The Washington State PTA’s (WSPTA) 2020 Legislative Assembly happened virtually this year due to COVID-19. While it was very different than attending an in-person assembly, I was grateful to still participate as many other state PTA’s just cancelled this year. What is Legislative Assembly? It’s an event where representatives and advocates from school districts in our state come together and discuss, amend and vote on the legislative principles, resolutions and priorities that the Washington State PTA will use to advocate with legislators. Via Zoom there were 291 participants (18 non-voting and 273 voting delegates) representing all 13 regions.

The Voter’s Guide outlining all the Issues and Resolutions discussed and voted on at the Legislative Assembly can be found here: https://www.wastatepta.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/2020-Legislative-Assembly-Voter-Guide-FINALv9.04.pdf

Here is a summary of votes at the assembly (please click on link above for more details on each item):

Legislative Issue #1 – Safe School Plans and Emergency Preparedness

  • Amendment 1-1 passed (PRO 243; AGAINST 10)
  • Issue #1 as amended passed (PRO 241; AGAINST 7)

Legislative Issue #2 – Increase Access to Nursing, Mental Health, and Social Emotional Learning Staff

  • Issue #2 no amendments passed (PRO 266; AGAINST 0)

Legislative Issue #3 – Equitable Identification and Services for Highly Capable Students

  • Issue # 3 no amendments passed (PRO 233; 16 AGAINST)

Legislative Issue #4 – Prevent and Reduce Gun Violence and Suicide

  • Amendment 4-1 passed (PRO 243; AGAINST 12)
  • Amendment 4-2 passed (PRO 224; AGAINST 34)
  • Amendment 4-3 rejected (PRO 124; AGAINST 137)
  • Issue #4 with amendments 4-1 and 4-2 passed (PRO 246; AGAINST 22)

Legislative Issue #5 – Mitigating the Adverse Impacts of Climate Change

  • Issue #5 no amendments (PRO 224; AGAINST 51)

Legislative Issue #6 – Supports and Funding for Students with Disabilities and Their Families

  • Issue #6 no amendments (PRO 266; AGAINST 0)

Legislative Issue #7 – Support Students and Preserve Education Funding

  • Amendment 7-1 passed (PRO 258; AGAINST 1)
  • Issue #7 as amended passed (PRO 256; AGAINST 2)

Legislative Issue #8 – Increasing Educational Equity by Closing the Digital Divide

  • Issue #8 no amendments passed (PRO 249; AGAINST 4)

Legislative Principle #1 – Anti-Racism, Anti-Discrimination, Anti-Oppression

  • Principle #1 no amendments passed (PRO 253; AGAINST 6)

Resolution #1 – Cultural Access Programs and Expanded Learning Opportunities

  • Resolution #1 no amendments passed (PRO 257; AGAINST 3)

Resolution #2 – School Nutrition, Breakfast and Lunch Policies and retire Resolution 11.19

  • Resolution #2 no amendments and retire Resolution 11.19 passed (PRO 252; AGAINST 2)

Resolution #3 – Equitable Access to Recess, Play, Unstructured Time and Physical Activity and retire Resolution 11.27

  • Amendment 3-1 passed (PRO 243; AGAINST 10)
  • Resolution #3 as amended and retire Resolution 11.27 passed (PRO 254; AGAINST 3)

Resolution #4 – Social Emotional Learning and Student Success

  • Resolution #4 no amendments passed (PRO 229; AGAINST 0)

Resolution #5 – Restorative Justice and Improving Student Outcomes

  • Resolution #5 no amendments passed (PRO 234; AGAINST 7)

Resolution #6 – Dismantling Institutional and Systemic Racism

  • Resolution #6 no amendments passed (PRO 244; AGAINST 7)

Resolution #7 – Improving Access and Outcomes in Special Education and retire Resolutions 18.27, 18.3 and 18.35

  • Resolution #7 no amendments and retire Resolutions 18.27, 18.3 and 18.35 passed (PRO 259; AGAINST 1)

Resolution #8 – Supporting K-12 Career and Technical Education

  • Resolution #8 no amendments passed (PRO 250; AGAINST 3)

Resolution #9 – 11.28 Mitigating the Health Effects of Climate Change (Resolution passed 2018)

  • Amendment 9-1, Resolution 11.28 amended passed (PRO 243; AGAINST 7)
  • Resolution 9 as amended passed (PRO 237; AGAINST 16)

You can read more about the 2020-2021 WSPTA Legislative Platform here: https://www.wastatepta.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/2020-21-Legislative-Priorities-Oct2020.pdf

Voting delegates also voted on the top 5 priorities of the WSPTA (84% voter turnout).

  1. Increase access to nursing, mental health, and social emotional learning staff – 288 votes
  2. Support students and preserve education funding – 255 votes
  3. Increasing educational equity by closing the digital divide – 233 votes
  4. Supports and funding for students with disabilities and their families – 209 votes
  5. Prevent and reduce gun violence and suicide – 196 votes

Votes for the other 3 issues considered for the top 5 priorities were:

  • Safe school plans and emergency preparedness – 136 votes
  • Equitable identification and services for highly capable students – 88 votes
  • Mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change – 85 votes

These top 5 are not prioritized by how many votes they received and will be equally advocated for with legislators.

Ready to take action? Check out the Washington State PTA’s Take Action Page. You can subscribe to the Action Network Group and learn more about submitting a legislative issue proposal, a resolution proposal and a legislative principle proposal.

https://www.wastatepta.org/focus-areas/advocacy/take-action/

If you have questions or comments, please reach out!

Amy McHenry

Stillwater PTSA Legislative Advocacy Chair