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Week in Review: February 16-20


House Education

Prior to the first major cutoff date of the 2015 legislative session, 32 bills moved out of the House Education Committee. Five bills that continue to churn through the process important to principals include:

HB 1785 – Eliminating the certificate of academic achievement as a requirement for high school graduation.

HB 2023 - Changing the deadline for notices of non-renewal of contracts for certificated school employees.

HB 1240 – Concerning restraint or isolation of students in public schools.

HB 1541 – Implementing strategies to close the educational opportunity gap.

HB 1142 – Modifying school district authority with respect to student parking.

One of the bills that is not currently alive is HB 1941, which would have allowed bond issues to pass with a simple majority vote rather than the current 60% requirement.

Monday, the House Education Committee held a public hearing on seven bills impacting principals.

HB 1947 - Establishing a comprehensive plan to expand learning opportunities and improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities or special needs using multiple strategies and statewide partnerships. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

HB 1971 - Concerning charter schools.

HB 1974 - Creating a pilot program to implement regional school safety and security centers. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

HB 2023 - Changing the deadline for notices of non-renewal of contracts for certificated school employees. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

HB 2037 - Requiring mental health assessments for K–12 students who were removed from school due to violence or mental health issues. AWSP signed in pro with concerns about the bills fiscal impact.

HB 1941 - Providing for a simple majority of voters voting to authorize school district bonds at general elections. AWSP signed in support of the bill.

HJR 4210 - Amending the Constitution to provide for a simple majority of voters voting to authorize school district bonds at general elections. AWSP signed in support.

Tuesday, 12 bills moved out of the Committee while eight waited until Thursday for action. Those moving forward included:

HB 1149 - Providing for educational data on students from military families.

HB 1240 - Concerning restraint or isolation of students, including students with disabilities, in public schools.

HB 1541 - Implementing strategies to close the educational opportunity gap, based on the recommendations of the educational opportunity gap oversight and accountability committee.

HB 1546 - Concerning dual credit opportunities provided by Washington state’s public institutions of higher education.

HB 1591 - Concerning high school and beyond plans.

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

HB 1682 - Improving educational outcomes for homeless students through increased in-school guidance supports, housing stability, and identification services.

HB 1714 - Concerning the achievement index rating system.

HB 1760 - Providing students with skills that promote mental health and well-being and increase academic performance.

HB 1783 - Expanding dual language and bilingual instruction for early learners through secondary students.

HB 1790 - Clarifying the authority of a nurse working in a school setting.

HB 1804 - Concerning the confidentiality of educator professional growth plans.

Thursday morning, the House Education held an executive session and moved 21 bills forward to either the Rules Committee or the Ways & Means Committee. Fifteen of the votes were either unanimous or with two or fewer nonconforming voting. The bills that were the most controversial were:

HB 1562 - Requiring posting of allergen information in public schools. (Sullivan) 11–10

HB 1785 - Eliminating the certificate of academic achievement as a requirement for high school graduation. (Reykdal) 14 – 7

HB 2048 - Concerning the division of large first-class school districts. (Santos) 16–5

HB 1771 - Confirming that the professional educator standards board is an authorized representative of the state educational agencies. (Gregory) 17–4

HB 1947 - Establishing a comprehensive plan to expand learning opportunities and improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities or special needs using multiple strategies and statewide partnerships. (Pollet) 18–3

HB 1492 - Addressing technology literacy. (Magendanz) 18–3

The following bills all moved on with little discussion, amendments, or no votes:

HB 1813 - Expanding computer science education. (Hansen/Robin Hammond)

HB 1855 - Waiving local graduation requirements for certain students. (Caldier)

HB 1864 - Supporting evidence-based strategies to promote high school graduation. (Kilduff)

HB 1900 - Defining the role of the school counselor, social worker, and psychologist. (Ortiz-Self)

HB 1142 - Modifying school district authority with respect to student parking. (Wilcox)

HB 1345 - Adopting a definition and standards of professional learning. (Lytton)

HB 1408 - Concerning the development of a definition and model for “family engagement coordinator” and other terms used interchangeably with it. (Ortiz-Self)

HB 1568 - Concerning dropout prevention through engaging youth in farming. (Reykdal)

HB 1570 - Creating flexibility for the educator retooling conditional scholarship program. (Gregory)

HB 1770 - Changing explicit alternative routes to teacher certification program requirements to expectations for program outcomes. (Bergquist)

HB 1865 - Concerning visual screening in schools. (Magendanz)

HB 1974 - Creating a pilot program to implement regional school safety and security centers. (Stambaugh)

HB 2023 - Changing the deadline for notices of nonrenewal of contracts for certificated school employees. (Parker)

HB 1331 - Concerning school library and technology programs. (Muri)

HB 1495 - Enacting the student user privacy in education rights act. (Reykdal)

Senate Early Learning & K–12 Committee

Twenty additional bills have moved out of the Senate Early Learning & K–12 Committee this week, while all others are considered “dead” at this point. Five that are still alive that will impact the work of principals include:

SB 5744 - Regarding school employee workforce reductions and assignments was that bill. If there was a RIF due to enrollment or revenue loss, past performance evaluations are the basis for determining the order are non-renewed. It also calls for a provision that a teacher may be assigned to a particular school only with the mutual agreement of the hiring principal and teacher (school-based hiring).

