Alternative Learning Programs (ALPs) are public school programs that do not require full-time on-site attendance, but do enroll the student as a full-time student. There are three basic models of ALPs. One type known as Parent Partnership Programs market heavily to homeschoolers and cause us the most concern. Many use homeschooling terminology in their names and in documentation. Most of these programs were also started by homeschooling parents, and some were state or local homeschooling leaders. This has caused much confusion in the homeschooling community.
The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) defines the status of a student according to who is in control of supervising the child’s education. When a parent enrolls in an ALP, they must fill out a Student Learning Plan and report hours on-site and off-site. According to the OSPI, this places the student under the direct supervision of the public school and therefore makes him/her a public school student. ALPs have always allowed off-site independent study, but this should not be confused with homeschooling.
In the document titled, Washington State’s Laws Regulating Home-based Instruction (published by the OSPI), question 11 (part three, page 17):
Are there any circumstances by which a school district may provide the same model of instruction that home-based students receive to students who are full-time public school students?
No. The definition of home-based instruction found in RCW 28A.225.010(4) does not meet direct supervision requirements for the allocation of state funds. Full-time equivalent student is defined in WAC 392-121-121. However, WAC 392-121-183 Finance, General Apportionment: Alternative Learning Experience Requirements authorizes school districts to adopt rules by which a school district may receive full-time enrollment for teaching/learning experiences conducted off-campus. Under such rules a student is enrolled as a public school student. Alternative school district programs must meet minimum program hours and direct supervision requirements to receive state funds.