Whew! Session is in full swing with more bills introduced in the last two weeks. Committees are engaging in hybrid hearings and getting smoother at switching back and forth between remote and in-person testimony.
We’ve got updates on Stand’s priority bills!
- Debt Free Youth Justice – bills have been introduced in the House and Senate and both are scheduled for hearings next week!
– SB 5474 (Bill sponsor: Senator Frame) will be heard Monday, 1/30 at 10:30 am in the Senate Human Services committee
– HB 1432 (Bill sponsor: Representative Farivar) will be heard Wednesday, 2/1 at 1:30 pm in the House Human Services, Youth, and Early Learning committee
- Ninth Grade Success Teams – SB 5408 (Bill sponsor: Senator Liias) was introduced last week and is scheduled for public hearing on Thursday, 2/2 at 1:30 pm.
Take action on these priorities by signing in pro for our Debt Free Youth Justice bill SB 5474.
There were several recent hearings on House bills aimed at improving dual credit equity and helping students accelerate their learning after pandemic learning loss. Here are a few we’re watching closely:
- Dual credit equity – Washington lawmakers are considering two approaches to increasing the number of low-income students and students furthest from educational justice in dual credit programs which allow them to earn college credit while in high school. HB 1003 and HB 1316 focus on subsidies in all or most dual credit programs for students who qualify for free or reduced price lunch, and SB 5048 would subsidize costs for all students in the College in the High School Program.
- Pandemic learning loss – SB 5248 targets federal pandemic relief dollars toward intensive tutoring and extended learning time, two interventions well-supported by evidence of effectiveness. A crucial topic for this session is to ensure that resources are targeted towards those evidence-based or promising strategies to help students recover from pandemic-related learning loss.
- Justice system reform – Stand supports HB 1169 which would eliminate the remaining mandatory court fees that judges do not have discretion to waive. We are also supportive of bills to address juvenile court jurisdiction (HB 1324) and end the practice of isolation in schools (HB 1479).
Last week we called attention to HB 1071, and thanks to you, this bill received a lot of community attention and feedback on both sides of the issue, with over 1300 individuals registering their position on the bill. Some of our subscribers disagree with Stand’s position. We stand by our analysis that fully funding school resource officers in every school, particularly before we’ve even fully funded guidance counselors, nurses, and mental health professionals, is an irresponsible use of state funds and not backed by research to support student safety and well-being. That said, we sincerely appreciated hearing from this diverse community.
Thank you for reaching out and taking action. We’re looking forward to another busy few weeks of continued advocacy for educational equity and racial justice!