Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Week three of the legislative session was filled with committee hearings and constituent meetings. The House also began floor action, with a focus this week on education-related legislation.While the Legislature has increased K-12 education funding significantly in recent years to address the state Supreme Court McCleary ruling, major issues remain with inequities involving local voter-approved school levies. House Bill 2366 would set up a new education funding task force to find a solution to the state's overreliance on school levies to pay for basic education. The bill is now in the Senate for consideration.
Legislation was also sent to the Senate that would streamline high school assessments by expanding some of the alternatives for students related to graduation requirements. House Bill 2214 would provide more flexibility to local districts and students. With the focus on more learning and less testing, we are hopeful it will reduce the need for college remediation courses, saving the state money in the long run.
In an effort to address the substitute teacher shortage across the state, we passed House Bill 1737. It would allow school districts in need of substitute teachers to employ retired teachers without putting their retirement benefits in jeopardy.
This week House Republicans unveiled a number of bills to reduce costs of textbooks and course materials. You can read more by clicking here, or listen to the audio news release by clicking “Republicans continue drive to cut costs in higher education.” As the ranking member on the House Higher Education Committee, I am happy that legislators are working together to make textbooks and course materials more affordable.
Telephone Town Hall
Rep. Melanie Stambaugh and I are hosting a telephone town hall meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 2. The event begins at 6 p.m. and will last one hour. You can join us by calling (253) 561-0087. We look forward to your participation.
Please let me know if you have any questions beforehand and we would be happy to address them.
PHOTO: This week I had the privilege to meet with QUEST Highly Capable Education students from the Puyallup School District. They were in Olympia for Gifted Education Day.
Keep in touch.
468 John L.O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7968 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000