Saturday, March 9, 2013

Student-centered education legislation heading to Senate

Dropout prevention, STEM education, and closing the opportunity gap took center stage in the state House Friday as a package of education bills was approved and sent to the Senate.

“Our priorities are clearly best for all kids and our public schools,” said Rep. Marcie Maxwell, the Deputy Majority Leader for Education and Opportunity. “The House is focused on support for quality teaching and learning.  We’re working on strategic policy and budget decisions that make significant investments in education funding and ensure successful implementation of the real reforms we’ve recently enacted."

Here's the press release for the whole package, which includes these key bills:

HB 1276 creates a pilot program with school districts and community organizations, like food banks and small farms to target at-risk youth.

HB 1424aims to close the opportunity gap by providing families, schools, and communities with the tools they need to increase the number of on-time graduations. This bill will give local communities additional resources to detect early warning signs of a potential and intervene with appropriate measures.

HB 1872, creates a STEM Education Innovation Alliance made up of leaders from business and education fields. The alliance will align STEM education initiatives in early learning, K-12, and post-secondary education and is a key piece of Governor Inslee’s Working Washington agenda.

HB 1252 will create an online framework for professional development opportunities for educators in Washington.

HB 1283  will lower the age for compulsory school attendance from age eight to six. Washington is only one of two states where children are not required to be enrolled in an education program until age 8.

Read this story in Spanish.