Ensuring Social Justice

Ensure the state fully funds education, including support services.

Issue Team Chair: Catherine Ahl, cahl@lwvwa.org(360) 697-7924
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2020 Legislative Session Wrap Up

(Interested in the 2019 Session Recap? Click Here)

The good news is that SB 5395 (requiring comprehensive sexual health education in all schools) was signed by the Governor on March 27. The Governor vetoed the funding for OSPI to provide a list of approved curricula.

Click on Bill # for detailed information.  See UPDATES below.

      Bill the League Supported That Has Been Signed Into Law

      • ESSB 5395 would require comprehensive sexual health education with an affirmative consent curriculum in all schools beginning in the 2022/23 school year. This would require a curriculum that is evidence-informed, inclusive for all students, age appropriate, and is consistent with the state health and physical education learning standards. School districts must grant a parent’s request to have their child excused from this class.  UPDATE:  The Governor signed on March 27, but a referendum has been filed to eliminate it. R-90 has until June 10 to gather 129,811 signatures in order for it to be on the November ballot.

      Bills the League Supported That Did Not Pass

      • SB 5834 Would protect our immigrant students consistently across the state with a policy developed by OSPI (Superintendent of Public Instruction) and WSSDA (WA State School Directors Association).  UPDATE: SB 5834  did not pass out of the House Education Executive Session as all the time was spent on SB 5395 and its many amendments.
      • SB 6073 Would require public schools to supply menstrual products for free in bathrooms. Schools must comply by the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, and public schools, not the state, must pay for the products.  We have concerns that this is another unfunded mandate but there are groups willing to help with the funding.  UPDATE: Was passed by the Senate 48-0 but never received a hearing in the House Education Committee
      • SB 6615  Would modernize the K-12 staffing ratios and provide funding for the program of basic education that reflects the current needs of students. Updates the prototypical school model. UPDATE: This bill did not pass out of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Committee by cut-off.
      • HB 2220 volunteering in schools after a criminal conviction. UPDATE: Passed the House 82-16 and the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee passed the bill to the Rules Committee  but it didn’t pass out of Rules by cut-off.
      • 2SHB 1182 was amended with parts of SB 6132 which we supported and now allows the learning assistance program to support school-wide behavioral health system of supports and interventions, including social workers, counselors, instructional aides, and other school-based health professionals.  UPDATE:  The two Houses couldn’t agree on the final language.
      • SB 6117 would increase the allocation from 1.0075 to 1.025 for students eligible for and receiving special education and reported to be in the general education setting for eighty percent or more of the school day. UPDATE:   Since this bill did not pass, the funding is not in the budget for the allocation increase. Instead, $1.9 million is provided for expected increases in safety net awards.

      Bill the League Opposed

      • HB 2788  Provides local effort assistance (matching local schools enrichment levy amounts) to Charter Schools from the Opportunity Pathways account that is also supposed to fund various scholarships, grants, and the Early Childhood Education & Assistance program. We testified against this bill in the Appropriations Committee on Jan. 29.  The bill did not pass out of committee by cut-off. However, the House-adopted budget would have provided $14.4 million to grant $1,000 per FTE student for school districts that have enrollments of less than six hundred fifty students. The final budget provides $4.0 million for grants to school districts with enrollments of less than six hundred fifty students. OSPI is required to prioritize districts with low operating fund balances or other demonstrated financial need. Additionally, as with the originally proposed funding, charter schools and tribal-compact schools are eligible to receive grants.  UPDATE:  The Governor vetoed the entire $4 million for those grants.

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