Posted on March 5, 2021 by Sean Duke
This week, WSSDA has a list of bills that our members may be interested in tracking. If you or your district would like to provide input, you can do so in a variety of ways.
Learn more about how to participate in the legislative process!
Flexibility and student supports
HB 1208 has progressed out of its house of origin and will be heard in the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Committee on Friday, March 12 at 8 am.
This bill would require that school districts budget and expend Learning Assistance Program (LAP) funds:
- immediately and temporarily, to identify and address the academic and non-academic needs of students resulting from and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic; and
- at the end of the Governor-declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 or beginning September 1, 2025, whichever is later, using the framework of the Washington Integrated Student Supports Protocol.
The bill also makes changes to requirements and restrictions on the use of LAP funds. For example, the LAP is no longer required to focus first on addressing the reading needs of kindergarten through fourth-grade students or to be designed to reduce disruptive behaviors; and the list of best practices, strategies, services, and activities that may be supported by the LAP is repealed. It also expands the Extended Learning Opportunity Program to ninth and tenth grades.
WSSDA has been supportive of the bill.
HB 1016 – Making Juneteenth a legal holiday.
- Designates June 19, commonly known as Juneteenth, as a state legal
HB 1156 – Increasing representation and voter participation in local elections.
- Permits the use of ranked-choice voting (RCV) in elections for offices in
counties, cities, towns, school districts, fire districts, and port districts,
and establishes certain requirements for RCV ballot design and vote
- Adds a cost-recovery provision to the Washington Voting Rights Act
(Act) to allow a person who files a notice alleging a violation of the Act
to recoup research costs, up to $30,000, if the political subdivision
adopts a remedy in response to the notice.
- Permits the Secretary of State to provide grants to local governments to
implement RCV or make changes to their electoral system in response to
a notice filed under the Act, subject to appropriation.
SB 5030 – Developing comprehensive school counseling programs.
- Requires school districts, by the 2022-23 school year, to develop and implement a written plan for a comprehensive school counseling program that meets specified requirements.
- Directs the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop and distribute policy guidance regarding the implementation of the written plan and the associated comprehensive school counseling program.
SB 5202 – Establishing school district depreciation subfunds for the purposes of preventative maintenance.
- Requires school districts to establish depreciation subfunds (subfunds) to reserve moneys for future facility and equipment needs, including preventative maintenance and emergency facility needs.
- Establishes limits on the annual amounts that can be deposited in the subfunds and prohibits moneys in the subfunds from being used for employee compensation.
Use your voice
If you want to provide testimony as an individual, school board member, or on behalf of WSSDA, email WSSDA Strategic Advocacy Director Marissa Rathbone for more information.
If you have a student leader who would like to provide testimony, email WSSDA Strategic Advocacy Coordinator Logan Endres for more information.