SB 5748 – Requires teachers and principals where reading, language arts or math federally mandated statewide assessments are administered to have results included in their evaluations.

SB 5803 - Requires teachers, during spring meetings with parents of students in third grade, to inform the parents or guardians of students who are below grade-level in reading of the following: 1. The intensive reading improvement strategies available to students before fourth grade; and 2. The school district’s grade placement policy for the following year.

SB 5850 – Prohibits schools from physically restraining or isolating any student except when the student’s behavior poses an imminent likelihood of serious harm to that student or another person.

SB 5908 - Prohibits schools from physically restraining or isolating a student except when the student’s behavior poses an imminent likelihood of serious harm to that student or another person.

Monday, the Committee held a public hearing on eight bills that could impact the work of principals:

SB 5803 - 3rd grade English assessment and notification of parents. AWSP testified in support of the bill that allows spring meetings with parents to inform them about the students who are below grade-level reading and what improvement strategies are available.

SB 5850 – Prohibits schools from physically restraining or isolating any student except when the student’s behavior poses an imminent likelihood of serious harm to that student or another person.

SB 5908 – Requires the WSSDA to adopt a model policy limiting restraint or isolation of students in public schools.

SB 5905 - Special education services. AWSP signed in support of the bill that creates a state advisory council at OSPI for special education.

SB 5907 –Provides a sales and use tax exemption on the sales of technology to, and the of technology in, public schools.

SB 5941 – Allows adjunct faculty to be certified as substitute teachers.

SB 5966 – Extends the time a school board must grant academic course equivalency in math or science for high school CTE from the list of courses approved by the SBE.

Tuesday, the Committee took public testimony on four bills and then moved another 12 bills out of the committee.

Public Hearing: SB 5856 - Creating a competitive grant program for high-quality, evidence-based outreach programs that improve high school graduation rates for college bound scholarship students. AWSP signed in support of the bill. AWSP signed in pro on the bills.

SB 5930 - Requiring music education in elementary schools. AWSP testified with concerns because the bill requires 100 minutes of music education per week but does not add any time to the school day.

SB 5942 - Concerning an outcome evaluation of the national guard youth challenge program.

SB 5787 - Concerning a model policy and procedures for language access by limited-English proficient parents of students.

SB 5908 - Prohibits schools from physically restraining or isolating a student except when the student’s behavior poses an imminent likelihood of serious harm to that student or another person.

Executive Session:

All 12 bills moved to either the Rules or Ways & Means Committee, with only one bill having less than 8 of 9 yes votes (SB 5744).

SB 5744 - Regarding school employee workforce reductions and assignments was that bill. If there was a RIF due to enrollment or revenue loss, past performance evaluations are the basis for determining the order are non-renewed. It also calls for a provision that a teacher may be assigned to a particular school only with the mutual agreement of the hiring principal and teacher (school-based hiring).

SB 5419 - Enacting the student user privacy in education rights act.

SB 5526 - Preventing harassment, intimidation, and bullying in public schools.

SB 5657 - Creating a pilot program to encourage school districts to extend the school day to provide homework assistance to middle schools.

SB 5679 - Concerning transition services for special education students.

SB 5452 - Improving quality in the early care and education system.

SB 5098 - Increasing efficiency in child care reporting.

SB 5688 - Providing students with skills that promote mental health and well-being and increase academic performance.

SB 5721 - Concerning the membership of the expanded learning opportunities council.

SB 5805 - Concerning conflict resolution programs in schools.

SB 5748 - Clarifying the teacher and principal evaluation process with the intent of strengthening the process.

SB 5517 - Concerning sexual harassment prevention and response through policies and training in schools.

Thursday

The Committee held a public hearing on one bill, SB 5922, which requires school districts to make a variety of services available to students who participate in the highly capable program.

Afterward, eight bills were moved out of the Committee and on to the Senate Rules or Ways and Means Committee. They included:

SB 5787 - Concerning a model policy and procedures for language access by limited-English proficient parents of students.

SB 5803 - Concerning the notification of parents when their children are below basic on the third grade statewide English language arts assessment.

SB 5856 - Creating a competitive grant program for high-quality, evidence-based outreach programs that improve high school graduation rates for college bound scholarship students.

SB 5879 - Concerning early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.

SB 5907 - Creating a sales and use tax exemption for technology sold to, or used in, public schools.

SB 5908 - Concerning restraint or isolation of students, including students with disabilities, in public schools.

SB 5941 - Concerning certification of adjunct faculty as common school substitute teachers.

SB 5942 - Concerning an outcome evaluation of the national guard youth challenge program.