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Workforce-Related Bills

2007 Session

(Final Bill Reports)

House Bills

HB 1051 – CC High School Completion Programs
Prime Sponsor: Rep. Upthegrove
Status: Chapter 355, Laws of 2007

            Summary of Bill: A pilot program is created for two community and technical colleges where students under age 21 who have completed all state and local graduation requirements except the CAA or the Certificate of Individual Achievement (CIA) can enroll in a high school completion program and earn a high school diploma. To be eligible, a student must also have received at least a Basic score on the high school reading and writing WASL, have attempted a retake of the test or an alternative assessment and participated in remediation, and receive a recommendation from his or her high school principal.
            The pilot colleges must make the program available to any eligible student within the college district, but can implement it in the following ways: contract with a local school district, in which case the school district issues the diploma; deliver the program and courses directly and the college issues the diploma; or offer some combination of contracted program and direct delivery, including through regional partnerships. The colleges cannot charge students in the program tuition or fees for courses that lead to a diploma. Other colleges, school districts, and Educational Service Districts (ESDs) are not precluded from offering high school completion programs for students who do not meet the criteria in the bill.
            Student learning plans for high school students include this high school completion option, if applicable. School districts in the geographic area of the pilot programs must provide information to 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students and their parents about this option. The OSPI and the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges must select the two pilot colleges by June 30, 2007.
            School district boards of directors are authorized to adopt a policy awarding a Certificate of Academic Completion to students who meet all state and local graduation requirements except the CAA or CIA; have retaken the WASL at least once or taken an alternative assessment; and develop a fifth year plan.

SHB 1091 - Innovation Partnership Zones
Prime Sponsor:
Rep. VanDeWege
Status: Chapter 227, Laws of 2007

            Summary of Bill:  Summary of Substitute Bill: Annually on October 1, the Director of the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED) shall designate areas within Washington as Innovation Partnership Zones (IPZ) based on a review and evaluation of applications applying the legislative criteria, the estimated economic impact of the IPZ, the evidence of forward-planning for the IPZ and other criteria recommended by the Washington State Economic Development Commission (EDC).
            In order to be designated an IPZ, an area must have three types of institutions within their boundaries: a university or college fostering commercially valuable research, a nonprofit institution creating commercially applicable research, or a national laboratory; the dense proximity of globally competitive firms in a research-based industry or industries, or of individual firms with innovation strategies linked to a university, community college, nonprofit institution or national laboratory; and training capacity either within the IPZ or readily accessible to the IPZ. In addition, an IPZ must have the support of a local jurisdiction, a research institution, an educational institution, an industry or cluster association, a workforce development council, and associate development organization, port, or chamber of commerce. The IPZ must also have identifiable boundaries within which an applicant will concentrate efforts to connect innovative researchers, entrepreneurs, investors, industry associations or clusters, and training providers. The IPZ must be administered by an Economic Development Council, port, Workforce Development Council, city, or county. If the IPZ meets the other requirements of the fund source, then the IPZ may be eligible for the Local Infrastructure Financing Tool Program, the sales and use tax for public facilities in rural counties, and the Job Skills Program.
            The IPZs are required to provide performance measures as prescribed by CTED. These measures must include, but are not limited to, private investment measures, job creation measures, and measures of innovation. The EDC shall annually review the individual IPZ's performance measures.
            The EDC shall, with the advice of an Innovation Partnership Advisory Group selected by theEDC, have oversight responsibility for the implementation of the state's efforts to further IPZs throughout the state. The EDC must develop performance measures to be used in the evaluation of the performance of innovation research teams, the plans and programs and the performance of the IPZ grant recipients. A biennial report to the Legislature is due beginning December 12, 2012.
            The EDC and the Workforce Board are to jointly convene a working group to: (a) Specify the process and criteria for identification of sub-state geographic concentrations of firms or employment in an industry and the industry's customers, suppliers, supporting businesses, and institutions, which process will include the use of labor market information from the employment security department and local labor markets; and (b) Establish criteria for identifying strategic clusters which are important to economic prosperity in the state, considering cluster size, growth rate, and wage levels among other factors.

