Today is the day that the PTA staff breathes a sigh of relief after a successful Focus Day – and the legislature speeds up its action to get bills out of committee before the policy cut-off on Friday.
Two key occurrences today – the first was the CTE Bill, HB 2540, passed out of House Education on a party line vote. One of the sticking points for Republicans was the inability to identify funding for some of the smaller school districts to provide the courses required in the bill. Representative Dahlquist indicated that she would continue to work with the Chair and Vice Chair to come up with solutions. We wish them well as this is a priority bill for the PTA. The second major occurrence was the substantial agreement between Senators Dammeier and Rolfes that culminated in an omnibus bill presented for hearing today in the Senate K-12 Education Committee. The bill addresses a series of fixes to bills before the Senators in committee and lumped them together under a broad title “Improving Student Success by Increasing Instructional Hour and Graduation Requirements.” The bill had the following components:
Postponed the 1080 instructional hour requirement
Adopted the State Board of Education 24 Credit Requirement
Gave districts the 5 day waiver for graduating seniors
Incorporated HB 2540, the CTE Course Equivalencies that just passed the House earlier today
Two other bills of note were voted out of committee – the first being Senate Bill 5958 which seeks to improve transition for special education students and Senate Bill 5986 which would change the funding allocation of Forest Land Subsidies to allow for additional resources to rural schools in Washington.
Bill Report for 5958 - http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2013-14/Pdf/Bill%20Reports/Senate/5958%20SBR%20EDU%2014.pdf
Bill Report for 5986 - https://app.leg.wa.gov/CMD/Handler.ashx?MethodName=getdocumentcontent&documentId=1RTTE94Ezg8&att=false
Bill Report for 2540 – http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2013-14/Pdf/Bill%20Reports/House/2540%20HBR%20ED%2014.pdf
Bill Report for 6552 - http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2013-14/Pdf/Bill%20Reports/Senate/6552%20SBA%20EDU%2014.pdf
On a down side, the House Education Committee had to close before it ran through the list due to floor action. As a result, several good bills died including the House version of the Paraeducator bill. The good news is that the Senate version is still moving forward.
And with that – onto the E-Wire!
You may not be thinking this now, but you should be
Teacher Pay Raises face uncertain future
Seattle Councilman Tim Burgess proposes universal Pre-K
Have to vouch with the Majority Leader on this one…
More on our latest PTA member cum elected official
Yeah, Utah School District taking lunches – more on that here
http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/02/when-schools-literally-take-food-out-of-the-hands-of-children/283566/ - and here - http://www.boston.com/news/education/2014/02/05/utah-district-hears-why-school-lunches-were-taken/kVgiVIU25VB2BKkgKmNV3N/story.html
Students in Louisiana rebel against charter schools
Addressing special needs issues with new graduation requirements – something PTA leaders will be chatting about in an hour actually - http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/01/29/19grad_ep.h33.html?intc=mvs
We say Pre-K; Tennessee says Free College
Hans Zeiger has a “good little bill” worth watching – actually, Hans has several worth watching this session
This might not be a bad idea folks
Oregon is failing in its quest to ban dangerous chemicals – Washington Ban is still moving forward so far