Stillwater Elementary PTA  2.16.24   •   Serving Duvall & Carnation, WA   •     Riverview School District

Legislative Advocacy

Keep in the Know

PTA WEBSITES:
Riverview PTSA Council 2.16   (Facebook page)
Riverview Council Legislative Chair – Kim Lisk, kimlisk [at] comcast [dot] net
WA State PTA
        Region 2 Legislative Chair – Erica Kapur, rlc2 [at] wastatepta [dot] org
        Washington State Legislative Director – Duncan Taylor, ptalegdir [at] wastatepta [dot] org
National PTA


WSPTA Grassroots Connection

Here’s a good op-ed from two state representatives that supports WSPTA’s Resolution18.13, which says no single factor should determine a student’s advancement such as graduation from high school. HB 1046, the bill that has passed the state House three times by a wide bipartisan margin, would still require the statewide tests for federal accountability but would remove the link between passing the assessments and graduation. WSPTA supports the passage of HB 1046 and encourages members to reach out to their senators to encourage a vote on the bill. 

Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: June 5, 2017, 9:03 pm
Education (House) - HHR A, JLOB - 3/13 @ 1:30pm
SSB 5241 - Public Hearing - Concerning the educational success of youth who are homeless or in foster care.

Capital Budget (House) - HHR B, JLOB - 3/14 @ 3:30pm
ESSB 5702 - Public Hearing - Improving state funding for school construction, modernization, and asset preservation.

Early Learning & Human Services (House) - HHR C, JLOB - 3/15 @ 1:30pm
2SSB 5107 - Public Hearing - Facilitating local funding and involvement in expanding early childhood education and assistance program eligibility.

Human Services, Mental Health & Housing (Senate) - SHR 2, JACB - 3/15 @ 1:30pm
SHB 1867 - Public Hearing - Improving transitions in extended foster care to increase housing stability for foster youth.

Early Learning & K-12 Education (Senate) - SHR 1, JACB - 3/16 @ 1:30pm
EHB 1551 - Public Hearing - Creating a competitive equipment assistance grant program to enhance
student nutrition in public schools.

SHB 1618 - Public Hearing - Concerning family and community engagement coordinators.
Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: March 9, 2017, 5:30 pm
As its last bill of the March 8 cutoff, the Senate Wednesday night passed an amended bill on the "levy cliff" (ESB 5023), with all members voting in favor; with the exception of Republican Senator Michael Baumgartner of West Spokane. The Senate ran their version of the bill so they could change the title to be about excess levies and not the levy cliff.

The striking amendment offered by Senator Fain:

·        Extends current local levy authority and LEA through January 1, 2019;

·        Requires that all levies collected in calendar year 2018, and thereafter, be deposited into a local revenue sub-fund of the general fund to enable detailed accounting of the amount and the object of expenditures; and

·        Requires that any enrichment levies going to the voters after January 1, 2018 be approved by Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) before being placed on the ballot. Districts planning to go to the voters with an M&O enrichment levy would be required to create a detailed report of the activities to be funded and then submit that report to OSPI for approval. The bill states that enrichment levies beyond the state-provided funding in the omnibus appropriations act for the basic education program components under RCW 28A.150.260 (prototypical schools funding formula) are a permitted use.


WSPTA members are strongly encouraged to listen to the debate, which led to the 48-1 vote. 

It will be critical that school districts, parents, and other education advocates explain the gap story in their school and district, which basically means having a better understanding of what it actually costs to run that school, serve its students, and attract and retain professional educators. 


Members are encouraged to write House and Senate members to express their thanks that a levy extension bill is in play. But messages also should stress that with prohibitions on the use of local levies for activities deemed basic education, the state will have to step up in a really big way. Otherwise, areas that are underfunded now and where local funds are supplementing the most basic of activities - like transportation, nurses, and special education - will fall short in the final education funding solution. 


Prepared by:

WSPTA Legislative Consultant

Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: March 9, 2017, 3:22 pm
In a strong bipartisan vote, the Senate today approved a comprehensive para-educator development program. SB 5070 passed on a 37-12 vote and will require standards, professional development, a career ladder, a more accessible path to teacher certification, and training for teachers who supervise para-educators. Support for Standards for Para-educators is a Top 5 Priority Platform issue for Washington State PTA, so we’re excited to see the Senate take this important step forward. 


Author
Beth Sigall 
VP Family & Community Engagement
Lake Washington PTSA Council
Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: March 8, 2017, 8:59 pm
Throughout the session Legislators use a variety of methods to stay connected with constituents. While some Legislators have already hosted meetings locally and/or host regular ―TeleTown Hall Meetings, on Saturday, March 11, many legislative districts will be hosting in-person Town Halls. Check out the House Democratic Caucus and Senate Democratic Caucus web sites for a good list of meetings that will be happening all over the state next weekend. While the Republican Caucus sites do not appear to have a compilation of meetings posted, we do know of a few who are also hosting meetings March 11. The most efficient way for WSPTA members to find out if your legislators are hosting a Town Hall is to contact them directly.



Prepared by:
Marie Sullivan


WSPTA Legislative Consultant



Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: March 6, 2017, 5:30 pm
With most of the action occurring on the House and Senate floors, lawmakers got down to business, passing bills this past week in anticipation of the March 8, deadline of 5 p.m. This is the next cutoff for bills that aren’t deemed “Necessary To Implement the Budget” (NTIB), and includes most policy bills with no fiscal impact. On March 9, policy and budget committees will once again start holding public hearings, but this time on the bills that have passed from one chamber to the other.


This week continued the political theater in the Senate, when the Majority Caucus pulled Governor Jay Inslee’s tax proposals to the floor. Republicans said it was to get a handle on which revenue proposals Senate Democrats would support to fund K-12 education. For their part, Senate Democrats dismissed the move as unproductive and countered with mentioning the upcoming levy cliff nearly every time they spoke.


Behind the scenes, key legislators from both parties and chambers began meeting to discuss how the state will go about reducing its reliance on local school levies to meet the state’s constitutional obligation for ample funding of public schools. A modified “6195 group” is meeting Mondays and Wednesdays for the next few weeks to find common ground and a path forward on K-12 funding. The Senate Republican plan is SB 5607; the House and Senate Democrat plan is ESHB1843.


As a possible bridge or alternative to the existing proposals, the Senate Ways & Means Committee heard testimony on PSSB5825, Sen. Mark Mullet’s, D-Issaquah, education funding proposal. Most people testifying thanked Senator Mullet for putting forward another idea, but none publicly endorsed it; most raised issues with the funding approach. The video clip is about 90 minutes long, but is worth listening to the explanation.

Here’s a quick reminder of a few of the key elements of each funding proposal - download. Read the updated bill tracker here.


Status of Top 5Legislative Priorities – Update & Focus for Members this Week
1. Social and Emotional Learning


Focus for members: Continue to support the staffing as described in HB 1377 and HB 1621; support inclusion of operating budget provisos for Summer ECEAP and continuation of the SEL Benchmarks Work Group. 

2. Amply Funding Basic Education

Focus for members: Review 2017 positions and share not just the ample funding but ALL of the positions. They provide a blueprint for many of the activities WSPTA hopes are in the final education funding plan. Talk with legislators about the need to add NEW money into the system and why just replacing local levies with state funding isn’t ample or comprehensive.  


3. Closing the Opportunity Gap

Focus for members: Additional funding for students who struggle, whether in a weighted per pupil model or categorical program, is needed if we expect different outcomes for our students who are challenged by an opportunity and achievement gap. To close this gap requires a more systematic approach to students’ academic and non-academic needs – the “whole child.”


4. Standards for Para-educators 
Focus for members: ESHB 1115 passed the House this week. The bill is disappointing, in that the bill no longer sets up minimum certification and specialty endorsements for para-educators working in ELL and Special Education. While the bill does include training, which we welcome, our aim is that the final, negotiated bill reflect our priority platform position as much as possible.


SB 5070, the Senate bill, is still waiting to be voted out of the Senate. The entire bill, however, was also inserted into the Senate Republican’s education funding bill – SB 5607. 


5. Breakfast after the Bell

Focus for members: By a bipartisan vote of 90-8, ESHB 1508 passed the House. Let your Senators know that WSPTA fully supports this legislation and wants it to pass this session. Also, look at the Housevote count, and send a note to House members who voted in favor of this legislation.  

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2017 WSPTA Supported Issues:

Improving Educational Outcomes for Foster Children

SSB 5241 passed the Senate and in the House Education Committee.


Engaging Families in Student Success

Focus for members: SHB 1618 is the bill that would define Family & Community Engagement Coordinators, and ensure that funding allocated for them could only be used for this staffing. The bill is in House Rules, so please contact your House members and ask them to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.   


Post-Secondary/Higher Education Access and Affordability

Focus for members: Two bills are on the House floor calendar, which means they are ready for a vote. Please contact House members and ask them to vote on HB 1452 (expansion of the opportunity scholarship) and HB 1512 (expansion of College Bound Scholarship eligibility) before the March 8 cutoff.


Removing Barriers to Implementing ECEAP

Focus for members: Expansion of ECEAP, and the Summer ECEAP program will be handled in the operating budget. But it isn’t too early to let your House and Senate members know about the importance of early learning education and the need to increase slots to provide access to more preschoolers.


Restorative Justice and School Safety

It would appear that SSB 5155, which would limit the number of days students in grades K-2 could be suspended or expelled, may not move. OSPI is drafting rules to implement discipline policies adopted in the 2016 session under HB 1541 (see Closing the Opportunity Gap position), and concern has been raised about the impact new discipline laws would have on rule-making and implementation of discipline rules, and related model policies and procedures for school districts.  


Week in Review

Action this week was on the floor, so WSPTA advocated with legislators on the 2017 platform and priorities.


The Week Ahead

Action continues on the floor, but returns to committee work on March 9th. Next cutoff is March 29th

Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: March 6, 2017, 4:38 pm
About 6:15 pm March 2, the House passed House Bill (HB) 1508, Breakfast after the Bell, by an overwhelming margin of 90-8.

Speaking in favor of the legislation were sponsor Representative Monica Stonier, D-49; Representative Paul Harris, R-17; and Representative Norm Johnson, R-14.

WSPTA parents Heather Lindberg, Michael Steffan, and Corina Pfeil each testified in support of this Top 5 priority, as  it was being deliberated in the House.
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: March 3, 2017, 4:04 pm
Fiscal committees worked overtime this past week, with the House meeting into early
evening Friday the 24th to act on policy bills that had some impact on the state budget. Typically bills that are linked to the operating or capital budget aren’t subject to the deadlines, but nothing is officially off the table until the gavel falls April 23rd. Policy bills that failed to pass their respective fiscal committees may see life in the operating or capital budgets as provisos or return as “trailing bills.”
  

The session is nearing the half-way mark of the 105-day session, and the focus shifts over the next two weeks to floor action. Bills must pass by 5 p.m. on March 8 from the chamber where they started to remain under consideration. The biggest exception would be budget bills. Speaking of which, an economic review will occur March 2, with the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council meeting at 10 a.m. on March 16 to get the most current report on projected revenue for fiscal year 2017, and the 2017-19 biennium.


Status of Top Five Legislative Priorities - Update

1.       Social and Emotional Learning

·         All three bills, HB 1377, HB 1518, and HB 1621 died in House Appropriations. Two of the bills (HB 1377 and HB 1621) are somewhat linked to the House Democrats’ education funding bill – ESHB 1843 – so may be resurrected soon. Elements of HB 1518, which included an extension of the SEL benchmarks work group and a summer ECEAP pilot project, may be inserted into the House operating budget as provisos. Members talking with their legislators should share this request.

2.      Amply Funding Basic Education

·         ESHB 1843, the House Democrat education funding plan, was sent to the Senate on a party-line vote of 50-48. It is expected that negotiations on the two major plans (HB 1843 and SB 5607) will begin in earnest. New district-by-district fiscal impact charts have been released by Senate Republicans.

·         On Monday, February 27, at 10 a.m., the Senate Ways & Means Committee will hear public testimony on a substituteof Senator Mark Mullet’s education funding plan, SB 5825.

3.      Closing the Opportunity Gap

·         A bill that would increase funding for LAP, HB 1511, and two bills (HB 2075 and SB 5758) that would have added $400 per student for various academic-focused activities both failed to pass their respective fiscal committees. Like the SEL bills above, it is possible elements of these bills will show up in the education funding solution.

4.      Standards for Para-educators

·         SHB 1115 and SB 5070 were passed from their fiscal committees and are in the Rules Committee. The Rules Committee is the stopping point before bills are referred to the floor for action.  

5.      Breakfast after the Bell

·      Even as amended, SSB 5696 failed to pass the Senate Ways & Means Committee.

·       SHB 1508 passed out of House Appropriations and is in the Rules Committee.

2017 WSPTA Supported Issues:

·         Improving Educational Outcomes for Foster Children

o   SSB 5241 is in the Senate Rules committee.

·         Engaging Families in Student Success

o   SHB 1618 is in House Rules.  

·         Post-Secondary/Higher Education Access and Affordability

o   Many of the access and affordability bills died last Friday. These include: HB 1425 (next generation education savings account); HB 1840 (Washington promise program); and HB 1847 (state goal of 50/50 cost-share for state/attendee tuition and fees);

o   Those that are still in play include: HB 1452 (expansion of the opportunity scholarship) and HB 1512 (expansion of College Bound Scholarship eligibility).

·         Removing Barriers to Implementing ECEAP

o   Two bills to create a grant and loan program to increase the number of early learning facilities are both still under consideration. The bills are HB 1777 and SB 5753.

·         Restorative Justice and School Safety

o   SSB 5155, focused on limiting the number of days students in grades K-2 could be suspended or expelled is eligible for floor action.

Week in Review

Northshore parent Corina Pfeil testified for the first time before the House Appropriations Committee in support of HB 1508, the breakfast after the bell bill. She did a lot of research to prepare for the meeting, and represented WSPTA very well.

Senate Republicans announced revised materials and district-by-district analyses of their proposal, SB 5607. Follow the link here to read the various documents.

The Week Ahead

Monday, February 27
10 a.m., Senate Ways & Means, SHR 4

 ·         Public hearing on proposed substitute SB 5825, Mullet’s education funding plan

Tuesday, February 28

8 a.m., House Education – HHR A - tentative

·         Work Session on teacher shortage


_______________________________________________
Prepared by 
Marie Sullivan
WSPTA Legislative Consultant
Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: February 27, 2017, 4:32 pm
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Feb. 22, 2017)—The following statement can be attributed to National PTA President Laura Bay:


Today, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice sent a letter to the nation’s schools rescinding guidance released in May 2016 on their obligations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) regarding a student’s gender identity. The guidance had stated that a school must not treat a transgender student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity under the law.


