North Carolina’s favorable climate is the exception, not the rule
By Hal Young
RALEIGH — The most recent report from the N.C. Division of Nonpublic Education found some 81,509 students, almost one in 20 N.C. children, being taught at home. This gives North Carolina one of the highest rates of homeschooling in the country.
There are more than 200 local associations in North Carolina, some with hundreds of families, providing fellowship, activities and support. Homeschool graduates here have been awarded the most prestigious college scholarships in the state, gained appointment to service academies, and even run for Congress.
The sunny social and legal climate largely is confined to the Tar Heel State, however. According to federal and academic studies, the national rate of home education is 41 percent lower than North Carolina’s, and many advocates of parent-directed education see trouble on the horizon — from trends in academia, law, and even a United Nations treaty which could endanger seriously families’ right to choose an independent, private education for their children.
Several board members from North Carolinians for Home Education, the state’s largest homeschool association, recently visited Chicago for a leadership conference sponsored by the Home School Legal Defense Association. The annual event is organized to “encourage, equip, [and] challenge” state leaders, according to HSLDA’s president, attorney J. Michael Smith.
This year’s edition drew 380 attendees from 34 states and five countries. The networking allows state homeschool organizations to share experiences and insight into the legal and social challenges facing the movement.