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) addressing these issues. There are numerous bills on each issue needing review and analysis – these will combine in the future to become a bill we can support. 

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 by the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee to Senate Rules for second reading.

SB 5313 Would allow a school district to choose a maximum levy lid of either 20 percent of the total state and federal funds, or $3,500 per pupil. Passed by the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee and referred to Senate Ways & Means Committee.

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. Passed by the Early Learning & K-12 Education and will be heard by Senate Ways & Means Committee on February 20.

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. 
Bills the League Supports
  • SB 5315 Will increase 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 Requiring comprehensive sexual health education in all schools. 
  • 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.
  • SB 5313 Would allow a school district to choose a maximum levy lid of either 20 percent of the total state and federal funds, or $3,500 per pupil.
  • 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.  
Bills the League is Watching

In the next week, hearings will be held on many of the below bills and the path forward to support or oppose them will become clear. 

Special Education Funding 

  • HB 1093SB 5312 Concerning appropriations for special education programs. By request of the OSPI.  
  • SB 5091 Increases special education safety net funding and professional learning days.
  • SB 5532 Concerning special education. 

Additional Support Staff

  • HB 1163SB 5188 Concerns grants to expand learning opportunities such as summer school, extended school year, and year-round school. By request of the OSPI.  

  • HB 1265 Increasing student access to school counselors.
  • HB 1547 / SB 5465 Concerning basic education funding, including professional learning days. By request of the OSPI.  
  • SB 5685 Requiring a primary contact in schools to recognize, screen, and respond to emotional or behavioral distress in students.

Mental Health & School Safety Support

  • HB 1216 / SB 5317 Concerning non-firearm measures to increase school safety and student well-being - involves several committees to decide how to do this. Several other bills address school safety, and we will be looking at these and commenting on them in the future. 
  • HB 1245 Concerning comprehensive school safety planning.
  • SB 5052 Concerning school resource officers.
  • SB 5216 Developing multistage threat assessments to increase safety in K-12 schools and institutions of higher education.

Local Levies

  • SB 5316 The maximum dollar amount which may be levied by any school district for enrichment levies will be equal to either $1.50 per thousand dollars of the assessed value of district property or $2500 per student.

  • SB 5466 Concerning school district levies. By request of the OSPI.  


SB 5066 / SJR 8201SB 5252, and HJR 4203 Simple majority or 55% vote on school bonds. The League had a strong position on simple majority for school levies and helped to get it passed but has no position on school bonds and therefore cannot support or oppose these bills. They are listed here because we know many of you are interested in this issue.

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The League of Women Voters of Washington Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. LWVWA Education Fund contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. The League of Women Voters Education Fund does not endorse the contents of any web pages to which it links.

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