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2015 Education Bills


Session Wrap-up & Look Ahead

2014 was a sprint; 2015 was supposed to be a 10K and ended up being a marathon. It took 176 days and three special sessions to complete the work of what was supposed to be a 105-day session. Governor Inslee signed the 2015–17 operating budget on July 29 and it includes $1.3 billion to address the McCleary decision. I–1351 is now suspended for four years while the implementation of the biology assessment graduation requirement is delayed for two years. The Legislature will provide a report to the Washington Supreme Court by the end of July trying to explain how much progress has been made in funding K–12 education, while also explaining why the new budget will cause an increased reliance on local levies in many districts.

K–12 Education Bills that Passed of Interest to Principals Bills

SHB 1240: CONCERNING RESTRAINT OR ISOLATION OF STUDENTS, INCLUDING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES, IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

  • States that restraint or isolation of any student is permitted only when reasonably necessary to control spontaneous behavior that poses an imminent likelihood of serious harm.
  • Requires the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to establish criteria for the use of positive behavior interventions instead of aversive interventions.
  • Provides that an individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 plan may include the use of restraint or isolation as a planned behavior intervention if a student’s individual needs require more specific advanced educational planning and the student’s parent or guardian agrees.
  • Directs school districts to submit reports regarding restraint or isolation, and directs OSPI to publish this data.

E2SHB 1546: CONCERNING DUAL CREDIT OPPORTUNITIES PROVIDED BY WASHINGTON STATE’S PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION

  • Expands eligibility for College in the High School (CHS) to tenth-grade students and requires schools to provide information about the program to students in grades nine through twelve.
  • Requires Running Start courses to be open to college students at the participating institution of higher education and eliminates Running Start courses offered in a high school consisting solely of high school students.
  • Allows GET (Guaranteed Education Tuition) units to be used to pay fees for Running Start and CHS.
  • Creates prioritized subsidies and per fee credit limits for CHS programs, subject to appropriation.

ESHB 1570: CREATING FLEXIBILITY FOR THE EDUCATOR RETOOLING CONDITIONAL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

  • Specifies that teachers and certain certificated educators pursuing endorsements in the listed subjects may qualify for the Educator Retooling Conditional Scholarship Program. Adds a preference for scholarship applicants seeking additional bilingual education or English language learner (ELL) endorsements if they are assigned to schools in need of improvement or with high ELL populations.

SHB 1813: EXPANDING COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION

  • Requires the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to adopt computer science learning standards developed by a nationally recognized computer science education organization by the 2015–16 school year.
  • Tasks the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) with developing standards for a K–12 computer science endorsement for teachers.
  • States that teachers may receive an educator retooling conditional scholarship to pursue an endorsement in a subject or geographic endorsement shortage area, as defined by PESB.

ESSB 5083: ENACTING THE SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST AWARENESS ACT

  • Specifies that Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) work with certain organizations to create an online pamphlet regarding sudden cardiac arrest, which youth athletes and families must review before participating in athletic activity.
  • Requires WIAA and certain organizations to make available an existing online sudden cardiac arrest prevention program, which coaches must complete every three years.
  • Mandates that private nonprofit organizations using school property provide a statement of compliance with these policies.

SSB 5163: PROVIDING FOR EDUCATIONAL DATA ON STUDENTS FROM MILITARY FAMILIES

  • Requires school districts to report data on students from military families using federal guidelines with certain modifications.
  • Tasks the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction with conducting an analysis of the average number of students from military families who are special education students and reporting to the appropriate committees of the Legislature.

SSB 5202: REGARDING THE FINANCIAL EDUCATION PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP

  • Requires the Financial Education Public-Private Partnership (Partnership) to work with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to integrate financial skills and content knowledge into the existing state learning standards and adopts standards in K–12 personal finance developed by a national coalition as the state financial education learning standards.
  • Requires OSPI to make available a list of materials that align with the financial education standards and requires school districts to provide access to the standards to students in grades nine through twelve.
  • Adds the State Treasurer or the Treasurer’s designee as a member of the Partnership and allows the Partnership to pay travel expenses and substitute costs for appointed teachers to attend official meetings of the Partnership.

SSB 5294: CONCERNING SCHOOL LIBRARY AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS

  • Renames school library media programs to school library information and technology programs.
  • Lists several duties of teacher-librarians.

ESB 5419: ENACTING THE STUDENT USER PRIVACY IN EDUCATION RIGHTS ACT

  • Requires school service providers take specified actions to protect the personal information of students. School service means a website, mobile application, or online service that meets certain requirements.
  • Specifies that school service providers make privacy policies available and provide prominent notice before making material changes to their policies.
  • Limits the collection, use, and sharing of student personal information, including prohibitions against selling this information and targeted advertising.
  • Mandates that school service providers maintain a comprehensive information security program.

SSB 5433: REQUIRING WASHINGTON’S TRIBAL HISTORY, CULTURE, AND GOVERNMENT TO BE TAUGHT IN THE COMMON SCHOOLS

  • Requires school districts to incorporate the history, culture, and government of the nearest federally recognized Indian tribe(s) into the social studies curriculum.
  • Directs schools districts to use curriculum developed by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
  • Permits school districts to modify the OSPI curriculum to include a regionally specific focus.

SSB 5679: CONCERNING TRANSITION SERVICES FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS

  • Establishes that transition services must be addressed in a transition plan for a student with disabilities as soon as educationally and developmentally appropriate, and annually updated.
  • Requires transition planning be based on educationally appropriate transition assessments that outline the student’s needs, strengths, preferences, and interests.
  • Provides that transition services include activities to assist the student reach postsecondary goals and courses of study to support the goals.

SSB 5721: CONCERNING THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE EXPANDED LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES COUNCIL

  • Increases the membership of the Expanded Learning Opportunities Council (Council) to include a person selected by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to represent low-income communities or communities of color; a person selected by the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee; and a representative of the statewide association of public libraries.
  • Allows other participants, agencies, organizations, or individuals to be invited to participate in the Council.

ESSB 5803: CONCERNING THE NOTIFICATION OF PARENTS WHEN THEIR CHILDREN ARE BELOW BASIC ON THE THIRD GRADE STATEWIDE ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS ASSESSMENT

  • Changes the timing and participants in a required meeting with parents of third grade students who are reading below grade level.
  • Requires that if no meeting occurs then the principal must notify the student’s parents of the improvement options available and the school district’s grade placement policy.
  • Provides that if the school principal and parent cannot agree on the appropriate grade placement and improvement strategies, the parent’s request will be honored.

SB 5805: CONCERNING CONFLICT RESOLUTION PROGRAMS IN SCHOOLS

  • Adds statewide dispute resolution organizations to the list of developers of a volunteer-based conflict resolution and mediation program for use in community groups, such as schools.
  • Includes certified mediators, in addition to lawyers, as trainers for the program.

SB 6145: DELAYING FOR TWO YEARS THE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION REQUIREMENT OF MEETING THE STATE STANDARD ON THE HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE

  • Delays, for two years, the requirement that a student meet the state standard on the statewide science assessment or an alternative In order to earn a Certificate of Academic Achievement for purposes of high school graduation.