Each week of this unique session has generated an incredible amount of new information, bold ideas and conversations related to education policy and funding, as well as health and safety practices for reopening schools.  School leaders have come together through WFIS to exchange feedback on the complexities of all these policy shifts.  Together our unified perspective has informed the legislature, advised OSPI and the Governor’s Office, and partnered with the State Board of Education to ensure education in WA State coming out of COVID-19 will be as strong as, or even stronger, than it was before this whirlwind began.

WFIS Legislative Update as of April 2021

Senate Bill 5237 Expanding accessible, affordable child care and early childhood development programs. Also known as the Fair Start for Kids Act, moved one step closer to the Governor’s desk yesterday evening, by a bipartisan 62-36 vote in the House.
This legislation outlines sweeping spending goals and strategies to bolster early learning access on various touch points. For details, read this excellent overview by Start Early.
Senate Bill 1426 Specifying minimum continuing education requirements that focus on equity-based school and classroom practices.
Passed both House and Senate, on Governor’s desk.
An act relating to specifying minimum continuing education requirements for administrator and teacher certificate renewals that focus on equity-based school and classroom practices
Administrator Certificate
To renew an administrator certificate on or after July 1, 2023, continuing education must meet the following requirements:
  • 10 percent must focus on equity-based school practices;
  • 10 percent must focus on the national professional standards for education leaders;
  • 5 percent must focus on government-to-government relationships with tribes.
Teacher Certificate
To renew a teacher certificate on or after July 1, 2023,
  • 15 percent of continuing education must focus on equity-based school practices.
Senate Bill 1363 Addressing secondary trauma in the K-12 workforce.
Passed the House, on the Senate Floor
Requires the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to publish on its website links to resources, self-assessments, and best practices to prevent and address secondary traumatic stress in the K-12 workforce.
Directs the Washington State School Directors’ Association to develop and periodically update a model policy and procedure to prevent and address secondary traumatic stress.
Senate Bill 5147 Exploring alternative school calendars.
Directs OSPI to establish a program to allow up to 20 school districts to provide 180 instructional days over the course of the entire calendar year.
Has not passed off the Senate or House Floor yet. Will be taken up next year.
Motivation behind bill: A balanced school calendar will better provide emotional and academic supports for students to recover from the pandemic. Students with special needs and IEPs will need additional help to recover from learning loss caused by the pandemic.
Senate Bill 1356 Prohibits public schools from using Native American names, symbols, or images as school mascots, logos, or team names.
Passed the House, on the Senate Floor
House Bill 1016  Making Juneteenth a legal holiday.
Passed the House, on the Senate Floor