Your View Ridge PTA Advocacy Team will share regular updates and action alerts through the Otter Know and on this page.
Advocacy at Your Fingertips!
The hard part is done for you. When you sign up for action alerts, they go straight to your inbox, and you simply login and send. It is a quick, easy way to communicate directly with your legislators on topics they are actively working on. Our District 46 Representatives are often quick to respond — even on the Legislative floor!
The 2022 Legislative Scorecard!
Advocacy works! Below is a brief summary of the successes within our Top 5 Legislative Priorities. Also check out the full scorecard of WSPTA wins and where there is more work to be done.
1. Increase Access to Nursing, Mental Health, and Social Emotional Learning Staff
- (2SHB 1664 and ESSB 5693) $90 million during FY23; and $548 million over the school years 2023-24 and 2024-25. Increases minimum allocations for nurses, counselors, psychologists, and social workers in the prototypical school funding model over three school years.
- (SHB 1590 and ESSB 5693) Creates a formula for stability due to enrollment decline for 2021-22 School year, if less than enrollment in 2019-20. Formula is to provide funding for 50% of the difference between the enrollment allocation in 2019-20 and 2021-22 school years. Also stabilizes CY 2023 for enrichment levies and local effort assistance (LEA) for CY 2022 and 2023.
- (SHB 1878) $21.6 million to expand school participation in the Community Eligibility Provision to all schools with an identified student percentage of 40% free and reduced-price meals. Districts may group schools with lower than 40% as long as the group average for all students is 40%.
- HB 1808/SB 5581 didn’t pass, but there is legislative interest in addressing the STARS transportation funding formula, starting with excess costs associated with transportation for homeless youth, students in foster care, and students with disabilities.
3. Increase Educational Equity by Closing the Digital Divide
- (E2SHB) Requires the State Broadband Office to develop a state digital equity plan and report to the Legislature and Governor by 12/1/23, including engaging school districts. Modifies the Digital Equity Opportunity Program, expands purpose to advance broadband adoption and digital equity. Grants may be used to provide training and skill-building; access to hardware and software; internet connectivity; digital media literacy; assistance for low-income and underserved areas of the state; and delivery of vital services through technology. Establishes the Digital Equity Planning Grant Program to provide grants to fund the development of a digital equity plan for specific regions. In awarding grants, Commerce must consider how the grants awarded will increase the number of PreK-12 students gaining greater access to digital inclusion.
4. Supports and Funding for Students with Disabilities and Their Families
- $21.8 million Increased special education safety net allocations
- $3.5 million Additional funding for MTSS in fiscal year 2023.
- (SSB 5376) Requires school districts to share information about the Education Ombuds at the time of enrollment or admission, and to include links to OEO on their district and school websites.
5. Prevent and Reduce Gun Violence and Suicide
- (ESSB 5078) Limits high-capacity magazines to no more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
- (2SHB 1664) See above on school staffing for school mental health supports.
WA State Legislative Session Jan 10 - Mar 10, 2022
Your actions throughout this week will be quick and easy but will make a tremendous impact. It will be so easy that you can take action from home, while waiting for a coffee order, or sitting in your child’s pick-up line!
WSPTA will be asking members to act virtually throughout Focus on Advocacy Week. Each day will focus on an important part of the WSPTA platform. The best way to participate is by subscribing to the WSPTA Action Network so that you receive the daily calls to action for this week and periodically throughout the legislative session. You will be provided with easily customizable messages that the action alert system will automatically send to your legislators. It is easy to do and only takes a few minutes! We also encourage you to share your advocacy work on your personal and PTA social media accounts throughout the week using the hashtag #WSPTAOneVoice.
Schedule for Engagement:
(topics are subject to change as the date gets closer)
Did you know it takes just two minutes to show your support for key legislation that will impact our schools and community? There are more PTA priority bills in committee this week down in Olympia and you can make your voice heard by signing-in to support them.
For any or all of these, go to the committee sign-in page, check senate or house, committee and date, select the bill you are interested in, and check “I would like my position noted for the legislative record.” Fill in a couple pieces of information about you and you’re done!
Want to learn more about how the legislative process works? This WAPTA video provides a 20-minute overview that covers everything from bill tracking to the legislative calendar to what happens in committees and on the floor.
