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8/27/2004 11:45:04 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Washington--HSLDA Provides Declaration of Intent Form

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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August 26, 2004


Washington--HSLDA Provides Declaration of Intent Form


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Many illegal Declaration of Intent forms are used throughout
Washington school districts. Over the past few years HSLDA has dealt
with various local school districts who have demanded that homeschool
parents submit more information in the Declaration of Intent form than
is required under state law.

With the help of the Christian Homeschool Network of Washington (CHN)
and Washington Association of Teaching Christian Homes (WATCH) we are
compiling a sample of the various Declaration of Intent forms that
have been sent to homeschool families across the state that do not
comply with the law.

Under the Revised Code of Washington Sec. 28A.200.010 a statement must
be submitted each year by a homeschool parent that "shall include the
name and age of the child, shall specify whether a certificated person
will be supervising the instruction, and shall be written in a format
prescribed by the superintendent of public instruction."

While the Declaration of Intent is only required under state law to
include the name, age of the student and indicate if the parent will
be supervised by a certified teacher, many local school districts
attempt to require much more.

For instance, the Bremerton School District has sent out a new
Declaration of Intent form this year that they revised in April, 2004.
The Bremerton form requires parents to specifically indicate how they
are qualified to teach their children at home.

Additionally, the Bremerton form demands the grade level and birth
date of each child, whether the student has special needs, what their
"ethnic classification" is, the last public school they attended and
which school district they were homeschooled in. None of this is
required under state law.

While state law requires that the Declaration of Intent form is "in
the format prescribed by the superintendent of public instruction"
even the sample form created by the Washington Department of Public
Instruction is not accurate.

To address these problems, HSLDA has developed a form which is "in the
format prescribed by the superintendent of public instruction." This
form can be used by any member family if your school district's
Declaration of Intent form does not comply with state law. You can
find the form at ( http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1772 ).

Recently the Tacoma Public Schools District demanded that homeschool
families submit their Declaration of Intent forms to the individual
school that the student would have attended if they were enrolled in
public school. This is beyond the school district's authority since
RCW Sec. 28A.200.010 requires the notice to be sent to the
Superintendent of the local school district. Should any member family
receive a similar request from another school district please contact
us. The Declaration of Intent form is to be sent to the Superintendent
by September 15th of each year or within two weeks of the beginning of
any public school quarter, trimester, or semester.

HSLDA will continue to work with WATCH and CHN to ensure that all
school districts comply with state law.


Sincerely,

Thomas J. Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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