Public Schools Marketing
Effective July 26, 2009, it is illegal for a public school district to market to homeschoolers.
What We Need to Know.
Unsolicited information about learning programs—Prohibition on providing to persons who file a declaration of intent to cause a child to receive home-based instruction—Exceptions.
School districts are prohibited from advertising, marketing, and otherwise providing unsolicited information about learning programs offered by the school district, including but not limited to digital learning programs, part-time enrollment opportunities, and other alternative learning programs, to students and their parents who have filed a declaration of intent to cause a child to receive home-based instruction under RCW 28A.200.010. School districts may respond to requests for information that are initiated by a parent. This section does not apply to general mailings or newsletters sent by the school district to all households in the district.2009 c 190 § 1.
History: Substitute House Bill 1110
Its official title is, An act relating to prohibiting advertising and marketing to students receiving home-based instruction. There are requirements, in the statute, in Washington that address the district’s obligation to inform public school parents about program offerings. They must let parents know if what they are offering covers the learning goals or essential academic learning requirements and, one step further, whether the program permits the student to meet one or more of the state’s or district’s graduation requirements. This law exempts homeschoolers from such statutes. It forbids school districts from disseminating advertising, marketing or soliciting for their programs to parents who have submitted a declaration of intent to homeschool. So, if your school district is operating an alternative learning experience program, a digital or what we call virtual public school, they may no longer use any means to solicit you for enrollment. They are prohibited from even marketing to you for part-time enrollment. Keep in mind that advertising to you is not limited to just their alternative learning programs, sometimes called PPP’s, Parent Partnered Programs, but any program offered by the district.
The document that tells the school district not to advertise to you is your Declaration of Intent to Provide Home-Based Instruction; this is another reason to be sure to declare each year. If you choose to allow the district to mail you information, you must initiate the request. Keep in mind that this exemption does not apply to general mailings done by the school district, for example, district newsletters. However, you can contact the school district administration office and opt-out of all such mailings.
What do you do if you receive a solicitation from your district? For example, if you receive a letter promoting the offerings of their alternative learning program, their testing options, etc? We recommend you contact your state representative and ask what steps will be taken to call it to the district’s attention and what steps will be taken to guarantee compliance by the district. At the same time, please let us know. We would like to be informed of districts marketing to homeschoolers. Please provide us a copy of the promotion you receive. Send it to us, attention of the WHO Advocacy Committee.
Washington Homeschool Organization – Advocacy Committee
* School districts are not obligated to mail the declaration of intent to homeschool parents.