Legislative Session Highlights
*** Find the latest entry in March here: Session Update (March 2020).
So far this month, Legislative committees worked to pass bills out of their original house policy committee by the cutoff deadline. Now, attention turns to fiscal committees, with fiscal cutoff deadline: Tuesday, February 11.
Highlight bills we're tracking so far:
- Sexual health education (ESSB 5395 & SHB 2184)
- Special education appropriations (SSB 6117 / HB 2258)
The Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education committee had a full house on Wednesday for the public hearing on Proposed Substitute Senate Bill 6615, which reflects the recommendations of the Staffing Enrichment Work Group. The Proposed Substitute, requested by OSPI, added in the requirement for a significant portion of the professional learning days to be focused on topics of racial literacy and cultural responsiveness. Holly Koon, SBE Member testified on behalf of the Board.
The Senate ELK12 committee also amended and passed OSPI’s request legislation on dual credit costs (SSB 6505). The Prime Sponsor, Senator Mullet, noted that they are still working out the details to determine how all three sectors (K-12, Higher Ed, and the State) can support covering the costs of dual credit.
Several bills passed out of committee with amendments:
- SSB 5908 (Das) – Providing training for equity and cultural competency in the public school system
- SSB 6117 (Wellman) – Concerning appropriations for special education programs
- SSB 6141 (Randall) – Expanding access to higher education
- SHB 2523 (Ortiz-Self) – Expanding access to higher education
- SHB 1860 (Pollet) – Addressing lead in drinking water in schools
- SSB 6505 (Mullet) – Expanding access to dual credit opportunities by eliminating direct costs to students and families
- SHB 2660 (Riccelli) – Increasing the availability of school meals provided to public school students at no student cost
- PSSB 6615 - Concerning staff funding for school districts. (Board Member Holly Koon/ Pro with equity concern)
Signed in support:
- SB 6511 - Increasing equitable educational outcomes for foster care and homeless children and youth from prekindergarten to postsecondary education.
- SB 6563 - Creating statutory authorization for school-based health centers.
- HB 2551 - Permitting students to wear traditional tribal regalia and objects of cultural significance at graduation ceremonies and related events.
- SB 6480 - Developing comprehensive school counseling programs.
- SB 5908 - Providing training for equity and cultural competency in the public school system.
- SB 6117 - Concerning appropriations for special education programs.
- SSB 5607 - Concerning dual language learning in early learning and K-12 education.