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Local district invents declaration of intent

Selah School District has developed a declaration of intent form seeking considerably more information than is required of parents conducting home-based instruction.

State law requires each parent whose child is receiving home-based instruction to file a declaration of intent with the local superintendent on an annual basis. The declaration of intent is to be written in a format prescribed by the state superintendent of public instruction, not the local school district. According to the home school statute, the declaration of intent must:

  • be signed by the parent;
  • state that the parent is planning to cause the child to receive home-based instruction;
  • include the name and age of the child;
  • specify whether a certificated person will be supervising instruction; and
  • be written in a format prescribed by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

However, Selah's form sought the following additional information:

  • child's birth date;
  • school/grade last attended;
  • proposed home school grade level;
  • name, address, and certificate number of any certified teacher supervising the home-based instruction;
  • name of the college or university and a copy of the transcript indicating college credit earned by the parent;
  • name of the institution and a copy of the certificate of completion indicating that the parent has completed a course in home school instruction;
  • copy of "the program description for instructing and supervising" occupational education, science, mathematics,language/writing, social studies, spelling, and art/music; and
  • telephone number of the parent providing the home-based instruction.

It is not uncommon for school districts in Washington to seek to obtain more information about a family's home school than is authorized by statute. Home School Legal Defense Association member families with questions about the nature of information sought in a declaration of intent form should not hesitate to contact us for assistance.

- Dewitt T. Black