Author of Article Calling for Homeschool Regulation Is New Employee of DNPE

Feb 25, 2014

On February 21, NCHE learned that a new employee of the NC Division of Non-Public Education (DNPE) had written an article, before being hired, advocating for more homeschool regulation. NCHE started working immediately to get clarification from DNPE and the new employee. We also contacted friends in the NC General Assembly. We expressed our concerns. One influential friend in the NC General Assembly assured us that any attempt to add homeschool regulation during the 2014 short session will be blocked. 

This employee in DNPE is Jessica Sammons. She received a juris doctorate degree from Campbell Law School and passed the North Carolina Bar Association exam in September 2013. Her new position is educational consultant, and she will work with private schools.

While she was a law student, Jessica was given an assignment in a litigation class. Her professor told Jessica that she should apply the court decisions of the Leandro Case to homeschools. (You may remember that five low wealth counties sued the state and six wealthier counties saying that the education funding system for public schools was creating an unequal and inadequate education in poor counties by relying on local property taxes to supplement state funding for necessary expenses, and they won in the NC Supreme Court.) Jessica did so even though she thought the Leandro Case had no bearing on homeschools. The paper suggested that the General Assembly should add more regulation to the current homeschool law. Her professor made the NC Bar Association aware of the paper because she believed it to be a well written paper. They contacted Jessica and asked if they could publish the paper more than a year ago.

While this article raised NCHE’s concerns, Jessica has said that the paper was to fulfill a class assignment and that it does not reflect her opinion of home education. Here is a link to the paper she wrote. http://educationlaw.ncbar.org/newsletters/educationlawnov2013/homeschooled

No employee of DNPE has the authority to add regulation to homeschool law. However, they can make things more difficult for homeschoolers. DNPE director, David Mills, stated that he and Kristy Daughtry will be doing the record review meetings with homeschools and that Jessica will be looking at private school records. He has assured NCHE that his office will not make things more difficult for homeschoolers.