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OSPI shares 2023 legislative priorities on education

Olympia, Washington, July 29, 2022 – The Washington State Office of Education Supervision (OSPI) will host a webinar on Tuesday, July 26 to create pandemic recovery funds, initial thoughts on 2023 legislative priorities, and opportunities for future partnerships and shared messages I’ve updated about that in general.

The goal of the Washington State Office of Public Education Supervision (OSPI) is to transform K-12 education into a system centered around bridging the opportunity gap and characterized by high expectations for all students and educators. Fundamental policies and supports that empower educators, families and communities.

Pandemic recovery and response

At the beginning of the webinar, ESSER Project Manager Sirena Wu briefly highlighted some of the available funding that the state has received over the course of the pandemic towards the recovery of the education system.

“Many, if not all, of us are experiencing a pandemic, and schools, districts, students and educators are not immune from its negative effects,” Wu said. “When we find ourselves in this new normal, with school closures and new health and safety regulations, we are suddenly faced with the need to meet technology needs, invest in new capital improvements, etc., and we have to adapt to these new ways of doing business. I really had to turn around and adapt.”

Slides from the OSPI Legislative Priorities webinar.

Recognizing these challenges, the U.S. Department of Education has awarded pandemic grants to each of the 50 states through a series of waterfall funding. These were divided into he three non-regular rounds of emergency relief funds. The first is the Coronavirus Relief and Economic Security Act (also known as the CARES Act), enacted in March 2020 for a total of $216.8 million. The second is the $824.8 billion Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Budget (CRRSA) Act enacted on December 20, 2020. The last was the $1.8 billion American Relief Plan Act (ARPA) enacted on July 11, 2021.

Slides from the OSPI Legislative Priorities webinar.

Additionally, the Legislature has allocated $27.3 million in the fiscal 2022 budget for learning, recovery, and acceleration. As far as ARPA funding (the third round of funding) is concerned, 90% of the dollars allocated to Washington State went to school districts, allowing them to properly handle their own recovery strategies.

OSPI 2023 Legislative Priorities

The bulk of the webinar, at least in its early stages, focused on OSPI’s 2023 legislative priorities. This can be summed up in ensuring meaningful funding and support with access to a diverse, inclusive and highly skilled workforce, with student needs at the center. , maintains equitable access to strong foundations and offers rigorous, learner-centered options for all students.

OSPI Legislative Priorities Timeline

Legislative program specialist Mikhail Cherniske explained that meaningful funding means providing adequate funding for special education, student transport and universal school feeding.

Jenny Plaja, OSPI’s Executive Director of Government Relations, took over and, from her 2019 report, described the funding model OSPI has developed to achieve this, including the recommendations of the Strengthening Workgroup Workgroup. According to Plaja, the report provided her with a step-by-step, student-focused approach to addressing the evolving needs of Washington State students over the course of six years.

“The legislature has made progress on many of the components recommended by the working group

It also includes additional assignments for school counselors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, and more,” said Plaja.

OSPI will ask Congress to meet the remaining recommendations outlined in Phase 1 of the report at the top of its 2023 legislative priorities. This includes family engagement coordinators, student and staff safety, principles, continuous improvement coaches, and professional development days.

OSPI sought legislative support to address the staffing shortage by expanding the Teacher Residency Program to offer a one-year paid residency program, and novice educators to assist teachers from first year to first year. We will continue to support the Support (BES) program.

OSPI Policy Analyst Anna Hernandez-French said: ..

Another strategic goal of the institution is to establish a strong and equitable foundation by strengthening bilingual programs for multilingual students and families.

OSPI also plans to increase funding to support the Educational Opportunity Gap Monitoring and Accountability Committee and to increase the research capacity of the Center for Student Learning and Improvement.

Finally, pending implementation plans and cost analysis, there is a placeholder to fund HB-1833 establishing electronic options for submitting household income information required for school meals and program participation. , set as a priority by OSPI and inform governments and governments. The legislature has confirmed that cost assumptions will be made in the coming months. Similar placeholders have been set, including funding for the redesign of the OSPI allocation system pending the results of viable studies.

capital budget request

Outreach Coordinator Tyle Muench continued with OSPI’s capital budget request for the state’s flagship School Construction Assistance Program (SCAP). The School Construction Assistance Program provides financial assistance to school districts implementing major new construction or modernization projects. To participate in the program, school districts have a responsibility to secure local areas for the construction process through levies or bonds that are sometimes difficult to achieve, Muench explained, last year’s statewide bond passage. I quoted the low rate.

In anticipation of this year’s drop in SCAP requirements, OPSI began looking at ways to improve capitol facilities in smaller rural communities that are short on bonds and levies, but OSPI is working with state legislatures. Therefore, it is still under development.

In terms of policy, OSPI is proposing to invest 100% of state land-in-trust income in the communities where the land-in-trust income is generated, and instead of constitutional amendments, the program Small District Modernization Grants Program is proposed. We propose to invest the trust and the income. It was designed to help small rural schools that cannot pass through bonds and levies.

The Subdistrict Modernization Program is a competitive grant program that fully funds the modernization of state capital facilities and the repair of building systems. Muench said it’s fair because it doesn’t require bonds or levies to participate.

“Our message to Congress is that SCAP saves us a little money, so let’s reinvest that money in other parts of education and improve our capital infrastructure,” Muench said.

OSPI will fully fund this program with general school trust income to continue to fund $100 million in school seismic retrofitting, installation of tsunami towers, and relocation of school buildings as part of the School Seismic Safety Program. I am going to ask Congress to pay for it.

Other requests include $47 million for major construction, $9.1 million for minor construction for skill centers statewide, $10 million for physical health and nutrition subsidies, and $300 million to improve drinking in schools. $1.5 million to remove toxic T-12 lighting ballasts from schools, including $7.3 million. $1 million for ADA equal access grants, $12 million for 114 emergency repair grants, and $5 million for the Capitol Emergency Repair Pool.