North Carolina
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North Carolina

May 10, 2011

School District Says Parent Needs License To Homeschool

During the spring semester of the 2010–11 school year, a mother attempting to withdraw her son from public middle school in Winston-Salem to teach him at home found herself in a legal quandary. As required by state law, she had previously filed a notice of intent to operate a homeschool with the North Carolina Department of Non-Public Education (DNPE). But the local school officials were insisting that before her son was removed from the rolls, she had to provide them with a license from the state authorizing her to operate a homeschool. In the meantime, even though she had legally begun homeschooling, she was receiving daily automated telephone calls from the school district telling her that her son was being counted absent as a public school student. Fearing that truancy charges were going to be filed in court against her son, the mother contacted Home School Legal Defense Association for assistance.

HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black sent a letter to the principal of the middle school and explained that state law does not require parents operating a homeschool to be licensed or to provide the local school district with any documentation from the DNPE acknowledging that the notice of intent to operate a home school has been properly filed. This correspondence from HSLDA was sufficient to resolve the difficulty encountered by our member family.