Concerned about making sure our students get the mental health support they need? HB 1834, which requires that student absences for mental health reasons be categorized as excused absences, will be in the House Education Committee on Thursday, January 20 at 1:30 p.m.
Want to make sure those asynchronous learning hours count? SB 5735, which counts asynchronous instructional hours toward required instructional hours, will be in the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee on Wednesday, January 19 at 10:30 a.m.
Worried about ensuring access for historically excluded students to highly capable programs, HB 1611, which focuses on equity in programs for highly capable students, will be in the House Education Committee on Friday, January 21 at 10:00 a.m.
Last week we saw bills on gun safety (SB 5217), transportation funding (HB 1808), mental and behavioral health (HB 1800, HB 1834, HB 1883) to name a few. This week, committees will be discussing language accessibility and district responses to discrimination and bullying.
Monday, January 24th 3:00pm
House Appropriations Public Hearing (Remote testimony)
SHB 1153 – Increasing language access in public schools.
Tuesday, January 25th 8:00am
House Education Public Hearing (Remote testimony)
HB 1900 – Improving school districts’ responses to complaints of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying.
How to Participate in a Committee Hearing
Testifying in a Virtual Hearing
During the 2022 Session, you can register to testify in a virtual hearing in a similar manner as you would on campus. The sign-in deadline for virtual testimony is 1 hour prior to the hearing.
Submitting Written Testimony to a Committee
If you do not wish to testify in a committee hearing, you can still submit written testimony on a bill for the archived legislative record. Written testimony is accepted until 24 hours after the public hearing.
Get Your Position on a Bill Noted for Legislative Record
If you wish, you could choose to have your position noted. The Committee Sign In – Remote Testimony page also allows you to select a chamber, committee, and bill, then indicate you wish to have your position noted for the archived legislative record.
We’re rapidly approaching the first cut-off of the legislative session. This means that bills must pass out of committee by Thursday, February 3 to continue to move through the lawmaking process. Check out the latest WSPTA bill report here.
Worried about kids access to behavioral health services and increasing staffing for school nurses, counselors, social workers and psychologists? HB 1800 and HB 1664 are scheduled for a Public Hearing in the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, February 1 at 3:30pm (watch here and sign-in to show your support here).
SB 5581, which helps fully fund student transportation, and SB 5563, for enrollment stabilization funding, are scheduled for a Public Hearing in the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Monday, January 31 at 4:00pm (watch here and sign-in to show your support here).
We are half-way through! As of Friday, February 4th, the 90+ bills that WSPTA is watching, 35 have moved out of their policy or fiscal committees and onto a budget committee (Appropriations, Finance, Capital Budget, and Ways & Means) and 15 bills have moved directly to either the Senate or House Rules Committees. Any bills sent to a budget committee must pass the fiscal committee by February 7th.
The “Big 3” bills to stabilize school district funding due to enrollment decline (SSB 5563/HB 1590), increase school staffing ratios for school counselors, nurses, psychiatrists, and social workers (SSB 5595/SHB 1664), and improve funding to support transportation for students with disabilities or highly mobile students (SHB 1808/SB 5581) have all moved on to the Senate Ways and Means committee.
Simple majority for bonds bills advance
HB 1226 and its companion constitutional amendment HJR 4200 passed out of the House Education Committee Thursday, February 3. The longer than usual debate in committee spelled the demise of about a half dozen bills as time ran out. The simple majority bills passed out of committee by a vote of 7-6 for HB 1226 and 8-5 for HJR 4200. The bills have been scheduled for a public hearing and executive action in the House Capital Budget Committee Monday, February 7 at 8:00 am.
Read the full report here, including the bills that failed to get out of their policy committee.
Buoyed by another positive revenue forecast on February 16, lawmakers began releasing their budgets last week. It started last Thursday with the Senate 2022 supplemental capital budget, continued on Sunday with the Senate 2022 supplemental transportation budget, and culminated with releases of 2022 supplemental operating, capital and transportation budgets today on Monday, February 21.
2022 supplemental Operating Budget comparison
Last week saw the release of five 2022 supplemental budgets. While there are several similarities, the budgets took different approaches to some of the biggest issues this session, including school district enrollment stabilization, restoring riparian habitat and salmon recovery, and expenditures of billions of new state revenues and unallocated federal funds.
