S-3127.1  _______________________________________________


                         SENATE BILL 6365



State of Washington   57th Legislature        2002 Regular Session


By Senators Winsley, McAuliffe, Finkbeiner, Prentice, Fairley, Eide, Rasmussen, Shin, Kohl‑Welles, Keiser, Kline, Carlson and Hale


Read first time 01/16/2002.  Referred to Committee on Education.

Lowering the age for mandatory school attendance from eight to six.

    AN ACT Relating to lowering the age for mandatory school attendance; amending RCW 28A.225.010; and repealing RCW 28A.225.015.




    Sec. 1.  RCW 28A.225.010 and 1998 c 244 s 14 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) All parents in this state of any child ((eight)) six years of age and under eighteen years of age shall cause such child to attend the public school of the district in which the child resides and such child shall have the responsibility to and therefore shall attend for the full time when such school may be in session unless:

    (a) The child is attending an approved private school for the same time or is enrolled in an extension program as provided in RCW 28A.195.010(4);

    (b) The child is receiving home-based instruction as provided in subsection (4) of this section;

    (c) The child is attending an education center as provided in chapter 28A.205 RCW;

    (d) The school district superintendent of the district in which the child resides shall have excused such child from attendance because the child is physically or mentally unable to attend school, is attending a residential school operated by the department of social and health services, is incarcerated in an adult correctional facility, or has been temporarily excused upon the request of his or her parents for purposes agreed upon by the school authorities and the parent:  PROVIDED, That such excused absences shall not be permitted if deemed to cause a serious adverse effect upon the student's educational progress:  PROVIDED FURTHER, That students excused for such temporary absences may be claimed as full time equivalent students to the extent they would otherwise have been so claimed for the purposes of RCW 28A.150.250 and 28A.150.260 and shall not affect school district compliance with the provisions of RCW 28A.150.220; or

    (e) The child is sixteen years of age or older and:

    (i) The child is regularly and lawfully employed and either the parent agrees that the child should not be required to attend school or the child is emancipated in accordance with chapter 13.64 RCW;

    (ii) The child has already met graduation requirements in accordance with state board of education rules and regulations; or

    (iii) The child has received a certificate of educational competence under rules and regulations established by the state board of education under RCW 28A.305.190.

    (2) A parent for the purpose of this chapter means a parent, guardian, or person having legal custody of a child.

    (3) An approved private school for the purposes of this chapter and chapter 28A.200 RCW shall be one approved under regulations established by the state board of education pursuant to RCW 28A.305.130.

    (4) For the purposes of this chapter and chapter 28A.200 RCW, instruction shall be home-based if it consists of planned and supervised instructional and related educational activities, including a curriculum and instruction in the basic skills of occupational education, science, mathematics, language, social studies, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, and the development of an appreciation of art and music, provided for a number of hours equivalent to the total annual program hours per grade level established for approved private schools under RCW 28A.195.010 and 28A.195.040 and if such activities are:

    (a) Provided by a parent who is instructing his or her child only and are supervised by a certificated person.  A certificated person for purposes of this chapter and chapter 28A.200 RCW shall be a person certified under chapter 28A.410 RCW.  For purposes of this section, "supervised by a certificated person" means:  The planning by the certificated person and the parent of objectives consistent with this subsection; a minimum each month of an average of one contact hour per week with the child being supervised by the certificated person; and evaluation of such child's progress by the certificated person.  The number of children supervised by the certificated person shall not exceed thirty for purposes of this subsection; or

    (b) Provided by a parent who is instructing his or her child only and who has either earned forty-five college level quarter credit hours or its equivalent in semester hours or has completed a course in home-based instruction at a postsecondary institution or a vocational-technical institute; or

    (c) Provided by a parent who is deemed sufficiently qualified to provide home-based instruction by the superintendent of the local school district in which the child resides.

    (5) The legislature recognizes that home-based instruction is less structured and more experiential than the instruction normally provided in a classroom setting.  Therefore, the provisions of subsection (4) of this section relating to the nature and quantity of instructional and related educational activities shall be liberally construed.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  RCW 28A.225.015 (Attendance mandatory--Six or seven year olds--Unexcused absences--Petition) and 1999 c 319 s 6 are each repealed.


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