The legislative session will wrap up at the end of April. The bills associated with school construction and changing bond voting from a super majority to a simple majority have died for this year (e.g., SB 5853 https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5853&Initiative=false&Year=2019 ). Two bills addressing the teacher shortage are making better progress. SHB 1621, which would allow the Washington Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) to accept alternatives to the teacher basic skills test has been delivered to Governor Inslee for his signature (http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2019-20/Pdf/Bills/House%20Passed%20Legislature/1621-S.PL.pdf#page=1). The PESB believes that this revision will allow more applicants into teacher training programs, thus helping the Washington teacher shortage. SHB 1139, an act 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 has passed the Senate and is now in the process of concurrence (http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2019-20/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/1139-S2.E.pdf). This bill has a number of good programs, practices and opportunities that could really help the teacher shortage in Washington. For more information on the legislative session, thus far, see this summary from the WA PTA https://www.dropbox.com/s/1514haqwzkue3xd/Legislative%20Session%20-%20Week%2015.pdf?can_id=6739c0ae2b3d679917a9b01543bb8749&dl=0&email_referrer=email_533466&email_subject=information-bulletin-its-the-final-countdown&link_id=0&source=email-information-bulletin-its-the-final-countdown .
As always, feel free to contact me with questions or further information.
Roslyn Reeps; Advocacy Chair