“National PTA is extremely disappointed that the Administration has rescinded the guidance. Every child deserves to receive a great education in a setting free from discrimination, harassment and violence. The vast majority of LGBTQ students, however, are bullied, physically assaulted and feel unsafe in school because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or identity. There is a need for explicit protection of LGBTQ youth as it is critical to their overall health and well-being and long-term success.


“National PTA and its constituent associations are committed to advocating for policies and protections for LGBTQ youth to make sure they have positive school experiences and the opportunity to reach their full potential. National PTA adopted a resolution in 2016 on the Recognition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Individuals as a Protected Class. The resolution calls for federal policies that specifically protect LGBTQ youth and local practices that create and maintain safe, affirming and inclusive learning environments for all students.


“It has long been a top priority of National PTA to make sure all children have a safe, supportive and positive environment in which to thrive and learn. The association remains dedicated to supporting transgender students—as it is every student—and will push for policies and practices to ensure that federal, state and local entities protect all children.” 


About National PTA


National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth.

Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: February 23, 2017, 9:00 pm
Corina Pfeil, middle, testifies
Northshore parent Corina Pfeil, parent member from Inglemoor High PTSA 6.10.75,  spoke Wednesday in favor of HB1508; the bill that would start a Breakfast After the Bell program in high poverty schools across the state. She urged lawmakers to roll out this program to help hungry kids so they are prepared to learn and be successful in school.
This was Corina's first time testifying and she was a great advocate for our students. She volunteered several weeks ago to testify on this issue, and we took her up on that offer this week. If you'd like to represent WSPTA on legislation that is being considered by the legislature, please contact Marie Sullivan, WSPTA Legislative Consultant or Duncan Taylor, WSPTA Legislative Director.




Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: February 22, 2017, 10:49 pm
There is certainly no lack of education funding plans this year, as three Senate Democrats brought a little love to the topic on February 14, bringing the total of publicly available proposals to a total of four: Governor Inslee’s; Senate Republicans; House Democrats; and now the subgroup of Senate Democrats. House Republicans have signaled that they have their own separate education funding plan, but elements haven’t been shared formally with the public.

SB 5825 would make permanent a district’s current maintenance & operations (M&O) levy percentage on January 1, 2018, and allow school districts to assess a local enrichment levy of up to $1,000 per student for activities and salaries beyond basic education. To help property-poor districts, the legislation would double the amount of levy equalization (LEA) a district receives, and would put in place a minimum per student allocation of $11,500. In other words, if the allocation that included the new permanent levy, LEA, and a uniform enhancement for students in learning assistance programs (LAP), Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program (TBIP), Special Education and Highly Capable programs didn’t reach that threshold, the state would make up the difference.


“No district will get less funding than it is receiving in the current school year,” said Senate sponsor Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah. Mullet said an amendment he’s considering would include an inflationary factor for the $11,500 per student allocation.


Other elements of the proposal include a minimum salary of $45,000; new requirements for accounting and reporting; and a link to different bills that would seek a constitutional change to allow bonds to pass with a simple majority. The extra LEA would be funded through an expanded collection of internet sales taxes. Under current rules, only Internet businesses with a nexus (i.e., physical presence) to Washington state are required to collect and remit sales tax to the state.


In other news last week, Friday served as the deadline for bills to be passed out of respective policy committees. February 24 marks the next cutoff, for most bills that have a fiscal impact to the state to be passed out of their budget committee. Typically bills that are labeled “necessary to implement the budget” or NTIB, are exempt from the legislative-imposed deadlines. 


Status of Top Five Legislative Priorities - Update

1.       Social and Emotional Learning

·         SHB 1377 would require, at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, school districts with more than 2,000 students to provide a minimum of six hours of professional collaboration time per year for school counselors, social workers and psychologists that focuses on recognizing signs of emotional and behavioral distress.

·         SHB 1518, among other features, would direct OSPI to convene a work group to build upon the SEL benchmarks developed in 2016, and establish a competitive grant program to increase the number of summer learning programs that combine academics and SEL.

·         HB 1621 was heard in the House Appropriations Committee last week. The bill would provide an enhancement in the prototypical funding formula for staff positions related to SEL, including family and community engagement, school nurses, social workers, psychologists, and guidance counselors.

2.      Amply Funding Basic Education

·         SHB 1843, the House Democrat education funding plan is in the queue for a floor vote.

·         SB 5825 is described above. Senator Mullet believes it will get a hearing in the Senate.

3.      Closing the Opportunity Gap

·         HB 1511 would make changes to the Learning Assistance Program, including increasing the hours; removing the requirement to focus LAP on 3rdgrade literacy; and add funding to schools with high concentrations of ELL, homeless and foster youth student populations.

·         HB 2075 and SB 5758 would provide a minimum of $400 per student for one of four activities: 1. CTE in middle or high school; 2. Enhanced dual credit opportunities in high school; 3. Dropout prevention strategies; and 4. AVID strategies and classrooms. Both bills passed out of their respective education committees and were sent to the budget committees.

4.      Standards for Para-educators

·         SHB 1115 will be heard by House Appropriations February 20th.

·         SB 5070 had a public hearing in the Senate Ways & Means committee last week.

5.      Breakfast after the Bell

·         SSB 5696 was amended in the Senate education committee and passed to the Rules Committee. The amendments removed the mandate for high-poverty schools to provide breakfast after the bell, and instead require that if all children are given the opportunity to eat after the bell, that the time would count as instructional time.

·         SHB 1508 was modified slightly in House education and has been passed to the House Appropriations committee.


2017 WSPTA Supported Issues:

·         Improving Educational Outcomes for Foster Children

o   SHB 1511 (above)

o   SSB 5241 would require school districts to consolidate partial credits, unresolved or incomplete coursework, and provide other opportunities for credit accrual to eliminate barriers to foster youth and homeless student success. The bill is in the Senate Rules committee.

·         Engaging Families in Student Success

o   HB 1843 specifically increases to 1.085 the family engagement coordinator per prototypical elementary school.

o   SHB 1618 would specify the minimum duties and responsibilities for a family and community engagement coordinator, and would stipulate that state funding allocated to support family and community engagement coordinators must be used for that purpose. The bill is in House Rules.  

·         Post-Secondary/Higher Education Access and Affordability

o   SHB 1425 would establish the Washington Next Generation Educational Savings Account Pilot Program (like a 529 savings account). The bill also would require the Washington Student Achievement Council to administer the pilot program, and to deposit an initial grant of $25 and an incentive grant of $50 when the account beneficiary achieved certain milestones.

o   HB 1452 would create a new scholarship opportunity for students pursuing professional technical degrees or professional technical certificates at community colleges. The companion is SB 5361.

o   SHB 1512 would expand a student’s eligibility to the 7th and 8thgrade, and the 9th and 10th grade if they were previously ineligible, and expand income eligibility for the College Bound Scholarship award to 125 percent of the state’s median family income. The bill also would provide students with family incomes between 65 percent and 125 percent of median family income a scholarship equal to tuition and fees for two years at a community and technical college.

o   SHB 1840 would create the Washington Promise Program, which would provide free tuition and fees to students who meet certain eligibility requirements to attend a community and technical college. The bill would use a four-step phase-in approach, and would set up a free 13th year.

o   HB 1847 would set a goal of increasing the state’s share of support to 50 percent for four-year institutions.

