January 19, 2018 Policy Brief

A summary for those closely following the debate.

The Horizon: Key Dates

  • January 22, 23, & 25: House and Senate Education Committee Hearings
  • February 2: Policy Committee Bill Cut-Off
  • February 6: Fiscal Committee Bill Cut-Off
  • February 14: House of Origin Cut-Off


  • Senator Mark Mullet’s bill supporting High School Success, SB 6209, which would implement two of our legislative priorities this session (Academic Acceleration and Early Warning Systems/Dropout Prevention) received a companion bill in the House, HB 2868, sponsored by Representatives’ Pettigrew and Stokesbary.
  • Although the legislature was largely focused on gun control, the capital budget, and resolving the Hirst decision this week, there were hearings on a bill that would lower graduation requirements (SB 6144), a bill that would define dyslexia as a learning disability (SB 6162), and one that would improve 2nd grade reading level assessments (SB 6132).

Key Numbers 

  • Over the past five years, the number of Kelso Running Start students has more than doubled. (TDN)
  • A year of full-time tuition at Lower Columbia College while in high school costs $4,273, while a year of undergraduate tuition at the University of Washington costs $10,974. (TDN)
  • The number of students taking AP classes in the Longview School District has increased 18 percent over the past four years.

Social Media Chatter

@EducationLab: Backed by a $1 million grant from @johnshopkins, 23 Seattle schools are doubling down on family engagement practices to help prepare students for high school http://st.news/2DRXCVB  #WAedu

What We're Reading

School stats: racial achievement gaps exist even in Washington’s highest-performing schools – Seattle Times

A new analysis by the State Board of Education shows that achievement gaps exist in high-performing schools, low-performing ones and everything in-between.

Is the effort to curb strict discipline going too far, too fast? – The Hechinger Report

Highline School District is attempting an ambitious transformation from a district that embraced strict discipline to one noted for its efforts to reduce suspensions. According to administrators, between 2013 and 2016, the district of about 19,000 students slashed its number of expulsions and out-of-school suspensions from 1,628 to 475.

Thank you for reading our summary. Please share any questions or feedback you may have with Katie Gustainis, kgustainis@stand.org.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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