I hope everyone is having a great summer! I wanted to share some notes from the 2019 Legislative Session.

Here is a link to the FULL report. It’s an easy read and very well organized, outlining legislature that passed as well as did not pass including links to every bill. https://www.wastatepta.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2019-Legislative-Session-End-of-Session-WSPTA-Final.pdf

There is also a summary here: https://www.wastatepta.org/2019-legislative-session-end-session-report/ and if that is too much, check out the top ten outlined by the WA State PTA below:

Specific legislation supported by the WSPTA platform that passed this session includes:

  1. Creation of the Social Emotional Learning Work Group in statute and formal adoption of the SEL framework by OSPI after a review by the newly constituted workgroup
  2. Additional levy authority and protection of Local Effort Assistance for school districts struggling to provide student-focused enrichment programs
  3. Funding increases (although not fully closing the gap between the cost to deliver services under a student’s IEP and state funding) for students receiving special education services, and a focus on inclusionary classrooms for students with disabilities
  4. Passage of comprehensive bills to address the teacher shortage issue and improve school safety, including the addition of student/family reunification as part of school safety planning
  5. Adoption of legislation to address gun violence, including new laws to review the opportunity for a single point of reference on background checks, prohibiting undetectable firearms, clarifying Extreme Risk Protection Orders, removing firearms from certain individuals, and new requirements for individuals seeking Concealed Pistol Licenses
  6. Funding for demonstration sites to prove the concept of 20-minutes seated school lunch
  7. Funding for two days of training in the Fundamental Course of Study for paraeducators, starting with the 2019-20 school year
  8. Expansion of the opportunity for income-eligible preschool students to attend ECEAP
  9. Removal of barriers to individuals applying to teacher preparation programs to improve diversity in the classroom without lowering standards
  10. Raising the legal age to use tobacco and/or vape products to 21.

In his statement on this legislative session, Washington State Superintendent, Chris Reykdal said, “I am grateful for the important work of the Legislature this session. We saw policymakers from both sides of the political aisle work together to make progress that will have a great impact on the lives of our students and educators. With additional basic education funding and levy flexibility restored, we must continue working together to break down systemic barriers and close opportunity gaps between students.”

On a different note, as summer winds down you’ll see elections ramp up. There are 3 Riverview School District Board positions up in 2019 (positions 2, 3 and 4). While filing week was back in May, the last day to file as a write-in candidate without a filing fee is Thursday, July 18. More information is on page 15 of the 2019 King County Candidate Manual: https://kingcounty.gov/~/media/depts/elections/for-candidates/pdfs/candidate-manual.ashx?la=en

I’m excited to serve as the Legislative Advocacy chair this year! If you have any questions, please reach out to me.

Thank you,

Amy McHenry

advocate [at] stillwaterptsa [dot] org