SHB 1096 – Opportunities Grant Program
Prime Sponsor:
Rep. Kenney
Status: Chapter 277, Laws of 2007

            Summary of Bill:   Subject to appropriations, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) will develop and implement the Opportunity Grant Program. Students enrolled in the program will be eligible to receive funding for tuition and fees at the public community and technical college rate, plus $1,000 per academic year for books, tools, and supplies (both are prorated if the credit load is less than full time). The program will be available to Washington residents enrolled in "opportunity grant-eligible programs of study" at community and technical colleges, private career schools and Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council-approved apprenticeship programs. To qualify, a student's income must not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level, and the student must have financial need. A student must make satisfactory progress and maintain a cumulative 2.0 grade point average for continued eligibility. Funding is limited to 45 credits or the equivalent or three years, whichever comes first.
            Public colleges will receive an enhancement of $1,500 per full-time equivalent student enrolled in the Opportunity Grant Program whose income is below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. These funds will be used for individualized support services necessary for student success. SBCTC is accountable for student retention and program completion. They will set and monitor performance, and must reduce funding at institutions that do not meet targets. SBCTC and the Higher Education Coordinating Board will work together to ensure that students participating in the Opportunity Grant Program are informed of other state and federal financial aid to which they might be entitled.
            SBCTC, in partnership with business, labor, and the Workforce Board, will: identify high demand training programs offered by qualified postsecondary institutions that lead to a credential, certificate, or degree; gain recognition of the credentials, certificates, and degrees by Washington's employers and labor organizations, and designate them as "opportunity grant-eligible programs of study"; and market the credentials, certificates, and degrees to potential students, businesses, and apprenticeship programs.
            Subject to appropriations, community and technical colleges and local workforce development councils will partner to develop the opportunity partnership program, which will provide mentoring to opportunity grant students. Participating students will be matched with a business or labor mentor employed in their field of study. The mentor will help the student explore careers and employment options through any combination of tours, informational interviews, job shadowing, and internships. The Workforce Board will receive funding on behalf of the opportunity partnerships. In partnership with business, labor, and SBCTC, the Workforce Board will determine criteria and distribute funds for the program.

ESHB 1179 – Part-Time Students
Prime Sponsor:
Rep. Hasegawa
Status: Chapter 404, Laws of 2007

            Summary of Bill: Through June 2011, students enrolled for between three quarter credits (or the equivalent semester credits) and half-time at an institution of higher education in Washington may be eligible for a prorated portion of the State Need Grant if they meet the other eligibility requirements of the State Need Grant program, and if funds are appropriated specifically for this purpose.  An eligible student enrolled for three to six quarter credits (or the equivalent semester credits) may receive a grant for up to one academic year before matriculating into a program that leads to a degree or certificate. The minimum number of credits required to receive a loan or aid from an institution's institutional financial aid fund is changed from six credits per term to three.

SHB 1407 – ESD Administrative Contingency Account
Prime Sponsor:
Rep. Conway
Status: Chapter 327, Laws of 2007

            Summary of Bill: Existing moneys are made generally available for administering the unemployment compensation system and other programs under the Employment Security Act (Act). The following moneys are included in the Administrative Contingency Fund: sixty percent of additional contributions paid for administration of the training benefits program; interest penalties collected for overpayment assessments; and penalties and interest collected for evasion of the successorship provisions. Moneys in the Administrative Contingency Fund may be expended when necessary for the proper administration of the Act and insufficient federal funds are available for the particular expenditure.
            The Employment Security Department must conduct Social Security number cross-match audits or engage in other more effective activities to prevent, detect, and recover overpayments. It also must engage in prevention, detection, and collection activities related to evasion of the successorship provisions.

2SHB 1573 – Building Bridges Dropout Reduction
Prime Sponsor:
Rep. Quall (by Request of OSPI)
Status: Chapter 408, Laws of 2007

