Email of the Day:
The President just signed the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 into Law. How does this affect homeschoolers in WA?
The bulk of what the new law does is return education power to the states that was taken with NCLB.
Every Child Achieves Act of 2015
This bill reauthorizes and amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). The bill addresses issues such as accountability and testing requirements, distribution and requirements for grants, fiscal accountability requirements, and the evaluation of teachers.
The bill provides states with increased flexibility and responsibility for developing accountability systems, deciding how federally required tests should be weighed, selecting additional measures of student and school performance, and implementing teacher evaluation systems.
It includes grants for providing language instruction educational programs, improving low-performing schools, and developing programs for American Indian and Alaska Native students. The bill provides rural school districts with increased flexibility in using federal funding. It also revises the Impact Aid formula.
The bill requires school districts to consult stakeholders in planning and implementing programs to improve student safety, health, well-being, and academic achievement.
It combines two existing charter school programs into one program that includes grants for high-quality charter schools, facilities financing assistance, and replication and expansion.
The bill provides states with flexibility in meeting maintenance of effort requirements for state and local education funding to supplement federal assistance.
The bill prohibits the Department of Education from imposing certain requirements on states or school districts seeking waivers from federal laws.
It provides that ESEA dollars may be used to improve early childhood education programs and specifies requirements to ensure that homeless youth have access to all services provided by the states and school districts.
To the best of my knowledge and understanding, this new law does not address homeschoolers at all.
Relative to WA, the portion of our law that would have to change for new legislation to impact how/when/what homeschooling parents teach their children are: RCW 28A.225.010(4) (the 11 subjects), and RCW 28A.200.020: which states that “parents who are causing their children to receive home-based instruction shall be subject only to those minimum state laws and regulations which are necessary in ensuring that a sufficient basic educational opportunity is provided to the children receiving such instruction. Therefore, all decisions relating to philosophy or doctrine, selection of books, teaching materials and curriculum, and methods, timing and place in the provision or evaluation of home-based instruction shall be the responsibility of the parent except for matters specifically referred to in Chapter 28A.225 RCW.
The homeschool law also states that the legislature recognizes that home-based instruction is less structured and more experiential than the instruction normally provided in a classroom. Therefore, the provisions relating to the nature and quantity of instructional and related educational activities shall be liberally construed.”