Legislative Update
July 2017
 
Week 25 - Legislative Session Updates
By NBCT Marianne Hunter
 
A whole lotta legislators, and especially legislative staffers, had a looong week, culminating in a Friday night session in which an operating budget was finally passed. At about 11:00 pm, Governor Inslee signed a two-year, $43.7 billion budget, including an education funding plan that may finally put McCleary to bed.

As the fiscal year deadline crept closer last week, budget negotiators from the four caucuses seemed kinda like those kids who don't do much until the last days of school, when they suddenly ask, "What can I do to pass your class? Can I get extra credit?" Makes you wonder if their parents called the governor to ask for extra time.

After all that scrambling, we have SB 5883, the budget bill.

For a little light summer reading, you can tackle all 617 pages of riveting legislative language here (see page 218 for NBCT incentive info and page 221 for BEST program info).  

If you want a breakdown of the details, check out the Legislative Evaluation & Accountability Program ( LEAP) site, where all budget documents are posted. In particular, you may want to look at the Budgets Index page, which includes summaries of K-12 spending and compensation information (see LEAP K-12 Documents 1-3).

A one-page summary of basic education spending in the new budget is also available on the LEAP site.
A good analysis of all this material is available via the WA Association of School Administrators' TWIO newsletter. It includes information about the "McCleary Solution" bill, HB 2242. Whether that bill's passage will be enough to satisfy the court was the subject of many articles and editorials over the weekend. A story in the Tacoma News Tribune describes the differences of opinion.

Although they dodged the partial shutdown bullet by passing an operating budget, the legislature continues in session. On Saturday the Senate unanimously passed HB 2224, the OSPI-requested "compromise bill" that addresses state assessments and graduation requirements. It will delay until 2021 the high school science assessment as a graduation prerequisite, establish an appeal process for students in the classes of 2014-2018 who have not met standard on ELA and/or math assessments, require that the ELA and math assessments be administered in the tenth grade and discontinue the collection of evidence alternative assessment, among other provisions. It now awaits the governor's signature.
 
Odds & Ends
Road trip! NPR shares ideas for finding the best back-seat apps for the kids.

Have a great summer!

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A BIG thank you to Marianne Hunter for diligently tracking and reporting on the legislative session, especially this long and arduous one. The combination of her succinctness and levity make these updates fun to read and the legislative process bearable and informative. THANK YOU MARIANNE!


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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.