            Summary of Bill: Subject to the availability of funds, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) must create a grant program to phase in a statewide comprehensive dropout prevention, intervention, and retrieval system. Known as the Building Bridges Program, it is a local partnership of schools, families, and communities and will identify students at risk of dropping out of school, or who have dropped out, and provide those students with assistance and support to facilitate the continuation of their education. One of the grants must be used for a two-year demonstration project focusing on three distinct communities and populations.
            Defines a “Building Bridges Program” as a local partnership of schools, families, and communities that provides all of the following programs or activities:
            (1) A system that identifies individual students at risk of dropping out from middle through high school based on local predictive data, including state assessment data starting in the fourth grade, and provides timely interventions for such students and dropouts, including a plan for educational success. Students identified are to include foster care youth, youth involved in the juvenile justice system and special education students;
            (2) Coaches or mentors for students as necessary;
            (3) Staff responsible for coordination of community partners that provide a seamless continuum of academic and nonacademic support in schools and communities;
            (4) Retrieval or reentry activities; and
            (5) Alternative educational programming, including, but not limited to, career and technical education exploratory and preparatory programs and online learning opportunities.
            OSPI must identify criteria for grants and evaluate proposals in collaboration with the Workforce Board. OSPI must also develop and monitor requirements for grant recipients; identify and disseminate successful practices; develop requirements for grant recipients to collect and report data; and contract with a third party to evaluate the partnership. By December 1, 2008, OSPI must report to the Legislature.
            In awarding grants, OSPI must prioritize schools or school districts with dropout rates above the state average and award grants in different areas of the state. Every partnership must include at least one school district and be led by one of several specified entities. OSPI is to ensure that grants are distributed proportionately between school districts and other recipients provided the quality of the programs or applications from these entities warrants the awarding of the grants proportionately. To be eligible, grant applicants must build or demonstrate a commitment to building a broad-based partnership that includes a broad array of stakeholders; demonstrate how the grant will enhance dropout services already in place; provide a 25 percent match; track and report data required by the grant; and describe how the dropout prevention, intervention, and retrieval system will be sustained after initial funding.
            Educational Service Districts (ESDs), working with area workforce development councils, must provide partnerships with technical assistance to collect and use performance data and be available for additional assistance at the request of a local partnership.
            OSPI must establish a state-level work group that consists of specified state agencies, including the Workforce Board, that work with at-risk youth or youth who have dropped out of school. The work group must make recommendations to the Legislature, develop and track performance measures and benchmarks for partnerships, identify research-based and emerging best practices for prevention, intervention, and retrieval. Beginning December 1, 2007, the work group must annually report to the Legislature and Governor.
            During the 2007-2009 biennium, school districts that contract with eligible alternative educational service providers to provide education programs, including GED preparation, that generate course credits towards high school graduation, for students who are at risk of dropping out of school, or who have dropped out of school, may continue to use basic education allocations under RCW 28A.150.250 to fund contracts with those providers.  All school districts with contracts with eligible alternative educational service providers shall provide information to the OSPI including, but not limited to: (a) The number of students enrolled in those programs; (b) the amount of weekly instructional hours provided; (c) the location of the instruction program provided; and (d) the number and types of staff providing the instruction in the programs. The state-level work group shall examine issues related to school districts' use of basic education allocations under this section including, but not limited to, findings or other relevant communications by the state auditor.

HB 1670 – School Counselors
Prime Sponsor:
  Rep. Quall
Status: Chapter 175, Laws of 2007

            Summary of Bill: A school counselor is a professional educator with a valid counselor certification issued by the Professional Educators Standards Board. The purpose and role of a school counselor is to plan, organize, and deliver a comprehensive school guidance and counseling program that personalizes education; supports, promotes, and enhances development of all students; and is based on the National Standards for School Counseling Programs of the American School Counselor Association.

ESHB 1883 – HECB Composition
Prime Sponsor:
Rep. Wallace
Status: Chapter 458, Laws of 2007

            Summary of Bill: The Higher Education Coordinating Board’s (HECB) statewide strategic master plan for higher education and institutional plans at the four-year institutions will all cover a 10-year time period. The HECB will update its plan every four years and it will address the goals of: expanding access; using methods of educational delivery that are efficient, cost-effective, and productive to deliver modern educational programs; and using performance measures.
            The deadline for the HECB, State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), and four-year institutions to submit budget recommendations are all moved up one month on each even-numbered year. The operating and capital budget outlines submitted by SBCTC and institutions to the HECB will include all policy changes and enhancements that will be requested and a prioritized ranking of capital requests.

EHB 1898 – Apprenticeship Utilization: Schools
Prime Sponsor:
Rep. Quall
Status: Chapter 437, Laws of 2007

            Summary of Engrossed Bill:  Apprenticeship utilization requirements are created for public works by a school district. For contracts advertised for bid on or after January 1, 2008, for public works by school districts that are estimated to cost $3 million or more, the specifications must require that no less than 10 percent of the labor hours be performed by apprentices enrolled in state-approved apprenticeship training programs. For contracts advertised for bid on or after January 1, 2009, for public works by a school district estimated to cost $2 million or more, the specifications must require that no less than 12 percent of the labor hours be performed by apprentices enrolled in state-approved apprenticeship training programs. For contracts advertised for bid on or after January 1, 2010, for public works by a school district estimated to cost $1 million or more, all specifications shall require that no less than 15 percent of the labor hours be performed by apprentices enrolled in state-approved apprenticeship training programs. School districts may adjust this apprenticeship utilization requirement for specific projects for the same reasons awarding agencies do under current law.

2SHB 1906 – Washington Learns: Math and Science
Prime Sponsor:
Rep. Hunter
Status: Chapter 396, Laws of 2007

