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North Carolina

June 4, 2013

“Home School” Redefined


Senior Counsel Dee Black answers questions and assists members with legal issues in North Carolina. He and his wife homeschooled their children. Read more >>

With the signature of Governor Pat McCrory on May 30, 2013, North Carolina enacted Senate Bill 189, which redefines the term “home school” in state law.

The old law defined a home school as “a nonpublic school in which one or more children of not more than two families or households receive academic instruction from parents or legal guardians, or a member of either household.”

Under the new law, beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, a home school is defined as “a nonpublic school consisting of the children of not more than two families or households, where the parents or legal guardians or members of either household determine the scope and sequence of academic instruction, provide academic instruction, and determine additional sources of academic instruction.”

Whereas the old law limited the source of instruction for children to parents, legal guardians, or a member of either household in a two-household home school, the new law provides more flexibility and options for families to obtain instruction from other sources. The thrust of the new law is that the home school option for educating children is parent-directed, but parents and others named in the definition do not have to personally teach all of the subjects. While parents, guardians, or a member of either household should provide at least some of the instruction themselves, co-ops, tutors, and specialists for students with learning disabilities are among the additional sources of instruction that may be utilized.

This successful legislative effort was due primarily to the planning and work of North Carolinians for Home Education, the state’s largest homeschool organization. Credit also goes to the North Carolina Coalition of Home Educators, a political action committee, which participated in lobbying for the bill’s passage.

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