Roll Call #2: Counseling, Attendance, Grads

Current Events & News, Legislation, Policy Brief | 01/22/2021

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

Wow, what a week. We’ve celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., witnessed the inauguration of a new president, and nearly sixty of you emailed Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education committee members to urge them to pass SB 5030. And I’m delighted to report that on Wednesday, the committee voted unanimously to send the bill over to the Senate Rules Committee, where it now awaits a floor vote. This committee vote is a key step toward ensuring students receive comprehensive school counseling services, and your voice helped make it happen! 

This past Sunday, we were also buoyed by the support of SB 5030 from the Seattle Times Editorial Board. In Sunday’s editorial, they praised the legislation and the urgent need for it right now in schools:

“The approach [of SB 5030] is an efficient way to make the most of counseling resources and meet the academic and mental-health needs of Washington students. Helping more students pursue postsecondary credentials and manage trauma from the pandemic will become even more important in coming years.” (You can read the whole article here.)

READ OUR 2021 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

We were all inspired when Stand Fellow Devony Audet testified in support of two bills in House Education yesterday. She shared her story as a parent to demonstrate why the committee should pass HB 1113, a bill outlining the ways schools would notify parents when a student is absent and provide therapeutic interventions, and HB 1085, which would create a safe environment for students with seizure disorders. You can watch her testimony here.

MEET WITH YOUR LEGISLATORS

Two bills important to the High School Success Coalition were also heard in committee this morning. On the House side, Stand testified in opposition to HB 1162, which would lower the bar for high school graduation requirements and lessen the preparation students receive for college and career. Over in the Senate, we were excited to support SB 5184, which would establish a point of contact in all school buildings for youth in foster care. The bill is a priority for fellow High School Success Coalition partner Treehouse because it is critical to ensure that youth in foster care have the support they need on the path to graduation. 

If you prefer a video version of this Roll Call, don't forget to join us on our Roll Call Live via Facebook every Friday at lunchtime! You can watch today's video here, which includes a review of Devony's incredible testimony.

Looking ahead to next week, we’ll be anxiously awaiting a floor vote for SB 5030, and watching as the House Education committee discusses the bills we weighed in on in executive session. We’d love to see you at our next weekly “Take Action Tuesday”, online at 6pm. Until next week!

Standing with you,

Virginia 

 

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