Legislative and Policy Advocacy

We work with legislators and policy makers to ensure that legislation in Olympia affecting schools and education is crafted with the particular needs of private and independent schools in mind.

Legislation and Policy Updates


Urgent: Senate CARES Act relevant to private schools

Urgent: Senate CARES Act relevant to private schools

WFIS Educators and Families - your advocacy effort is needed at this time! The big “Phase 3” Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) is at a critical stage of consideration in Congress right now.  Currently there is a provision allowing for...

Student Privacy rights in coronavirus era

Student Privacy rights in coronavirus era

EducationDive March 24, 2020 by By Shawna De La Rosa Organizations team up to advise administrators on privacy rights in coronavirus era Dive Brief: The Future of Privacy Forum and AASA, the School Superintendents Association, are teaming up to help K-12 and higher...

DeVos announces broad flexibilities to cancel testing during Covid-19

Students impacted by school closures due to COVID-19 can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year. Upon a proper request, the Department will grant a waiver to any state unable to assess its students due to the ongoing national emergency, providing relief from federally mandated testing requirements for this school year.

Early Learning Advisory Council meeting February 4, 2020

The February Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC) meeting was held on Tuesday, February 4, online rather than in person.  This report is compiled by WFIS' ELAC Representative for Private Schools, Chelle Downey Magee, who is also the Director of Issaquah Montessori....

Here’s an IDEA: Follow the Law!

Are other states falling short of meeting their IDEA obligations? The answer, which is readily deduced by the application of simple logic, is almost certainly, “yes.” Nationally, the number of public school students identified as possessing disabilities requiring special education and related services is estimated to be approximately 13 percent of the total. For private school students, the number is estimated at just under 3 percent.

California Consumer Privacy Act goes into effect Jan 1

California Consumer Privacy Act goes into effect Jan 1

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA), which goes into effect in January 2020, guarantees new data privacy rights for California's 40 million consumers, with kids under 16 winning extra protections.Common Sense Media has put out a complete...

Medicine dispersement to students in private schools

Medicine dispersement to students in private schools

This month Ask Nancy provides some guidance on what private schools are required to do regarding disbursement of medicine to private school students. Question: Our school does not have a nurse.  How can we get staff trained to support students who need to...

Countdown to weigh in on Washington’s new high-school graduation requirements

Starting with the class of 2020, students would be required to meet a set of credit requirements and complete at least one of the following:

Pass the federal Smarter Balanced math and English tests.
Earn high-school math and English credits by enrolling in “dual-credit” courses.
Pass certain Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Cambridge International exams, or pass certain “transition” courses that allow students to enroll in college-level coursework.
Reach minimum scores set by the state on the SAT or ACT.
Earn a minimum score on a military-aptitude test.
Take two career technical-education (CTE) courses.

About Our Work


WFIS brings together uniquely varied educational institutions to strengthen educational quality in Washington, while serving as the advocate and voice of independent schools. The private, independently funded school community of Washington State is comprised of over 500 approved schools serving a richly diverse population of more than 85,000 students. This diversity is reflected in the full spectrum of economic, cultural, familial, educational and religious traits of our enrolled families; families whose collective dual sacrifice as responsible tax payers and tuition contributor’s saves WA state over $800,000,000 annually.

WFIS is the only statewide forum for Washington’s non-public school community. We participate in all levels of collective educational dialogs to assure our schools’ input and perspective are utilized in educational policy agenda, while advocating for private school student access to all programs designed to enhance the quality of education in our state. In addition, we seek resolution in cases where local policy application may result in double standards or inequities.

FEDERAL -WFIS will work for seamless application of the new ESSA policies and programs which include strengthened provisions for private school student inclusion in all districts within the state. Our organization also supports legislative efforts around the country to provide school choice to all children.
STATE – WFIS ensures that private schools are included in state educational programs that benefit students while guarding against the infringement of government mandated policy.
LOCAL – WFIS hosts and participates in events and community engagement opportunities at the local level which foster collaboration amongst schools, students and the greater community.