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April 14, 2017 Policy Brief


Key Dates

Sunday, April 23: Last day of regular session – it is possible that the legislature will adjourn on Friday, April 21, and commence a Special Session right away. Most lawmakers will go home at that time to their districts.

June 7: Economic Forcast

June 20: Revenue Forcast

June 30: Budget or Continuing Resolution for 2017-2019 must be adopted

July 7: Initiative Filing Deadline

 

Policy Round Up

SHB 1445, passed by the Senate, creates a new effort to recruit and train bilingual teachers in the state. 

ESHB 1115,  passed by the Senate, creates new standards and certification requirements for paraeducators.

 

Key Numbers

  • Washington ranks 50th in the nation in its progress on closing the achievement gap between poor and wealthy students, compared to all states and the District of Columbia. (Education Week’s Annual Quality Counts Report).

  • Senate budget increased funding of the Learning Assistance Program, which is less than 5 percent of their proposed $1.8 billion education spending increase. The House has not proposed a funding increase for the Learning Assistance Program.

  • Washington State ranks 41st in the nation in high school graduation rates (U.S. Department of Education).

  • Fewer than 1 percent of black kids in Seattle are in the district’s gifted program.

 

What We're Reading

Why Talented Black and Hispanic Students Can Go Undiscovered – New York Times
“…But without some method of identifying talented students, disadvantaged children may fall even further behind those from affluent families, whose parents can afford niceties like private tutors, Kumon math courses and coding camps. Low-income parents just can’t afford these extras.”

Dispute over tax vote stalling Washington 2017-19 budget talks – Spokesman-Review
“’They have to swap paper and ideas and make some of these hard compromises,’ Inslee said at a press conference. ‘There is not a reason to wait.’”

Pilot program to recruit and training bilingual teachers may still happen – Tri-City Herald
“The agreement is good for an increasingly diverse student population, and research shows students achieve more when they aren’t faced with understanding a second language to learn basic lessons, Zeiger said.”

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