Legislative Update
March 2017
Week 12 - Legislative Session Updates
By NBCT Marianne Hunter

As promised, House Dems released their 2017-19 budget proposal on Monday. In a news release from OSPI, Chris Reykdal praised the budget for making " critical investments in the 'whole' child," while Republican budget writer, Senator John Braun, dismissed it as a "wish list" with no revenue source.
A story from KNKX describes the budget release and Republicans' immediate reactions.

If you want to look at all the numbers, check out these documents from Fiscal Information services. For those who may want less info, see page nine and pages 168-173 of the agency detail for specific dollar amounts for public schools.

Once again, a special budget edition of the WA Association of School Administrators', "This Week in Olympia" newsletter provides a helpful breakdown of the education funding portion of the proposal.

The budget bill, SHB 1067 got a public hearing later that afternoon in the House Appropriations Committee. As in the Senate budget hearing, representatives from a vast array of organizations provided testimony on the bill. On Wednesday, it was considered in Executive Session, and, after adopting multiple amendments, the committee passed the bill on a vote of 17-14 and referred it to the Rules Committee.

Wednesday was the last day to pass bills out of their opposite-house committees and on to the floor, (except for budget bills and others with fiscal implications), so the committees have been busy in executive session. We did note, however, that the House Education committee found time for a Minecraft demonstration on Monday. The next big deadline is Tuesday, when the fiscal bills must have moved out of committee as well.

Bills Making Progress
In a meeting on Wednesday, the Senate EL&K12 Education committee considered these bills:
  • HB 1115, which would establish minimum employment standards for paraeducators, got another public hearing (beginning at :58) on a striking amendment that reflects several compromises, including removing the mandate for certification. Representatives from WEA and Public School Employees testified in favor of the amended bill. It was then passed and sent to the Senate Ways & Means Committee.  
  • HB 1341, which originally would have required the PESB to provide teachers and principals with three options to become professionally certified (ProTeach Portfolio, National Board Certification or by earning 75 professional learning credits), was amended to remove the 75 professional learning credits option, instead creating a professional development based five-year residency certificate renewal option. The amended bill passed out of committee and was sent to the Rules Committee.
In Executive Session on Tuesday, the House Education Committee considered these bills:
  • SB 5070, which would require paraeducators to meet certain minimum employment standards and provide specialty certificates, was amended to include establishment of a paraeducator board and was passed out of committee on a vote of 17-2.
  • SB 5662, which would authorize OSPI to designate a member of the PESB, was passed out of committee on a vote of 17-2.  
SB 5891, which was amended to delay the use of the state science assessment as a high school graduation requirement until the graduating class of 2021, made it to the floor of the Senate and passed on a vote of 49-0. It has been referred to the House Education committee.

Odds and Ends
Although it didn't see any action this week, HB 1046, which would decouple assessments from graduation, is one of the hottest bills in the legislature. This Seattle Times editorial urges lawmakers to vote against the bill, keeping the state assessments as a requirement for graduation.

This week's Seattle Times' McCleary Roundup provides more detail on the Senate's budget proposal and shares some of the "swift opposition" to it.

And finally, ever need an almost valid reason to miss a meeting? This post from the TeachThought blog has a handy-dandy list for you. And, not to go all click bait on ya, but #20 is great!

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.