Sunday, October 13, 2013

Thoughts on NCDNPE's Plans to Renew Homeschool Visitation

According to North Carolinians for Home Education, the state's Department of Non-Public Education (DNPE) is renewing homeschool visitations.  The newly appointed director of DNPE, David Mills has chosen 5 random homeschools to visit and inspect, saying that he will be spending 30 minutes with each school to view immunization records, standardized test scores, attendance records, and to answer any questions.  These will be the first home inspections of North Carolina homeschools since 1991.

Sounds fine, right?  It's well within the parameters of North Carolina Law.  According to Article 39 of chapter 115C of the General Statutes, sections 115C-549, 115C-557, 115C-563 and 115C-564, homeschools are to make required records available upon visitation by a "duly authorized representative" to the "principal's office."

Now I'm just a little confused as to why this guy wants to renew homeschool visitations.  He's palnning to visit just 5 schools, spending 30 minutes with each.  That's an hour and a half if my math skills still serve me.  Now granted there will be travel time and whatnot.  But geez, there are over 53,000 homeschools in North Carolina.  

He's visiting 5.

Think about that for just a minute.

Why even bother.

The home inspections were more common in the 1980s.  In 1988, there were just over 1300 homeschools.  The numbers have obviously changed significantly, and the DNPE has made changes to it's procedures to help keep up.  Inspection by mail (where parents can voluntarily send in test scores, etc. to the DNPE) and local area visits (where a DNPE representative visits a local library, town hall, or other similar meeting place and local homeschool parents bring the required records to be inspected off-site). 

So why reinstitute home inspections?  After 22 years?  And why only 5? 

If they were sincerely concerned with serving the state's homeschool families and students, he would be visiting more than five.  He's not even trying.

Is it just another attempt to remind us that big brother is still in control and watching our every move?

I'm more than happy that my name didn't pop up in Mr. Mills list of homes to call on, but if it had, I'd be meeting him on the front lawn with the required paperwork.  There's that nifty little thing called the 4th amendment that is supposed to protect us from "unreasonable search and seizure".  I'm not inviting any government official into my home, thank you very much.  I'll comply with the law, but they aren't entering my home my one space of sanctuary without a judicially sanctioned warrant supported by probable cause. 

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