- higher education,
- military service,
- and other opportunities available to the general public.
- To DEFEND the the ORIGINAL homeschool laws of Washington State, without alteration in any way.
- To PROTECT parental rights.
- To PROMOTE a positive image of home education.
- To DEFEND homeschoolers’ rights to:
- To DEFEND the future of independent home education in Washington State.
- To work together with the legislature to ensure that proposed legislation does not cause any negative consequences for homeschooling.
- We do not support any legislation that will affect the homeschool law (RCW 28A.200 and 225).
- With the passage of the homeschool law in 1985, the legislature acknowledged that parents have the right to educate their children.
- And, as with, private schools, home educators receive no tax dollars and therefore there is NO financial burden that accrues to taxpayers.
- CHN affirms this arrangement and does not support government funding/subsidies of homeschooling.
Protecting homeschooling as an independent form of education- Many school districts now offer alternative learning programs (ALE). One model of ALE, Parent Partnership Programs (PPP), is often misleadingly referred to as homeschooling.
We are concerned that the confusion surrounding these programs, as well as all of the non-compliances them, could lead to more regulations for homeschoolers. Therefore, the majority of home educators oppose these programs because they blur the line between homeschooling and the public school.
- CHN will continue to work on legislation that provides clarification of the differences between ALEs and homeschooling.
Regarding funding of Alternative Learning Programs (ALE’s) – There are 2 million children being homeschooled in the USA. PPP’s are unique to Washington State. Therefore one could conclude that PPP’s are not necessary to provide an exceptional home education program. Washington State is one of the few states which allow homeschoolers access to public school resources under the part-time attendance law. CHN questions the necessity of a separate program such as PPPs to provide resources to homeschoolers.
- CHN would support legislation to end PPP’s. If however the legislature chooses to continue their operation, we would support legislation to restructure their funding model, to reflect their lower cost of overhead and only fund what they directly teach, prohibit the use of terms such as homeschooling, home-based, or home education when referring to their program.
Parent-taught driver’s education – We would support legislation that would allow parent taught drivers’ education instead of commercial driving schools. Under current law, a child ages 16-18 must take driver education from a driving school. We would like to see this changed to allow a parent to teach his child.
Tax Exemptions – There is much support for “school choice/vouchers” however, we would want to advocate for methods that do not invite more government control. Therefore, we would support tax exemptions to support private home education. This would be very difficult to accomplish in Washington State, so we would support a Federal tax exemption. CHN does not support vouchers.
Parental Rights – The protection of parental rights is foundational to our homeschool freedoms. CHN supports the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children.
- Therefore, CHN is opposed fundamentally to “visitation bills involving “fit parent(s)”.
Lowering of Compulsory School Age – CHN does not support lowering the compulsory school age below the current age of eight. Lowering the age children must begin school would force parents to enroll a child who may not be ready for school and would cause more of a burden to homeschool families due to increased regulations.
Testing – We will continue to protect homeschool students from Education Reform mandates, such as usage of the MSB/ HSPE (formally WASL) as a measurement tool for college scholarships, entrance for higher education, licensing or employment. State law exempts homeschool students from these Education Reform mandates, including taking the MSB/ HSPE. Requiring homeschool students to take a public school test is a violation of the No Child Left Behind Act.
Homeschool students are required to test or access their children annually. The MSB/HSPE is not a standardized academic test and therefore does not meet the legal requirements of testing under the home-based instruction law. The MSB/HSPE is based upon public school standards, methods, and curriculum. To prepare for the MSB/HSPE a student would need to use public school curriculum.
- CHN will oppose any legislation that requires homeschool students to pass the MSB/HSPE (or any public school test) for scholarships, entrance into college or Running Start, etc.
Such legislation would directly violate the no Child Left Behind Act and would be unconstitutional. Requiring homeschooling students to take a public school test covering public school curriculum would blur the distinctions between private and public education as guaranteed by the US Supreme Court in the case of Pierce v. Society of Sisters 26&US.510(1925). Quoted from http://www.hslda.org/courtreport/V19N2/V19N209.asp
No Child Left Behind Act: Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to affect a home school, whether or not a home school is treated as a home school or a private school under State law, nor shall any student schooled at home be required to participate in any assessment referenced in this act.20 USCA §7886(b)
The term “homeschooling” first emerged in 1960’s to describe the phenomenon of parents who chose not to send their children to public or traditional private schools.
- As this phenomenon has grown worldwide, it has now become a universal term.