§  All the higher education bills have been sent to their respective budget committees.

·         Removing Barriers to Implementing ECEAP

o   SHB 1518 would direct the Department of Early Learning to fund up to 600 slots to school districts to offer a summer-only ECEAP program for children entering kindergarten the upcoming year.  

o   SHB 1777 would create a new loan and grant program for preschool facilities. The bill was heard in the House Capital Budget committee last week and is scheduled for a vote this week. It’s Senate companion, SB 5753, had a hearing in Senate Ways & Means last week.

o   SB 5484 would create an Early Learning Facilities grant and loan program. The bill differs from the preschool facilities bills listed above, but there is an effort to combine them into one bill.

·         Restorative Justice and School Safety

o   SSB 5155 would prohibit suspensions and expulsions of students in grades K-2 to no longer than the remainder of the day and one full day.


Week in Review

Speaking on behalf of WSPTA, parent Sarah Butcher testified in favor of HB 1518 and HB 1618 in the House Education Committee. Also representing WSPTA, parent Heather Lindberg testified in favor of the proposed substitute for SB 5696 (breakfast after the bell). WSPTA signed in a support on SB 5070 (para-educators), HB 1621 (social emotional learning staff support), and HB 1564 (pesticide use).  


Bills related to a constitutional amendment to change to a simple majority for bond measures failed to pass out of their respective policy committees this week. While nothing is ever dead until the session ends, it is unlikely these bills will move forward this session.


The Week Ahead

Monday, February 20

Appropriations (House) - HHR A, JLOB - 2/20 @ 1:30pm

·         SHB 1115 - Public Hearing - Concerning para-educators.

·         HB 1282 - Public Hearing - Concerning career and technical education funding.


Ways & Means (Senate) - SHR 4, JACB - 2/20 @ 1:30pm

·         SB 5183 - Public Hearing - Concerning career and technical education funding.


Tuesday, February 21

Appropriations (House) - HHR A, JLOB - 2/21 @ 1:30pm

·         SHB 1115 - Exec Session - Concerning para-educators.

·         SHB 1046 - Exec Session - Concerning certificates of academic and individual achievement.


Wednesday, February 22

Capital Budget (House) - HHR B, JLOB - 2/22 @ 8:00am

·         SHB 1777 - Exec Session - Concerning the financing of early learning facilities.


Appropriations (House) - HHR A, JLOB - 2/22 @ 1:30pm

·         HB 1452 - Public Hearing - Concerning the opportunity scholarship program.

·         HB 1508 - Public Hearing - Promoting student health and readiness through meal and nutrition programs.

·         HB 1116 - Exec Session - Implementing family and medical leave insurance.


Prepared by 
Marie Sullivan
WSPTA Legislative Consultant
Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: February 19, 2017, 11:30 pm

Appropriations (House) - HHR A, JLOB - 2/20 @ 1:30pm

·         SHB1115 - Public Hearing - Concerning para-educators.

·         HB1282 - Public Hearing - Concerning career and technical education funding.


Appropriations (House) - HHR A, JLOB - 2/21 @ 1:30pm

·         SHB1115 - Executive Session - Concerning para-educators.



Prepared by
Marie Sullivan
WSPTA Legislative Consultant
Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: February 16, 2017, 7:56 pm
WSPTA Member, Sarah Butcher
Testifying on behalf of WSPTA in favor of legislation on social and emotional learning (HB 1518) and family and community engagement coordinators (HB 1618), parent Sarah Butcher urged House Education Committee members on Monday, February 13, to look favorably on the bills and to vote them out of committee. Butcher is a member of the state work group that has been developing benchmarks for social and emotional learning. 
Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: February 14, 2017, 3:20 pm
Last week began with a public hearing in the House Appropriations Committee on the two competing education funding proposals: SSB 5607 (Senate Republicans) and HB 1843 (House Democrats). The bills drew more than two hours’ worth of testimony, most of it mixed on both spending plans, although the support for HB 1843 outweighed that of SSB 5607.


Some of the objections raised to SSB 5607 included the concern about the lack of a local levy in calendar 2019 and the impact on programs and staffing that would have on two school years; the cap on use of a 10% local M&O levy on programs and activities that might currently be funded by local levies; the limit on salaries to 80% of a total budget, along with setting a minimum salary; and the overall lack of new funding to the system. In addition, the state counties association and fire district association weighed in with concerns about the impact the additional $1.80 statewide property tax would have on other taxing districts that access funds within the property tax box.


Concerns about HB 1843 included elimination of a minimal salary structure to provide stability for salaries at all levels, including experience and education; failure to address the system’s inequity by maintaining a statewide 24% local levy; and the inclusion of TRII as an allowed expenditure.

SHB 1843 was amended in committee, and passed out on a party-line vote. The changes include the additional of an accountability monitoring and reporting system, requiring districts to report on WaKIDS, 3rd grade reading proficiency, 8th grade math proficiency, and four-year graduation rates. The amended bill also includes a work group organized by OSPI to review the 12.7% cap on state spending for students with special needs and to make recommendations whether the percent should be adjusted. Finally, while calling it a drafting error, the amendment reduces the prototypical funding percentage for parent involvement coordinators from all schools to just prototypical elementary schools.


Friday, February 17th marks the first of many deadlines the Legislature uses to winnow the number of bills they consider. By Friday, policy bills must have passed out of committee to a budget committee or to the Rules committee to stay under consideration. This deadline will be followed by February 24th, which is the cutoff for bills with a fiscal impact (to the state) to be considered.


Status of Top Five Legislative Priorities - Update

1.       Social and Emotional Learning

·         The bill that would embed SEL throughout the calendar year is up for public hearing Monday.

2.       Amply Funding Basic Education

·         The House Appropriations Committee passed SHB 1823 (see above).

3.       Closing the Opportunity Gap

·         No new bills introduced

4.       Standards for Parae-ducators

·         SHB 1115 was voted out of House Education as a substitute, replacing requirements for certification and endorsements with training and standards for all para-educators, and standards for para-educators who are in classrooms with students with special needs and ELL students.

5.       Breakfast after the Bell

·         SB 5696 is the Senate version of the Breakfast after the Bell bill. It is scheduled for public hearing Thursday, February 16 at 1:30 in the Senate education committee. 


2017 WSPTA Supported Issues:

·         Improving Educational Outcomes for Foster Children

o   No new bills

·         Engaging Families in Student Success

o   HB 1843 specifically increases to 1.085 the family engagement coordinator per prototypical school.

o   Unfortunately, SHB 1843, the House Democrats’ education funding plan, removed the increase to 1.085 FTE for all prototypical schools, setting it only for elementary schools.

·         Post-Secondary/Higher Education Access and Affordability

o   Several bills had public hearings last week, and bills WSPTA is tracking have passed or are on the schedule for executive action this session.

·         Removing Barriers to Implementing ECEAP

o   HB 1518 is an SEL bill, but also would create the opportunity for school districts to offer a summer-only ECEAP program for children entering kindergarten the upcoming year.  

·         Restorative Justice and School Safety

o   No new bills


Week in Review

WSPTA parent Jennifer Ogle testified February 6 on the House and Senate education funding plans. Parent Sarah Butcher is scheduled to testify on behalf of WSPTA on Monday, February 13 on the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) bill.


