Ancillary Services

Email of the Day:
My friend is homeschooling through K-12 in Omak, and they have been told their child can’t receive speech therapy through our local school, because he doesn’t go to the school district. They may need to put him in public school because they can’t afford the speech therapy privately, but he’s been doing really well with the one-on-one with them.

I thought that homeschoolers could access ancillary services through the local public school. I know other homeschoolers here who are getting services.

The law provides for homeschoolers and private schoolers to access ancillary services and/or attend part time in their resident district at the same rate they could as fulltime students.

The law doesn’t allow public schoolers to double-dip from two districts.

When you transfer to another district (like when you enroll in K-12 and aren’t physically in that district), that money goes with you. You only get to be fulltime in one district — the state only allots X dollars to you, and you’re now spending them elsewhere.

The homeschoolers you know who are getting services in the district are homeschoolers. They’re not enrolled in another public school district’s online program.

The law provides for homeschoolers and public schoolers to take classes part time, and/or access ancillary services in their resident district. If this family were homeschooling, instead of public schooling outside their district by enrolling in K-12, they would qualify to receive services in their district. This is why the distinction between homeschooling in WA (provided by a parent, educating his or her child only), and enrolling in a public-school-at-home program is so important: it makes a difference.

Since he’s doing so well at with the individual instruction, I’d encourage them to consider homeschooling, and accessing the services from the local school district.

~Jen GS

Follow-on discussion:

My two cents… We’ve had great experiences with ALEs (and an added benefit was the perceived “accountability” during weird custody issues), but if it had been more possible for us to just go with straight up homeschooling? In a heartbeat. The ideologies are different, and unless you end up with gifted, intuitive, and super smart teacher/contact people through the ALE, the public school need to “box check” can be so counter to the needs that lead to a decision to homeschool that one might as well not use them at all.

I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to work with many of the folks that my kids have had contact with, but they were exceptional, and don’t change the difference between ALE status (or charter enrollment in CA) and homeschooling. And having a kiddo with special needs who attends public school, the misconceptions can be frustrating. Thanks for lending clarity, Jen.

Thank YOU.  Divorce is one of the many cases where ALEs let you keep your kids at home and satisfy exes and judges. It’s also often a great solution for families who have shared custody, want their children home, and want an easy way to keep continuity of education.
I’ve recommended them for folks who want to leave the brick and mortar for a single year and have a seamless transition back, and for folks who don’t want to homeschool at all, but need to get their kids out a dangerous/unhealthy physical situation (bullying, medical, etc.).
We have all these really great choices in WA — if everyone knows all the choices they have, they’re then freed to make the one that is best for them. ~Jen GS