Legislative Update for January 15, 2021

Roz Thompson | Governmental Relations & Advocacy Director, AWSP
Jan 15, 2021

leg update blog

A very unusual session started this week, beginning with more somber opening day House and Senate sessions in which both houses voted on remote rules. Members who traveled to Olympia for the first day had to navigate terrible rain and tightened security measures to enter the Capitol.

Committee hearings began on Tuesday and continued all week. Most offered some sort of introductory presentation and then jumped in to begin hearing bills. The Governor’s budget was introduced by the staff of the Office of Financial Management to the Senate Ways and Means Committee and the House Appropriations Committee.

We were pleased to see important programs like principal internships and mentorships were included in the Governor’s budget, as well as funding for Cispus and our student leadership programs. Cuts to the supplemental budget are high on many people’s concern list within the education community. We want to ensure school funding remains stable through the pandemic. The other significant budget questions raised this week are how and when the roll out of federal funds will happen and how this impacts state budget decisions. Stay tuned for more on that.

Comprehensive school counseling programs, anti-racist training for educators, graduation waivers for high school students, repeal of the edTPA assessment, and an important transportation bill are a few of the bills discussed this week in the education committees.

Bills Scheduled For Next Week


Senate Early Learning and K–12 Education Committee

Monday 1/18

  • SB 5037 | Establishing transparent school opening metrics tied to COVID–19 prevalence
  • SB 5147 | Exploring alternative school calendars
  • SB 5161 | Teaching Washington’s tribal history, culture, and government

Wednesday 1/20

  • SB 5070 | Concerning menstrual products in schools
  • SB 5043 | Providing housing to school district employees

Friday 1/22

  • SB 5184 | Establishing a building point of contact in all K–12 schools for students in foster care
  • SB 5151 | Concerning foster care and child care licensing by DCYF
  • SB 5136 | Prohibiting fees for child care licenses

House Education Committee

Thursday 1/21

  • HB 1085 | Promoting a safe learning environment for students with seizure disorders
  • HB 1113 | Concerning school attendance

I expect additional bills to be added next week as well.

If you are interested in learning more about these bills, check them out on the legislative website.

If you are interested in becoming a “Principal Partner to a Legislator”, please contact me. I’d love to get all 147 state legislators paired up with a principal or team of principals.

And, if you want to share your voice in this remote session, it is easier than ever with remote testimony.

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