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Time to speak out for ESPs & adjunct faculty

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PoliSparks 2024 participants in the capitol on Monday

It’s February and thanks to the actions of more than 1,000 WEA members, most of our priorities are still moving.

Testifying to what our students need

In this third week of session, WEA members have testified to the need for:

  • Free school meals (SB 5964; Sean Foster, Bonney Lake EA; Katie McGrew, Highline EA)
  • Advocating against specialized funding for charter schools as we want equitable considerations for all students (HB 1897 & SSB 5809; Shawna Moore, Highline EA; Glenn Jenkins, Auburn EA)

Priority bills making cutoff

So many executive sessions are scheduled this week where committees can vote to move bills forward in time for cutoff. Among those passing and making the cutoff this week:

  • Raising the cap on Special Education funding (HB 2180)
  • Protecting students’ freedom to learn diverse curricula (HB 2331)
  • Retiree Plan 1 Cost of Living Adjustment (HB 1985)
  • Holocaust and genocide education passed out of House committee (HB 2037; companion bill SB 5851 passed out of Senate committee in week 3)
  • Fentanyl and substance-use education (SB 5804) passed on the Senate floor and is on to the House
  • Extending special-education services to students up to 22 years old (HB 2130)

What still needs to move?

  • ESP staffing and pay – Thanks to the quick action of nearly 600 members, the staffing bills in the House (HB 1960) and Senate (SB 5882) had a hearing Saturday and are scheduled for executive session votes on Monday 2/5.  Send an email to the legislature calling for scheduling the House ESP pay bill, HB 2380.
  • Adjunct faculty benefits – Hundreds of us sent emails calling for an executive session on HB 2125. It is not yet scheduled. Keep it up – send an email here!
  • School mealsHB 2058 still needs to be scheduled for hearing and vote in Appropriations.

More hearings coming

Right now the legislature is all about executive sessions, voting on bills that have already had hearings before cutoff deadlines. As bills move out of fiscal committees (by Monday’s cutoff) and off the chamber floor (by Feb. 13) they will move to policy committees in the other chamber. Stay tuned as we begin mobilizing to make sure our priorities keep moving.

Revenue corner: Funding for affordable housing needs a push

The bill that would bring $300 million in revenue into the state to support affordable housing, HB 2276, is not yet scheduled for a vote before Monday’s fiscal committee cutoff – take a minute to email legislators to call for a vote.

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