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This Week in Olympia

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Kailani Tibayan

Week of February 4

Take Action!


Many school districts have levy and bond elections on the ballot. When educators vote, we can make the difference between a measure that passes or fails. Please remember to vote – ballots must be turned in or postmarked by February 12! 

WEA Lobby Day is Monday, Feb. 18, Presidents Day. WEA members are welcome to join us at 10 a.m. in Olympia to visit with lawmakers. Please RSVP by emailing us to sign up and get specific information about the day.  

Can’t attend lobby day? You can still send a message to your lawmakers to fund additional counselors, social workers, psychologists, nurses and others who support the mental, behavioral and physical health and safety of our students. Sign this petition no later than THIS Friday, Feb. 15 and we’ll deliver it to legislators and the governor on our Feb. 18 lobby day. 


A small but mighty contingent of WEA-Retired members braved the snow on Monday to lobby legislators to increase the Medicare subsidy (HB 1085 and its Senate companion bill SB 5469) and the plan 1 COLA. (HB 1390 and SB 5400).

K-12 – School Safety 

The House Education Committee heard three bills about student safety on Monday. 

HB 1191 - Concerning school notification requirements regarding offenders.
HB 1216 - Concerning non-firearm measures to increase school safety and student well-being.
HB 1221 - Improving crisis planning in schools to prevent youth suicide.

On Wednesday, the House Education committee heard HB 1454 which would provide for demonstration projects to test new approaches to Special Education instruction. WEA testified in support.

K-12 Students

SB 5159 was heard in the Senate Early Learning and K-12 committee on Wednesday. It would expand who is eligible for transitional bilingual instruction, allowing more students to access these classes. WEA supports. 

SSB 5023 passed out of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Committee and then had a public hearing in Ways and Means. This bill that would require OSPI to develop ethnic studies materials for use in grades 7 – 12. Educators would be involved in the development of those materials. WEA supports. 

SSB 5082 is another bill that moved out of the education committee and into Ways and Means for a hearing. It promotes and expands social emotional learning. WEA supports. 

Higher Education  

WEA members Sue Nightingale from Bellevue College and Bill Lyne from Western Washington University, spoke at a work session on Wednesday before the House College and Workforce Development Committee. They advocated for increasing the number of full-time faculty at our two- and four-year colleges, instead of relying on part time adjunct faculty. 

Next Week in Olympia 


HB 1390, which would increase the plan 1 COLA for retirees, will be heard Monday in the House Appropriations committee. WEA-Retired members have been advocating for this bill. WEA supports. 


On Tuesday, the House Education Committee is hearing three bills that would all delink graduation requirements from standardized test results. Those bills are HB 1720HB 1599, and HB 1089. We like some features better than others in these bills, but are encouraged that all include delinking graduation from test results. 

HB 1815 and its companion bill SB 5497 would form a work group to make recommendations to the Attorney General on best practices for securing the rights of immigrant workers and students in our state. 

Higher Education 

SB 5393 is the College Promise bill to reduce the wait list for students who qualify for the state need grant. It will be heard Thursday in Senate Ways and Means.

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