The second special session is scheduled to end this Wednesday, June 21. A third session will likely be called as soon as the second adjourns because there is not yet an operating budget or an education funding plan. Negotiators continue to meet several times a week and we continue to hear there is movement forward. Negotiators are aware of the July 1 deadline to avoid government shut-down and are indicating their intention to be done before that time.

Issues of Interest

Educator Workforce/Shortage
Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos held a hearing today at 10 am on HB 1827 regarding teacher recruitment and retention. The hearing is on a proposed substitute.  Please see bill summary in first two pages of link.  The proposal aims to expanding the current and future educator workforce supply through evidence-based strategies to improve and incentivize the recruitment and retention of highly effective educators, especially in high-need subject, grade-level, and geographic areas, and to establish a cohesive continuum of high quality professional learning from preparation programs to job embedded induction, mentoring, collaboration, and other professional development opportunities.  Supports regional educator recruitment by creating a pilot program to fund recruiters with specified duties at educational service districts with the least access to alternative route teacher certification programs.

Assessments and Delinking
There is still no agreement but there is an active effort to find some type of compromise before the legislature adjourns. The Senate Early Learning and K-12 Committee held a hearing last week and the Senate took action to advance their position. The House Education Committee will hear HB 2224 today. Here are the three bills being debated:

  • HB 1046– The original bill is a full delink of the three tests (English language arts, mathematics, and science) required for the graduating classes of 2017 and beyond. The Senate Education Committee adopted the striking amendment (see pp. 26-27 for summary of changes) and now the bill is on the Senate Floor Calendar. It is not likely to move any further in the Senate.
  • SB 5981– This bill represents a delay-only to end-of-course biology required for the graduating classes of 2017 and beyond. The bill delays the science test requirement until the class of 2021 and does not address English language arts or mathematics. It was voted out of the Senate Education Committee and adopted by the full Senate last week.
  • HB 2224– This is a new bill introduced last week at the request of OSPI that addresses many high school graduation requirement/pathway issues, in addition to a full delink of all assessments currently required for students to graduation. Its companion bill (SB 5951) received a hearing last Monday in the Senate Committee, but will not move out of committee.

School Siting
The Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee held a public hearing on a new school siting bill, SB 5945 last week. While there are continued efforts to move a bill forward the chances of passage this session is unlikely unless a compromise can be made.  At this point there is no indication that compromise will happen.

Governor Inslee Conversations
Supt. Dunn hosted Governor Inslee last week and held a forum on education financing.  The Governor heard from area superintendents about the need for ample funding, a salary allocation model, levies and levy equalization as well as other issues of significance.