March 9, 2018 Policy Brief
A summary for those closely following the debate.
The Horizon: Key Dates
- Tuesday, March 13: Stand for Children Legislative Wrap-up Conference Call
We made it! Yesterday was the last day of the 2018 short legislative session. Next week we’ll be sending a session wrap-up before toning down the frequency of this brief.
This week in Olympia:
- HB 2748, the bill that Senator Mullet amended last week to allow more flexibility in LAP funding (a priority of Stand's), did not make it to the Governor's desk. Our priority to provide better, and more specific support in classrooms is unchanged, and we will continue to seek pathways to success for every kid.
- SB 6362, Senator Wellman's McCleary trailer bill, was passed yesterday during the waning hours of the session. Notably, the final version meets the State Supreme Court's orders to increase teacher salary funding starting in the 2018-19 school year (instead of 2019-20). It also slightly increases the special education cost multiplier, adds an experience factor adjustment for schools with "above-average education and experience for Certificated Instructional Staff," bases the Learning Assistance Program allocation on a three-year rolling average of free and reduced-price meal program enrollments, and specifies some criteria for identifying highly capable students.
- The 2018 supplemental budget was also passed yesterday. The House and Senate came to an agreement to fully fund the State Need Grant and eliminate the grant waiting list [LD1] over the next four years (there are currently 24,000 student currently enrolled in a state university who are eligible for the SNG but not receiving it due to lack of funds). The budget also allocates resources to support professional development around the Next Generation Science Standards ($4M), create a bilingual educator pilot program ($1M), and to implement SB 6162 and screen all K-3 students for dyslexia ($120K), among other line items.
- In 2017, 79.3% of students graduated high school within four years, up from 79.1% in 2016. (OSPI).
- $750M in net new spending is allocated to 2018-19 K-12 salary allocations in the budget passed yesterday.
Social Media Chatter
What We're Reading
State lawmakers passed a $1.2 billion supplemental operating budget on the last day of the 2018 legislative session after a contentious vote along party lines.
Washington’s four-year graduation rate for public high schools barely budged last year, but several groups of traditionally underserved students made higher than average gains.
Schools may soon have to screen kids for the learning disability dyslexia early on in elementary school. State lawmakers passed a bill requiring districts to do so starting in the 2020-2021 school year.
Thank you for reading our summary. Please share any questions or feedback you may have with Katie Gustainis, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to hearing from you.