Email of the Day:
(Written on behalf of a family threatened with a BECCA petition for not submitting a DofI when they withdrew their 6yo kidlet from school to homeschool).
I am writing on behalf of Family who recently withdrew their Kidlet from Elementary School.
It is a common misconception that a child under the age of 8 who is formally withdrawn from a public school must also file a Declaration of Intent, or that the Declaration of Intent is part of the withdraw process for a child under the age of 8.
While it is true that RCW 28A.225.015(1) obligates a 6 or 7 year old who is enrolled in school to attend regularly, that same section specifies that ” an exception shall be made to this requirement for children whose parents formally remove them from enrollment if the child is less than eight years old.”
In this same law, in section 4, you will note that ” This section does not require a six or seven year old child to enroll in a public or private school or to receive home-based instruction. This section only applies to six or seven year old children whose parents enroll them full time in public school and do not formally remove them from enrollment as provided in subsection (1) of this section.”
The age for homeschooling children is 8 to 18, and is clearly defined in RCW 28A.225.010(4).
The Declaration of Intent is defined in RCW 200.010 (1)(a). Neither requires a Declaration of Intent be filed for a child under 8, and RCW 28A.225.015(4) specifically exempts previously enrolled public school students under the age of 8 from it.
Please withdraw the threat of a BECCA petition; it is inappropriate to file against this family.
–Jen Garrison Stuber, Advocacy Chair for the Washington Homeschool Organization
Note: If you begin homeschooling because your child has missed a lot of school and they’ve already started the process against you, there isn’t anything the law can do for you. Make sure to formally withdraw, and file a Declaration of Intent (for children over 8) long before absences become a problem. ~Jen GS