2018 Legislative Session

Washington State Legislature

League of Education Voters pursued a legislative agenda in 2018 that reflects our values. Students come first, and we are focused first and foremost on meeting the needs of every student. We believe in creating an equitable education system that serves all students based on their needs and assets and provides the resources they need to be successful. We are working to close gaps experienced by historically and systemically underserved students—including students of color, students in poverty, students qualifying for special education services, students learning English, and students impacted by trauma—while raising the bar for all.

Read our 2018 Legislative Session Wrap-Up by Daniel Zavala, League of Education Voters Director of Policy and Government Relations

2018 Progress Analysis

Priority Legislative Action Progress

Early Learning

Funding more slots and space to learn for the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP). Additional slots were not funded. Important changes to eligibility were put into place by SB 6149. As space is available children from families who are over the income threshold may be included in ECEAP (with priority to children who are experiencing homelessness / involved with the child welfare system / have a developmental delay or disability that does not meet the eligibility criteria for special education). Limited Progress
Restoring Early Achievers resources to enable providers to implement high-quality early learning programming. No action was taken. No Progress

K-12 Funding

Increasing available data on district-to-school spending and use of dedicated funds including Transitional Bilingual / Special Education / Learning Assistance Program / Career and Technical Education funds. No additional reporting requirements were put in place. However the requirement for local levy pre-ballot approval by OSPI was maintained. The reporting requirements were also moved up by one school year to coincide with full funding of teacher salaries. OSPI is responsible for implementing these requirements and there are opportunities for advocacy at the agency level. No Progress
Assessing the impact of the regionalization factor and new high-poverty concentration factor investment in the Learning Assistance Program on districts / schools / students.  SB 6362 creates a regionalization “edge adjustment” to address concerns raised by districts that are next to districts who receive higher regionalization. However this solution only applies to the districts in Western Washington and is not a holistic approach to addressing the statewide concerns regarding regionalization.
SB 6362 provides the LAP high-poverty concentration factor to schools based on a three-year rolling average (rather than a single year’s enrollment) providing more stability to schools and districts receiving this funding.
Some Progress
Other opportunities to provide clarity and target investments (such as special education funding). SB 6362 increases the special education multiplier (providing additional funding and addressing some of the concerns by districts that without the use of local levies there would be insufficient funds for special education). While this is progress special education funding is likely a continued area of need. Limited Progress
Ensuring fair district access to local levy and local effort assistance revenues. No action was taken to address the disparity in access to local levy and LEA revenues. The legislature allowed the inequitable two-tiered system to remain in place where districts already limited in levy capacity due to low-property values are capped at lower levy revenues than districts with high-property values. No Progress

Expanded Learning Opportunities

Increasing student access to high-quality expanded learning opportunities (ELO) by investing $2.25 million in the ELO Quality Initiative (allowing triple the number of programs to participate—and 11600 more youth to be served). The legislature provided $750000 in the budget to continue the ELO Quality Initiative. Some Progress

Student Supports and School Climate

School staff trained in addressing trauma and supporting social emotional learning. No bill for the K-12 system addressed this issue. HB 2861 requires DCYF to convene an advisory group to develop a ten-year strategy to expand training in trauma-informed child care for early learning providers statewide and reduce expulsions from early learning environments. Limited Progress
Access to mental health services. HB 1377 promotes mental health collaboration time between counselors / social workers / psychologists at schools.
HB 2779 convenes a multi-disciplinary task force to focus on providing children’s mental health services and creates a pilot project for two high schools to implement mental health instruction.
Limited Progress
Support staff (such as social workers / nurses / counselors) No additional support staff were added to the prototypical model. No Progress
Connecting students and families with services and community resources. The legislature was unable to come to agreement on modifications to the Learning Assistance program in HB 2748 that would have required the use of the Washington Integrated Student Supports protocol and lifted the 5% cap on partnering with community based organizations. Both of these changes would have expanded student and family access to services and community resources. No Progress

Career Connected Learning

Assessing the issues in access to programs that provide career connected learning opportunities (including dual credit / Career and Technical Education / work-based learning). No action taken. No Progress
Improving student access to advising and mentoring through investment and guidance on the implementation of the High School and Beyond Plan / student learning plan / transition planning for special education students. Through HB 2686 the legislature established minimum content requirements for the High School and Beyond Plan (HSBP) and requires school districts to provide a HSBP to students' parents or guardians in the top two non-English languages spoken by students in the district. Some Progress

Postsecondary

Continuing to expand access to postsecondary opportunities through the State Need Grant. The Legislature invested $18.5 million in the State Need Grant to serve an additional 4600 students  (¼ of waiting list). The legislature ‘plans’ to fully fund SNG by the first year of the 2021-23 biennium. Some Progress
Protecting and expanding financial aid for undocumented students (including making all undocumented students eligible for the College Bound Scholarship in addition to the State Need Grant). With HB 1488 College Bound Scholarship eligibility was expanded to include Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients and other select immigration statuses. Significant Progress

2018 Progress Analysis (PDF)

 


2018 Legislative Priorities

We used the following priorities during the 2018 legislative session to help move us towards a more equitable and just education system.

2018 LEV Legislative Priorities (PDF)

Prioridades legislativas para 2018 en Español (PDF)

Early Childhood Education (PDF)

K-12 Funding Implementation (PDF)

Expanded Learning Opportunities (PDF)

Student Supports (PDF)

Career Connected Learning (PDF)

Postsecondary (PDF)

 

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