Lt. Gov. Forest warns against intrusive visits to home schools

10/14/2013 6:34 PM

10/15/2013 8:50 AM

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest warned against random inspections of home schools and within an hour the administration of Gov. Pat McCrory said no site visits were planned.

Forest issued a statement Monday afternoon warning of a “1980s era practice of randomly inspecting home schools across our state” by the Division of Non-Public Education after North Carolinians For Home Education reported that the divisioin was going to randomly select five home schools for inspection.

“This policy is intrusive, unnecessary, and has the potential to infringe on the constitutionally-protected privacy rights of tends of thousands of North Carolina homeschool families,” Forest said.

Forest, who has said that he and his wife home-schooled their children, said home schools should be required to follow the law, but should not be required to let state officials in their home. He said he intended to work with colleagues in the next legislative session to clarify the law.

Within an hour, the McCrory administration responded. A joint statement was issued by Forest and the Division of Non-Public Education saying that it was the joint mission of both offices “to support NC’s home school families.”

“As DNPE communicated to North Carolinians for Home Education, no site visits have been conducted and none are planned,” the statement said.

“DNPE’s review of home schools includes requesting home schools to voluntarily submit records via email or attend a meeting, typically held in a location such as a church basement, for record reviews. At that time, DNPE asks for review of test results, immunization records, and attendance records showing that schools have operated for nine months. DNPE is mandated to annually inspect records according to state law.”

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