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2021 Fall Conference

Video Recordings from our 2021 Fall Conference are now available for viewing! Register below and you'll be sent a link to watch the videos. 

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2021 Legislative Session Summary

The WSASP GPR Committee works to identify, track, and actively advocate on legislation based on the WSASP Mission, Vision, and Values. Below is a summary of bills identified this year as well as a description of actions taken by the WSASP GPR Committee.

  • HB 1444: Providing trauma-informed counseling and support to students who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Creates, temporarily, a limited school mental health staff certificate for Department of Health licensed or certified mental and behavioral health professionals, for the purpose of providing trauma-informed counseling and support to students who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Requires school districts to employ one person with either a school counselor certificate or a temporary mental health staff certificate for every 150 students, beginning with the 2021-22 school year and through July 1, 2025. This would allow schools to hire mental health professionals who do not have education training or experience.

    • WSASP Position: Against, advocating instead to increase basic education funding for mental and behavioral health ESA positions (school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, and school nurses) rather than creating an additional pathway to certify mental health professionals with no background in education or working in the schools. 

    • Bill Progress: This bill did not make it out of the education committee.

    • WSASP Action Taken: Provided written and virtual testimony in partnership with a social worker from the ESA Behavioral Health Coalition.

    • WSASP Priority Level: High

  • HB 1208: Modifying the learning assistance program.

    • This bill addresses modifying the learning assistance program to give school districts flexibility in the use of funds in identifying and addressing academic deficits in basic skills resulting from or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Makes changes to requirements and restrictions on the use of LAP funds, including explicitly allowing for the use of LAP funds to pay for mental health staff and services.

    • WSASP Position: For

    • Bill Progress: Passed

    • WSASP Action Taken: Signed in (in support) in the Senate education committee

    • WSASP Priority Level: Medium

  • HB 1295: Providing public education to youth in or released from institutional education facilities.

    • Establishes new and modified duties for OSPI, DCYF, and the state Board of Education in order to provide basic education to youth in or released from secure facilities (e.g., those operated by DCYF, DSHS, and DOC)

    • WSASP Position: For

    • Bill Progress: Passed

    • WSASP Action Taken: Signed in (in support) in Senate education committee

    • WSASP Priority Level: Medium

  • HB 1363: Addressing secondary trauma in the K-12 workforce. 

    • This bill addresses a requirement for school districts to adopt a policy and procedure to prevent and address secondary traumatic stress, also called compassion fatigue, in the workforce and to make resources on secondary traumatic stress publicly available. This would include links to resources and best practices for educators (K-12 workforce). Policy and procedures to be adopted at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. 

    • WSASP Position: For

    • Bill Progress: Passed

    • WSASP Action Taken: Provided written testimony for the House education committee and in the Senate education committee.

    • WSASP Priority Level: Medium

  • HB 1373: Promoting student access to information about behavioral health resources.

    • This is a bill that would require public schools to provide students with contact information for behavioral health organizations via social media websites used by the school district, multiple times a year in addition to providing such information via the school’s website home page. Behavioral health contact information must include the website address and phone number for local, state, and national organizations that specialize in suicide prevention and crisis intervention, depression, anxiety, counseling, eating disorders, and substance abuse. 

    • WSASP Position: For

    • Current Status: Passed

    • WSASP Action Taken: Provided written testimony for the House education committee and in the Senate education committee.

    • WSASP Priority Level: Low

  • SB 5044: Concerning professional learning, equity, cultural competency, and dismantling institutional racism in the public school system.

    • This bill would add equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism to existing cultural competency standards and training for school board directors, district staff, and school staff. It directs school districts to prioritize one of three professional learning days to focus first on these topics. PESB, in collaboration with Equity Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee, must identify and update a list of model standards for anti-racism in addition to cultural competency. PESB must post the list of model standards online for parents and community members. The definition for "cultural competency" is amended to include anti-racism standards, an equity framework, culturally responsive instruction, and skills in adapting instruction to students' with disabilities experiences. There are also implications for school directors having required training.

    • WSASP Position: For

    • Bill Progress: Passed

    • WSASP Action Taken: Signed in (in support) in the House education committee.

    • WSASP Priority Level: Medium

  • SB 5237/HB 1213: Expanding accessible, affordable child care and early childhood development programs.

    • This bill is meant to expand access to accessible, affordable child care and early childhood development programs to those at or below the federal poverty level (FPL). Currently, a child is eligible for Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) if their family income is at or below 110 percent FPL. This bill expands eligibility (if space is available) to families above 110 percent but less than 130 percent. For families above 130 percent but less than 200 percent the child is also eligible if the child meets at least one of the specified risk factors.

    • WSASP Position: For

    • Bill Progress: SB 5237 Passed

    • WSASP Action Taken: Provided written testimony for HB 1213 in the Senate education committee.

    • WSASP Priority Level: Medium

  • SB 5153/HB 1113: Concerning school attendance.

    • Requires school districts to file a truancy petition after a student's seventh unexcused absence within a month and not later than a student's 15th unexcused absence in the school year. 

    • Directs the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop, in consultation with the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee, best practice guidance to eliminate or reduce student absences. 

