Section 2: General requirements

Rule Text

(2) General requirements: A school district must meet the requirements of this section to count an alternative learning experience as a course of study pursuant to WAC 392-121-107. This section applies solely to school districts claiming state funding pursuant to WAC 392-121-107 for an alternative learning experience. It is not intended to apply to alternative learning experiences funded exclusively with federal or local resources.


This subsection makes clear that in order to be considered a course of study eligible for state basic education funding, an ALE must meet the requirements of this section. It also makes clear the applicability of the section to only state-funded ALE.

ALE students are included in the district-wide annual average instructional offering requirements in RCW 28A.150.220. Districts have two options to meet the requirements:

  • Districts must provide at least 1,080 instructional hours to students in grades 9-12 and 1,000 instructional hours to students in grades 1-8.
  • The instructional hours may be calculated by a school district using a district-wide annual average of instructional hours over grades 1-12 to reach 1027 hours.

For kindergarten students, districts must provide at least 450 instructional hours.

Districts should include ALE programs in their calculation of district-wide annual average instructional hours, based on the average estimated hours written into full-time student WSLPs.

  • 1000 hours of instruction equates to 27 hours and 45 minutes weekly.
  • 1027 hours of instruction equates to 28 hours and 30 minutes weekly.
  • 1080 hours of instruction equates to 30 hours weekly.

ALE programs may need to write WSLPs to include more than 25 hours/week in order to ensure the district-wide annual average doesn’t fall below the requirements but hours cannot exceed the amount of hours available at the traditional school setting.

ALE hours in excess of 25 hours/week may also be required in order to meet the high-school credit requirements in RCW 28A.150.220 and RCW 28A.230.090.

Last updated: 04/24/2017

Common Questions

Q. Can I charge families directly for certain ALE courses (online, remote, or site-based) when I don’t want to claim basic education for the course?

A. These rules apply only for ALE courses claimed for state general apportionment funding. The rules don’t explicitly authorize or limit district practices related to courses or services offered to a student outside the student’s state-funded full-time equivalency.

Note also that students cannot be charged for courses claimed for state funding or for courses that are a part of the student's free basic education.

Last updated: 8/19/2013

Q. Is summer school exempt from ALE requirements?

A. If you are not claiming ALE funding in the summer, you don't need to follow the ALE rules.

Last updated: 5/20/2013

Q. How do the truancy laws apply to ALE students?

A. If a student does not have contact with a certificated teacher for five consecutive school days without valid justification, you should be thinking about your truancy procedures and the Becca Bill. OSPI guidance on ALE student truancy can be found in this memo posted on November 5, 2013. Additionally, if a student does not have direct personal contact with a certificated teacher for twenty consecutive school days, you cannot claim funding for the student, as stated in section 7b of the ALE rules.

Last updated: 11/06/2013

Q. Are students in Alternative Learning Experiences (ALE) receiving basic education?

A. Yes, ALE is a delivery model for basic education. Therefore, all ALE courses and programs must meet the requirements of basic education in order to claim state funding.

Last updated: 04/17/2017

Relevant Forms or Samples