The Week Ahead

Monday, February 13

Education (House) - HHR A, JLOB - 2/13 @ 1:30pm

Public hearing:

·         HB 1511 - Concerning the learning assistance program.

·         HB 1518 - Improving student achievement by promoting social emotional learning throughout the calendar year.

·         HB 1618 - Concerning family and community engagement coordinators.


Tuesday, February 14

Early Learning & Human Services (House) - HHR C, JLOB - 2/14 @ 8:00am


·         HB 1867 - Public Hearing - Improving transitions in extended foster care to increase housing stability for foster youth.


Higher Education (House) - HHR D, JLOB - 2/14 @ 8:00am

Executive session:

·         HB 1375 - Providing students at community and technical colleges with the costs of required course materials.

·         HB 1169 - Enacting the student opportunity, assistance, and relief act.

·         HB 1440 - Establishing a student loan bill of rights.

·         HB 1425 - Creating the Washington next generation educational savings account pilot program.

·         HB 1452 - Concerning the opportunity scholarship program.

·         HB 1488 - Expanding higher education opportunities for certain students.

·         HB 1512 - Expanding college bound scholarship eligibility.

·         HB 1840 - Establishing the Washington promise program.

·         HB 1651 - Supporting students' success by increasing retention and graduation rates with evidence-based programs.


Higher Education (Senate) - SHR 3, JACB - 2/14 @ 8:00am

·         SB 5476 - Public Hearing - Expanding state need grant eligibility.


Early Learning & K-12 Education (Senate) - SHR 1, JACB - 2/14 @ 1:30pm

·         SB 5183 - Exec Session - Concerning career and technical education funding.

·         SB 5348 - Exec Session - Concerning students who receive special education services who earn certificates of individual achievement.


Education (House) - HHR A, JLOB - 2/14 @ 1:30pm

Executive session:

·         HB 1511 - Concerning the learning assistance program.

·         HB 1518 - Improving student achievement by promoting social emotional learning throughout the calendar year.

·         HB 1618 - Concerning family and community engagement coordinators.


Ways & Means (Senate) - SHR 4, JACB - 2/14 @ 3:30pm

·         SSB 5107 - Public Hearing - Creating a local pathway for local governments, school districts, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit organizations to provide more high quality early learning opportunities by reducing barriers and increasing efficiency.

·         SB 5070 - Public Hearing - Concerning paraeducators. WSPTA signing in


Wednesday, February 15

Early Learning & Human Services (House) - HHR C, JLOB - 2/15 @ 1:30pm


·         HB 1867 - Exec Session - Improving transitions in extended foster care to increase housing stability for foster youth.


Higher Education (House) - HHR D, JLOB - 2/15 @ 1:30pm

Executive session:

·         HB 1375 - Providing students at community and technical colleges with the costs of required course materials.

·         HB 1169 - Enacting the student opportunity, assistance, and relief act.

·         HB 1440 - Establishing a student loan bill of rights.

·         HB 1425 - Creating the Washington next generation educational savings account pilot program.

·         HB 1452 - Concerning the opportunity scholarship program.

·         HB 1488 - Expanding higher education opportunities for certain students.

·         HB 1512 - Expanding college bound scholarship eligibility.

·         HB 1840 - Establishing the Washington promise program.

·         HB 1651 - Supporting students' success by increasing retention and graduation rates with evidence-based programs.


Appropriations (House) – HHR A, JLOB – 2/15 @ 3:30pm

·         SHB 1046 – Public Hearing – Concerning certificates of academic and individual achievement.

·         HB 1621 – Public Hearing – Providing funding allocations to promote children’s health and social-emotional learning.


Thursday, February 16

Education (House) – HHR A, JLOB – 2/16 @ 8:00am

Executive session:

·         HB 1511 - Concerning the learning assistance program.

·         HB 1518 - Improving student achievement by promoting social emotional learning throughout the calendar year.

·         HB 1618 - Concerning family and community engagement coordinators.


Early Learning & K-12 Education (Senate) - SHR 1, JACB - 2/16 @ 1:30pm

·         SB 5758 - Public Hearing - Increasing college and career readiness and graduation rates in public schools.

·         SB 5696 - Public Hearing - Concerning breakfast after the bell programs. (Hearing is on the Proposed Substitute.)


Ways & Means (Senate) - SHR 4, JACB - 2/16 @ 3:30pm

·         SB 5702 - Public Hearing - Improving state funding for school construction, modernization, and asset preservation.

·         SB 5753 - Public Hearing - Concerning the financing of early learning facilities.


Friday, February 17

Higher Education (House) - HHR D, JLOB - 2/17 @ 10:00am

Executive session:

·         HB 1375 - Providing students at community and technical colleges with the costs of required course materials.

·         HB 1169 - Enacting the student opportunity, assistance, and relief act.

·         HB 1440 - Establishing a student loan bill of rights.

·         HB 1425 - Creating the Washington next generation educational savings account pilot program.

·         HB 1452 - Concerning the opportunity scholarship program.

·         HB 1488 - Expanding higher education opportunities for certain students.

·         HB 1512 - Expanding college bound scholarship eligibility.

·         HB 1840 - Establishing the Washington promise program.

·         HB 1651 - Supporting students' success by increasing retention and graduation rates with evidence-based programs.



WSPTA Bill Tracker - updated 2/12/17


Prepared by:

Marie Sullivan

WSPTA Legislative Consultant

Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: February 13, 2017, 4:36 pm
Did you miss this week's Leadership News? Download the public version here

Key Takeaways
  • Self-declaration for state board of directors ends 2/10
  • Invoices
  • WSPTA/Red Robin Day changed 
  • Great Wolf Lodge Family Night
  • Local PTA and Council Awards of Excellence
  • Question of the Week (hint: how to share info to members)


Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: February 11, 2017, 10:30 pm
Education (House) - HHR A, JLOB - 2/13 @ 1:30pm
  • HB 1511 - Public Hearing - Concerning the learning assistance program.
  • HB 1518 - Public Hearing - Improving student achievement by promoting social emotional learning throughout the calendar year.
  • HB 1618 - Public Hearing - Concerning family and community engagement coordinators.
Early Learning &; Human Services (House) - HHR C, JLOB - 2/14 @ 8:00am
  • HB 1867 - Public Hearing - Improving transitions in extended foster care to increase housing stability for foster youth.
Higher Education (House) - HHR D, JLOB - 2/14 @ 8:00am
  • HB 1375 - Executive Session - Providing students at community and technical colleges with the costs of required course materials.
Higher Education (Senate) - SHR 3, JACB - 2/14 @ 8:00am
  • SB 5476 - Public Hearing - Expanding state need grant eligibility.
Education (House) - HHR A, JLOB - 2/14 @ 1:30pm
  • HB 1115 - Executive Session - Concerning para-educators.
  • HB 1313 - Executive Session - Improving and expanding applied learning opportunities in public schools.
  • HB 1377 - Executive Session - Improving students' mental health by enhancing nonacademic professional services.
  • HB 1508 - Executive Session - Promoting student health and readiness through meal and nutrition programs.
  • HB 1511 - Executive Session - Concerning the learning assistance program.
  • HB 1518 - Executive Session - Improving student achievement by promoting social emotional learning throughout the calendar year.
  • HB 1618 - Executive Session - Concerning family and community engagement coordinators.
  • HB 1756 - Executive Session - Concerning career and technical education.
Ways & Means (Senate) - SHR 4, JACB - 2/14 @ 3:30pm
  • SSB 5107 - Public Hearing - Creating a local pathway for local governments, school districts, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit organizations to provide more high quality early learning opportunities by reducing barriers and increasing efficiency.
  • SB 5070 - Public Hearing - Concerning para-educators.
Higher Education (House) - HHR D, JLOB - 2/15 @ 1:30pm
  • HB 1169 - Exec Session - Enacting the student opportunity, assistance, and relief act. 
  • HB 1440 - Exec Session - Establishing a student loan bill of rights.
Appropriations (House) - HHR A, JLOB - 2/15 @ 3:30pm
  • SHB 1046 - Public Hearing - Concerning certificates of academic and individual achievement.
  • HB 1621 - Public Hearing - Providing funding allocations to promote children's health and social-emotional learning.
Education (House) - HHR A, JLOB - 2/16 @ 8:00am
  • HB 1115 - Exec Session - Concerning para-educators.
  • HB 1313 - Exec Session - Improving and expanding applied learning opportunities in public schools.
  • HB 1377 - Exec Session - Improving students' mental health by enhancing nonacademic professional services.
  • HB 1508 - Exec Session - Promoting student health and readiness through meal and nutrition programs.
  • HB 1511 - Exec Session - Concerning the learning assistance program.
  • HB 1518 - Exec Session - Improving student achievement by promoting social emotional learning throughout the calendar year.
  • HB 1618 - Exec Session - Concerning family and community engagement coordinators.
  • HB 1756 - Exec Session - Concerning career and technical education.
Ways &; Means (Senate) - SHR 4, JACB - 2/16 @ 3:30pm
  • SB 5702 - Public Hearing - Improving state funding for school construction, modernization, and asset preservation.
Higher Education (House) - HHR D, JLOB - 2/17 @ 10:00am
  • HB 1169 - Exec Session - Enacting the student opportunity, assistance, and relief act.
  • HB 1440 - Exec Session - Establishing a student loan bill of rights.
Bill Tracker (updated 2/9/17)

Prepared by
Marie Sullivan
WSPTA Legislative Consultant
Email Marie
Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: February 11, 2017, 4:23 pm
The Democrat-controlled House Appropriations Committee plans to vote on a proposed substitute to their education funding bill, HB 1843, out of committee this afternoon. They will face challenges from House Republicans, because there is no funding mechanism tied to it. They will not vote on the Senate bill, SB 5607, so the bill is dead until negotiations begin – which will be behind closed doors.


What that means is that HB 1843 will pass out of committee along party lines. Whether it actually passes the House quickly will be another story, again since there is no associated funding mechanism at this time. But the House Democrats control with 50-48 majority, so it is possible they will send to the Senate (the Senate bill passed the Senate along party lines too). 


House and Senate Republicans have said they won’t begin negotiating on the Democrats’ education funding plans until the Democrats show how they will pay for what they want to authorize. So far, the Democrats don’t appear to have the votes or a cohesive set of bills to pay for their estimated $3+ billion package.


Finally, the House Republicans have a plan, different than the Senate Republican education funding proposal. It is possible we won’t see a bill from House Republicans – more of negotiating principles and elements they support and have the votes for as the negotiations progress. We expect to learn more in the upcoming week on their approach to ample education funding. 




Prepared by 
Marie Sullivan
WSPTA Legislative Consultant
Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: February 9, 2017, 6:32 pm
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Feb. 7, 2017)—The following statement can be attributed to National PTA President Laura Bay:


“Today, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Education. Throughout the confirmation process, National PTA joined other education, civil rights, disabilities and community organizations in expressing strong concerns for Secretary DeVos’ lack of experience with public education; unfamiliarity with the challenges and opportunities facing the nation’s public school students, families and educators; and support of programs that divert critical public school resources.


“National PTA looks forward to informing Secretary DeVos on all of our public policy priorities, including equitable public education for all, healthy and safe schools, protections for our nation’s most vulnerable youth and the importance of family engagement in education. Where we are in alignment, we stand ready to work together, however, policies of the administration that attempt to weaken public education will continue to meet National PTA’s opposition.


“National PTA has long stood and advocated for high-quality public education to ensure all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Our association remains steadfast in our belief that public education must be strengthened with the support of adequate funding and continue to be governed by public officials. We oppose any private school choice system—vouchers, tax credits or deductions—that would divert public school resources.


“In addition to investing in public education, National PTA urges Secretary DeVos to improve the Department of Education’s role in advancing family engagement as a tool to increase student achievement and transform schools and communities. We strongly encourage the administration to carefully consider how family engagement can be integrated into all appropriate policy initiatives that it advances or supports. In particular, we urge the administration to fund the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) program and for the Department to utilize the appropriate resources to assist in the dissemination of research and best practices to support family engagement in local communities.


“Furthermore, National PTA hopes that Secretary DeVos will ensure continued implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). We also hope she will continue to prioritize stakeholder engagement in the implementation of the law. It is essential that parents and other stakeholders have a seat at the table as states and districts develop new education plans to provide valuable input and hold them accountable.


“National PTA is committed to working collaboratively with Secretary DeVos and the Department of Education to implement these recommendations and advance policies that ensure all children reach their highest potential. Critical progress has been made to improve education, provide educational equity for all children and make sure every child is prepared for long-term success. We cannot go backward.”


About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.


Media Contact

Heidi May Wilson, National PTA


hmay@PTA.org, (703) 518-1242

Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: February 7, 2017, 11:57 pm
Representing the Washington State PTA (WSPTA) on Monday, February 6, parent Jennifer
Parent Testimony from WSPTA
Member, Jennifer Ogle
Ogle testified in the House Appropriations Committee on the House Democrat (HB 1843) and Senate Republican (SB 5607) education funding plans.

After waiting more than three hours to speak, Ogle challenged lawmakers to adopt ample funding solutions that include progressive revenue sources that are sufficient, sustainable and equitable. In addition, she shared WSPTA's position that final solutions must not shift funds from existing programs in the budget, but must consider the education and welfare of the whole child. 

Ogle thanked the Governor, the Senate Republicans and House Democrats for coming forward with solutions that recognize that some students need more help, and therefore more money, to be successful. But she cautioned against language that picked winners and losers, and urged lawmakers to adopt a solution where every student, no matter where they live, is a winner. 
Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: February 7, 2017, 5:05 pm
On January 27, Senate Republicans announced the release of their education plan, followed up with a bill late afternoon the following day. The plan would change the current prototypical school funding formula to a per pupil funding formula, and would raise funds through an additional state property tax of $1.80 on $1,000 assessed value. Local levies would be eliminated in calendar year 2019 and, starting January 1, 2020, districts could seek a 10% local levy that could not be spent on salaries or basic education. The so-called “levy swap” results in some areas with higher assessed property valuations paying more, while those with lower assessed values pay less.


Other elements of the Senate Republican plan include a minimum $45,000 salary; a cap on salary expenditures to 80 percent of a school district’s total budget; extension of the levy cliff through December 31, 2018; and per pupil enhancements for students in poverty, special education, who are homeless, and English Language Learners. SB 5607 was heard Monday the 30th, acted on and passed out of the Senate budget committee on party lines with a couple of amendments on the 31st, and passed off the Senate floor February 1st by a vote of 25-24. It will be heard Monday, February 6 at 3:30 p.m., in House Appropriations.  


