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Monday, January 26 Hearing Notes

Monday Hearings

House Education

During the House Education Committee meeting on Monday, January 26th, AWSP testified in support of HB 1142, which modifies school district authority with respect to student parking. AWSP staff Marty Fortin worked with the prime sponsor, Representative Wilcox (R-Yelm), to craft legislation clarifying that school ASB’s may use student parking fees to support student activities.

AWSP testified in support of HB 1240 (student restraint and isolation) with concerns about Section 3b, which states in part, “restraint or isolation of any student is permitted only when reasonably necessary to control unpredicted, spontaneous behavior that poses an imminent likelihood of serious harm.” The challenge for teachers and principals will be after a student, typically a primary-aged child, has hit, bit, thrown, or similar for several times, the behavior could be considered predictable and the plan devised is not working. An amendment will be suggested to remove the word “unpredicted” from Section 3B.

AWSP testified with concerns about HB 1293 (paraeducators training). The bill includes 13 recommendations for training and certification of paraeducators, including the recommendation of requiring training of principals and teachers on how to work effectively with paraeducators. In testimony, AWSP called for full funding of schools prior to adding additional requirements to school staff. A memo from AWSP staff going into more detail was given to the 21 members of the House Education Committee.

The House Education Committee held an executive session and moved HB 1003 out of committee. This bill requires the Washington State School Directors’ Association to develop a model policy addressing the restoration of the safe learning environment that is disrupted by natural disaster impact to the school district infrastructure and distribute the policy to districts by August 31, 2016. This bill is in response to lessons learned from the landslide that occurred last year in Oso.

Senate Early Learning and K–12 Education Committee

Monday afternoon, the Committee held a work session on Early Achievers, a program to prepare children for success in school. They heard that 2,243 licensed child care providers (42%) participated in the Early Achievers program. There was also a public hearing on two bills dealing with early childhood education: SB 5098 (child care reporting) and SB 5462 (comprehensive changes to early childhood care & reporting requirements).