The Senate passed its versions of the operating budget (ESSB 5693), capital budget (SSB 5651), and the transportation budget (ESSB 5689) last week. The House caught the operating and transportation budgets on the fly, brought them to the floor, and replaced the Senate versions with House versions and amendments during Saturday deliberations. This will send those two budgets into conference committee for budget negotiators to iron out their differences.
Also passed by the Senate was the Move Ahead WA transportation revenue package (ESSB 5974) by a 29-20 vote. The revenue package underwrites $16.8 billion in projects. One of the planned revenue streams, a six cent per gallon tax on fuels exported from Washington state, ran into a serious buzzsaw over the last few weeks. Last Friday House Democrats decided to pivot, jettisoning the unpopular tax to instead grab $100 million per fiscal year for 16 years from the Public Works Assistance Account. For the last six years, more than $150 million a fiscal year has been diverted from local government infrastructure to support the McCleary fix by sending funding to the Education Legacy Trust Account. Stay tuned; it’s about to get messy.
In addition to all the budget activity, February 24 marked the deadline by which bills were required to pass out of the opposite chamber policy committees. The next deadline is Monday, February 28, when bills must pass out of budget committees – both the Senate Ways & Means and House Appropriations committees have marathon executive action sessions planned. Finally, Friday, March 4, at 5:00 PM is the final deadline for bills to pass out of the opposite chamber. Look for some really long days and nights starting Tuesday, March 1.
The 2022 legislative session ended at 11:35 pm, Thursday, March 10. In a last dash to the finish line, the Legislature completed its work to pass supplemental operating, capital, and transportation budgets, as well as acting on many policy-level bills. Here are some bill highlights and new budget investments:
The Big 3
• SHB 1590 – Enrollment stabilization. Provides enrollment stabilization amounts in the 2021-22 school year equal to 50 percent of the difference in combined state revenues using 2019-20 enrollment and 2021-22 enrollment if a school district’s combined state revenue generated in the 2021-22 school year is less than what its combined state revenue would be using 2019-20 enrollment. In addition, the bill authorizes the use of 2019-20 enrollment values to calculate enrichment levy limits in the 2023 calendar year and to calculate local effort assistance (LEA) in the 2022 and 2023 calendar years.
• 2SHB 1664 – School staffing increases. Increases minimum allocations for nurses, counselors, psychologists, and social workers in the prototypical school funding model over three school years.
• HB 1808/SSB 5581 – Transportation for special student populations. The bill would have increased transportation funding allocations for students who are homeless, in foster care, or receiving special education, and would have required more specific reporting to access the P a g e | 2 Legislative Session – Week 9 Report (2022) © 2019-2022 Washington Congress of Parents and Teachers. All rights reserved. Permission granted to PTA affiliates to print and copy materials for internal use. funding. Several changes were made to the Senate bill to make it more workable for smaller school districts and those with large geographic transportation routes. The bills died in the opposite chamber. However, $13 million was provided in the budget for these excess costs.
Read the rest of the WSPTA report for more bill highlights and new budget investments.
You can sign up to testify on your own, but if you’d like to coordinate testimonies, please email firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also make your opinion known through written testimony, by phoning in your testimony to the Legislative Hotline: 1.800.562.6000 or by signing into the bill online, and clicking pro or con. Watch this brief tutorial from Candice Bock that delivers walkthrough instructions for testifying, or for a more extensive explanation the Seattle Council PTSA has a 30 minute video available as well.
5 State Legislative Priorities
Many important decisions about our education system are made at the state level. The Washington State Legislative Session kicked off on January 10th, and we have just 60 days to pass bills as well as a supplemental budget.
Your View Ridge PTA Advocacy Team will share regular updates and action alerts through the Otter Know and on this page.
Washington State PTA shall support legislation or policies that:
- Support the medical and mental health of all students P-12 with innovative funding solutions for increased non-teaching staff including but not limited to nurses, counselors, psychologists, and social workers in schools, provided in-person or according to the best practices in telehealth access.
Conversations with Asst. Superintendent of Business and Finance, JoLynn Berge
Interpretation services provided for Cantonese, Somali, and Spanish and live transcription. Please email Sam Fogg if you need interpretation services for another language.
Tuesdays (Feb 15, March 15, April 19, May 17), 7pm
Join Zoom meeting here.