2019 Legislative Wrap: Education

Education bills came down to the wire!

SB 5091, which increases funding for Special Education, but not fully – according to most school districts – passed on the last day. A last-minute bill, HB 2163, which transfers money from the Budget Stabilization Act for K-12 hold-harmless payments in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years, passed on the final day. 

From LWVWA Legislative Newsletter:

Our children and communities will be safer with passage of HB 1638, the MMR Vaccine bill, and HB 1216 which establishes a statewide school safety network including behavioral health. 

This session ended with drama, a real nail-biting ending that came down to the levy bill.

The Senate passed SB 5313 with an amendment to provide additional funding to charter schools, which we opposed. The bill passed to the House. Meanwhile HB 2140, the House levy bill was amended in Ways & Means to remove the levy language and, among other items, allows money in a capital projects fund to be used for maintenance. After a good bit of dancing back and forth between the House and Senate, the House amended SB 5313, taking out the section on charter schools, and both Houses passed both SB 5313 and HB 2140 late at night on the last day of session.

For those of you wanting to know more about Special Education funding and problems with Levies and Levy Equalization watch this excellent work session by the Senate Ways & Means Committee including presentations by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), school superintendents, a school psychologist, and a special education teacher. 

Read more about legislative work on education here.