The Washington State Senate unanimously passed Sen. Val Stevens’ bill to prohibit school districts from recruiting homeschoolers for full-time enrollment in their Alternative Learning Experiences courses. School districts often market those programs to homeschoolers as “home-based education.”
Senate Bill 5142 will help clarify the difference between their school-based, state-funded ALEs, which allow off-site teaching, and true homeschooling, which is not in the public-school system and is not state-funded.
“Washington’s homeschool law allows parents to educate their children separate from the public school system.” Stevens said. “The public school’s Alternative Learning Experiences are often conducted online, and if homeschool students enroll full-time in ALE, then they are full-time public school students. If they enroll part-time, they are part-time public school students. Homeschooling is completely separate under Washington law.”
On March 15, Sen. Stevens will introduce a Senate resolution honoring Washington’s homeschoolers.
SB 5142 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.