Roll Call #14: Bills bills bills ready to go

Anti-Racist Resources, High School Success, Legislation | 04/16/2021

Virginia Barry
Policy & Government Affairs Manager, Stand for Children Washington

LEGISLATIVE ROLL CALL

Session Week #14

A summary of the bills impacting schools, students, and families this week.

As we sprint to Sine Die (the last day of session) in less than ten days, I’m excited to provide an update on SSB 5030, the bill we’ve supported to implement comprehensive school counseling programs. Earlier this week, the Senate voted to concur with the House amendments, which means we have a final version that both chambers can send to the Governor’s office. Next steps are signatures from the House speaker, Senate president, and finally, Governor Inslee. The Stand team cannot thank you enough for your advocacy on this important bill! Together we can do amazing things.


Another milestone bill passage over the past week was ESSB 5044, legislation to bring diversity, equity, and inclusion training to school board members and educators. House members passed the bill with a vote of 57-44 after a long floor debate. The chambers still need to concur on the amendments, but we are so excited to see this bill pass in the House. More importantly, we’re so proud of the 93 of you who offered testimony and contacted your legislators in support of the bill to ensure it reached this point. If you haven’t seen it yet, Erin’s testimony is one example of the many community members who have spoken up in support of this legislation.

If you’d like to learn more about ESSB 5044, I’ll be providing an overview and some updates at our next Take Action Tuesday, April 20 at 6pm PST. 

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With most bills having received a vote at this point, lawmakers are walking through the House and Senate budget bills line by line to determine what will make it into the final version. You may remember that the House proposed budget contains $6 million to expand OSPI’s Ninth Grade Success pilots, and we have been advocating to ensure that support for this vital program makes it into the final budget. Earlier this week, we delivered a letter signed by 21 educators from districts across Washington - in Bellingham, Blaine, Burlington, Cheney, Deming, East Wenatchee, Royal City, Quincy, and Spokane Valley - who are already implementing ninth grade success programs and asking legislators to expand the OSPI pilot. You can read the letter and add your voice here,

Several teachers and school leaders added to the chorus with their own reflections, including this addition from one principal about the far-reaching impacts of Ninth Grade Success: 

“The Ninth Grade Success focus on short (two week intervals) students' data (9th grade discipline, attendance, and academics) had far reaching positive impact: not only did Warden's 9th graders experience greater success, but success became contagious at all grade levels. Teacher beliefs and behaviors also became more positive. The master schedule continued to be improved based on the 9th graders passing and achieving at higher levels. The 9th grade success movement became a trickle up and out and everywhere movement.”

Lawmakers should announce the contents of the finalized budget sometime next week. I’ll be back then for a roundup of what made the cut. I’ll also be back on Facebook Live video for our final 2021 Roll Call Live on Friday, April 30th - RSVP on Facebook here. Until then, I hope to see you on Tuesday! 

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