We’ve had a great advocacy week thanks to so many of our AWSP members reaching out to meet with their legislators. I have enjoyed the Zoom meetings and email exchanges as principals have been getting prepped for these important conversations and I’ve been able to Zoom into several regional meetings to share a legislative update. Our voice is always needed across the state to help those creating policy ensure that the right decisions are being made for students. If you have specific questions or want to get involved with advocacy, let me know.
The big budget news this week is that HB 1368 passed the Senate and is now on its way to Governor Inslee for his signature. Superintendent Chris Reykdal sent this memo highlighting what this critical legislation means for districts. Check out the link to see how much your district can expect to receive from this second round of federal funds as well as what the planning and reporting requirements are for districts.
The two other important bills related to funding are HB 1476 and SB 5128. HB 1476 had a hearing in the House Appropriations Committee this week and this bill would provide enrollment stabilization funding in the 2020–21 and 2021–22 school years to school districts, where the loss of state funding due to enrollment declines from the 2019–20 school year exceeds certain federal amounts available for school COVID response. It would also require use of 2019–20 enrollments to calculate enrichment levy authority and allocations for the Learning Assistance Program and Local Effort Assistance if enrollment is greater than 2020–21 and 2021–22 enrollments for each district.
SB 5128 is the transportation bill which would hold transportation funds stable. This bill provides an alternative student transportation allocation formula and allows expanded transportation services when a school district is providing remote instruction during certain local, state, and national emergencies. It allows school districts to apply for additional funding if they exceed their allocation amount due to providing expanded services and allows OSPI to use student transportation data from prior reporting periods to calculate transportation allocations immediately following an emergency.
Together, all three of these bills work to hold school funding stable moving forward and we will keep tracking their progress and advocating for them to pass quickly.
As this week winds down, most committees are having executive sessions only to pass out their policy bills prior to the deadline of Monday, February 15. Next Tuesday morning, our bill tracking lists will be smaller because many bills won’t survive this first cut-off.
Next week the action turns to the fiscal committees because they need to meet their first deadline of February 22 which is the last day to pass “House of Origin” bills out of House Appropriations and Senate Ways and Means.
There is a work session on Monday in the Senate Early Learning and K–12 Education Committee related to the inclusionary practices project which we hope encourages legislators to continue funding this important work.
We have also made great strides in our message about funding outdoor education for all students. Senator Sam Hunt is supporting a request in the Senate budget for this and our Washington School Principals Education Foundation, which sponsors the Washington Outdoor School Consortium (WSOC), would serve as the fiscal agent. Read more information about this statewide group.
Important bills still moving include:
- HB 1028 | Repealing the EdTPA.
- HB 1113 | Concerning school attendance.
- HB 1121 | Emergency graduation waivers.
- HB 1139 Addressing lead in drinking water.
- HB 1153 | Increasing language access in schools.
- HB 1162 | Adding a performance exhibition pathway and changing to 20 credits for graduation.
- HB 1176 | Concerning student fines and fees.
- HB 1182 | Enhancing and expanding behavioral health and suicide prevention crisis response services.
- HB 1208 | Concerning the LAP program.
- HB 1213/SSB 5237 | Expanding child care and early learning programs.
- HB 1214 | Concerning training for and data collection of school safety staff.
- HB 1225 | School based health centers.
- HB 1273/SB 5070 | Concerning menstrual products in schools.
- HB 1295 | Concerning institutional education.
- HB 1302 | College in the high school programs.
- HB 1325 | Youth behavioral health.
- HB 1342 | Reduced price lunch copays.
- HB 1356 | Prohibiting the inappropriate use of Native American names, symbols or images.
- HB 1363 | Secondary trauma resources for K–12 staff.
- HB 1373 | Promoting student access to information about behavioral health resources.
- HB 1426 | Continuing education requirements for administrators and teachers.
- HB 1444 | Providing trauma-informed counseling and support to students.
- HB 1450 Procuring and supporting the use of appropriate computers and devices for schools.
- HB 1466 | Promoting access to outdoor education.
- HB 1484 | Concerning the first responder building mapping information system.
- SB 5030 |
School counseling programs.
- SB 5044 | Concerning equity training and dismantling institutional racism in public schools.
- SB 5147 | Exploring alternative school calendars.
- BH 5161 | Teaching tribal history.
- SB 5184 | Establishing a foster care point of contact in each building.
- SB 5249 | Mastery-based learning.
- SB 5265 | Creating a bridge year pilot program.
- SB 5299 | Allowing the use of computer science credits for the purpose of a third year math or science credit.
- SB 5321 | Expanding access to the college bound scholarship.
- SB 5327 | Creating a confidential youth safety and well-being tip line.