by Amy Tjaden
Homeschool.com News Editor
There are two homeschooling bills working their way through the senate in Washington. The bills concern homeschoolers and public record laws.
Homeschoolers have asked that their registration forms be exempt from state disclosure laws. So far there has been no opposition to the bills.
State education officials say the number of homeschoolers in the state is around 20,000. That number may be higher since not all districts report homeschooling numbers. Some have estimated the number may actually be double that.
Those who spoke in favor of the bill said that some homeschoolers may not be registering for fear that their information could be shared with the public. Most homeschooling forms ask for children’s names, ages, address and phone number; with some districts asking for more detailed information such as social security numbers.
Some agencies do not oppose the bills simply because there are other ways of getting the same information. Rowland Thompson of Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington said that he doesn’t oppose the bills because the information found in the declaration of intent to homeschool can be obtained through other means.
I’m not sure about you but I find Mr. Thompson’s words rather ominous. Our information is out there and someone is going to get it no matter what. However, other than identity theft, I’m not sure why anyone would want that information.
DiAnna Brannan, a lobbyist for the Christian Homeschool Network of Washington and supporter of the bills, expressed concern that someone could use the forms to find out where moms and children are home alone.
The second bill in question would prevent school districts from sending unsolicited mail concerning learning programs to homeschoolers.
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