Legislative News: Updates - and- Highlights.
April 4, 2018
In a short session today, the Joint Select Committee on Article IX Litigation unanimously approved a report to the Supreme Court describing the 2018 session’s accomplishments towards meeting the McCleary lawsuit. Two major elements of the 16-page report include expediting educator salaries to the 2018-19 school year and establishing a $105 million “penalty account,” which is the result of $100,000-a-day fines. The latter dollars were spent on salary allocation and special education.
The draft 2018 report to the Washington State Supreme Court by the Joint Select Committee on Article IX Litigation can be downloaded Here.
The report was approved 6-0 (2 excused) and will be sent to the Supreme Court as part of the January 2012 court order requiring reports following the end of legislative sessions. The McCleary plaintiffs will have time to review the report and respond, and the Court will then determine if its order has been satisfied.
Representative Pat Sullivan, D-47, said that even though the report should signal the final installment of education funding to meet McCleary, conversations will be ongoing on education funding and policies in the years to come.
Senator Hans Zeiger, R-25, complimented staff on the thorough report and said that the Legislature had worked hard to get to this point. Echoing Zeiger’s comments, Chair David Frockt, D-46, said the Legislature had made unprecedented investments in K-12 funding, and that public schools funding would be 53 percent of the state’s operating budget in the 2021 and beyond fiscal years. He expressed hope that the Court would take note of that investment.
April 4, 2018
On March 30th, Superintendent Chris Reykdal sent every legislator a handout with information about the public schools within their legislative district. You can find all of those handouts on the OSPI website – use the drop-down box on the top left-hand side to choose a legislative district.
April 2, 2018
Governor Inslee vetoed two sections of E2SSB 6362: Vetoed the section (Section 402) that would have delayed professional development to the 2019-20 school year. With the veto, districts should receive one day of professional development for the 2018-19 school year. TJ Kelly of OSPI has indicated the Multi-Year Budget Comparison Tool will be updated by May and sent to districts.
Also, on April 3 at noon, the Article IX legislative task force will meet to draft its report to the Supreme Court. The meeting will be available for viewing on TVW and TVW.org.
March 21, 2018
Representing WA State children, the WSPTA leaders were in Washington, D.C. today, during their visit to Capitol Hill as part of National PTA’s Annual Legislative Conference. Pictured above are: Nancy Chamberlain, WSPTA Legislative Director, Senator Patty Murray and Michelle Nims, WSPTA President. Thank you to Senator Murray’s office for holding this “Constituent Coffee” to listen to PTA’s priority issues. *Read the full National PTA Legislative Recap Here.
HB1508, Breakfast after the Bell: Was signed by Governor Jay Inslee on March 7 at 1:30 pm in the Governor’s conference room. In attendance were bill sponsors, advocates and students. The bill was one of WSPTA’s top 5 list for 2017 and 2018 legislative priorities. Governor Jay Inslee took time to chat with the daughters of Heather Lindberg, Vancouver parent and WSPTA lead for Breakfast after the Bell, at the bill signing ceremony.
Week 8: Highlight
Legislative Session Week 7 Recap: The week of February 19 was one of the busiest of this 60-day session, with the House and Senate releasing their supplemental spending plans for the operating, capital and transportation budgets. The Senate Ways & Means voted the operating and capital budgets out of committee, while the Appropriations Committee voted out the House operating budget. Both chambers passed amended operating budgets on Friday evening, with the Senate also voting the capital budget off the floor.
We Start Week 4 Off with: WSPTA Focus Day 2018, in Olympia !
Friday, February 2 marked the first of many deadlines the Legislature has imposed to keep the flow of business moving forward to a March 8th finale. Tuesday, February 6 will be the next cutoff, when bills with a fiscal impact must have passed out of their respective budget committees. After Tuesday, action will turn to the floor with attention on passing bills out of the chamber in which they started by the February 14th, 5 p.m. deadline.
Week 4: Highlights
3) Shoreline school district PTA member Sara Betnel and her daughter testified on SB 6410 concerning School Safety.
4) Northshore Council President Carrie McKenzie gave testimony on SB 6148 and SB 6223. Watch the TVW Clip >
A lively two-hour hearing on January 22 offered an opportunity for school district leaders and education stakeholders to address implementation issues with last year’s EHB 2242, the education funding overhaul bill that passed the Legislature with no time for review.
Week 3: Highlights
1) Beth Sigall testified for WSPTA in favor of HB 2698, which would extend deadlines for paraeducator standards adopted last session, and fund $500,000 intraining costs for paraeducators across the state. Watch on TVW >
Week 2 of the Legislative Session saw the passage of the 2017-19 capital budget as detailed in the WSPTA weekly recap. Keep up with the bills and committee hearings related to WSPTA member-generated Legislative Priorities and long-term positions
WSPTA Legislative Director Nancy Chamberlain and Region 6 Legislative Chair Heidi Bennett provided WSPTA testimony at the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee on the new proposed changes to the education funding law in Olympia on January 22nd. Watch here, they begin around 47:05. Watch on TVW >
The 2018 legislative session convened on January 8 and is scheduled for a 60-day session ending on March 8. As a member, you know that advocacy is something that is done every day. Let your voice be heard this session.
WSPTA President Michelle Nims testifying on the governor’s budget at the appropriations committee hearing. Listen to her testimony, near the 40-minute mark: Watch on TVW >
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