Suzie Hanson spent the first weekend of April advising House staff on rewrites to a bill that the Senate passed, but the House Education Committee blew up. The NPA bill, 2ESSB5315, directly impacts 27 private schools and sets a tone for exclusion from public dollars for all private schools, even those working in partnership with public schools to help students with special needs.

WFIS wrote a good bill for the Senate. It was a collaborative effort over several weeks between the NPA schools. The NPA schools met in Olympia with WFIS. We testified as a panel in favor of the bill and secured support from OSPI and the State Board of Education. The Senate bill passed unanimously. However, once it was given to the House Ed Committee, the Chair changed the bill, and now we can no longer support it.

If the current amended bill moves forward on the House Floor with the definitions and expectations of professional education as written, 27 schools may be out of business, and hundreds of children may be left without the support they desperately need to fulfill their IEPs and graduate.

The House legislators are negotiating with the Senate legislators to fix the bill so they can concur. They have our edits. Waiting and trusting the system is challenging. WFIS is popping into offices, sitting in the front row of hearings, and ensuring staff writers know our schools’ priorities.