Legislative Session Week Seven: Bill Highlights and Preparing for Week on the Hill

Student well-being is one of WSSDA’s consistent legislative priorities. Furthermore, WASA, WSSDA, and WASBO identified this issue as one of three “hot topics” for the upcoming legislator meetings during “Week on the Hill.” 

In our interview with Representative Callan (below), we talked about several bills that expand on the topic of student and/or staff well-being. Boards may be interested in tracking and supporting these bills as they progress through the session.

HB 1363 – Addressing secondary trauma in the K-12 workforce.
  • Requires the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to publish on its website links to resources, self-assessments, and best practices for educators and local policymakers to prevent and address secondary traumatic stress in the workforce.
  • Directs the Washington State School Directors’ Association to develop or revise, and periodically update, a model policy and procedure to prevent and address secondary traumatic stress in the workforce that includes specified elements, for example, establishing a district-wide workforce mental health committee.
  • Requires school districts to adopt, by the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, policies and procedures related to secondary traumatic stress that incorporate specified elements.
HB 1373 – Promoting student access to information about behavioral health resources.
  • Requires public schools to post contact information for behavioral health organizations on their website home pages and post corresponding information on social media websites used by the school district.
HB 1295 – Providing public education to youth in or released from institutional education facilities.
  • Establishes new and modified duties for the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), and the State Board of Education related to the provision of public education to youth in or released from secure facilities, including duties related to education access and delivery, student supports, data collection and reporting, and facility policies.
  • Directs the OSPI and the DCYF to jointly develop recommendations by November 1, 2022, for the establishment, implementation, and funding of a reformed institutional education system.
  • Establishes numerous provisions related to the recommendations of the OSPI and the DCYF, including the identification of 13 issues that must be addressed, the creation of an advisory group, and the selection of a third-party entity to facilitate the development of the recommendations and staff the advisory group.

Preparing for Week on the Hill

WSSDA is gearing up for legislator meetings the week of March 15. To get the most out of those meetings, school directors are encouraged to register for a planning meeting. These meetings will be held in groups organized by legislative district and are critical as they provide the opportunity to:

  • Review conference hot topics & share feedback, surface stories, and ask questions.
  • Coordinate logistics for legislator meetings.

Please note that WSSDA is also holding caucus meetings such as Equity and Access, Large Schools, and Student Advocates. You can register for Regional Planning Meetings & WSSDA caucus meetings on our website.

Specific information regarding meetings with legislators, including a new RSVP form, will be available on March 5.

If you have questions or want more information about legislator engagement as part of the WASA, WSSDA, WASBO Legislative Conference, contact us at onthehill@wssda.org.

Legislator spotlight

Representative (and former school director) Lisa Callan, 5th Legislative District, tells us about her priorities for the session and emphasizes the importance of supporting the well-being of our students.

If you want to learn more, contact Representative Lisa Callan and copy her legislative assistant, Zach Hall.

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.