    • Changes the term "community truancy board" to "community engagement board." 

    • WSASP Position: For

    • Bill Progress: HB 1113 Passed

    • WSASP Action Taken: Monitoring Only

    • WSASP Priority Level: Low

  • HB 1214: Providing K-12 public school safety and security services by classified staff or contractors.

    • Creates a new safety and security category of classified staff for public schools. 

    • Requires safety and security staff to meet certain training requirements, whether SRO’s or school employed security personnel.

    • Directs school districts and charter schools to adopt a policy and procedure with certain elements, adopt an agreement with the law enforcement agency or security guard company supplying the staff, and collect and submit certain information on safety and security staff to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

    • WSASP Position: For

    • Bill Progress: Passed

    • WSASP Action Taken: Monitoring Only

    • WSASP Priority Level: Low

  • HB 1366: Requiring school districts to prioritize the resumption of in-person instruction to certain students following an emergency. 

    • Would require districts to prioritize specific groups of students when planning the return to the school building.

    • WSASP Position: Against.  Districts are already making local decisions about how to prioritize students returning to campus, and there is not a need for micromanagement by the legislature here.

    • Bill Progress: did not progress out of committee

    • WSASP Action Taken: Monitoring Only

    • WSASP Priority Level: Low

  • SB 5205: Establishing a K-12 education voucher program.

    • Would establish a publicly funded k-12 voucher program within basic education funding which parents could access for school choice.

    • WSASP Position: Against. WSASP advocates for public funds to remain in public schools. Additionally, voucher programs have been shown to increase equity disparity.

    • Bill Progress: did not progress out of committee

    • WSASP Action Taken: Monitoring Only

    • WSASP Priority Level: Low

  • SB 5376: Promoting awareness of the governor's office of the education ombuds.  

    • Requires schools to annually notify parents, students, and school employees about services available through the Office of the Education Ombuds (OEO).

    • WSASP Position: For

    • Bill Progress: Passed

    • WSASP Action Taken: Signed in (in support) in the Senate education committee, and in the House education committee.

    • WSASP Priority Level: Low

  • SB 5194/HB 1318 - Providing for equity and access in the community and technical colleges.

    • Beginning in 2022, all CTCs must submit to the SBCTC strategic plans for achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion on their campuses. This specifically includes students with disabilities.

    • The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) must establish a pilot program to increase student access to mental health counseling and services. 

    • WSASP Position: For

    • Bill Progress: SB 5194 Passed

    • WSASP Action Taken: Monitoring Only

    • WSASP Priority Level: Low

  • HB 1356 - Prohibiting the inappropriate use of Native American names, symbols, or images as public school mascots, logos, or team names.

    • Prohibits public schools from using Native American names, symbols, or images as school mascots, logos, or team names. 

    • Establishes exceptions to the prohibition if certain requirements are met, including consultation with and authorization by, the applicable tribe or tribes. 

    • Allows for the phasing out of uniforms or other materials bearing Native American names, symbols, or images as mascots, logos, or team names if specified requirements are met. 

    • Establishes a temporary grant program to provide grants for schools that incur costs resulting from compliance with the prohibition.

    • WSASP Position: For

    • Bill Progress: Passed

    • WSASP Action Taken: Signed in (in support) in the House education committee.

    • WSASP Priority Level: Low 

  • HB 1426 - Specifying minimum continuing education requirements for administrator and teacher certificate renewals that focus on equity-based school and classroom practices.

    • ESHB 1426: Specifying minimum continuing education requirements for administrator and teacher certificate renewals that focus on equity-based school and classroom practices.

    • This bill specifies content requirements and authorized providers for continuing education required for teacher and administrator certificate renewal. This bill would not mandate a change to ESA certificate renewal.

    • 10% of the continuing education for administrators and 15% for teachers must focus on equity based school practices.

    • An additional 10% for administrators must focus on the national professional standards for education leaders, and a final 5% must focus on government to government relations with tribes.

    • There are also approved providers of this training listed, and included WEA and AWSP, but did not include WSASP or other ESA organizations.

    • While this is not noted in the bill, GPR notes that though ESA’s are not listed in this legislation, PESB has the right to make changes to our certification requirements and may choose to do so based on recent actions they have taken to align requirements between certification families.

    • WSASP Position: For

    • Bill Progress: Passed

    • WSASP Action Taken: Signed in (in support) in the House education committee.

    • WSASP Priority Level: Low

Compare and Contrast of 5044 and 1426

Similarities

Differences

No increase to overall clock hour or professional development requirements

5044 pertains to all educators

1426 is only pertaining to teachers and administrators

Requires existing professional development to focus on equity based practices

5044 would require districts to provide PD

1426 requires educators to seek out the clock hours

Timeframe. HB 1426 pertains to renewal on or after July 1, 2022. HB 5044 applies to training starting 2022-2023 school year

5044 does not impact certification or certification renewal

1426 would impact certification renewal


5044 names equity, cultural competency, and dismantling institutional racism in the public school system

1426 names equity based school practices


Washington State Association of School Psychologists
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contact@wsasp.org
509-724-1587

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