Legal Issues
Is homeschooling legal? Which laws pertain to homeschoolers and which don't? How do homeschoolers protect their rights to freely educate their children and to preserve their privacy?
Political and Legal Support for Homeschoolers in Washington
Alliance for the Separation of School & State
An advisory group concerned with educating people about the need to eliminate government involvement in education and the rights of parents to educate their own children. On this site, you will find a public proclamation for the separation of school and state, which you can sign.
National Charter School Watch List
This list is created to be a means of informing, documenting and evaluating available information concerning the impact of virtual/charter schools on the homeschooling community. This information consists of and is not limited to news items, articles from various sources, legislative information (bills, law changes), documented efforts and experiences and other information that may give weight to whether home-based charter schools or virtual schools are having an impact in any negative way on homeschooling.
Bill Information
Search for and track current pending legislation.
WHO for Homeschooling
The Washington Homeschool Organization (WHO) is the state organization for homeschoolers, families operating under the Home-Based Instruction Law. The purpose of this list is to inform and alert. Members are kept abreast of developments, both in the legislature and in the public school system, that affect homeschooling in this state.
Legal Issues Affecting the Homeschool Community
How to Suppress Homeschooling
The education establishment has realized that the socialization issue will be seen for the red herring that it is, and has searched for other means to suppress homeschooling. Two new strategies have emerged, and these pose real threats to homeschooling. The first strategy is to argue that homeschooling needs some form of accreditation. A number of reasons have been offered: it eases the transition back to the public school for those homeschoolers who go back, it is the basis for awarding a recognized diploma, and it makes it easier to provide homeschoolers access to public school programs and facilities such as science classes, libraries, sports, etc. But accreditation is simply another word for conforming, and the desire to not conform is the fundamental reason for choosing to homeschool. Homeschoolers as a group will not be seduced nor will they be tricked by the false promises of accreditation. The second strategy for suppressing homeschooling is one that is much more likely to be successful, and it is to drastically limit homeschoolers’ access to public higher education. In this, the education establishment has discovered its only effective weapon against homeschooling.
Some Thoughts On How We Got The Homeschool Law We Have
Each state has its own rules and regulations because each state is different. Washington has the kind of law it has because that was the best we could do at the time.
Alternative Learning Programs and Home Schooling
This article was prepared for North Central Educational Service District's newsletter, Educational Connections in April 2001. It was written in response to coverage of a "Homeschooling Program Workshop" in the January Connections newsletter. It discusses the difference between Alternative Learning Programs and home schooling in the state of Washington.
Parent Responsibilities, Rights and Other Laws Affecting Homeschoolers
The second section of this chapter, RCW 28A.200.020, is titled, "Home-based Instruction - Certain Decisions Responsibility of Parent Unless Otherwise Specified." This section of the law is our declaration of independence from the traditional educational philosophy of the "professional educator," and freedom from oversight of a private or public educational institutions. It is a broad description of the parent's rights which make homeschooling the independent, parent directed and controlled process that it is.
Mandatory Attendance
The mandatory attendance laws are where homeschooling, or home-based instruction, is designated as an educational choice and criteria are set.
Safeguarding Home Education Freedoms at the Local Level
While many parents may not have the opportunity to influence legislation regarding home education on the state level, there are ways to be involved on a local level.
Record Keeping
Record keeping is often overlooked in conversations about the homeschool law because it is an easily met requirement, and seems to have no great impact. And yet, the very fact that we compile and maintain our children's records, and store them in our homes, is one of the strongest indicators of how truly independent homeschooling is from public or private education in Washington State.
Homeschooling and the WASL
Are my homeschooled kids required to take the WASL? This article answers all your questions regarding testing and homeschooling in the state of Washington.
The New Face of Homeschooling
As their ranks increase, homeschoolers are tapping public schools for curriculum, part-time classes, extracurricular services, and online learning.
Keeping Homeschooling Private
Homeschoolers have been vigilant in protecting their rights, rising to the occasion when they discover threats to clamp down on their activities. Discusses some of the criticisms by opponents of homeschooling, along with the examples of some legal fights in Connecticut and Montana.
The Politics of Survival: Home Schoolers and the Law
Twenty years ago, home education was treated as a crime in almost every state. Today, it is legal all across America, despite strong and continued opposition from many within the educational establishment. How did this happen? This paper traces the legal and sociological history of the modern home school movement, and then suggests factors that led to this movement's remarkable success.
Public Alternative Education Programs
A look at the laws and issues governing public alternative education programs in the state of Washington.
Social Security's New Home School Flow Chart
For some years, the Social Security Administration has permitted home schoolers to receive benefits in some cases. The agency used a fuzzy test involving several different factors. New documents from the Social Security Administration indicate that the agency has a much better defined policy in place now.
Political Influence
Every important movement or trend in this country was followed by an onslaught of legislative actions which resulted in some legal stipulations that controlled the trend. What is really of concern is that this legislative control is not static, but very fluid, subject to change (meaning more restrictions in many cases). These changes occur through either more legislative actions on the part of the government or through interpretation in the judicial system. Currently, the homeschool movement is being closely monitored by various teacher unions, the public and legislative bodies throughout the United States, resulting in more and more laws being passed to control or monitor the movement. If the homeschool movement is to survive in a manner which we feel would be beneficial to us and society as a whole, we have to be more and more diligent in protecting our rights. The only way we can do this is to be more active in the political process. The question now becomes, how do we do this?
Part-Time Enrollment
A look at the section of the statutes that regulate home education dealing with part-time enrollment of homeschooled children.
Alternative Education Programs
There is a relatively new movement taking shape in several states across the country. Public school districts are laying down their battle weapons so to speak, and taking up diplomacy in their dealings with the homeschooling community. A prime example of this new stance is in Washington State where for several years now and often with little or no regulatory authority, local school districts have launched programs specifically targeting the homeschool student. Sometimes called Cyberschool or Parent Partnered Program, the title may include the words Homeschool or Home Education. The advertising is pitched to the homeschooling community and usually only students who have been listed as homeschoolers for at least ninety days may participate. But some homeschoolers are taking a dim view of these programs. They warn that it is a thinly veiled effort to woo them back into the public schools and that it is a poor use of taxpayers' money.
Declaration of Intent
RCW 28A.200 is the chapter of the law that addresses homeschooling, or home-based instruction specifically. The first section of this chapter, RCW 28A.200.010, is titled, "Duties of Parents." It delineates, as you may have guessed, the responsibility of the homeschooling parent not already outlined in the mandatory attendance law. This article deals with the first duty listed, the declaration of intent.
On Jumping Through Hoops
Most books and articles on home education are quick to point out that homeschooling is legal--in one form or another-- in all fifty states. Parents might have to jump through more hoops in one state than in another, but, as long as they're willing to jump through those hoops, they are allowed to teach their own children at home. But are these hoops actually necessary?
Testing and Compliance
Annual testing is never overlooked in conversations about the homeschool law, and is often the cause of heated discussion. Because testing is such a contentious issue, this article closely examines the law.
The Seduction of Homeschooling Families
Do the public school authorities feel threatened by homeschooling? Judging by their efforts to lure homeschooling families into dependence on local school districts, the answer is apparently yes.
Battling for the Heart and Soul of Home-Schoolers
A look at the battle for the homeschooling movement and the demographics of homeschooling families that challenges the notion that all homeschoolers are conservative fundamentalists. This article is a critical look at the HSLDA.
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