Equal Access to Public Education: An Examination of the State Constitutional and Statutory Rights of Nonpublic Students to Participate in Public School Programs on a Part-Time Basis in North Carolina and Across the Nation
Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights
public education, education law, homeschool, equal protection, public schools
This article argues that private and homeschool students in North Carolina have a state constitutional and statutory right to participate in public school programs on a part-time basis. This right is based on the North Carolina Constitution's explicit acknowledgment of nonpublic education and guarantees of equal protection and equal access to public schools. This right is also based on state statutes that mirror the wording and spirit of the state constitution's guarantees. Since the North Carolina Supreme Court has held that equal access to public schools is a fundamental right under the state constitution, this right can only be restricted by a statute or regulation that can survive a strict scrutiny review.In Part II, this article discusses the law of nonpublic schools and educational rights in North Carolina and how the Leandro case affects those laws and rights. Part III outlines how the exclusion of private and homeschool students from public school programs violates the North Carolina Constitution's dual promises of equal protection and equal access to public schools.
John Plecnik, Participate in Public School Programs on a Part-Time Basis in North Carolina and Across the Nation, 13 Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights 1 (No. 1 Fall 2007)