Tag Archives: WA State

CALL TO ACTION: Special Education Legislation

Several bills are coming up for hearing this Monday, February 16th in Olympia–the three listed below are all up for hearings at 1:30 p.m. You can go to Olympia to testify or use the online commenting as online comments are now included in the hearings. Each bill below is linked with more information and from there you should be able to comment online.

HB 1947-Expanding Learning Opportunities for Students with Disabilities

(Thanks to Sarah Butcher at Bellevue Special Needs PTA for the notice on HB 1947)

HB 1947 – Establishing a comprehensive plan to expand learning opportunities and improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities or special needs using multiple strategies and statewide partnerships. (this is the Special Education Commission Bill) isscheduled for a hearing.  The details for the hearing are as follows:
House 
Education* – 2/16/2015 1:30 p.m.
House Full Committee
House Hearing Rm A
John L. O’Brien Building
Olympia, WA
Support for legislation is always critical and one way to support legislation is through conversation with legislators in your area in addition to those on the relevant committees, and also to testify during public hearings on legislation as it comes up. The testimony can provide support and/or recommended changes and/or concerns as it moves through the process. The opportunity to testify can be by writing a letter or coming to Olympia to testify during public hearings. You can find some information about testifying at the following link.
There is a Senate version of the Special Education Commission Bill,  SB 5946 that should be heard at some point next week.

SB 5850- Concerning Restraint or Isolation of Students in Public Schools

(thanks to Arzu Forough of Washington Autism Alliance and Advocacy for the notice on SB 5850)

SB 5850 – Concerning restraint or isolation of students will be heard in Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee on Monday Feb 16th at 1:30 pm.  Statewide parent testimony is needed. If your child or another student you know has experienced harmful seclusion and restraint, please consider attending this hearing to support SB5850. If you can’t be there, you can send your written testimony to the committee by the morning of Feb. 16th.

Below are members of the Senate Early Learning & K-12  Committee that you need to call and write to. It’s especially helpful for them to hear from their own constituents. If you live in their districts, please consider attending in person, calling and writing.

If you’re looking for what to say, consider:

“Hello, my name is (____________). I’m your constituent and am a parent of a child with autism.  Regulating seclusion and restraints of students is very important to me and my family.  This issue is also a priority for Washington State PTA. I am asking you to please consider supporting this bill. Thank you very much.”

Please be polite, ask the legislative aide to let you know after your senator  has agreed to support. If the person on the phone asks questions you don’t have an answer to, please refer them to Ben Buccholz (509) 303-9585 or Arzu Forough (425)590-7231.

If you’re not sure which district you live in, click here to look up your legislative district.

HB 1941 Providing for a Simple Majority for School Bonds

We shared information here on our previous legislative post but want to remind you this hearing is also taking place this Monday at 1:30 p.m.

Legislative Update February 11th, 2015

Legislation Updates!

Here is a bill that may be of interest pertaining to school district bonds: HB1941 calling for a simple majority vote instead of the current 60% needed to pass.
Many thanks to our friends at Bellevue Special Needs PTA who have been providing detailed updates on bills relating to special needs students and families. This came from their recent legislative update by Sarah Butcher:
Legislation:
Restraint and Isolation:  HB 1240
For more information on the bill and upcoming hearings look here.  We are organizing parents, advocates and educators to attend in support. You can also write into your legislator with your comments.
Paraeducator Standards:  HB 1293 and SB 5179  
For more information on upcoming hearings or to send comments on SB 5179 look here.  For more information on upcoming hearings or to send comments on HB 1293 look here.
Special Education Commission
There will be legislation based on the recent report of the Office of The Education Ombuds.  We will notify you when the bill is dropped and we have need of specific action.
 
SEL Bill:  HB 1760 / SB 5688  
Providing Students With Skills That Promote Mental Health and Wellbeing and   Increase Academic Performance.  
For more information on upcoming hearings or to send comments on SB 5688 look here.  For more information on upcoming hearings or to send comments on HB 1760 look here.
There will be other bills that will impact Special Education students, we will update you on those as they come forward.
Opportunities
 
State Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC)  The SEAC helps to facilitate the provision of special education and related services.  They work on issues specifically related to special education in Washington.  They allow public comment in their meetings, generally at 3:30 pm.  Their next meeting is on February 4, 2015 in Olympia

CALL TO ACTION: Office of the Education Ombuds Report, and Blue Ribbon Special Education Commission

SpecialEdTaskForce Report FINAL11.14

(from our friends at Bellevue Special Needs PTA!)

Greetings.

Last week, the Governor’s Office of the Education Ombuds released their final report and recommendations regarding the creation of a Commission to improve outcomes for students with disabilities in our public schools.  [The report is available for download above.]  As advocates, parents and educators you know it is time for Washington state to take an intentional look at how we educate students with disabilities.  We need the Governor to understand that this issue is important to you, to know that there is an immediate need for this work, and to know that he should support it.  Feel free to write your own personal message or you can edit and use the message below.  If you are a parent of a student with a disability please mention that in your message.  Also… please send out to your networks!

Remember that your voice and your story are powerful advocacy tools.  Please use them and join us in this effort!

Sample Message:

Dear Governor Inslee,

 

As a parent of a student with a disability (or advocate of students with disabilities), I am writing to ask for your support in the creation of a Blue Ribbon Special Education Commission for Washington State.

 

Our systems of general education and special education are not meeting the needs of students with disabilities.  I have read the report from the Office of the Education Ombuds and stand behind its recommendations.   I ask you to do the same.  Disability does not discriminate and students with disabilities are in all areas of our education system across our great state. Any work to improve outcomes for them, will also benefit all students in our schools.

 

Please take leadership on this opportunity.  Lend your voice, and support, to Washington’s Blue Ribbon Special Education Commission, so that when we say “All students”, we truly mean “Each and Every Student” in our state.

 

Thank you for the work you do and for being an advocate to ensure that all of Washington’s students, including those with disabilities, have the opportunity to achieve personal and academic success.

 

Sincerely,

Your Name

You can send the Governor an email message at https://fortress.wa.gov/es/governor/  or you can write or call him at:

Write

Governor Jay Inslee

Office of the Governor

PO Box 40002

Olympia, WA 98054-0002

Call

(360) 902-4111

TTY/TDD users should contact the Washington Relay Service at 711 or 1-800-833-6388