Democrats also responded with bills, and HB 1863 also will be heard Monday, February 6 at 3:30 p.m.  The Democrats’ proposals mirror concepts unveiled January 4th at the Joint Education Funding Task Force Committee meeting. Their plan maintains the prototypical school funding formula and enhances funding for family engagement and guidance counselors, along with additional funding for the Learning Assistance Program, ELL students, and Highly Capable students. It maintains a high local levy, scaling it down by half a percent each year, over four years, starting in Calendar Year 2018 (from 28 percent to 24 percent); the levy cliff is avoided. The proposal also maintains levy equalization; the Senate Republican plan eliminates LEA.  


The Democrats’ plan includes a starting teacher salary of $45,500, with increases for the first three years to $50,500.  Salary allocations for other teachers, those with professional certificates, school administrators and classified staff also are increased, and professional development time is phased in over four years. As in the Senate Republican plan, the current salary allocation box that sets minimums for various years of service and education, is eliminated. No specific revenue package supports the Democrats’ proposal.  


Charts have been released by Senate Committee Services and the Senate Republicans, and a comparison of plans has been produced by non-partisan House Committee Services. In addition, OSPI is working on creating what are commonly called “pivot tables” to compare the various plans to current funding levels so that school districts, parents, and others will have a clear comparison of how the different plans fund education to meet the state’s constitutional obligation.

As a reminder, it isn’t all education funding plans. Policy committees have until February 17thto vote bills out of committee. Week 5 starts the countdown to this first crucial cutoff, with fewer work sessions and more public hearings and executive action.  Bills that fail to see action are considered “dead,” although elements of these bills or even full bills may suddenly be found on bills that are moving.


Status of Top Five Legislative Priorities - Update

1.       Social and Emotional Learning

·      HB 1377 – the bill that would improve collaboration for school support services staff had a public hearing this week.

·      HB 1518 – this bill would create social emotional learning for the entire year, a summer ECEAP program, and a Summer Step-Up program to deal with summer learning loss in grades K-12. The bill is scheduled for a public hearing Monday, February 13th at 1:30 p.m., in the House Education Committee.

2.      Amply Funding Basic Education

·      New bills include: SB 5607 (Senate Republican funding plan), HB 1843 (House Democrat funding plan), and SB 5623 (Senate Democrat funding plan). 

3.      Closing the Opportunity Gap

·      No new bills introduced

4.      Standards for Paraeducators

·      SB 5607, the Senate Republican education funding plan, was amended January 31stto include SB 5070, which creates certification and endorsement requirements for paraeducators.

5.      Breakfast after the Bell

·      SB 5696 would require schools with student eligibility of 70 percent for free and reduced price meals to offer a type of “breakfast after the bell” program, starting in the 2018-19 school year. The bill is different from HB 1508, in that the House Bill includes references to grants for implementation and has a lunch co-pay reduction program.

2017 WSPTA Supported Issues:

·         Improving Educational Outcomes for Foster Children

o   No new bills

·         Engaging Families in Student Success

o   HB 1843 specifically increases to 1.085 the family engagement coordinator per prototypical school.

·         Post-Secondary/Higher Education Access and Affordability

o   HB 1840 and SB 5666 were introduced last week. The companion bills create the Washington Promise Program, which would offer free college tuition and fees to the state’s Community and Technical Colleges in one-year and two-year increments, phased in over the next few years.

·         Removing Barriers to Implementing ECEAP

o   SB 5733 would create a summer ECEAP pilot program for up to 600 slots, and a summer Jump Start grant program. It is similar to HB 1518, but does not include the emphasis on SEL.

·         Restorative Justice and School Safety

o   No new bills


Week in Review

WSPTA signed in Pro on several bills that support our Top 5 priorities and supported positions. In addition, member Michael Steffen of Marvista Elementary School traveled to Olympia to testify in support of HB 1508, breakfast after the bell.


The Week Ahead

Monday, February 6

3:30 p.m., House Appropriations, HHR A

Public Hearing:

1.     HB 1843 - Fulfilling the state's paramount duty for all children through equitable and responsible investments in the state's basic education program and reductions to local effort contributions.

2.    SSB 5607 - Concerning education.


Tuesday, February 7

8 a.m., House Early Learning & Human Services, HHR C

Public Hearing: HB 1777 - Concerning the financing of early learning facilities.


8 a.m., House Higher Education, HHR D

Public Hearing:

1.    HB 1512 - Expanding college bound scholarship eligibility.

      HB 1651 - Supporting students' success by increasing retention and graduation rates with evidence-based programs.


3:30 p.m., House Capital Budget, HHR B

Public Hearing: HB 1694 - Providing state funding assistance for public school construction.


Wednesday, February 8

1:30 p.m., House Higher Education, HHR D

Public Hearing: HB 1840 - Establishing the Washington promise program.


Thursday, February 9

8 a.m., House Education, HHR A

Executive Session:

1.       HB 1115 - Concerning paraeducators.

2.      HB 1377 - Improving students' mental health by enhancing nonacademic professional services.

3.      HB 1508 - Promoting student health and readiness through meal and nutrition programs.


3:30 p.m., House Appropriations, HHR A

Possible Executive Session:  HB 1843 - Fulfilling the state's paramount duty for all children through equitable and responsible investments in the state's basic education program and reductions to local effort contributions.


Friday, February 10

10 a.m., House Higher Education, HHR D

Public Hearing: HB 1488 - Expanding higher education opportunities for certain students.


Prepared by

Marie Sullivan
WSPTA Legislative Consultant
Email Marie
Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: February 6, 2017, 5:30 pm
During last weekend’s National PTA Board meeting, the Board of Directors approved this year’s Public Policy Agenda documents – PTA Advocacy Changes Lives and Legislative Checklist for the 115th Congress.
We encourage you to share these resources with your members. 
Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: February 3, 2017, 3:30 pm
February 6-10, 2017


Monday, February 6

1:30 p.m., House Education, HHR A

Public Hearing:

1.       HB 1313 - Improving and expanding applied learning opportunities in public schools.

2.      HB 1453 - Promoting agriculture science education in schools.

3.      HB 1600 - Increasing the career and college readiness of public school students.

4.      HB 1756 - Concerning career and technical education.

5.      HB 1509 - Concerning credit requirements for high school graduation.


1:30 p.m., Senate Early Learning &; K-12 Education, SHR 1

Public Hearing:

1.       SB 5348 - Concerning students who receive special education services who earn certificates of individual achievement.

2.      SB 5142 - Concerning educational interpreters.

3.      SB 5432 - Concerning the funding allocation for special education programs for students with disabilities.

Possible executive session on bills heard  in committee. Other business. 

3:30 p.m., House Appropriations, HHR A
Public Hearing:
1.       HB 1843 - Fulfilling the state's paramount duty for all children through equitable and
responsible investments in the state's basic education program and reductions to local
effort contributions.
2.      SSB 5607 - Concerning education. (If measure is referred to committee.)

Possible executive session on bills heard in committee. Other business.


Tuesday, February 7

8 a.m., House Early Learning &; Human Services, HHR C

1.       Public Hearing:

2.      HB 1777 - Concerning the financing of early learning facilities.

3.      HB 1719 - Updating certain department of early learning advising and contracting mechanisms to reflect federal requirements, legislative mandates, and planned system improvements.

