Legislative Update
February 2017
Week 6 - Legislative Session Updates
By NBCT Marianne Hunter

The first big deadline of the regular session has arrived! Today is the last day to pass bills out of committee in their house of origin, (except for Appropriations and Ways & Means), so this week was all about Executive Sessions, with committees caucusing and whipping through multiple bills in one sitting. Very efficient! Next Friday is another deadline for bills to pass out of fiscal committees. It's survival of the fittest - legislative style!

Bills making progress this week
  • HB 1046, which would decouple graduation requirements from statewide assessments by discontinuing the Certificate of Academic Achievement (including an emergency clause that would impact this year's seniors by decoupling the Biology EOC exam), passed out of the House Education committee on a vote of 17-2. On Wednesday, it received a hearing (beginning at 2:00) in the House Appropriations committee. Staff to the committee described that passage of the bill would result in a savings of $21 million over the next two years, most of which would come from doing away with requirements and staffing of the Collection of Evidence program. Representatives from the Pasco School District and the WEA testified in favor of the bill. No negative testimony was offered.
  • Last week, HB 1319, which would reduce the frequency that classroom teachers with a professional or a National Board certificates and principals with a professional certificate, who previously received a performance rating of three or above, must receive a comprehensive summative evaluation from every four years to every six years, passed out of the House Education committee on a vote of 19-0 and was referred to Rules. On Tuesday, it was placed on second reading.
During Executive Session on Tuesday, the House Education committee considered:
  • HB 1601, (beginning at 15:35) which would expand the Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST) program to beginning principals and add requirements to the program, including professional development for participants and mentors, passed out of the committee on a vote of 19-0 and was referred to Appropriations.
  • HB 1654, (beginning at 20:45) which would provide the PESB with expected outcomes and rulemaking authority for program design for Alternative Route programs, passed out of the committee on a vote of 19-0 and was referred to Rules.
  • HB 1732, (beginning at 24:15) which would protect the confidentiality of PGPs, passed out of the committee on a vote of 19-0 and was referred to Appropriations.
During  Executive Session  yesterday, the House Education committee considered:
  • HB 1341, (beginning at 18:00) which would require the PESB to adopt new rules for professional certification for administrators and teachers and base the professional teacher certificate on professional development credits rather than a certification assessment, was considered in the House Education committee, was passed out of committee on a vote of 18-0.
  • HB 1509, (beginning at 20:25) which would eliminate the twenty-four-credit graduation requirement and establish a twenty-one-credit requirement, was passed out of the committee on a vote of 13-5.
  • HB 1827, (beginning at 48:08) which would expand the workforce supply by improving recruitment and retention, especially in high-need areas, and establish a continuum of professional learning, among other measures, was passed out of the committee on a vote of 17-1.
Last Thursday, HB 1843, which would replace the state salary allocation model with minimum statewide average salaries, increase allocations for parent involvement coordinators and guidance counselors and increase vocational education funding, among other measures, passed out of the House Appropriations committee on a vote of 18-14. On Wednesday, it was placed on second reading.

Yesterday, the Senate EL&K12 Education committee met in Executive Session and passed these bills out of committee:
  • SB 5238, which would require that cursive writing be taught in schools.
  • SB 5283, which would eliminate the limit on the number of non-school service years that can be counted toward years of service for educational staff associates (including occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, nurses, social workers, counselors, and psychologists).
  • SB 5487, which would allow retired teachers to be employed as mentors to teachers or advisers to students in teacher preparation programs and was amended to include retired principals.
  • SB 5601, which would allow teachers who retired early to return to work as substitute teachers without suspension of their retirement benefits.
On Monday, SB 5547, which would protect the confidentiality of PGPs, got a hearing (beginning at 1:43:29) in the Senate EL&K12 Ed committee. Representatives from PESB, WEA and the Educator Effectiveness office at OSPI testified in favor of this bill. A representative from the Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington testified against this bill.

Odds and Ends
In this post from the Washington Post's Answer Sheet blog, Nancy Truitt Pierce, a school board member from Monroe who serves on the governor's STEM Advisory Board, provides some more accurate, and positive, evidence of how U.S. schools stack up: Three Global Indexes Show U.S. Public Schools Must be Doing Something Right . Definitely worth a read!

And, this piece, from the NYT, is provocative (though the headline is a bit misleading): Why Young Girls Don't Think They Are Smart Enough . Even some of the comments are interesting and insightful!

Have a great long weekend!

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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.