Braun bill allowing private-school online courses receives public hearing in House

Today the state House Education Committee heard testimony from Sen. John Braun regarding Senate Bill 5496, the measure he introduced that would give private schools the same ability to offer online school programs as public schools. The bill would help schools like Centralia Christian School and St. Joseph Catholic School, in the 20th Legislative District Braun represents.

“I am glad to see this bill received consideration in the House,” said Braun, R-Centralia. “This bill is about offering more choices for families that are interested in placing their children in private schools.”

20130313_LEGWA_3663shThe bill would help more than 100,000 private or homeschooled students in Washington by removing the obstacles currently facing private schools interested in offering an online program. According to Dr. Gary Udd, principal of St. Joseph Catholic School in Chehalis, this bill also helps create more options for students with unique learning styles.

“There is more than one way to learn. Sitting in a classroom for an  hour is perfectly fine for most students, but not for all. I am very supportive of this bill,” Udd said.

Officials from some private schools have suggested they may be able  to lower tuition by offering online school programs.

“This bill restores parity between public and private schools,” said Braun. “This is all about making sure our children have options that fit their learning style or family needs.”