LtoR: Dominic Jimenez, CHILD School; Carrie Fannin, CHILD School; Jeffrey D. Woolley, Dartmoor School; Suzie Hanson, WFIS; Dr. Melodee Loshbaug Brocks Academy; Rachel Kier, Brocks Academy & Dan Loshbaug.

WFIS has shared detailed concerns with legislators about the OSPI-sponsored bills: SB 5315 and HB 1479.

For decades, some approved private schools have contracted with OPSI to be NonPublic Agencies and serve students with special needs. These educators work with their public district partners and families to identify need and help thousands of the state’s most vulnerable individuals.

WFIS and fellow NPA advocates are clear that more oversight of the NPAs that are approved schools is unnecessary and overburdensome, though there seems to be a great need for more oversight and auditing of the NPAs that are NOT approved schools. In general, we ask for law to be written with the engagement of families, special education teachers, and school administrators in special education.

WFIS also met with Arik Korman at the League of Education Voters as they are entrenched in the movement to increase funding for children with special needs. On a recent webinar, LEV included Andrea Kadlec, Attorney at Disability Rights Washington, on the panel. WFIS conveyed our concerns with DRW’s lack of transparency and strong-arm legalese tactics. We explained our issues with both bills that create complications that will impede student access. We gave ample reasons for LEV to support the public/private partnership currently benefiting many children.

If you’re curious about what DRW, LEV, and the ACLU are promoting, join the upcoming Friday, Jan 27 LEVinar on Ending Isolation Practices in Washington K-12 Schools. Please know that this webinar requires advance registration.It will spotlight findings from the much anticipated ACLU/Disability Rights Washington report, include the OSPI-led legislative workgroup report on the impacts of isolation & restraint practices in K 12 schools, and welcome former students’ feedback on their experiences in the classroom.

WFIS asks NPA private schools and the families with students to attend, and ask questions or add comments in the chat.