August 1st is supposed to be the deadline for the legislature to identify representatives for the School Safety Advisory Committee but legislators are not currently in session.  WFIS has committed participation on behalf of the private school community by volunteering the services of Executive Director Suzie Hanson and Private School Safety Representative Loyal Haranan to OSPI’s Program Supervisor for the School Safety Center, Mike Donlin. ESB 6620, is “concerning cost-effective methods for maintaining and increasing school safety”, but with elections coming up the dates and locations of future meetings have yet to be announced. 

Policymakers have taken note of ESD 105 in SouthCentral Washington, which has developed a school safety and security center to support school districts and individual buildings seeking to develop safety plans by offering technical assistance and resource networking to that region’s 25 public and 22 state-approved private and tribal schools.  ESB 6620, gained approval for annual School Safety Summits, where OSPI and the School Safety Advisory Committee will explain the statewide plan for funding cost-effective methods for school safety that meet local needs. These School Safety Summit events may include implementation of school safety planning efforts, training of school safety professionals, and integrating mental health and security measures into planning.  All recommendations will be subject to availability of funds, which have yet to be appropriated.  

Also outlined in ESB 6620, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) has been instructed to complete an evaluation report of how Washington and other states apply funding of school safety and security programs. The report is due by December 1, 2017 to the appropriate committees of the Legislature, the Governor, and OSPI.