Legislative Update
April 2017
Week 15 - Legislative Session Updates
By NBCT Marianne Hunter

NTIB. Necessary to Implement the Budget. Many of the bills we've been tracking throughout the session have not made it past various deadlines, the last of which occurred on April 12. However, several of those bills are mentioned in either the Senate or House budget proposals and may yet make it through the process as they're considered NTIB.


That assumes, of course, that a budget agreement is actually reached, which is unlikely to happen anytime soon, given that Sunday is the last day of the regular session. Then the first of what may be several special sessions will begin. Remind you of the Great Budget Battle of 2015? This article from the Seattle Times says it's déjà vu all over again since the serious negotiating has yet to even begin.


Bills making progress  

  • HB 1115, which would set minimum employment standards for paraeducators, was returned to the House, which concurred with Senate amendments. The House Speaker has signed it. 
  • HB 1444, which would facilitate grade level progression and graduation of at-risk youth and waive local graduation requirements for students who have enrolled in multiple districts while in high school, was returned to the House, which concurred with Senate amendments. It has been signed by the House Speaker and Senate President.
  • HB 1654, which would provide the PESB with rulemaking authority in the design of alternative route programs, and specify expected outcomes for those programs, has been signed by the Governor.
  • HB 1732, which would protect the confidentiality of PGPs, has been signed by the Governor.
  • HB 1734, which would provide reimbursement for subs when teachers participate in PESB-related activities, has been signed by the Governor.
  • HB 1886, which would clarify the responsibilities of OSPI and the SBE, originally passed in the House on March 8. It went to the Senate, where it was heavily amended and passed on April 4. It then returned to the House, which refused to concur and asked the Senate to recede from the amendments. Stalemate?  An opinion piece in the Everett Herald looks at the long-running power struggle between these two state offices.
  • SB 5639, which would de-link state assessments from graduation requirements, continues its torturous journey. This bill, which could impact the estimated 21% of the Class of 2017 who haven't passed one or more of the assessments and therefore won't graduate, remains in limbo. However, . . . oh, let's just let WASA's This Week in Olympia newsletter explain it:
"As passed by the Senate, this bill [5639] would have allowed students who met specified requirements... to utilize alternative assessment options. The House Education Committee adopted a striking amendment which stripped the original language and replaced it with language from HB 1046-the bill to "de-link" state assessments from graduation. The Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee bottled up HB 1046, so the amended SB 5639 (and language in the House budget) keeps the issue alive. Last week, the House Appropriations Committee adopted SB 5639, amending it again... [to] make the bill's provisions retroactive, beginning with the Graduating Class of 2014. This week, the full House adopted the amended striking amendment to SB 5639. The Senate's response to HB 1046 was the introduction of SB 5891. As originally introduced, it would have eliminated the graduation requirement linked to the high school science assessment. As later amended, the bill would simply DELAY the use of the high school science assessment until 2021. SB 5891 was never heard or otherwise acted upon in the House; however, it is referenced in the Senate budget and is NTIB."

Got that?

Odds and Ends

NBCT Mandy Manning, from Ferris High School in Spokane, is doing some awesome outreach to local legislators! She's started a "great teachers and great schools" campaign in which she sends monthly emails telling specific stories about the excellent teaching and learning she sees every day. What a great way to create connections with your legislators!

And finally, from the Answer Sheet blog, a great post about Spring, poetry and finding the "correct" answer. 

Have a great weekend!

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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.