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Homeschooling with no permanent address? (VA/NC)


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We have a unique situation.  Currently I am using my parents' address in NC for our permanent address for legal purposes (domicile), but we mainly live in an RV.

 

From what I've read, you are bound by the homeschool laws of where you actually reside (vs. your "domicile").

 

We will be staying mostly in VA, and I would be happy to comply with VA laws, but I'm afraid I might run into problems, as we don't have a permanent VA address, only a PO Box. (I've looked it up, and for public school purposes, a child living in a campground situation is considered "homeless" :) ).  Perhaps since the child is "homeless", they are not bound by VA laws??  I doubt it. We could go to the UPS Store and get a VA physical address, but there are none in the same locality where the child will physically be.  So which district would the NOI be sent to?

 

The other possible option is to file with NC, but the wording of the NC statues states that it has to be a "Home School", indicating that the physical home is important. VA, on the other hand, only has a "Notice of Intent" with no specific language about the nature of the home.

 

I want to do things legitimately, but it's very difficult to find the laws that would apply to our unique situation.

 

Any ideas??

 

 

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Maybe call the home schooling office of whichever state you would generally prefer and ask them if you qualify as a homeschooler in that state?  If they say no, try the other one. If they both say no...   well, quite a dilemma.  In my state to the best of my knowledge, homeless people are still bound by the state's laws.  I knew some homeless homeschoolers using a charter to get some financial help for homeschooling and they used the address of the tent city they were staying in as their home  address, with someone else's address for mailing purposes. 

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We have a unique situation.  Currently I am using my parents' address in NC for our permanent address for legal purposes (domicile), but we mainly live in an RV.

 

From what I've read, you are bound by the homeschool laws of where you actually reside (vs. your "domicile").

 

We will be staying mostly in VA, and I would be happy to comply with VA laws, but I'm afraid I might run into problems, as we don't have a permanent VA address, only a PO Box. (I've looked it up, and for public school purposes, a child living in a campground situation is considered "homeless" :) ).  Perhaps since the child is "homeless", they are not bound by VA laws??  I doubt it. We could go to the UPS Store and get a VA physical address, but there are none in the same locality where the child will physically be.  So which district would the NOI be sent to?

 

The other possible option is to file with NC, but the wording of the NC statues states that it has to be a "Home School", indicating that the physical home is important. VA, on the other hand, only has a "Notice of Intent" with no specific language about the nature of the home.

 

I want to do things legitimately, but it's very difficult to find the laws that would apply to our unique situation.

 

Any ideas??

 

North Carolina. It is your permanent address for legal purposes.

 

Don't overthink the words "home school." :-)

 

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I think it depends on the definitions of the state. For instance if you're working in Virginia or live there for a certain amount of time you may meet residence definitions for both residency and homeschooling purposes. If you're travelling back and forth frequently probably NC, but if you're stationary maybe Virginia?

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I can't remember where I read it, maybe something federal, but I do remember the 6 months + 1 day (183 days) being the definition of "resident" regarding homeschool laws.  I was looking it up because we were out of the country for an extended period of time, and it stated that if you were out for over 6 months, there were no requirements for reporting, even as US citizens.  

 

I think I should abide by VA law for that reason, since we will be there predominantly.  But I doubt an NOI with a PO Box will suffice.  Perhaps if we get the physical address from Mailboxes, etc. (or whatever) then I can file in the school district of that address.  And then just take it from there if it gets called into question.  At least there will be evidence that I tried to do things legitimately.

 

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I've seen RV'ers mention that there are laws that make it easier or harder to claim various states as their residency. I think if you asked on an RV board you might get a clearer answer about the legalities, even if they didn't know much about homeschooling... But I agree it's probably NC since you have your address there.

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I believe you can join a club called Excapees (or something like that, I need to look it up again) and then you can choose whether to have your official residence in FL, TX, or SD.  And it only costs like 30-60 for the year.  And they will get your mail to you as well.  I will get back with the correct name......

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We have several friends who have done sort of thing, and they picked a state where they could get mail that suited them.  One used a mail forwarding service, and one had a relative's address that they used.

 

Truly I wouldn't over-think it.  Naturally you want to pick a state where you file by mail and don't have to see anyone.

