The Private School Advisory Committee (PSAC), made up of Principals and Superintendents from diverse types of private schools, advises OSPI on issues that affect private schools. PSAC met on April 26 with leadership from OSPI, the State Board of Education (SBE) and DEL and had a healthy discussion on whether the SBE private school approval system is strong enough to weed out diploma mills and other nefarious entities that take advantage of the law and negatively impact the reputation of both the State Board and private schools. It was agreed that the established checks and balances for school approval are working, some schools are not receiving approval, and private schools support the tough decisions SBE needs to make to protect us all.
There have been changes made to the private school law that provide consistency and clarity. These include:
- Modifying the qualifications for non-certificated staff
- Added superintendent to the list of qualified people providing oversight
- Attendance language
- Process for complaints
School Safety was discussed and how to better include private schools into the mandated school and District safety plans. Safety Summits will be held both at the State level and by WFIS to help build the bridges necessary to protect our schools. Bullying continues to be an issue at all schools. If your school needs support in dealing with an issue, please contact Mike Donlin from OSPI or Loyal Hanrahan, our private school representative for support.
PSAC members also discussed the state-wide teacher shortage and were briefed on methods OSPI is proposing to deal with the issue including the possibility of making Certification Transfers from other states less bureaucratic, paying specific kinds of teachers more money (Rural? Urban?), and allowing retired teachers to return to the classroom without penalty.
Next PSAC meeting in the Fall.