4.      HB 1735 - Concerning the department of early learning's access to records and personal information for purposes of determining character and suitability of child care workers and individuals who have unsupervised access to children in child care settings.

5.      HB 1758 - Concerning the business of child care.


8 a.m., House Higher Education, HHR D

Public Hearing:

1.       HB 1379 - Implementing a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention and behavioral health in higher education.

2.      HB 1433 - Decoupling services and activities fees from tuition.

3.      HB 1499 - Creating protections and fairness for students in the student loan disbursement process.

4.      HB 1512 - Expanding college bound scholarship eligibility.

5.      HB 1651 - Supporting students' success by increasing retention and graduation rates with evidence-based programs.


1:30 p.m., House Education, HHR A – Teacher Shortage Day

Public Hearing:

1.       HB 1601 - Concerning the beginning educator support team program.

2.      HB 1341 - Concerning professional certification for teachers and school administrators.

3.      HB 1827 - Relating to expanding the current and future educator workforce supply through evidence-based strategies to improve and incentivize the recruitment and retention of highly effective educators, especially in high-need subject, grade-level, and geographic areas, and to establish a cohesive continuum of high quality professional learning from preparation programs to job embedded induction, mentoring, collaboration, and other professional development opportunities.

4.      HB 1654 - Changing explicit alternative routes to teacher certification program requirements to expectations for program outcomes.

5.      HB 1732 - Concerning the confidentiality of educator professional growth plans.

6.      HB 1734 - Authorizing reimbursement for substitute teachers participating in activities of the Washington state professional educator standards board to carry out its powers and duties.

3:30 p.m., House Capital Budget, HHR B

Public Hearing:

1.       HB 1050 - Concerning the financing of Chehalis basin flood damage reduction and habitat restoration projects.

2.      HB 1694 - Providing state funding assistance for public school construction.


Wednesday, February 8

1:30 p.m., House Higher Education, HHR D

Public Hearing:

1.       HB 1437 - Adding a faculty member to the board of regents at the research universities.

2.      HB 1697 - Addressing the cybersecurity and information technology professional shortage by requiring a study of incentive methods for attracting high-demand talent in information technology and cybersecurity to state agencies.

3.      HB 1830 - Creating the cybersecurity conditional loan program.

4.      HB 1840 - Establishing the Washington promise program.

Thursday, February 9

8 a.m., House Education, HHR A

Executive Session:

1.       HB 1115 - Concerning paraeducators.

2.      HB 1174 - Requiring the superintendent of public instruction to develop an elective firearms safety and hunter education course for high school students.

3.      HB 1208 - Concerning charter school students participating in interschool athletics and extracurricular activities.

4.      HB 1235 - Assessing physical education practices in public schools.

5.      HB 1246 - Concerning school bus safety.

6.      HB 1254 - Establishing a competitive educational grant program to promote confidence, public speaking, and leadership skills in students.

7.      HB 1279 - Concerning school safety drills.

8.      HB 1284 - Requiring creation of a statewide school emergency panic button program.

9.      HB 1303 - Concerning educational interpreters.

10.   HB 1310 - Creating a program to provide students and the community with the means to report anonymously concerning unsafe or violent activities, or the threat of these activities.

11.    HB 1319 - Concerning the frequency of evaluations for certain educators.

12.   HB 1346 - Clarifying the authority of a nurse working in a school setting.

13.   HB 1377 - Improving students' mental health by enhancing nonacademic professional services.

14.   HB 1412 - Creating a pilot project to provide middle and junior high school students strategic and intentional academic support beyond the traditional school day.

15.   HB 1444 - Facilitating on-time grade level progression and graduation for certain students.

16.   HB 1451 - Improving language access for public school students and families with limited English proficiency.

17.    HB 1508 - Promoting student health and readiness through meal and nutrition programs.

18.   HB 1542 - Concerning dropout prevention through engaging youth in farming.

19.   HB 1445 - Concerning dual language in early learning and K-12 education.


1:30 p.m., Senate Early Learning &; K-12 Education, SHR 1 – Teacher Shortage Day

Work Session: Professional Educational Standards Board regarding licensure and evaluation policies.

Public Hearing:

1.       SB 5217 - Changing explicit alternative routes to teacher certification program requirements to expectations for program outcomes.

2.      SB 5283 - Concerning the calculation of years of service for educational staff associate positions for salary allocation purposes.

3.      SB 5459 - Concerning the beginning educator support team program.

4.      SB 5486 - Eliminating the reporting requirement for innovative supplemental contracts.

5.      SB 5487 - Allowing retired teachers to be employed as mentors.


3:30 p.m., House Appropriations, HHR A

Possible Executive Session:

1.       HB 1042 - Eliminating the office of the insurance commissioner's school district or educational service district annual report.

2.      HB 1113 - Concerning gradually increasing the local government share of excess liquor revenues until the percentage-based method for distributions is restored.

3.      HB 1267 - Creating the wastewater treatment plant operator certification account.

4.      HB 1843 - Fulfilling the state's paramount duty for all children through equitable and responsible investments in the state's basic education program and reductions to local effort contributions.


Friday, February 10

10 a.m., House Higher Education, HHR D

Public Hearing: HB 1488 - Expanding higher education opportunities for certain students.

Click here for the current bill tracker, updated 2/2/17.


Prepared by 
Marie Sullivan
WSPTA Legislative Consultant
Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: February 2, 2017, 6:33 pm
WSPTA Parent, Michael Steffen
Representing the Washington State PTA (WSPTA), parent Michael Steffen testified today before the House Education Committee in favor of HB 1508, the Breakfast after the Bell bill.
Steffen is legislative chair for the Marvista  Elementary PTSA in the Highline School District. The bill is one of the WSPTA's Top 5 legislative priorities this session. Steffens testimony can be found at the 95 minute mark here.
Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: February 2, 2017, 5:54 pm
Washington State PTA (WSPTA) President Barbara Martin was invited to share recommendations about how
WSPTA President, Barbara Martin
to improve family engagement beyond strategies that cost money with the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Committee. 


On Tuesday, January 31, President Martin offered three areas that pose barriers, including standards and expectations, incentives for teachers and districts, and time and space constraints that negatively impact the level of family and community engagement a school can reasonably achieve.


The WSPTA adopted a position at last October's Legislative Assembly to support funding for 1.0 FTE per prototypical school to support family engagement. The Office of the Education Ombuds told the Senate committee that every school in Maryland that is designated a "community school" has a full-time coordinator, paid at the same level as an assistant principal. This leads to more value for the position, stronger respect and active outreach.



Several bills have been introduced this session, including one to define the position as a "Family and Community Engagement Coordinator" and to staff it at the 1.0 FTE per prototypical school.

Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: February 1, 2017, 10:49 pm
Greetings fellow advocates of the Washington State PTA (WSPTA). As you know, the Senate Republicans announced their proposal for education funding last Friday, January 27with the full bill coming out on Saturday, January 28. Our outstanding lobbyist, Marie Sullivan, took the weekend to do an in-depth analysis and comparison of the Governor's budget proposal, and the Democrat, and Senate Republican's education funding proposals. 


As a non-partisan 501(c)3 non-profit, WSPTA is offering this analysis purely for informational purposes. As there is significant negotiation to occur in the coming weeks and months, we urge our members to take a measured approach to your advocacy and discussion. 


All the best, 

Duncan Taylor 

WSPTA Legislative Director


Author: Washington State PTA
Posted: January 31, 2017, 11:12 pm