DNPE to Renew Homeschool Visitation

2 Oct 2013

NCHE has learned that DNPE director, David Mills, has randomly selected 5 homeschools for home inspection. These homeschools received a letter informing them that David Mills planned to spend 30 minutes with them, inspecting their attendance, immunization and standardized test records and addressing any questions concerning compliance with NC homeschool law. The letter gave a date and time for the visit but also provided for the homeschool to call and offer alternative dates and times.

NCHE President Kevin McClain spoke with David Mills, who was recently named director after serving DNPE for nearly 30 years, by phone about the home inspection initiative. According to Director Mills, the home inspection practice, as permitted in the law, was a regular practice in the late 80s and that it was the original goal of department that every homeschool in the state be visited. According to Mills, in the 80s he visited thousands of homes in his DNPE role. However, as homeschooling in NC grew, the department's resources made home inspection impractical. Therefore, the department pursued other programs, including inspection my mail and local area visits. These programs were voluntary as they are not prescribed by 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." NCHE believes that DNPE is carrying out their duty in inspecting the records. We encourage NC home educators to respectually interact with DNPE officials. However, if you are not comfortable with DNPE officials in your home, because of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, you may refuse to let them into your home. However, you are required to meet them at your home and let them inspect the records.  According to Mills, there is no penalty for not complying with the inspection.

Mills communicated that the DNPE office has received numerous inquiries regarding the accountability of NC homeschoolers and DNPE's fulfillment of its duties regarding NC homeschools.

Director Mills communicated that his goal to help NC homeschools by using the limited resources available to him to carry out the duties of the department.

The inspection of a random sampling of NC homeschools demonstrates that DNPE is actively serving NC citizens and that NC homeschools know and understand the requirements of the law.