RALEIGH — A homeschool advocacy group has come out against measures included in the two bills being proposed by the legislature.
On May 6, the North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE) announced that their legislative committee had voted to oppose both House Bill 1047 and it’s Senate equivalent, bill 706. The working title for each is “Educ. Changes for Military-Connected Students.”
The bills “have the potential to create more harm than good,” the group said in a statement posted to its website.
The group say that these bills will impact all homeschools in the state by adding burdensome regulations and unnecessary requirements that would apply to all non-public schools, both homeschools and private schools.
State law currently does not require filing of an NOI for changes in address, number of students or age of students. The bills propose to require every homeschool in the state to file a “notice of intent to operate” (NOI) or simplified NOI every year, even if there were no changes from the previous year.
“This requirement adds an unnecessary burden to homeschool families that could cause them to be out of compliance and result in legal difficulties,” the NCHE says.
The NCHE also opposes the state gathering information on military homeschool families as the Department of Defense and state military commands provides the data needed to give to information and resources to military families.
Additionally, the NCHE says data collection on military families in the state could pose a threat to the safety and security of those families. The group says online database can be hacked and exploited, which would endanger North Carolina homeschools that have military connections.
North State Journal reached out to the primary sponsor of the senate’s version, Senator Harry Brown (R-Onslow).
“We deeply value the contribution homeschools make to our educational community across the state,” said Brown. “This bill was drafted in response to concerns from military school liaison counselors that they were unable to readily identify military connected students in private or home-school settings who stood to benefit from the resources and programming available to military connected students in the public school setting.”
“Further, this bill does not require homeschools to re-register every year. It simply requires them to notify the state that they are still in operation,” said Brown. “Moving forward, we want to ensure all of our military connected students in North Carolina have the programming and resources they need to succeed.”