WFIS is working with Washington’s twelve boarding schools through DCYF’s negotiated rule-making process to create laws for inspecting boarding schools. It is critical to keep the scope of this legislation concise. We aim to find efficiency and prevent duplication with the other entities already invested in and spending time and resources monitoring the health and safety of students, including local health departments, insurance companies, building code authorities, fire marshals, accreditors, and the schools themselves.

The CCDEI bill that was postponed last year was added to the House floor calendar and awaits a floor vote. Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos expressed her commitment to amending the policy so that private school programs can continue to offer all forms of Clock Hours training to their teachers.

WFIS is in conversations with public universities about inclusion in the “College in the High School” program. There is concern that the cost of running the program may be more than was initially allocated; therefore, expanding it to include private school students could be tricky. However, we know that with the program’s success, the expansion would mean good things for students and the state’s efforts to build a strong workforce, so we will continue to push for inclusion.

The Early Learning Committees are very busy this session. WFIS heard feedback from a member that SB 5941, clarifying requirements for subsidized child care, should be based on county median income rather than state median income. Great input – thank you!

There is a budget request to continue minor renovation grants for early learning programs, HB 2195. Also, there is an attempt to improve the background check system by expanding the number of fingerprinting locations, SB 5774. And lastly, there is a bill that will get rid of licensing fees, HB 2101.

During our weekly conversations, we will discuss these bills and others and their impact on schools.