Legislative Update 6/6/17
We are now in Special Session #2 which officially ends on June 22nd. All bills that passed Special Session #1 have now been remanded back to their originating chamber.  Bills still under consideration are as follows:
  • HB 1046 – removes the requirement to pass state assessments to graduate
  • HB 1452 – expands the Opportunity Scholarship Program to include medical students
  • HB 1508 – mandates breakfast-after-the-bell
  • HB 1600 – authorizes work-based programs for high school students
  • HB 1661 – creates a new Department of Children, Youth, and Families
  • HB 1777 – creates a new Early Learning Facilities grant program
On May 25th, Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal presented a vision for education in Washington which he proposes will help the State meet the requirements of the McCleary decision. For a detailed explanation of this proposal see https://www.wastatepta.org/reykdal-describes-education-vision-2nd-special-session-called/ 

Legislative Update 4/28/17

New Items are Marked in Red

All bills that did not pass during the regular session may be considered during special session.  Many of the below bills are still “on the table” and may pass during special session.  The Governor has until May 20th to sign bills.

Bills HB 1778, HB 1779, HJR 4203, and HJR 4204, all related to allowing school district bonds to pass with a simple majority, are still pending.


Status of Top Five Legislative Priorities: 

  1. Social and Emotional Learning (SEL):
  • HB 1377 would require schools with student enrollment above 2,000 to provide training for educational and support staff that focuses on identifying signs of emotional distress in students.
  1. Amply Funding Basic Education:

         All funding plans are still under consideration.

  • SB 5607 is the Senate Republican funding plan.
  • HB 1843 and SB 5825 are Democrat funding plans.
  • SB 5297 is the Governor's compensation model bill.
  1. Closing the Opportunity Gap:

All bills directly related to this item failed to pass.  There are no further pending bills.

  1. Standards for Para-educators:
  • HB 1115 was voted out of House Education as a substitute. The bill was amended to replace requirements for certification and endorsements with training and standards for all para-educators.  This bill has been sent to the Governor for signing.
  1. Breakfast after the Bell:
  • HB 1508 stalled in the Senate and has returned to the House for approval.


Other 2017 WSPTA Supported Issues:

  1. Improving Educational Outcomes for Foster Children:
  • HB 5241 would require school districts to consolidate partial credits and allow credit for unresolved or incomplete coursework for foster children. Signed by the Governor on April 17.
  1. Engaging Families in Student Success:
  • SHB 1618 specifies minimum duties and responsibilities for a family and community engagement coordinator. This bill returns to the House.   
  1. Post-Secondary/Higher Education Access and Affordability:

Legislation related to this issue failed to pass this session.

  1. Removing Barriers to Implementing Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP):

Most legislation failed.  Some elements of this issue are part of the proposed operating budgets.

  1. Restorative Justice and School Safety:

Legislation related to this issue failed to pass this session.


The Senate passed a bill to extend the levy cliff (ESB 5023).  This extends the ability of local governments to use levies to fund school enrichment activities to January 1, 2019.  This bill also requires any levies to be approved by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OPSI). 

To learn more about the WSPTA platform and open issues, visit the Washington State PTA Advocacy page at https://www.wastatepta.org/focus-areas/advocacy/

You can also sign up to receive emails detailing the most current legislative action at https://www.wastatepta.org/grassroots-connection-blog/.  


2017 Shoreline Schools Bond

On Tuesday, February 14th, Shoreline School District voters approved the Shoreline School Bond (Prop. 1).   Thank you to all who voted “Yes” for Shoreline schools.  A special thanks to those who attended our rah-rah events!

Update December 13, 2016:

Governor Releases Education Budget

Governor Jay Inslee released the proposed 2017 revenue budget for education today. The education and revenue budget requests $3.9 billion in total spending over the two-year budget cycle. Nearly two-thirds of the proposed funding would boost compensation for educators and add professional development for teachers and para-educators.
For more detailed information about the proposed budget, go to http://wsptagrassroots.blogspot.com/2016/12/governor-releases-education-budget-asks.html 

Get Involved!

The Shoreline PTA Council website has some great tips for how to get more involved in your local community and effect change for our children. Please go to http://www.shorelinepta.org/advocacyleg---news.html and read the section under the December 2016 update, “What can we do now?”

Update November 14, 2016:

The report by the Social and Emotional Learning Benchmarks Workgroup is complete. This report contains final recommendations for a social and emotional learning (SEL) educational framework for K-12 students.  The report can be reviewed in its entirety at http://www.k12.wa.us/Workgroups/SELB-Meetings/SELBWorkgroup2016Report.pdf.   


Legislative Assembly 2016

The Washington State PTA Legislative Assembly took place in Olympia October 21st and 22nd. PTA delegates from around the state caucused on issues and resolutions then voted on which items to include on the WSPTA 2016-2017 platform. Below is the platform of the WSPTA as approved by the delegates at the 2016 assembly:

Legislative Principles

The Legislative Principles are the overarching goals of the WSPTA. All issues put forth by the WSPTA are in service to supporting the following areas of educational reform:

1. Budget, revenue, and funding
2. Parent and family involvement
3. Public education policies
4. Health and well-being of children and youth
5. Safe and nurturing environments for children and youth

Top Five Issues

The “Top Five Issues” are those issues that will get priority by the WSPTA during the upcoming legislative session. Below are the “Top Five Issues” in order of popularity of vote by the assembly delegates:

1. Social and Emotional Learning: A positive school climate includes intentional work on addressing safety, relationships, teaching and learning, discipline, and family and community engagement. This work can be accomplished through use of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills, the implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and quality family and community engagement.