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Homeschooling isn't about your legal residence, it's about where you're actually living. My legal state of residence is Utah, I pay taxes there, and I have a permanent address there (my parents'), but I don't register there because I don't physically live there myself. The Board of Education in their county couldn't care less about what I'm doing outside the state, just like it isn't responsible for public or private schooled children whose parents are legal residents of the state but not actually living there. I don't have to register here in Mexico and I'll register in Virginia and follow VA law when we're homeschooling there for most of the next school year even though my state of residence will still be Utah and we won't be in Virginia permanently- we'll just be in an extended-stay place.

 

Generally I think it's best to follow the laws of the place where you're actually living and homeschooling- basically, if you weren't homeschooling and you'd send your kids to public school (or if you could get charged for truancy if you didn't) then you follow the laws in that place. In reality, it's extremely unlikely that anyone will know or care that you're homeschooling in either state so you can pick the one that works for you, or probably just skip registering at all. But if VA finds out you've been homeschooling there for months, they're not going to care that you've registered somewhere else, even if it's your state of legal residence. They'd want you to follow VA law.

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NC specifies at http://www.ncdnpe.org/FAQs/hhh114v.aspx that you are not a North Carolina homeschooler any more if you are out of the state for 30 consecutive days during the school year.

 

"If students enrolled in a home school registered in North Carolina will be outside the geographical borders of the State of North Carolina for more than 30 consecutive calendar days during its traditional nine month school year, the administrator of the North Carolina home school notifies DNPE of the school's temporary closure. 

Upon the students' return to North Carolina, the parent/guardian follows the steps outlined in "Registration, School -- Re-Opening A Home School."  Parents/guardians of students traveling (or temporarily living) out of the country do not register a home school with DNPE since the division has no legal jurisdiction outside of North Carolina's geographical borders... While in a foreign country (or another state), the parent/guardian would be required to follow the education laws of that country (or state)."

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I believe NC law states that if you are physically outside of the state lines for more than 30 days you are no longer considered homeschooling within the state and must close your "school". Regardless of whether you have an address in NC or not, the deciding factor is your physical location.

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Yes, homeschooling is not like paying taxes and getting a drivers' license, regarding residency v. domicile.  It DOES have to do with where you are physically.  Even in the VA statutes where I read about "homeless" children in campgrounds, temporary housing, etc., it said that those children have a legal right to go to the local public school.  So the state does care about a child within their jurisdiction.  

 

Of course, if the RV family is perpetually moving from state to state, then it makes sense to abide by the laws of the domicile. But in our case, we will be mostly in VA, so we have to abide by VA laws.

 

With regard to the permanent address services like St. Brendan's Isle and Travelling Mailbox (which we have used btw and really liked), that again is for truly mobile families.  The UPS Store (formerly Mailboxes, etc.) does the same thing.  If you are close to one (which we will be), it also receives your mail, but it will be cheaper because we can go collect the mail ourselves (saving the cost of them sorting it for you and the double postage of having it mailed to you wherever you are.

 

I think I will call a VA Homeschool group and ask for guidance.  In VA, you have to file your notice with the local school board.  In our case, the address (of the nearest UPS store) will be under a different locality from where we will physically be. I don't thing it would ever be an issue unless someone recognized the address as being at the local UPS store :).  In NC this would NOT be an issue, because you send the NOI directly to the State DNPE in Raleigh.  

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NC specifies at http://www.ncdnpe.org/FAQs/hhh114v.aspx that you are not a North Carolina homeschooler any more if you are out of the state for 30 consecutive days during the school year.

 

"If students enrolled in a home school registered in North Carolina will be outside the geographical borders of the State of North Carolina for more than 30 consecutive calendar days during its traditional nine month school year, the administrator of the North Carolina home school notifies DNPE of the school's temporary closure. 

Upon the students' return to North Carolina, the parent/guardian follows the steps outlined in "Registration, School -- Re-Opening A Home School."  Parents/guardians of students traveling (or temporarily living) out of the country do not register a home school with DNPE since the division has no legal jurisdiction outside of North Carolina's geographical borders... While in a foreign country (or another state), the parent/guardian would be required to follow the education laws of that country (or state)."

 

 

Sounds like VA is the right state. Why not just use your PO Box address that you standardly use so that any mail sent from them to you is received, and whatever school district fits with that address if you have no RV park address?

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