Education Policy Brief - Session Week 2

Current Events & News, High School Success, Legislation | 02/01/2019

Katie Gustainis
Marketing & Communications Director, Stand for Children Washington

Education Policymaking Brief #44

A summary for those closely following the education policy debate in Olympia.

January 25, 2019

The Horizon: Key Dates

  • Jan. 28: Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Hearing (1:30 PM)
  • Jan. 28: House Education Hearing (1:30 PM)
  • Jan. 29: House Education Work Session (3:30 PM)
  • Jan. 30: Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Hearing (1:30 PM)
  • Jan. 31: House Education Executive Session (8:00 AM)
  • Feb. 22: House Policy Committee Cutoff

Education Policy

It’s been a marathon week in Olympia (and it's only day 12!) with twelve education bills heard in the Senate and four in the House.

We anticipate that our priority legislation - Senator Mullet’s bill Facilitating High School SuccessSB 5343 - will see a hearing in the coming weeks after the initial fervor in Olympia dies down.

You can view the full hearing schedules for the House and Senate, but below we’ve pulled out the key bills we’re tracking with the most potential impact.

Key bills heard this week:

  • SB 5312, OSPI’s special education funding bill.
  • SB 5088 would expand access to computer science courses.
  • SB 5548 would create multiple pathways for students towards a rigorous high school diploma.
  • SB 5014 related to High School Graduation requirements - a topic of endless debate in Olympia over the last 10 plus years - would delink assessments from graduation.
  • HB 1139 would bolster efforts around how we recruit, train, and support teachers.

What we’re watching that’s coming next week:

  • HB 1265 addresses providing more school counselors (and we’re excited for the discussion to come).
  • SB 5324 would expand the types of services provided to students experiencing homelessness.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions about what’s been filed or to sort out what’s on deck for education policy in Olympia.

Key Numbers

  • 93 days left in the regular 2019 session.

#WAedu Social Media Chatter


Education Funding: An explainer

How do Washington schools get funded, anyway? An education funding primer video to get you started:

What We’re Reading

Seattle School District needs a better plan for local levies – Seattle Times editorial board

Seattle levy threatens McCleary reforms – Seattle Times editorial board

State school chief needs to lead and rein in local levies – Seattle Times editorial board

Seattle’s school-levy request is lawful, necessary – Seattle Times op-ed by Washington Superintendent Reykdal

The missing gaps in state school funding – Seattle Times op-ed by Highline, Tacoma, Seattle and PSESD Superintendents

Debunking the Seattle Times Editorial Board’s Screed Against Seattle School Levies – The Stranger op-ed by Paramount Duty


The Education Policymaking Brief is produced by Stand for Children Washington, a public education advocacy organization, and was established in 2017. If you’d like to review previous briefs, they are available here. 

Sign up here to receive weekly legislative updates about education policy in Olympia in your inbox every Friday.

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