OLYMPIA, Washington – The Washington State House of Representatives approved a bill Thursday sponsored by Rep. Skyler Rude (R-Walla Walla) to help reduce the stigma associated with alternative learning experiences.
Alternative learning programs allow students to fulfill public education requirements outside of the traditional classroom. Rude’s House Bill 1674 would change the term “alternative” to “personalized” in state statute.
Rude says the change in terminology is the result of a parent’s concern that the term “alternative” may have taken on a negative connotation for students participating in these programs.
“Names matter,” Rude said. “The term ‘alternative’ signals to students who participate in these courses that what they’re doing is ‘different,’ and that can sometimes make students feel isolated from their peers. House Bill 1674 helps reduce the stigma associated with these programs, and I hope it will encourage more students to pursue nontraditional education courses when appropriate. Children and parents need choice when it comes to education during the formative years of a student’s life, and these personalized learning experiences are a great option for students who may not excel in a traditional classroom setting or who want hands-on experience that will help them later on in their careers.”
The bill now advances to the Senate for its consideration.