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This Week in Olympia

03/14/2019
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Bob Hasegawa and Becca  Ritchie 2018

March 14, 2019

This is a special edition of “This Week in Olympia,” in which we are focusing on bills that made it past the house-of-origin cut-off. To continue moving forward, all bills that originated in the House must have been approved by votes of the full chamber by Wednesday, March 13. Likewise with bills that started in the Senate.

We are going to start with SSB 5023, a bill to require OSPI to identify and make available ethnic studies materials and resources for middle and high schools, among other things. It has a hearing on Monday in the House Education Committee.  A similar bill in the House (HB 1314) did not advance. 

Our members have been at the forefront of this issue.  At last year’s WEA Rep Assembly, delegates passed a new business item, encouraging the development of ethnic studies curriculum. Our members have been working with pro-education legislators to introduce and pass an ethnic studies bill. SSB 5023 was sponsored by Sen. Hasegawa. Rep Ortiz-Self, a WEA member, sponsored the House bill. 

WEA unequivocally supports SSB 5023 and will continue to advocate for actions that help students of color to succeed in school. We know that when students see themselves, experiences and cultures in the classroom they are more engaged in learning, which translates to academic success. 

WEA President Kim Mead says:

“What I know from our members, and my own experience in the classroom, is that our students have to feel safe in school to learn, and that includes feeling like you belong and are respected. SSB 5023 could make a big difference for many students, and we will continue to fight for it, and other actions that advance fairness, equity, diversity and success in our schools.”  

Below is a chart of bills we are working that are still alive in Olympia. And a reminder about cut-off deadlines: bills that the legislature deems necessary to implement the budget are still alive and new ones can be introduced after cut-off.

Bill

Brief Description

Companion Bills

Position

HB 1089

Concerning certificates of academic and individual achievement.

Support

ESHB 1130

Addressing language access in public schools.

SB 5606 (SEL/K-12)

Support

E2SHB 1139

Expanding the current and future educator workforce supply.

Support

2SHB 1216

Concerning nonfirearm measures to increase school safety and student well-being.

SB 5317 (SRules 2)

Support

SHB 1264

Concerning secondary traumatic stress in public school staff.

Support

ESHB 1308

Addressing plan membership default provisions in the public employees' retirement system, the teachers' retirement system, and the school employees' retirement system.

SB 5360 (HApprops)

Support

HB 1343

Increasing revenues for the support of state government.

SB 5129 (SWays & Means)

Support

ESHB 1355

Concerning staffing standards and ratios for counselors in community and technical colleges.

Support

SHB 1575

Strengthening the rights of workers through collective bargaining by addressing authorizations and revocations, certifications, and the authority to deduct and accept union dues and fees.

SB 5623 (S2nd Reading)

Support

E2SHB 1599

Promoting career and college readiness through modified high school graduation requirements.

Requires significant amendments

SHB 1621

Concerning basic skills assessments for approved teacher preparation programs.

SB 5512 (SRules 2)

Support

SHB 1658

Concerning paraeducators.

Support

ESHB 1813

Incorporating the costs of employee health benefits into school district contracts for pupil transportation.

Support

SHB 2108

Concerning state funding for K-3 class sizes in schools.

Support

SSB 5023

Concerning ethnic studies materials and resources for public school students.

Support

2SSB 5082

Promoting and expanding social emotional learning.

Support

SB 5088

Awarding credits for computer science.

Concerns regarding additional requirements with no added resources

E2SSB 5091

Concerning state and federal special education funding.

Requires significantly more funding

SB 5129

Increasing revenues for the support of state government.

HB 1343 (HFinance)

Support

2SSB 5141

Concerning school resource officer mandatory training and policies.

Support

SSB 5313

Concerning school levies.

Support

2SSB 5315

Increasing student support staff in the prototypical school funding model.

Support

SSB 5354 Concerning programs for highly capable students. HB 1641(HApprops) Concerns regarding additional requirements with no added resources
SB 5360 Addressing plan membership default provisions in the public employees' retirement system, the teachers' retirement system, and the school employees' retirement system. HB 1308(Hsubst for) Support
E2SSB 5393 Establishing a statewide free college program by changing the state need grant to the Washington college promise scholarship. HB 1340(HApprops) Support
ESSB 5395 Concerning comprehensive sexual health education. HB 1407(HEducation) Support
E2SSB 5497 Establishing a statewide policy supporting Washington state's economy and immigrants' role in the workplace. HB 1815(HRules R) Support
SSB 5532 Concerning special education. Concerns regarding additional requirements with no added resources
SSB 5612 Concerning Holocaust education. HB 1624(HEducation) Support
SSB 5689 Concerning harassment, intimidation, bullying, and discrimination in public schools. Support
ESSB 5853 Regarding the school construction assistance program. Support

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