2. Amply Fund Basic Education: The goal of the McCleary decision is to amply fund basic education as defined by HB 2261 and 2776. The WSPTA supports legislation that will increase revenue in a progressive and equitable manner. WSPTA also supports legislation that provides additional and adequate funding for school facilities and infrastructure. More information about the McCleary Decision can be found at the bottom of this page.

3. Closing the Opportunity Gap: WSPTA supports efforts to implement the recommendations of the Educational Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee (EOGOAC). The recommendations include cultural competence education, bilingual instruction, recruitment and hiring of educators of color, etc.

4. Career Development and Training for Para-educators: Para-educators provide over half of all instruction to the most at-risk students (including special education, Title I, and English language learners) yet receive the least training of all education staff in schools. WSPTA supports policies and legislation that set standards, training, and education for para-educators.

5. Breakfast After the Bell: WSPTA supports the institution of a "Breakfast After the Bell" program in high-needs schools. This would change when breakfast is offered to after the bell resulting in more students being able to participate in breakfast each day.

Approved Legislative Issues

The other important issues that were voted on to be included in the WSPTA legislative platform are as follows:

Increased Access to Higher Education: WSPTA supports efforts to address affordability and access issues in Higher Education. Some programs that have been supported by the WSPTA include “Pay it Forward” and similar loan programs. WSPTA supports expanding funding for State Need Grants and College Bound Scholarships.

Removing Barriers to Implementing ECEAP: WPTSA supports the expansion of the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) which is the state’s pre-K program.
Restorative Justice and School Safety: WPTSA supports the use of family and community-based restorative justice models for youth discipline and school safety issues. We also support initiatives to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in juvenile justice.

Engaging Families in Student Success: WPTSA supports legislation providing a clear definition and title for Family Engagement Coordinators and expanding funding for at least one 1.0 FTE Family Engagement Coordinator per school.

Improving Education Outcomes for Foster Children: WSPTA supports policies and legislation that increase high school graduation rates and improve educational transitions for foster children.

New Resolutions

The WSPTA formally recognizes issues of concern as resolutions. These may be added to the platform as formal issues in future legislative sessions. The resolutions added to the 2016-2017 platform are as follows:

Child Sex Trafficking: WPTSA proposes to advocate for the adoption of laws and legislation related to deterring recruitment, transportation, and exploitation of children, as well as supporting social and emotional recovery of victims of child trafficking.

Early Testing for Language Processing Disorders: WPTSA proposes supporting and advocating for legislation related to early childhood screening and educator training for language processing disorders, including but not limited to dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, and dyscalculia.

Mitigating Environmental Hazards and Contaminants in Schools: WPTSA proposes supporting efforts for safer chemical use in schools, especially related to school cleaning and grounds maintenance. We also support implementation of minimal environmental health standards and green cleaning policies.

To learn more about the WSPTA platform and open issues, visit the Washington State PTA Advocacy page at http://www.wastatepta.org/advocacy/association_position/index.html

You can also sign up to receive emails detailing the most current legislative action at http://wsptagrassroots.blogspot.com.  

The McCleary Decision

In 2009, the Supreme Court decided that the Washington State Legislature was failing to meet its constitutional obligation to sufficiently fund education. The State was ordered to fully fund K-12 education by the 2017-2018 school year. It was determined by legislative study that adequately funding basic education in Washington by the 2017-2018 school year would cost $12,546 per student. It was further determined that to reach this goal the Legislature would need to reach particular benchmarks each year. By the end of the 2013-2014 school year, the Legislature had not reached any of these benchmarks.

The Supreme Court then found the Washington State Legislature in Contempt of Court for not fulfilling this obligation. It is important to note that the Supreme Court is not determining the State budget, rather it is enforcing the Constitution of the State of Washington that clearly states that the Legislature will amply fund education for each student in the state. In 2015, the Supreme Court began to sanction the State $100,000 a week until the State fulfilled its funding obligations.

What is happening now?

On July 14, 2016, the Supreme Court issued an order regarding McCleary. The State has been ordered to take the following actions:

1. Make a decision on the placement of the 2017-2018 school year deadline (e.g. beginning of school year, end of school year, etc.);
2. Provide a sufficient plan to meet the funding goals;
3. Provide an estimate of education costs, including operations, capital costs, salaries, etc.;
4. Provide a list of what has already been adequately funded;
5. Provide a list of what has not been funded and a plan for how the State intends to meet this obligation; and
6. Make a case for dismissing the Contempt of Court Order and removing the sanctions.

A hearing on this matter took place on September 7, 2016. On October 6th, the Supreme Court made a final decision regarding the arguments put before it at this hearing. The Court stated that the State had failed to submit a complete plan for achieving full compliance with its constitutional duty to Washington students. The Court then ordered that it would not lift the $100,000 per day contempt sanction. In regards to the timing of the funding implementation, the Court stated that “the State has until September 1, 2018, to fully implement its program of basic education, and that the remaining details of that program, including funding sources and the necessary appropriations for the 2017-19 biennium, are to be in place by final adjournment of the 2017 legislative session.”

The full order can be found at the following link: