Working to transform the child welfare system.


HB 1680: Relating to implementing strategies to close the educational opportunity gap, based on the recommendations of the educational opportunity gap oversight and accountability committee

Sponsored by Representative Santos, HB 1680 bill addresses disproportionality in student discipline, educator cultural competence, instructing English language learners, disaggregated student data, and recruitment and retention of educators.

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction is directed to convene a discipline task force to develop standard definitions for causes of student disciplinary actions, as well as data collection standards for disciplinary actions, which must include data about education services provided while a student is subject to a disciplinary action, the status of petitions for readmission if the student has been excluded from school, credit retrieval during a period of exclusion, and school dropout as a result of disciplinary action. Suspensions and expulsions may not be for an indefinite period of time and emergency expulsions must end or be converted into another form of corrective action within ten school days. When disciplinary action is discretionary, the district may not impose a suspension that results in the exclusion of a student from school. A student may be excluded from a particular classroom or area for the period of suspension, but the district must provide an opportunity for the student to receive educational services in an alternative manner. The Education Data Center will prepare a regular report on the educational and workforce outcomes of youth in the juvenile justice system, using data disaggregated by ethnic categories, racial subgroups, and age.

This bill also requires that professional development training programs for school staff include the foundational elements of cultural competence, focusing on multicultural education and principles of English language acquisition. OSPI will also convene an English language learner accountability task force to design a performance-based accountability system for the transitional bilingual instructional program. School districts in which there have been significant increases in English language learners over the past two school years must provide the cultural competence professional development and training for school staff. Student-level data must be reported, with disaggregation of the Black category to differentiate students of African origin and students native to the United States with African ancestors, disaggregation of countries of origin for Asian students, disaggregation of the White category to include subethnic categories for Eastern European nationalities that have significant populations in Washington, and the possibility for indicating multiple racial and ethnic categories.

Finally, the bill states that a work group will revise and update the model framework and curriculum for high school career and technical education courses related to careers in education. Another work group will design a pathway for teacher preparation and certification that includes paraeducator certificate and apprenticeship programs, associate degree programs, bachelor degree programs, and incorporation of the standards for cultural competence.

Substitute bill:  As amended HB 1680 states that a school district may not suspend the provision of educational services to a student as a disciplinary measure. For actions that are discretionary, a school district may not impose a disciplinary action that results in the suspension of educational services to a student, rather than having the district not authorized to impose suspensions that results in the exclusion of a student from school. The Department of Social and Health Services develops data sharing agreements with the Education Data Center. There is also a priority in awarding Retooling scholarships to teachers seeking Bilingual or ELL endorsements to be assigned to the TBIP after 2017-18. The WSAC must provide reports on the status of teacher conditional scholarship recipients. Funds received by the PESB for scholarships may be transferred to the WSAC. The final report for the TBIP accountability system design is due September 30, 2014, rather than 2015. References are corrected to the federal race and ethnicity reporting guidelines.