Washington Education Policy Brief - Feb. 7

Current Events & News, High School Success, Legislation | 02/07/2020

Katie Gustainis
Marketing & Communications Director, Stand for Children Washington

The Horizon: Key Dates

  • February 8  @ 9:00 AM – House Appropriations Committee
  • February 10 @ 10:00 AM – Senate Ways & Means Committee
  • February 10 @ 1:30 PM – House Appropriations Committee
  • February 11 @ 9:00 AM  – House Appropriations Committee
  • February 11 @ 10:00 AM – Senate Ways & Means Committee
  • February 11 – Fiscal Committee Cutoff
  • February 13 @ 8:00 AM – House Education Committee
  • February 19 – House of Origin Cutoff
  • February 28 – Opposite House Policy Cutoff

Education Policy

Today is the first cutoff date of the 2020 session and it’s a tight schedule as we head towards the February 19th House of Origin cutoff date. The list of bills still alive is winnowing as we speak. Notably, the House Appropriations Committee is meeting tomorrow morning to start moving through the pile of legislation they need to get through before Tuesday, the Fiscal Committee Cutoff. Here’s the latest on what we’re watching and what’s coming next:

  • Dual Credit
  • SB 6505 was passed out of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee this morning and is heading to the Rules Committee. As a reminder, 6505 would expand access to dual credit opportunities by eliminating direct costs to students and families.
  • School Counselors
    • SB 6480 was also passed out of committee this morning and is heading to the Rules Committee. 6480 would require comprehensive school counseling programs in all districts and protect counselors’ time by ensuring they spend 80% of their day serving students. You can watch the TVW recording of the hearing here. The bill had a long list of supporters signing in pro and a slate of organizations also testifying in support, including:'
      • Stand for Children Washington
      • Black Education Strategy Roundtable
      • Bridging Cultural Gaps
      • Foundation for Tacoma Students
      • OSPI
      • Washington School Counselors Association
      • Washington Education Association
  • This week also saw activity for the following bills:
    • SB 6615 - Concerning staff funding for school districts.
    • SB 6511 - Increasing equitable educational outcomes for foster care and homeless children and youth from prekindergarten to postsecondary education.
    • HB 2128 - Establishing new reporting requirements for the delivery and improvement of career and technical education.
    • HB 2865 - Informing families of kindergarten readiness standards.
    • SB 5908 - Providing training for equity and cultural competency in the public school system.
  • These education bills are scheduled be heard in tomorrow’s Saturday meeting of the House Appropriations Comittee:
    • 3HB 1660 - Concerning the participation of students who are low income in extracurricular activities.
    • HB 2299 - Creating prison to postsecondary education pathways.
    • SHB 2864 - Establishing a running start summer school pilot program.

Key Numbers

  • 83.9% - the percentage of elementary school counselors who reported in a survey that they are not currently able to adequately attend to the mental health care needs of their students.
  • 1 – the number of education committee meetings next week in Olympia
  • 34 – the number of days left in the 2020 legislative session

#WAedu Social Media Chatter


What We’re Reading 

Why are Washington’s school counselors monitoring recess? – Seattle Times

Opinion: SB 6282 is a poison pill to kill desegregation of advanced learning programs in SPS – South Seattle Emerald

'Why is your skin like that?' Students of color speak out about discrimination - KNKX

Spokane schools superintendent Redinger finalist for Arizona job – Spokesman-Review

Education Funding: An explainer

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

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.

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