Education

Ensure the state continues fully funding education. Support student health and safety legislation.

Issue Team Chair: Catherine Ahl – cathahl [at] hotmail.com – (360) 697-7924
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Right Now In Education

During this Legislative session we are watching for corrections or additions to the recent funding plan (McCleary) and are encouraged with the Senate Budget as it at least partially funds all the bills we’re supporting.

HB 1638 Eliminates the philosophical or personal objection for measles, mumps and rubella vaccines required to attend school. Passed the Senate 25-22 and now goes back to the House for concurrence. 

HB 1216 Would establish statewide network for school safety with a state center, regional centers through the educational service districts, and an advisory committee and requires school districts to establish school-based threat assessment programs. The regional centers would also have specific duties, including behavioral health and school-based threat assessments. On the Senate floor HB 1216 was amended to include the language of SB 5141 that defines the duties of a School Resource Officer (SRO) and provides training for SROs if school districts choose to have them.It passed the Senate 47-0 and goes back to the House for concurrence. 

Bills the League Supports
  • HB 1638 Eliminates the philosophical or personal objection for measles, mumps and rubella vaccines required to attend school.  The hope is that an amendment will be offered to cover all vaccines. Passed the House, 57-40, 1 excused. Passed the Senate 25-22 and now goes back to the House for concurrence. 
  • SB 5091 Increases special education funding by increasing the allocation for each special-education student to double what is received for other pupils. The bill also would allocate additional funding to schools with students whose needs warrant costlier, individualized education programs. Passed the Senate 46-0, 3 excused. Didn't pass the House before cut-off, but is still alive as is Necessary to Implement the Budget (NTIB).
  • HB 1216 Would establish statewide network for school safety with a state center, regional centers through the educational service districts, and an advisory committee and requires school districts to establish school-based threat assessment programs. The regional centers would also have specific duties, including behavioral health and school-based threat assessments. On the Senate floor HB 1216 was amended to include the language of SB 5141 that defines the duties of a School Resource Officer (SRO) and provides training for SROs if school districts choose to have them.It passed the Senate 47-0 and goes back to the House for concurrence. 
  • SHB 2140 is the House levy bill that would change local enrichment levy limits to either 20 percent of a school district's levy base, or the lesser of $3,000 per pupil or $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value in the district beginning in 2020. It would also change Local Effort Assistance funding formulas, equalizing districts to either 10 percent of the levy base or 12 percent of the levy base if the district free and reduced-price lunch enrollment is 70 percent or greater. Didn't pass the House before cut-off, but possibly in negotiations with the Senate.
Bills the League Opposes
  • SSB 5313 This bill concerns local levies and local effort assistance but was amended in Ways & Means to change the 2016 Charter School Law, and therefore we cannot support it in its present form.
    Bills the League Supported That Passed
    • SB 5514 Requires first responder agencies to notify all known schools in the vicinity, including private schools, if there is a situation for which an evacuation or lockdown appears reasonably necessary. Passed the Senate 48-0, 1 excused. Passed the House 92-0. Delivered to the Governor for signature. 
    Bills the League Supported That Did Not Pass
    • SB 5141 Defines the duties of a School Resource Officer (SRO) and requires school districts choosing to have a SRO to ensure that the SRO goes through the training described in the bill. Added as an amendment to HB 1216. 
    • SB 5315 Would have increased the number of nurses, social workers, psychologists, counselors and other student support staff who support the mental, behavioral and physical health and safety of students. 
    • SB 5395 Would have required comprehensive sexual health education in all schools. The Senate passed this bill 28-21, and it was heard in the House Education Committee on March 12 but no vote was taken. This would have required a curriculum that is evidence-informed, inclusive for all students, age appropriate, and is consistent with the state health and physical education learning standards. School districts must grant a parent’s request to have their child excused from this class. 
    • SB 5532 Requires that special-education advisory committees be created in each school district, access to advocates to help families navigate the special-education system, and professional development for all teachers. Did not pass the House but it is hoped it can be added as an amendment to SB 5091.
    • SB 5841 Would have eliminated the philosophical or personal objection for all vaccines required to attend school. We supported this bill over HB 1638 because it covered all vaccines, not just measles, mumps and rubella.
    For those of you wanting to know more about Special Education funding and problems with Levies and Levy Equalization watch this excellent work session by the Senate Ways & Means Committee including presentations by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), school superintendents, a school psychologist, and a special education teacher. 

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