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This Week in Olympia

01/18/2019

Week of January 14  

Take action 

Attend US – the United for Safety   conference for WEA members on Feb. 2. Registration closes at 5 p.m. on Mon., Jan. 21.

  

Tell 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 our petition!    

The 2019 Legislative session is underway   

This week in Olympia, WEA President Kim Mead testified before House and Senate committee meetings in support of Gov. Inslee’s budget, urging lawmakers to “fund additional counselors, psychologists, nurses, therapists, social workers and other mental health services for all students in every public school.” You can read her full statement here

WEA also testified in support of the Governor’s capital gains proposal, SB 5129, which would raise revenue for education while increasing fairness in our tax system.   

In the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Committee, we supported two bills that were heard on Friday. 

SB 5023, concerning an ethic studies curriculum so all students can see themselves reflected in lessons at school, and 

SB 5082,  which promotes and expands social emotional learning.  

Bills that support the Governor’s budget proposal were introduced this week, including:   

SB 5313, which would allow school districts to return to the levy structure that was in place before SHB 2242 was enacted. WEA supports.  

SB 5315, another Inslee bill, would increase the number of elementary and middle school counselors. This is a step in the right direction, though WEA is advocating for more counselors, social workers, psychologists, nurses and other caring adults who support the mental, behavioral and physical health of our students.    

 

Next week in Olympia  

On Monday, two WEA members, Carrie Suchy, a nationally certificated school psychologist from Franklin Pierce EA, and Rita Peterson, a special education teacher from Stanwood-Camano EA, will testify in a work session of the Senate Ways and Means Committee about how the gap in state funding for special education affects students in the classroom. 

On Tuesday, the Senate Higher Ed and Workforce Development Committee will have a hearing on Gov. Inslee’s College Promise bill, SB 5393. This re-names the state need grant that provides tuition assistance for low-income students. WEA supports the bill, but will also ask for funds to reduce the waitlist for tuition assistance.   

On Wednesday, the Senate Ways and Means Committee will hold a work session on the School Employees Benefit Board, which is the transition to state-funded and -administered health care for K-12 school employees and their families.  Representing a coalition of school-employee unions, WEA GR director Shawn Lewis will present and talk about the benefits. Background information is here. WEA will be providing more information about the SEBB in the days and weeks ahead.  

On Friday, the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee will hold a hearing on SB 5014,  Sen. John McCoy’s bill to delink standardized test results from graduation requirements. This is a complete de-link bill. WEA supports this bill. WEA members who can are invited to wear red and attend the meeting at 8 a.m.

 

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