2020 WA Legislative Session Weekly Digest – Week 4
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2020 WA Legislative Session Weekly Digest – Week 4

Hi, my name is Dave Mastin and I’m the executive director of government relations at OSPI. This is our legislative weekly update we’re doing Were doing this throughout the 2020 legislative session— trying to give you a little bit more insight and provide a little bit
more information about how the education and the political process— how they work
together Actually, this week is the cutoff. It’s called the policy cutoff
week which means all the bills that legislators have been hearing in the
house and in the Senate they now need to move out of those committees or they’re dead for the year and so this is a pretty frantic time and we immediately go into fiscal committee from there for about four or five days in which bills
that are in the fiscal committee now need to pass out of those as well so
quite a bit of activity going on on all the committees here in the legislature we, of course, have been focusing a lot on the education committees in the Senate
and the House we’ve actually been in a couple other committees as well that
have some education connection but today I want to talk about two bills two areas
that we’ve been working on and I have my colleague Katherine Mahoney one of our
government relations directors and she’s going to talk a little bit about some of
the some of the bills we’re dealing with yeah we heard a lot of bills that were
focused on school-based health centers these are clinics that are set up in our
schools and we have over 40 of them around the state and they are providing
healthcare services to our students and there’s a lot of interest legislatively
on on these these clinics. and we had testimony both in the Senate and in the House There were some comments—what’s the extent of these centers? maybe you can give an example of what these centers what kind
of activities are going on in the centers? what we see is that these
clinics provide everything from immunizations to wellness checks to our
students and in some situations the larger community as well. Especially in our smaller and more remote communities, having these clinics stood up inside of
school buildings can really meet some unmet healthcare needs. One of the things that are we’re hearing from parents and from other community
members what they like about it is that when students have basic health care needs that would normally require them to be pulled out of school—miss instruction it’s a much more efficient process to get those needs met there at the
school-based health center It’s important to note that these are clinics
that are stood up by health providers outside of our schools so partners like
Kaiser health and our community-based health care centers a
lot of different partners are working to provide these services in our schools
there are different ideas range from requiring certain schools to establish a
school-based health center within the district by a certain time there’s also bills that are looking at having a work group study that’s a
little bit more and figure out where the barriers to expansion? How can we ensure
that this is done equitably and in a way that is sustainable And then another bill that’s really about just trying to clarify what these mean and statute to
provide some cover around liability and a definition that will ease kind of
concerns around standing up these clinics that people might have. dual credit that’s another area that we’ve had a lot of work. We just had a hearing. Superintendent Reykdal testified. It is an agency request bill. That simply means that our agency asked legislators we would like for you to sponsor this legislation on our behalf we have Senator Mark
Mullet has done that in the Senate for us and Representative Steve Bergquist is
doing that in the House and we just had a hearing so maybe you could share with us about that So, we’re really excited about this it is absolutely an agency priority we’ve been working on answering the question of how do we make sure all the
students who are ready and prepared for college-level work can access that
college-level work? we have several different types of programs that allow students who are prepared to access college-level work whether it be an
advanced placement course and exam or college in the high school course where
you’re getting college instruction but you’re staying on the high school campus or the running start program which is a program that a lot of people have awareness of that’s been around for for a couple decades now and that’s when
our our juniors or seniors who are able to test in and show they’re ready for
college-level work leave our campuses and to a community and technical college or in some cases of one of our four-year
institutions. These are all just examples of ways that students can access
rigorous coursework that also helps them earn college credit and what we’re
excited about is that we know dual credit really helps students persist and achieve so, for example, we see dual credit students are doing a really good job of completing high school and moving on to post-secondary education and
training and once they get there they’re doing a better job of completing so we’re excited about expanding opportunity to dual credit for all of
our kids. there any programs that help fund it for lower-income students? we have a couple programs in place that are able to help some students in some cases but what we’re seeing is that it doesn’t seem to be going far enough. So again, that difference in access tells us there’s a problem and that we need to
address that problem pretty quickly in order to ensure equitable access and what our bill asks for is to say we’re just not going to charge students and
families any more to access these courses that are part of their basic
education and we are asking them instead for the systems involved our k-12 system and our community and technical college system and our four-year university
system to come to the table and figure out how we can ensure that we’re not
charging kids and students for these courses so that we have a broader access
point for those students We have a lot of signatures in the Senate maybe we can share kind of the broad array of
support that we seem to have for the bill We were really excited
about having Senator Mullet sponsor this bill each of his colleagues both
Republican and Democrat on the Senate Education Committee signed on We also had the chair and the ranking member of the Senate Ways and Means Committee sign
on and we also had the floor leader and the Republican Whip signed on to our
bill as well so very bipartisan lots of bipartisan commitments a lot of good conversation there seems to be a broad agreement that the policy of not
charging kids is a good one where we’re where we are having good policy discussions now
is how do we make sure that those fees and those costs are covered if we’re not
going to charge students and families? all right so we had a hearing this week
that bill will be going to ways and means and so will expect to have a
hearing again in ways and means we have about a week—week and a half— to get that bill out of that committee and we’ll continue to work on it with that, I’d like to thank you for watching this it’s a privilege to be able to
provide a little bit more information about how the process works and what bills are coming through and what we’re working on I also like this
take this time to ask you if you’re interested to comment on what you’d like
to hear about and we’ll be taking those comments in and with that I’d like to say goodbye

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