< Back to blog archive

Week in Review: March 16-20


Week in Review for March 16–20

House Education

Monday afternoon, the House Education Committee held a work session on the shortage of substitute teachers. Capitol Region ESD 113 Superintendent Dr. Dana Anderson presented information about the decline in teacher production, the aging teacher workforce, and its impact on principals and professional development. In addition to the work session, the Committee held a public hearing on three bills:

SB 5941 - Adjuncts/substitute teachers which requires the PESB to adopt rules that provide for the issuance of substitute certificate to adjunct faculty.

SB 5120 - School district dissolutions which changes the requirements for dissolving a school district from enrollment off five K–8 students to an average of five in the preceding three school years.

SB 5316 - Identifiable student information which limits the collection and use of student biometric information

Tuesday afternoon, the House Education Committee held a work session on the timing of third grade tests where central office staff of the Tumwater, North Thurston, and Olympia school districts provided feedback before the Committee held a public hearing on three bills:

ESSB 5803 - Concerning the notification of parents when their children are below basic on the third grade statewide English language arts assessment. AWSP testified in support of the bill.

SB 5805 - Concerning conflict resolution programs in schools and includes statewide dispute resolution organizations in developing a volunteer-based conflict resolution program.

E2SSB 5688 - Providing students with skills that promote mental health and well-being and increase academic performance by requiring OSPI to convene a work group to develop social emotional learning benchmarks.

Thursday, the Committee heard a Special Education Task Force report and then held a public hearing on SB 5679 which addresses transition planning to postsecondary settings for students with disabilities as early as the age of 14.

Senate Early Learning & K–12 Education

Monday, the Committee held a public hearing on five bills.

E2SHB 1541 - Implementing strategies to close the educational opportunity gap, based on the recommendations of the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight And Accountability Committee. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

SHB 1295 - Concerning breakfast after the bell programs and requires high-needs schools to offer breakfast after the bell and has start-up grants of $6,000 to help implement the bill. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

ESHB 1495 - Enacting the student user privacy in education rights act. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

SHB 1570 - Creating flexibility for the educator retooling conditional scholarship program and now includes special education, bilingual education, ELL, computer science and environmental education. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

SHB 1031 - Expanding participation in college in the high school programs to include tenth grade students. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

Tuesday, the Committee held a public hearing on seven bills.

SHB 1121 - Regarding the financial education public-private partnership and requires school districts to provide students in grades 9–12 the opportunity to access the financial education standards. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

HB 1003 - Concerning the development of a model policy on natural disaster school infrastructure recovery. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

SHB 1511 - Requiring Washington’s tribal history, culture, and government to be taught in the common schools.

SHB 1408 - Concerning the development of a definition and model for “family engagement coordinator” and other terms used interchangeably with it. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

SHB 1783 - Expanding dual language and bilingual instruction for early learners through secondary students by creating a grant program.

SHB 1562 - Requiring posting of allergen information in public schools in prominent place within each area where food is served. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

HB 1865 – Requiring the visual screening in schools to include both distance and near vision screening. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

Thursday, the Committee held a public hearing on nine bills.

HB 1142 - Modifying school district authority with respect to student parking and authorizes a school board to establish and collect a fee from students. AWSP testified in support of the bill.

HB 1345 - Adopting a statewide definition and standards of professional learning. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

2SHB 1682 - Concerning homeless students and requires OSPI to include data for homeless students in its report. It also creates a competitive grant process.

HB 1770 - Changing explicit alternative routes to teacher certification program requirements to expectations for program outcomes. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

SHB 1813 – Requiring OSPI to adopt computer science learning standards and PESB to develop standards for k–12 computer science endorsement. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

2SHB 1999 - Coordinating services and programs for foster youth in order to improve educational outcomes.

HB 2023 - Changing the deadline for notices of non-renewal of contracts for certificated school employees from May 15 to June 15 if the Legislature has not passed a budget by the end of the regular session. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

SHB 1149 - Providing for educational data on students from military families to be collected and submitted to OSPI.

SHB 1240 – Prohibiting schools from physically restraining or isolating a student except when the student’s behavior poses an imminent likelihood of serious harm to self or others. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

Senate Ways & Means

On Wednesday, the Committee held a work session on three education funding issues.

Teacher Preparation and Capacity – Jennifer Wallace of the PESB provided a review of teacher production and capacity. Included in her report were statistics indicating the number of applicants to teacher preparation programs has declined significantly in Washington state.

K–12 Compensation – Committee staff provided a thorough review of K–12 compensation. Part of their report was about statewide average salaries of administrative staff which showed that in 2014, the average salary for administrators was $112,328 with the state paying only $59,954 of that salary.

School District Levies - The staff presentation included a brief discussion of the approaching “levy cliff,” due to the automatic reduction of four percent of school districts’ levy authority in 2017–18. A potential “levy swap,” discussion showed the state currently is collecting around $2.25 per $1,000 assessed value of the available $3.60 per $1,000 assessed value for the State Property Tax (which is dedicated to schools).

Thursday, the Committee held a public hearing on SB 6080 to deal with financing public school facilities necessary to support state-funded all-day kindergarten and class size reduction in kindergarten through third grade. It makes an appropriation of $240 million per biennium for three biennium’s to either build schools or provide modular or portable classrooms.