Washington Education Policy Brief - Jan. 17

Current Events & News, High School Success, Legislation | 01/17/2020

Katie Gustainis
Marketing & Communications Director, Stand for Children Washington

The Horizon: Key Dates

  • January 20 @ 1:30 PM – Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee
  • January 20 @ 1:30 PM – House Education Committee
  • January 21 @ 3:30 PM – House Education Committee
  • January 22 @ 1:30 PM – House College & Workforce Development Committee
  • January 23 @ 8:00 AM – House Education Committee
  • January 24 @ 8:30 AM – Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee
  • January 29– Stand’s 2020 Day of Action: Stand Up for Washington Students
  • February 7 – Policy Committee Cutoff
  • February 11 – Fiscal Committee Cutoff
  • February 19 – House of Origin Cutoff

Education Policy

And we’re off! The 2020 legislative session kicked off Monday, January 13, and even snow in Olympia and across Western Washington couldn’t stop lawmakers from charging through public hearings and work sessions during this productive first week. Here’s a recap from the Capitol and a look ahead to all things education next week.

  • Dual Credit – The House Education Committee’s Jan. 14 work session included a detailed discussion of the costs of dual credit for students and families and was followed up by hearings on two dual credit bills:
    • ICYMI: Watch the House Education Committee discuss OSPI’s 2019 report ‘Covering the Costs of Dual Credit for Students and Families’. The superintendent argued that dual credit students are still basic education students, and therefore they should not be financially penalized for taking advanced courses (families paid an estimated $58 million in dual credit costs last year).
    • HB 1164 would add additional funding for low-income students enrolled in College in the High School courses and loosen requirements for Academic Acceleration Incentive Program grants so that districts could receive funding for more than one year.
    • HB 1459 would establish a summer Running Start pilot program on three campuses.
  • SB 6480 / HB 2699 – Senator Mark Mullet and Representative Monica Stonier introduced legislation this week that would improve counseling services for students, one of our 2020 legislative priorities, because students deserve access to a full team of adults in school who dedicate time to support their well-being and guide them in their next steps beyond graduation.
  • SB 5834, which would put restrictions on collecting students’ immigration status, was heard this week.
  • SB 6606 from Senator Hasegawa would encourage districts to incorporate ethnic studies materials into their K-6 curriculums.
  • SB 6191 would add questions on adverse child experiences, which research shows affects educational attainment, to the Healthy Youth Survey.
  • HB 2184, which would require comprehensive sexual health education in all Washington schools, received a hearing on Thursday in the house following an extensive report from OSPI’s sexual health education work group.
  • Looking ahead to next week, the committee schedule includes public hearings on bills covering a number of critical topics, including early learning, special education funding, school counseling services, local effort assistance for districts, and college in the high school.

Key Numbers

  • 10,000 – the number of students from families with limited income who were able to cover their dual credit test and course fees with temporary state funding in 2019
  • 250:1 – the target ratio for students and counselors in all schools
  • 55 – the number of days left in the 2020 legislative session

#WAedu Social Media Chatter

 

What We’re Reading 

Expand access to dual-credit programs – Seattle Times Editorial Board

“Financial barriers persist for low-income students, despite state subsidies and some local assistance. State lawmakers should target these inequities to maximize this time- and money-saving option without creating an unfunded mandate that would stick local districts with the tab.”

Organization that provides mentors to children in poverty or foster care will open in Tacoma – KNKX

“Nobles said the program also will work with the children’s parents to help them achieve stability. He said the ultimate goal is to help children succeed in school and avoid the juvenile justice system. He said in the coming year, the Tacoma site plans to work with two dozen children.”

Vancouver’s new iTech Preparatory School ‘built around the curriculum’ – The Columbian

“The newest building on Washington State University Vancouver’s campus may look at home in a college setting, but the students there are a bit younger. On Monday, Vancouver Public Schools opened its new Vancouver iTech Preparatory School campus, located at 16100 N.E. 50th Ave., on the WSU Vancouver property. The STEM magnet campus, which serves middle- and high-school students, is the second school to open with funding from the district’s $458 million facilities bond.”

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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