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Week in Review: February 2-6


House Education

Monday, an amended version of HB 1031 moved to the Rules Committee. HB 1031 expands participation in College in the High School programs to include tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grade students.

HB 1121 moved on to the Rules Committee as well. As the bill is currently drafted, it requires OSPI to make financial education curriculum available to school districts and requires school districts to provide high school students with the opportunity to complete a financial education course.

Monday afternoon, the Committee held a public hearing on five bills of interest to principals:

  1. HB 1331 concerns school library and technology programs and changes the name of School Library Media Programs to School Library Information and Technology programs as well as outlines ways teacher-librarians may collaborate with their schools to serve students and staff.
  2. HB 1345 adopts a definition and standard of professional learning but does not include any funding for professional learning.
  3. HB 1408 develops a definition and model for “family engagement coordinator.” AWSP testified in support of the bill and asked that principals be included in the work group to create a definition of family engagement coordinator and other terms used interchangeably with it. The prime sponsor plans to add language to add other stakeholders to the group.
  4. HB 1492 calls for school district to require elementary, middle, and high school students to demonstrate technology literacy and fluency. AWSP spoke against the proposal because school technology needs and staff development need to be addressed prior to measuring students on technology literacy and fluency.
  5. HB 1562 requires public schools to display allergen information on a conspicuous sign in a prominent place within each area where food is served. It has been reported by some that each sign will cost $25.

Tuesday afternoon, the Committee took public testimony on five bills, three of which dealt with eliminating the requirement to obtain a certificate of academic achievement.

HB 1785 is request legislation by OSPI with prime sponsor Representaive Reykdal (D-Olympia) and 31 others. AWSP testified in support of this bill , which:

  • Eliminates the requirement that a student obtain a Certificate of Academic Achievement (CAA) or Certificate of Individual Achievement (CIA) to graduate from a public high school.

  • Strikes language referring to legislative intent to transition from the biology end of course (EOC) to a more comprehensive science assessment.

  • Eliminates the transition period between administration of current assessments and those developed with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), and removes the requirement that the Superintendent of Public Instruction develop assessments for use during the transition period.

  • Requires students in the twelfth grade who do achieve a level one or two on the mathematics or English Language Arts assessments SBAC to take and pass a locally determined course in that content area, preferably a “high school transition course” which is defined.

  • Sets forth requirements for the High School and Beyond Plan, while retaining local district discretion with respect to whether a student has met this requirement.

HB 1703 is governor request legislation with two sponsors that:

  • Provides that after the 2014–15 school year the state will no longer administer the mathematics End of Course (EOC) assessments or the tenth grade assessment for reading and writing or English Language Arts (ELA).
  • Requires that the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) provide guidelines for administering objective alternatives to the assessments, rather than develop options for implementing objective alternative assessments and directs school districts to implement the objective alternatives, including evaluation of the Collection of Evidence (COE) which is to be evaluated at the district level.
  • Provides an additional objective alternative in the form of college readiness transition courses for mathematics, English and science.

HB 1363 completely eliminates the requirement to obtain a certificate of academic achievement or certificate of individual achievement to graduate from high school. It has 21 sponsors both D’s and R’s.

HB 1497 deals with the Seattle School District and would allow the mayor to appoint two of the seven school board members rather than have them elected by the voters.

HB 1386 address school employee workforce reductions using past performance evaluations to determine the order in which certificated staff (teachers and ESA positions) are nonrenewed. AWSP spoke against the bill in part because the new evaluation system has not been fully operationalized across the state and within districts that the data available is not yet valid and reliable. WEA testified that recently passed legislation requires that evaluation data must be used beginning in 2015–16 on all personnel decisions.

Senate Early Learning & K–12 Education Committee
Monday afternoon, the Committee held public hearing on three bills of interest to principals.

SB 5391 is Professional Educator Standard Board request legislation to require the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges, in consultation with PESB must select up to five community or technical college sites to develop and offer applied baccalaureate programs in education that lead to teacher certification by the Fall 2016. AWSP testified in support of the bill but asked that it be amended to focus the programs where there are currently a shortage of teachers within specific content areas such as SPED, ELL, science and math.

SB 5419 is sponsored by eight of the nine members of the committee so it is expected to move forward at a later date. The bill deals with student privacy and address the issue that there are not Washington or federal laws that limit the sharing of personal student information by other entities to provide services to school and have access to personal student information. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

SB 5517 addressed sexual harassment prevention and response by calling for additional polices and training in schools. As currently written it requires:

  • A school district’s sexual harassment policy to be in clearly understandable language and be provided to administrators, certificated staff, classified staff, and parents or guardians, as well as students in secondary schools.
  • Administrators, certificated staff, and classified staff, upon hiring, to sign a statement of receipt and agreement with the sexual harassment policy.
  • AWSP testified in support of the concept but asked for clarifying “clearly understandable language” because the understanding of a seventh grade ELL student and an parent with advanced degrees could open up legal issues for schools.

Senate Early Learning & K–12 Education

Thursday morning, the Committee took public testimony on six bills that would impact schools in Washington.

SB 5688 creates a study group to determine how to implement social emotional learning for grades K–12. AWSP testified in support of the bill but asked that professional learning be included in the implementation section of the final report.

SB 5679 addresses transition planning to post-secondary setting for students with disabilities as early as age fourteen. AWSP signed in support.

SB 5657 creates a pilot program to encourage school districts to extend the school day to provide homework assistance to middle schools. It is patterned after a program in Issaquah School District and funded by the Issaquah Education Foundation. AWSP testified in support of the bill but called for evaluation criteria to be added to the bill to determine if the pilots are successful. It is anticipated there would be approximately 25 pilots funded at approximately $10,000 each.

SB 5526 requires school districts to adopt or amend a transgender student policy and procedure by August 1, 2016 and it calls for OSPI to review and align the questions in the Healthy Youth Survey dealing with transgender student policy and procedures.

SB 5690 concerns school-community learning assistance program (LAP) action plans.

Later in the hearing, the Committee moved into executive session and moved four bills forward:

SB 5202 relates to the financial education public-private partnership and requires districts to high school students the opportunity to complete financial education course equivalent to one-half credit.

SB 5229 requires school districts to require students to demonstrate technology literacy and fluency through technology assessments , culminating project or other equivalent methods. The bill was sent to the Ways & Means Committee.

SB 5312 creates flexibility for the educator retooling conditional scholarship program and was sent to the Rules Committee.

SB 5433 requires Washington’s tribal history, culture and government to be taught in schools by working with tribes within or near school districts when reviewing or adopting social students curriculum.

House Education

Thursday morning, the Committee held a public hearing on four bills:

SB 1591 requires each student to have a high school and beyond plan developed in the eighth grade to prepare students for post-secondary education or training and career. OSPI must work with school counselors to develop and disseminate best practices for quality plans. AWSP requested a principal be a part of the planning group since the plan will involve everyone in a building. AWSP also warned that with the plan being developed in the eighth grade year, more counselor time would need to be provided to ensure the plan is meaningful for students.

SB 1495 establishes the student user privacy in education rights act or SUPER act. AWSP signed in support of the proposed legislation.

SB 1546 modifies the College in the High School program and the Running Start program and adds a per credit subsidy for CHS for free or reduced-price lunch. It also requires Running Start courses to be open to matriculated students of the participating institution of higher education. AWSP signed in support.

HB 1666 makes the results on statewide assessments available as norm-referenced results and as student growth percentiles.