North Carolina parents can access a variety of options to aid in the education of their children. In addition to traditional public schools, students can enroll in public charter, private schools, home schools or virtual public schools.
North Carolina Public Schools.
Overseen by the State Board of Education, the North Carolina public schools consist of 115 local education agencies (LEAs) enrolling over 1.5 million students in 2,400 schools. Last year, spending by NC public schools totaled $13.1 billion, of which $8.5 billion was provided by state government. In 2016-17, NC public schools employed a staff of over 174,000 including over 94,000 teachers.
For additional Information: www.ncpublicschools.org
North Carolina Charter Schools
Charter Schools are public schools authorized by the State Board of Education and governed by an independent board. Charter schools are — by design — intended to be experimental and innovative. As such, they have greater administrative flexibility than traditional public schools. Charter schools receive state funding but no money for facilities. North Carolina’s 170 charter schools enroll approximately 90,000 students and receive $513 million in state funds.
Students who do not attend North Carolina public schools can attend any of 742 private schools in the state. Private Schools in North Carolina are overseen by the Office of Nonpublic Education in the Department of Administration. The State of North Carolina does not attempt to regulate the religious or educational philosophy of private schools or their operational practices. Still the state does monitor academic performance. State law requires the length of the school year, student attendance, immunization and nationally standardized testing. Aside from those requirements North Carolina Private schools are also required to comply with the same fire safety and sanitation standards that public schools must meet. In 2015-16, over 97,000 students attended private schools in North Carolina.
For additional Information:
North Carolina Division of Public Education, Private Schools
North Carolina Association of Independent Schools
A home school in North Carolina is defined as a nonpublic school consisting of the children of not more than two families or households where the parents or legal guardians or members of either household determine the scope and sequence of academic instruction as well as additional sources of instruction. The Office of Nonpublic Education in the State Department of Administration is authorized to receive notices of intent to home school by parents and as well as authorized to inspect student records, attendance and test results. In 2016-17, North Carolina had 127,847 home school students enrolled in 80,972 home schools.
For additional Information
Office of Nonpublic Education, Home School Information
North Carolinians for Home Education
North Carolina Virtual Public Schools
In 2007 North Carolina offered students the opportunity to enroll in the North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS). NCVPS delivers high quality online courses, taught by certified teachers. Students have the choice of seven programs: traditional, Credit Recovery, Occupational Course of Study, Flex Learning, Math Intervention, Middle School, and English Language Learners. The Department of Public Instruction determined NCVPS funding for enrollment by each school district via a formula established by the legislature. Currently, summer classes cost approximately $235, fall/Spring classes, $349 and yearlong classes, $438. In 2016-17 NCVPS enrolled over 58,000 students in online classes.
For Additional Information:
North Carolina Virtual Public School