Legislative Update
March 2017
Week 10 - Legislative Session Updates
By NBCT Marianne Hunter

Again this week, not a whole lot in the way of hearings and committee meetings, as the real politicking continues backstage.

However, in a decidedly jovial signing ceremony on Wednesday, Governor Inslee signed SB 5023, the levy cliff "rescue" bill into law, giving high praise to the sponsors, though with apologies to students who might have gotten out of school early had the bill not passed.

On Tuesday, the Senate EL&K12 Education committee held public hearings on several bills we've been tracking:
  • HB 1319 (briefing beginning at 7:22, testimony at 1:23:35), would reduce the frequency that classroom teachers with a professional certificate or a National Board Certificate and principals with a professional certificate, who previously received a performance rating of three or above, must receive a comprehensive summative evaluation. Representatives from WEA and OSPI, as well as two superintendents, were among those testifying in favor of this bill.
  • HB 1341 (briefing beginning at :08, testimony at 46:45), would require the PESB to provide teachers with three options to become professionally certified: the ProTeach Portfolio, National Board Certification, or by earning 75 professional learning credits. Testifying in favor of this bill were representatives from the WSSDA and WEA, as well as a teacher, a principal and a superintendent. Testifying against this bill were representatives from PESB and the Washington Association for Colleges of Teacher Education.
  • HB 1654 (briefing beginning at 9:23, testimony at 1:34:00), would provide the PESB with expected outcomes for alternative route programs and rulemaking authority with respect to program design. A representative from PESB testified in favor of this bill. Two superintendents testified with concerns about accessibility, affordability, and minimum requirements.
  • HB 1732 (beginning at 1:38:05), would protect the confidentiality of PGPs. Representatives from the PESB, OSPI and WEA testified in favor of this bill.
  • HB 1734 (briefing beginning at 18:18, testimony at 1:44:00), requires payments to school districts for substitutes needed for teachers and classified staff serving on PESB committees. A representative from PESB testified in favor of this bill.
During that same meeting, the committee held an Educator Professional Certification work session (beginning at 25:58). PESB Executive Director Jennifer Wallace provided an overview of the standards and certification process, including a comparison to requirements in other states. Following the presentation, committee members asked questions regarding alignment of compensation with certification tiers.
Other Bills Making Progress:
  • HB 1886, which would transfer numerous duties and responsibilities from the SBE to OSPI, got a floor vote in the house and passed 97-0. Per the Legislative Outlook from WSSDA, the bill "establishes a nine-member Legislative Task Force on K-12 Governance and Responsibilities and directs the Task Force to make recommendations regarding the appropriate roles and responsibilities of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education in the K-12 system and report them to the Legislature by November 15, 2017. For those following this bill, the current 'engrossed' version of the bill removed the original content of HB 1886 and replaced it with the Task Force work." It is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate EL&K12 Education committee on Thursday.

Odds and Ends

An editorial in the Spokesman Review has some interesting ideas about "smarter funding" for schools.


And, for a little weekend reading, you might be interested in President Trump's budget proposal, America First. Specific proposals for the Department of Education are on pp. 17-18. May we recommend not reading it right before bedtime.


Have a great weekend!

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

View our profile on LinkedIn

View our videos on YouTube1

Legislative Links:

Legislative Website: Get information on bills, legislators, hearings and more.

Bill Tracker: Track specific bills, read bill reports.

TVW: Watch live and archived legislative proceedings.
Note about 
l egislative updates: 

CSTP relays these legislative updates to provide information on bills, budgets and legislative processes. CSTP doesn't have a legislative agenda, but does track legislative issues most relevant to teaching.