2023 AESD Legislative Agenda
Unified through the Association of Educational Service Districts (AESD) Network, Washington’s nine Educational Service Districts (ESDs) provide a nimble and aligned delivery system for essential student and educator services focused on learning, student support, and school district operations. This year our legislative focus is on sustaining and expanding the AESD Network’s critical student and family support systems.
STUDENT SAFETY & WELL-BEING
Students are struggling with behavioral and mental health issues. In 2019, the Legislature invested in HB 1216, which established Regional School Safety Centers across all ESDs to help with initial training and support for students and schools. Additionally, we have used one-time federal funds to provide school-based behavioral and mental health services to students who need them most.
Expand and maintain student behavioral and mental health services, prioritizing small and rural districts.
+ $24.3M/biennium (FY24: $11.9M | FY25: $12.4M)
Expand Regional School Safety Center capacity to enable ESDs to provide comprehensive support when more significant problems arise. ESDs would increase engagement with professional community partners like mental health providers, and courts/juvenile justice.
+ $4.4M/biennium ($2.2M/year)
Navigating Washington’s variety of preschool options is difficult. Families need help choosing the right option for their child. ESDs understand their local communities and are committed to preparing children for kindergarten through coordinated early learning services, family engagement, community partnerships, and educator professional development.
Expand capacity for P–3 system navigation. Stable funding will enable ESDs to coordinate regional support for school districts and families to navigate their preschool options and engage with local early learning partners to support recruitment, enrollment, and equitable access to inclusive and integrated programs.
+ $4.2M/biennium ($2.1M/year)
SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPPORT
A call for investments in special education, meals, transportation, and school staff. Leaders of Washington’s PTA, teachers, principals, classified school employees, superintendents, school board members, and our state superintendent have named four top priorities for supporting students this legislative session. Read the full post by clicking on the link the Proposed Solutions.
ONE, fully fund special education services for our students with disabilities. TWO, ensure each of Washington’s students has access to nutritious meals at school at no out-of-pocket costs to the student or their family. THREE, provide adequate funding for student transportation. FOUR, support our students by ensuring school districts have the resources to recruit and retain highly effective educators and staff.
The AESD is also proud to be a member of the School Funding Coalition, a partnership among several statewide associations supporting K-12 education. Here is a link to their 2023 Legislative Priorities.