Monday, May 18, 2009

Kernersville Homeschooler Wins $20K Scholarship From Duke Energy

Natalie Thomas, the daughter of Duke employee Scott Thomas of Kernersville, N.C., has been awarded a four-year renewable scholarship of $5000 annually from the Duke Energy Foundation. The scholarship was awarded to children of twenty employees this year, including seven in North Carolina. Duke Energy is headquartered in Charlotte.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Accept No Substitutes

Some 1500 public school teachers gathered in Raleigh this week to protest plans to cut teacher pay (by as much as $250 a year, said the Winston-Salem Journal) in the midst of the state's revenue reductions.
"It gets to the point where they're hurting our children," said Denise McCoy, Konnoak Elementary School's home-school adviser.

It should be noticed that in North Carolina the public school system has no authority or control over homeschooling. Under the non-public education statute, Article 39 Chapter 115C, a home school is defined as

a nonpublic school in which one or more children of not more than two families or households receive academic instruction from parents or legal guardians, or a member of either household. (G.S. 115C‑563(a))

and their contact with the state is through the Division of Non-Public Education, not the Department of Public Instruction.

The tendency of some public school systems to create a "home-school advisor" or similar position which does not refer to home education but the school systems' interaction with their own students' families and home life, just creates unnecessary confusion.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

State Singling Out Large Families For Tax Audits

Official says homeschoolers not targeted, but many report receiving notice

Carolina Journal's David Bass reports that the N.C. Department of Revenue has opened a new offense against income tax fraud by demanding extensive documentation from families who claim eight or more exemptions on their state tax returns. Secretary of Revenue Kenneth Lay refused to answer questions on how many fraudulent returns they hope to catch, and how much the additional processing will cost the state.

N. C. Homeschool News has received reports that homeschooling families with as few as four children have received audit notices, and according to Census Bureau estimates, over 86,000 households could be affected if every family with four children was audited.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

SPORTS: Cabarras-Rowan Beats Wake for State Homeschool Baseball Title

From the Salisbury Post:
Stallions win state title

Cabarrus-Rowan won the baseball state championship for homeschoolers with a 9-7 victory against Wake County in Kannapolis on Saturday.

Benji Jackson hit a three-run homer and earned a save. The winning pitcher was Stephen Shue.

Josh Tossas had three hits, while Jackson, Shue, Christian Hicks, Bobby Zimmerman and David Bancroft had two hits apiece.

TV Station Discovers African-American Homeschoolers

WITN TV-7 in Washington, N.C., has a story on "The New Face of Home Schooling", focusing on African-American families which have left the public school system in favor of home education.

While it may be news to WITN, this is not a new story. For the past ten years, the face of North Carolinians for Home Education at the General Assembly has been NCHE's legislative administrator, Mari Fitz-Wynn, an African-American homeschool mother and former lobbyist for conservative organizations in D.C. Likewise, the founders and leaders of the National Black Home Educators, Eric and Joyce Burges, served as president of the state homeschool organization in Louisiana many years ago and continued to serve at the state and national levels.

Neither NCHE nor the state's Division of Non-Public Education track the ethnic background of homeschoolers in North Carolina.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Should State Supply Books to Homeschoolers?

In their story on the recent Beaufort County Commission meeting, the Washington Daily Times mentions

Commissioner Hood Richardson argued that the state should provide textbooks to home-schooled students.

Richardson went on to criticize local education spending, saying that most of the money the schools receive "is just plain wasted ... mismanaged and ill-used.”

It may be mentioned that while some school systems have allowed homeschoolers to use public school textbooks which have been retired, states like Alaska which have provided funding to purchase books for home instruction -- which is not the same thing as independent homeschooling -- have seriously restricted which titles and content are available, cutting out authors and publishers in wide use by home educators.

16-Year-Old Race Driver Is Homeschooled in Kannapolis reports on Chris Buescher, a 16-year-old race driver from Texas who now lives with friends near the Charlotte Motor Speedway. He is currently in Ohio preparing for a race this weekend and commented on being a student driver as well as a high schooler:
"I'm just trying to learn what the car does in different situations," said Buescher, whose cousin James Buescher won the ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Kentucky Speedway Saturday night.

"Really just trying to learn the car
and what adjustments it needs." Buescher is testing the same Roush Racing Ford that David Ragan drove in both events at Toledo in 2008. Buescher currently lives with David Ragan's parents' Ken and Beverly Ragan in Kannapolis, North Carolina. Originally from Texas, Buescher is home schooled while he pursues his racing career. A sign of our changing world,
Buescher is utilizing virtual online courses to get there.

"It's tough - teaching myself chemistry and Algebra II. But I love Math, so it's coming along. David's mom (Beverly) helps me a lot too."

UPDATE: The Toledo Blade has a story.