Education/Higher Education is scheduled to take up Senate Bill 706 at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday June 17. NCHE has been negotiating with officials involved with this bill to get homeschools written out of this bill. This afternoon we received confirmation that an amendment to the bill will be proposed that will remove the sections that pertain to non public schools (private and homeschools). With the elimination of any references to homeschools in the bill, NCHE is no longer opposed to this bill. We believe it will benefit military-connected students in North Carolina. We will keep you apprised of any new developments concerning SB 706.
Update June 3, 2020
House Bill 1047 Died in Committee
The House Committee on Homeland Security, Military and Veterans Affairs took up HB 1047, “Education Changes for Military-Connected Students,” yesterday. The bill narrowly failed in a vote of 8 to 7. NCHE’s Spencer Mason and HSLDA’s Dan Beasley attended and spoke at the meeting. We believe the phone calls and emails that homeschoolers sent to members of the committee are responsible for the defeat of this bill.
The main purpose of the homeschool section of this bill is to get federal money for military liaisons to provide programs and grants for military-connected homeschool students. The bill as it is currently written will require all homeschoolers to either update their record or file a new NOI every year, and if they don’t, their school would be closed. NCHE is against this new requirement for homeschools. It could lead to unintended closing of homeschools and threaten the security of homeschool military families.
Here is a list of the Representatives and how they voted.
|Representative||Party||Vote Cast||Representative||Party||Vote Cast|
|Dean Arp||(Rep.)||didn’t vote||Nasif Majeed||(Dem.)||yes|
|John Autry||(Dem.)||no||Grier Martin||(Dem.)||yes|
|James Boles||(Rep.)||didn’t vote||Graig Meyer||(Dem.)||no|
|Jerry Carter||(Rep.)||yes||Garland Pierce||(Dem.)||didn’t vote|
|George Cleveland||(Rep.)||yes||Larry Potts||(Rep.)||no|
|Holly Grange||(Rep)||didn’t vote||David Rogers||(Rep.)||no|
|Wesley Harris||(Dem.)||yes||Phil Shephard||(Rep.)||didn’t vote|
|Craig Horn||(Rep.)||no||Raymond Smith||(Dem.)||yes|
|Jake Johnson||(Rep.)||no||Michael Speciale||(Rep.)||yes|
|Carolyn Logan||(Dem.)||no||Julie Von Haefen||(Dem.)||no|
The similar NC Senate Bill 706 is still being considered. After the committee vote, Spencer and Dan met with people working to modify the bill to make it acceptable to homeschoolers. They were able to voice NCHE’s objections to the bill as it’s presently worded.
We will update you on the senate bill when we get more info. We believe the phone calls and emails that homeschoolers sent to members of the committee are responsible for the defeat of HB 1047, and we may request your help again with Senate Bill 706.
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
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:
- Any requirement related to safety and sanitation inspections shall be waived if the school operates in a private residence and except that residence.
- The testing requirements in G.S. 115C-549 and G.S. 115C-557 shall be on an annual basis.
- 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