February 17 Marks First Major Deadline for Bills Posted: 13 Feb 2017 08:36 AM PST Last week began with a public hearing in the House Appropriations Committee on the two competing education funding proposals: SSB 5607 (Senate Republicans) and HB 1843 (House Democrats). The bills drew more than two hours’ worth of testimony, most of it mixed on both spending plans, although the support for HB 1843 outweighed that of SSB 5607.
Some of the objections raised to SSB 5607 included the concern about the lack of a local levy in calendar 2019 and the impact on programs and staffing that would have on two school years; the cap on use of a 10% local M&O levy on programs and activities that might currently be funded by local levies; the limit on salaries to 80% of a total budget, along with setting a minimum salary; and the overall lack of new funding to the system. In addition, the state counties association and fire district association weighed in with concerns about the impact the additional $1.80 statewide property tax would have on other taxing districts that access funds within the property tax box.
Concerns about HB 1843 included elimination of a minimal salary structure to provide stability for salaries at all levels, including experience and education; failure to address the system’s inequity by maintaining a statewide 24% local levy; and the inclusion of TRII as an allowed expenditure. SHB 1843 was amended in committee, and passed out on a party-line vote. The changes include the additional of an accountability monitoring and reporting system, requiring districts to report on WaKIDS, 3rd grade reading proficiency, 8thgrade math proficiency, and four-year graduation rates. The amended bill also includes a work group organized by OSPI to review the 12.7% cap on state spending for students with special needs and to make recommendations whether the percent should be adjusted. Finally, while calling it a drafting error, the amendment reduces the prototypical funding percentage for parent involvement coordinators from all schools to just prototypical elementary schools.
Friday, February 17th marks the first of many deadlines the Legislature uses to winnow the number of bills they consider. By Friday, policy bills must have passed out of committee to a budget committee or to the Rules committee to stay under consideration. This deadline will be followed by February 24th, which is the cutoff for bills with a fiscal impact (to the state) to be considered.
Status of Top Five Legislative Priorities - Update 1. Social and Emotional Learning · The bill that would embed SEL throughout the calendar year is up for public hearing Monday. 2. Amply Funding Basic Education · The House Appropriations Committee passed SHB 1823 (see above). 3. Closing the Opportunity Gap · No new bills introduced 4. Standards for Parae-ducators · SHB 1115 was voted out of House Education as a substitute, replacing requirements for certification and endorsements with training and standards for all para-educators, and standards for para-educators who are in classrooms with students with special needs and ELL students. 5. Breakfast after the Bell · SB 5696 is the Senate version of the Breakfast after the Bell bill. It is scheduled for public hearing Thursday, February 16 at 1:30 in the Senate education committee.
2017 WSPTA Supported Issues: · Improving Educational Outcomes for Foster Children o No new bills · Engaging Families in Student Success o HB 1843 specifically increases to 1.085 the family engagement coordinator per prototypical school. o Unfortunately, SHB 1843, the House Democrats’ education funding plan, removed the increase to 1.085 FTE for all prototypical schools, setting it only for elementary schools. · Post-Secondary/Higher Education Access and Affordability o Several bills had public hearings last week, and bills WSPTA is tracking have passed or are on the schedule for executive action this session. · Removing Barriers to Implementing ECEAP o HB 1518 is an SEL bill, but also would create the opportunity for school districts to offer a summer-only ECEAP program for children entering kindergarten the upcoming year. · Restorative Justice and School Safety o No new bills
Week in Review WSPTA parent Jennifer Ogle testified February 6 on the House and Senate education funding plans. Parent Sarah Butcher is scheduled to testify on behalf of WSPTA on Monday, February 13 on the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) bill.
FOCUS DAY SUMMARY FROM EVERETT PTSA COUNCIL The Everett PTSA Council was well-represented at FOCUS Day on January 16th! Seven Council PTSA board members were joined by 3 additional adults and 7 students representing Everett. Everyone enjoyed being part of the crowd of 6500+ during the rally on the steps. We heard how the lack of funding is causing opportunity gap issues in schools around our State. We also heard from some of the 12 groups that sponsored the rally on how they want to work toward fixing those issues to improve learning for all students. Attendees had time to drop post cards off at the offices of many of our representatives. The day ended with short speeches by Governor Inslee and the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chris Reykdal. Both officials told us to continue to "show up an speak up" in order to get the education funding that is mandated.
Lizzy Sebring (Council Shoe Fund Chair) and Megan Dunn (Region 7 Legislative Chair) met with Representative June Robinson of the 38th legislative district. They shared the WSPTA's top 5 legislative priorities as well as the 3 supported issues. "I told her my own story of how I thought having standards for para-educators was important since my son has one in his preschool class and what a big role she plays in their day-to-day interactions. I want to share with our readers that legislators are people too and they want to hear your stories. It was a great meeting and I was glad that I felt my voice was heard." -Lizzy Sebring
Gateway PTSA was represented by Lisa Mills, Michelle Nims, Carla & Alexis Clark, Laura & Bettiann Peterson.
FOCUS DAY 2017 January 16 | State Capitol | Registration Have you registered for 2017 Focus Day? In order to receive your free Top Five Platform t-shirt, you will need to register! Learn more about Focus Day here. We need you to join hundreds of other PTA members from around the state to show our legislators that our kids do have a voice and they deserve a fully funded education.
Ready to Rally? WSPTA advocates will be rallying on the capitol steps to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday by celebrating Education as a Civil Right, alongside many other Washington State advocacy groups.
Meet Your Legislators. The main reason for Focus Day is learning about Washington State PTA (WSPTA), our advocacy an legislative platform, and meeting with your legislators to talk about the importance of our Whole Child advocacy! Don't miss this opportunity for an exclusive audience with your elected officials.
In addition to the Governor, new Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) Chris Reykdal will also spend time with us in the rotunda. Chris will talk about his vision for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and his top priorities during the first 100 days of office.
Kids are welcome! There will be kids’ activities available in the Columbia Room.
9:00 a.m. - Introductions, etc. 9:15 a.m. - Overview of the day, WSPTA Platform Discussion 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. - Program (to be announced) 11:35 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. - Lunch Break (box lunch pickup if pre-ordered) 12:15 p.m. - Program in Rotunda (to be announced) 1:00 p.m. - Program Ends
ADVOCACY UPDATE: EVERY STUDENT SUCCEEDS ACT (ESSA) & YOUR CHILD Washington’s ESSA Consolidated Plan represents a serious turning point in our state’s educational system. It continues the path of innovation and excellence in education, and positions 1.1 million students for a more successful future. The Consolidated Plan is being created as part of the requirements of the 2015 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, entitled Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) must submit the ESSA Consolidated Plan to the U.S. Department of Education for approval by the end of December 2016. If you have questions about ESSA, please contact Sherry Krainick, WSPTA Learning Assessment Coordinator.
NEW WSPTA LONG-TERM RESOLUTIONS (as of 2016 Legislative Assembly)
WSPTA was also proud to award the 2016 Outstanding Advocate Award to long-time PTA advocate, Agda Burchard. Agda spoke about her experience being a PTA advocate, and how it spurred her to expand her advocacy efforts both as a volunteer and a professional.