Legislative Priorities

WSSDA members update the organization’s legislative priorities annually following General Assembly, which is where boards vote on any updates to WSSDA’s platform. Following the assembly, members are invited to indicate their top priorities, which are collected, summarized, and ratified by the WSSDA Board of Directors.

2023 Priorities

The Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) is comprised of the state’s 1,477 locally-elected school board directors who serve their communities and 1.1 million students. WSSDA contributes to building the futureof public education by advocating to close student opportunity and achievement gaps. We do this by working to advance the policy, governance, and budgetary priorities of Washington’s 295 school districts. The legislature has been supportive in response to the persistent and pandemic-related needs of our students, for which we are grateful. We look forward to working with you to continue progress on this commitment to our students, schools, and communities.

Meet the Requirements for Special Education

School districts are eager to equitably meet the needs of students by implementing the state and federal requirements for special education – but do not receive the resources to do so. We ask the legislature to invest fully in the mandatory services for eligible students, expand access to inclusionary practices, remove the artificial cap, eliminate application penalties, and recognize that costs vary for every district based on the uniqueness of each student and community.

Provide the Needed Resources for Ample, Equitable and Stable Education

School districts are expected to implement all aspects of Washington’s program of basic education including graduation requirements. In order to do so effectively, schools must have more qualified adults in classrooms and buildings. To recruit and retain the best staff, including building administrators, schools must provide compensation increases equitably across all positions. We ask the legislature to:

  • Stabilize district operations and program obligations;
  • Amply and equitably fund staff and programs, based on student need, to close opportunity and achievement gaps;
  • Advance Career and Technical Education programming and;
  • Work to close regionalization factor gaps between adjacent districts.

Feed Students

Learning cannot occur when students are hungry. School meal programs should meet the diverse backgrounds, preferences, and experiences of all students. We ask the legislature to ensure that no student is hungry during the school day by providing universal free and nutritious school meals.

Construct Safe and Healthy Schools

When teaching and learning occur in safe and healthy environments, students are more likely to experience academic success. We ask the legislature to protect students and staff by securing their physical, social, emotional safety through an updated and relevant school construction formula and by engaging students in decision-making, increasing parent notification, and expanding staff training.

Transport Each and Every Student

Many students and families rely on school district transportation to access basic education. The real cost to maintain staff and equipment requires an update to the Student Transportation Allocation formula. We ask the legislature to provide equitable access to basic education by covering all costs related to student transportation.