Both the House and Senate released their operating budgets last week. The House passed their budget off the floor on Friday March 29, and the Senate is still in the process of passing their budget through the Ways and Means Committee. We anticipate it will move off the full Senate floor on Wednesday. Please see last week’s budget summaries for additional detail. Attached are the amendments the House considered to their operating budget when it was adopted. We are also still working diligently toward AESD priorities.

AESD Specific Bills

School Safety

HB 1216: Still moving along the process and we are cautiously optimistic that the final budget will have two positions funded for each ESD. This House bill is making its way through the Senate process and is still enjoying solid support from stakeholders and legislators.

School Employees Benefits (SEB)

HB 2096 There is still no solution for ESDs. Although HB 2096 (which would delay ESDs movement to the SEB program) is technically still alive because it is “necessary to implement the budget” or NTIB, legislators are telling us it is not likely to pass as a stand-alone bill. We are working with legislators to see if there are other bills moving along in the process that could accommodate an amendment to find ESD solution. Thanks to many of you for the additional help communicating with legislators over the past week. We will raise the need for ESD solution through testimony in Monday’s Senate budget hearing.

School District Territory Transfers

SB 5731: We testify in front of Chair Santo’s House Education Committee as “other” and express concerns.  This bill allows a petitioner to request a hearing by the Regional Committee on School District Organization if a school district dismisses a proposed transfer of territory initiated by citizen petition. The bill is scheduled for executive action this week. See amendments the committee will consider: Santos Amendment and Dolan Amendment.

Children’s Mental Health

SB 5903: Scheduled for public hearing last week. Update: Committee adopted this amendment.

Climate Science

SB 5576: Dead for the session. However, AESD submitted a budget proviso to budget writers and asked for the funding in the Operating Budget. We are asking the Ways and Means Chair to include funding in the budget for on-going professional development. Update: both House and Senate budgets include funding for this work. Budget writers will negotiate final proviso language and final budget amount.

Special Education Advocate

We testified in House Education last week and asked for the ESD special education advocate be removed. As reported last week… Senator Braun agreed to an amendment removing ESDs from the advocacy role. SB 5532 was originally drafted to include a provision that requires ESDs to have a special education advocate.  We submitted a letter of concerns and are asked for ESDs to be removed from the bill. Please note the bill moved off the Senate floor without the ESD amendment. We will be working to include the amendment in the House. Update: House bill removes ESD special education advocate but the Senate funds ESDs to contract out this advocacy work.

Career Connected Learning

SB 5327: was heard in the House last week. Senator Wellman has expressed a preference to have the CCL coordinator placed at each ESD. WA STEM is advocating for a competitive grant process to determine where the work would be accomplished. If you look at the bill text please notice section four which now says: Educational Service Districts shall each employ one full-time employee to convene and manage regional, cross-industry networks that will lead to the expansion of career connected learning opportunities. This is all subject to appropriation. This policy comes at the request of Governor Inslee. If passed the policy: Creates a multi-agency work group to coordinate career connected learning (CCL) opportunities, collect data, provide recommendations, and perform other duties; Creates a competitive grant program to support regional networks and program intermediaries in expanding CCL opportunities; Requires school districts to be funded up to 1.2 full-time equivalents for students in certain CCL programs; Requires the institutions of higher education to have CCL coordinators to engage faculty and institutional leadership in expanding the number of certain CCL programs. Update: Senate funds ESD coordinators for CCL.

Computer Science

SB 5088: Update: Passed the House Education Committee and waiting for action of the full House. Authorizes school districts, beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, to award academic credit to students for computer science, based on student completion of a competency examination. Requires a school district that operates a high school, beginning no later than the 2022-2023 school year, to provide an opportunity to access an elective computer science course that is available to all students.

Hearings This Week

Education (House) – HHR A, JLOB – 4/1 @ 1:30pm

  • SSB 5354 – Public Hearing – Concerning programs for highly capable students.
  • SSB 5612 – Public Hearing – Concerning Holocaust education.
  • SB 5263 – Public Hearing – Concerning school bus driver requirements.
  • SB 5088 – Public Hearing – Awarding credits for computer science.
  • SB 5731 – Public Hearing – Concerning petitions for proposed transfer of school district territory. (Concerns/High)

Appropriations (House) – HHR A, JLOB – 4/1 @ 3:30pm

  • HB 2140 – Public Hearing – Relating to K-12 education funding.
  • SSB 5851 – Exe

Ways & Means (Senate) – SHR 4, JACB – 4/1 @ 3:30pm

  • SB 5153 – Public Hearing – Making 2019-2021 biennium operating appropriations. (Hearing is on the Proposed Substitute.)

State Government & Tribal Relations (House) – HHR E, JLOB – 4/2 @ 1:30pm

  • SB 5227 – Exec Session – Concerning deadlines for receipt of voter registrations by election officials

Ways & Means (Senate) – SHR 4, – 4/2 @ 3:30pm

  • SB 5153 – Exec Session – Making 2019-2021 biennium operating appropriations.

State Government & Tribal Relations (House) – HHR E, JLOB – 4/3 @ 1:30pm

  • SB 5227 – Exec Session – Concerning deadlines for receipt of voter registrations by election officials

Capital Budget (House) – HHR B, JLOB – 4/4 @ 3:30pm

  • 2SSB 5572 – Public Hearing – Authorizing modernization grants for small school districts.

Detailed Bill Summary

Download a detailed list of bills concerning education.