When the homeschool law RCW 28A.200 was passed in 1985, the private school law RCW 28A.195 was amended to allow for homeschooling under a private school extension program. Below is the language from the law that addresses these programs.
Note: Many states list homeschoolers under a private school subcategory.
Private schools — Exemption from high school assessment requirements — Extension programs for parents to teach children in their custody.
(4) An approved private school may operate an extension program for parents, guardians, or persons having legal custody of a child to teach children in their custody. The extension program shall require at a minimum that:
(a) The parent, guardian, or custodian be under the supervision of an employee of the approved private school who is certified under chapter 28A.410 RCW;
(b) The planning by the certified person and the parent, guardian, or person having legal custody include objectives consistent with this subsection and subsections (1), (2), (5), (6), and (7) of this section;
(c) The certified person spend a minimum average each month of one contact hour per week with each student under his or her supervision who is enrolled in the approved private school extension program;
(d) Each student’s progress be evaluated by the certified person; and
(e) The certified employee shall not supervise more than thirty students enrolled in the approved private school’s extension program.
The intent of the legislature was clear in providing home education via private school extensions in the very passage of the section that created them. The oversight/regulation of the extension students is clearly in the hands of the parents. The teachers are regulated and have several proscriptions imposed on them, but the parents maintain control of the children’s education.
For example, Family Academy one of the largest private school extension programs in Washington State does not specifically dictate which curriculum must be used for math, English, history, science. The parents collaborate with the teacher. The teacher is responsible to evaluate child’s progress. The school can issue a diploma and transcripts for the child.
The extension program can also offer anonymity since no names are given to the state or the school district. The school only needs to report number of students and student body demographics (grade, gender, race).
This option is only available to private schools approved by Washington State.
Schools outside of the state or not listed on the “approved” list with the Washington State Board of Education do not qualify under this option.