Legislative Update

1 Apr 2015

Immunization Bill 

North Carolina Senators Tarte, Barringer, Van Duyn, Bryant, Robinson and Smith filed Senate Bill 346, Enact Stricter Immunization Requirements. If enacted, this bill would require all children ages zero through eighteen to receive all immunizations prescribed and by the ages specified by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in order to attend any school in the state, including homeschool. In addition, all children shall be screened for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency to determine if the child qualifies for a medical exemption. This bill will take away the religious immunization exemption that is currently in the law. Exemptions will only be granted upon a request by a physician licensed to practice medicine in NC. NCHE opposes this bill.

 

The Senate Health Care Committee was scheduled to consider Senate Bill 346 in their meeting on March 31, but the three co-chairmen, Senators Hise, Pate and Tucker, decided not bring the bill up for debate and a vote. This was a major blow to the progress of the bill. Technically, the bill is not dead; it can be brought up at any time for a vote before May 7. Several influential senators have declared their opposition to this bill as has Lt. Governor Forest. Therefore, it is unlikely that it will be brought up again in its present language. NCHE will continue to monitor this bill.

 

Proposal to Move DNPE

NCHE is opposed to the proposed move of DNPE from the Department of Administration to the Governor’s Office. We think it will take away from the stability of this division, and it will politicize this office. This plan would expose DNPE employees to the possibility of being replaced each time a new governor is elected. The NC House is the next step in the budget process. Please contact your NC representative and communicate your thoughts. To find your representative, click here and follow the instructions. 

 

Convention of States

While it is not a homeschool issue, many homeschoolers have inquired about the convention of states movement. Bills H321 and S398 have been filed in the NC House and Senate that, if passed, will have NC call for a convention of states. To learn more about this, here are links supporting the convention and in opposition to the convention.

 

Homeschoolers in Public School Sports and Activities

Senate Bill 649 was filed by Senators Sanderson, Brock and Hise. NCHE has taken a neutral stance on this bill. On one hand, the bill will enable homeschool students to participate in public school sports and other activities (band, drama, etc.) in areas where there are no homeschool opportunities available. On the other hand, to participate, homeschoolers will have to give up the freedom to determine the scope and sequence of instruction and instruction schedule. This bill will give those decisions to the State Board of Education and by proxy to the NC High School Athletic Association in the high school years.

 

Community College Scholarships

NCHE supports the effort to pass House Bill 129, High Achieving Tuition Scholarships. These scholarships will be given to high achieving graduating students, including homeschool graduates, who attend community college.