Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Education the focus on day one of the floor marathon

With the first round of committee work concluded, the House of Representatives approved a series of education bills on Monday. Improving schools to build a better future for children is the top priority for House Democrats. Here’s a sample of what was approved yesterday:

HB 1178 opens the opportunity door for more highly-motivated students to explore the teaching profession by giving colleges of education more tools to recruit and admit potential teachers. The bill aims to put more quality teachers in Washington classrooms.

HB 1251 expands membership of the Opportunity Scholarship Board from seven to nine. Members of the board are tasked with, among other duties, raising funds for student scholarship programs. HB 1251 will help the board raise more funds, which will provide opportunities for more students to achieve the dream of a college education.

HB 1336 aims to address the second-leading cause of teen deaths in this country – suicide. HB 1336 is designed to save lives by requiring certain school staff members to receive youth suicide training. It also requires school districts to adopt a plan to recognize, screen, and respond when students show signs of emotional or behavioral distress.

HB 1536 requires community college boards of trustees to include a member from business and a member from labor, a successful practice that is already in place with our technical colleges.

HB 1812 will give greater flexibility on spending grant funds to schools taking part in the Urban Schools Turnaround Initiative. The project is designed to accelerate student learning and close the achievement gap through research-based techniques in two Seattle schools.

Read this story in Spanish.