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Statement of Unity Regarding the Washington Home-Based Instruction Law and Public School Alternative Learning Experience Programs

Independent homeschooling, under the Washington State Home-Based Instruction Law RCW 28A.200, clearly places responsibility for all aspects of a child’s education in the control of parent(s) and/or guardian(s). Since the RCW, signed into law in 1985, those who select home-based instruction have consistently been referred to by media, academia and themselves as homeschoolers. These homeschoolers are identified by their choice to take full responsibility for their child’s education and the requirements outlined in the Home-Based Instruction Law.

In contrast, Public School Alternative Learning Experience Programs (PSALEP) defined in WAC 392.121.182, are government public school programs where the local school district retains control of student learning. Formation of these escalating programs began in 1996 with the introduction of the PSALEP’s rules by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Of concern to statewide independent homeschool organizations is the blurred distinction between Home-Based Instruction (homeschoolers) and participation in a PSALEP government-defined school. Additionally, troubling aspects involve the marketing of PSALEP’s to already-declared homeschoolers and the use of the Declaration of Intent to Provide Home Based Instruction Form as a marketing tool to solicit enrollment.

Currently, a growing number of public school districts throughout Washington are creating Alternative Learning Programs that target homeschoolers for enrollment and thereby funding. Additionally, existing programs are changing part-time enrollment requirements to necessitate nearly full-time participation, even requesting oversight of education in the home. We believe PSALEPs are redefining and undermining the Home-Based Instruction Law and placing the nature of independent homeschooling in Washington State at risk.

While styles may vary, major Washington State homeschool organizations agree that maintaining the strength and understanding of our Home-Based Instruction Law is vital to the health of independent homeschooling in Washington State. The term “homeschooling” must remain identified, at its core, with families who have chosen to take upon themselves the responsibility for their child’s education and not identified with a state government-operated program.

This statement is made by statewide independent homeschool organizations:
Washington Homeschool Organization (WHO) ~ January, 2009
Christian Heritage Home Educators of Washington ~ January, 2009
Christian Homeschool Network (CHN) ~ January, 2009
Washington Association of Teaching Christian Homes (WATCH), March, 2009

and endorsed by additional organizations who choose to clarify their position regarding Public School Alternative Learning Experience Programs:

Family School Supply - June, 2009
Kohanu High Homeschool - April, 2009
Michelle Braunschweig - April, 2009
Tri-Cities Homeshool Support Group - April, 2009
Learn to Love Foundation - August 2009
Hope Academy - October 2009
Cultivate Homeschool - November 2009
Hargroves Homeschoolers
Hamilton Homeschool - March 2010
Brite Spirit Educational Adventures - August 2010
Homeschool Test Service - August 2010
Johnson Academy of Excellence - November 2010
Colburn Family - January 2011
Port Madison Academy - January 2011
Valley Home Educators - Wenatchee - January 2011
Michaeleen Neher - March 2011
OPTions for Parent Teachers - March 2011
Home Education Magazine - March 2011
Northwest Catholic Family Education Conference - March 2011
Lori Elworth - April 2011
Rosehill Academy/Children\'s Academic Program (Rosehill Support Group) - April 2011
REACH East Support Group - May 2011
Inland NW Homeschool Conference - July 2011
Valley Home Scholars - July 2011
Dragon House - December 2011
Clark County Home Educators'(CCHE) - February 2012
Special Homeschoolers of Washington - June 2012
McGarvey Family - October 2012
Monday Homeschool Network - October 2012
Johnston Family Homeschool - December 2012
Jenine Lewis - December 2012
Hogan's Homeschoolers - March 2013
Olbricht Family Home School - June 2013
Lane Family Homeschool - August 2013

© The unifying statement may be copied for use by other organizations, provided it is used in its entirety and not used for monetary gain.

Would your organization like to add their endorsement on the Statement of Unity? Just fill out the information below and we will add it to the list.

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