As a WFIS member, your school is actively participating in the discussions and planning that guide private education in WA state. Your awareness and action on behalf of students and mission-based education strengthen the educational landscape and community.

For any proposals below you have concerns about, please contact WFIS so our board of directors can include your perspective in their advocacy day meetings with legislators in Olympia on Jan. 30th.

Bills of Impact on Private Schools

The CCDEI clock-hour bill, HB 1377, would allow all providers to utilize the standards developed by the Professional Educators Standards Board to provide CCDEI clock hours. The bill is stuck on the House Floor. If your school is in Rep. Julia Reed’s District 36 or Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self’s District 21, please thank them for co-sponsoring the bill and ask for their help to get HB 1377 to a floor vote. This bill needs to move as soon as possible.

WFIS boarding schools are investing much time negotiating with the Dep. of Children, Youth, and Families to develop reasonable boarding school licensing rules. WFIS staff is contributing to the weekly discussions as well. We are grateful to school leaders for making time in their full schedules and lending their expertise and lived experience to this process.

Opioid reversal medication may be mandated for public high schools, HB 2029 and SB 5804. Private schools looking to provide this safety measure would be happy to receive free naloxone from the DOH. However, only some high schools see the necessity and have the resources to meet the state reporting requirements. The bill provisions cover the cost for district public schools to receive two doses per campus through the ESD.

HB 2326 would require OSPI to cover the cost for public school students’ advanced placement, international baccalaureate, and Cambridge international exams. A 2026 report on student exam passage rates by demographics per school would be required for these tests.

Private school students are left out of this bill as they were left out of the free college credits in the “College in the High School” bill passed last year. These dual credit opportunities must support ALL Washington students if the state is truly committed to expanding access to college and building a solid workforce.

HB 2005 looks to include weighted grade point averages on high school transcripts.

Two bills aim to add new graduation requirements:

SB 5849 is for computer science, and HB 1915 is for financial education.

There are several curriculum requests for public schools: HB 2037 and companion SB 5851 require the addition of Holocaust and genocide education, and SB 6270 ensures computer science skills are taught in grade school.

HB 1976 aims to change the incentive structure for tier 1 and tier 2 buildings by permitting the Department of Commerce to provide higher incentive payments under the Early Adoption Incentive Program to owners of buildings that comply with the State Energy Performance Standard.

Early Ed Advocacy

On Monday, WFIS early learning leaders will gather in Olympia to engage legislators about these bills.

HB 2195 is a budget request to continue minor renovation grants for early learning programs. These grants of up to $50,000 are important for keeping the current early-learning schools viable. There are often new rules that require expensive changes to existing programs. There is also a desire to keep up with costly maintenance. These grants improve the experience for children.

WFIS has worked with many advocates for three years to improve DCYF’s background check system. Early learning teachers often drive hours to find a processing location, only to show up and find out it’s closed. The frustration with DCYF’s background check system is well-documented, and we are very supportive of SB 5774, which expands the number of fingerprinting locations.

HB 2101 would eliminate licensing fees for all programs.