A trio of bills seem to be successfully working their way through the WA legislature.
WA Bill targets public info about Wash. homeschoolers Seattle Post-Intelligencer March 23, 2009
By DONNA GORDON BLANKINSHIP
SEATTLE — Parents who homeschool their children have asked Washington
lawmakers to exempt their registration forms from state public
disclosure laws. The Legislature appears poised to grant their request.
HB 1288 is a House bill: Exempting the annual parental declaration of intent to home school from the public disclosure act.
A brief summary of HB 1110 is on the legislative website:
School districts may not disseminate advertising, marketing, or other unsolicited information about learning programs offered by the school district to parents who have filed the statutorily required declaration of intent regarding home-based instruction. “Learning programs” includes, but is not limited to, digital learning programs, part-time enrollment opportunities, and other alternative learning programs. School districts may respond to parents’ requests for information. General mailings or newsletters sent to all households in a district are not covered by the prohibition.
HB 1110 and 1288 passed out of the House unanimously and moved out of the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education on the 23rd.
Again, from the P-I article:
Exemptions to state public disclosure laws have become increasingly common.
When Washington’s public records laws were approved by voters in 1972,
there were only 10 exemptions allowing government records to be kept
secret. Since then, the list has grown to more than 300.
Rowland Thompson, executive director for Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington, said his organization does not oppose this new exemption because the information contained in the annual declaration of intent to homeschool, which is filed with school districts, can be obtained elsewhere.
These forms have the homeschooled child’s name/age, address and phone number. One would want to ask how children’s information could be obtained elsewhere?
From the Seattle article:
State education officials know of nearly 20,000 Washington school children who are educated at home, but suspect that number is low because some districts do not report homeschooling numbers to the state.
School districts not reporting homeschooling numbers to the state? That seems very unusual as most bureaucrats LOVE statistics and they love to know where those numbers live.
But maybe Washington is different.
Last excerpt from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
The second bill she [DiAnna Brannan, a volunteer lobbyist for the Christian Homeschool Network of Washington] spoke in favor of would prevent school districts from using the information gathered through the homeschool form to send targeted, but unsolicited mail concerning learning programs offered by the school district such as online or part-time classroom education.
It regards exempting the annual parental declaration of intent to home school from the public disclosure act. It has been referred to the Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education.
Both Washington homeschool group websites state support of these bills.