            Summary of Substitute Bill: Math and Science Review. By September 2007, the SBE will recommend to the SPI revised EALRs and GLEs in mathematics. By January 2008, OSPI must revise the EALRs and GLEs and present them to the SBE and the legislative education committees. The SBE and the SPI are to revise the science standards by June 30, 2008, with a report to the Legislature by December 1, 2008. The SBE must also amend high school graduation requirements by December 1, 2007, to include a minimum of three credits of mathematics and describe the required content. At least one of the credits can be a career and technical education course equivalent. The SPI identifies no more than three mathematics and science curricula for elementary, middle, and high school grade spans that align with the new standards and presents them to the SBE for formal comment. The accountability plan adopted by the SBE must recommend conditions where schools would be required to use the curricula.
            After School Support. An after school mathematics support program is created. The SPI provides grants to community-based nonprofit organizations that demonstrate the capacity to provide assistance in mathematics learning, with priority for proposals to serve middle and junior high school students.
            Instructional Coaches. A mathematics and science instructional coach program is created. The program includes a coaching institute, coaching support seminars, and additional coach development services.
            Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification. Two new alternative routes to teacher certification are created. The Pipeline for Paraeducators program is for individuals with at least three years of classroom experience but without a college degree. A conditional scholarship of up to $4,000 per year for no more than two years is provided for candidates to enroll in a community or technical college. The Retooling to Teach Mathematics and Science Program is for current teachers and individuals who are not employed as teachers, but who have an elementary teaching certificate. A conditional scholarship of up to $3,000 per year is provided for these individuals to pursue a middle level or secondary mathematics or science endorsement through one of the PESB's pathways to endorsement. Candidates with an elementary teaching certificate who are not employed as teachers can seek only a middle level endorsement.
            College Readiness. By September 1, 2008, the education and higher education agencies and institutions that make up the Transition Math Project, must revise the MPT to serve as a common college readiness test for all two and four-year colleges and universities. The test must be implemented by September 1, 2009, with a common performance standard for college readiness. Subject to funding, beginning in the fall of 2009, school districts must provide students the option of taking the MPT once at no cost and encourage junior and seniors to take it. The SPI reimburses each district for the costs of providing students this opportunity.
            Mathematics, Science, and Technology (MST). Middle schools approved to provide CTE programs or hands-on experiences in mathematics and science integrated with exploratory CTE programs receive enhanced funding through state apportionment formulas. A statewide director for MST is created to conduct outreach to attract middle and high school students to careers in math, science, or technology and to educate students about the course work necessary to be adequately prepared to succeed in these fields. OSPI must obtain a statewide license or otherwise obtains and disseminates an interactive, project-based high school and middle school technology curriculum. They are also to develop EALRs and GLEs for educational technology literacy and fluency; and obtain or develop classroom based assessments for educational technology.

Senate Bills

2SSB 5092 – Economic Development Council Contracts
Prime Sponsor:
Sen. Marr
Status: Chapter 249, Laws of 2007

            Summary of Bill: The Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development’s obligations to establish service delivery regions and contract for surveys and coordination of technical assistance are eliminated. Associate Development Organization (ADO) contracts will require the delivery of direct assistance to companies needing support to survive, expand, or relocate. The contracts will also require support for regional economic research and regional planning efforts to implement economic development strategies. ADO contracts are to require the development of a countywide economic development plan consistent with the State Economic Development Commission's state comprehensive plan for economic development. Also required are the provision of business retention and expansion services and marketing.
            ADOs are required to provide the department with measures of their performance. Contracts may be terminated for failure to achieve performance goals. ADOs in urban counties will receive $.90 per capita, up to $300,000. ADOs in rural counties will receive $40,000 plus $0.90 per capita. The per capita funds must be matched dollar for dollar and are subject to specific appropriations.

E2SSB 5098 – Guaranteed Opportunities Scholarship
Prime Sponsor:
Sen. Rockefeller
Status: Chapter 405, Laws of 2007

            Summary of Bill: The Washington College Bound Scholarship is created. Eligible students are students who are eligible for free- or reduced-price lunch. Eligible students are notified of their eligibility for the scholarship in 7th grade. Home schooled students are eligible for the scholarship program. To be awarded the scholarship an eligible student must pledge that, during their 7th or 8th grade years, they will: (1) graduate from high school; (2) graduate with a C average; and (3) not have any felony convictions. To receive the scholarship, the student must have kept the pledge, must have a family income at high school graduation below 65 percent of the state median, and must be a resident student.
            The OSPI notifies elementary, middle, and junior high schools about the program, and school districts notify students, parents, teachers, counselors, and principals. In addition, the HECB develops and distributes the pledge forms, tracks scholarship recipients, and distributes scholarship funds.
            The scholarship is equal to the difference between the cost of the student's tuition and fees at a public college or university, plus $500 for books and materials minus the value of any other state financial aid received for those items. The maximum award is for four years. An eligible student's family income is assessed upon graduation and if the family income exceeds 50 percent of the median family income, but does not exceed 100 percent of the state median family income, the student receives a prorated scholarship. The first scholarships are awarded to students graduating in 2012.
            The award does not supplant other grants, scholarships or tax programs. If the scholarship is not used within five years it reverts back to the account to be used for scholarships for other students.

SB 5402 – Private Career Schools
Prime Sponsor:
Sen. Kilmer (By Request of the Workforce Board)
Status: Chapter 462, Laws of 2007

             Summary of Bill:  It is clarified that private vocational schools must meet the minimum requirements to obtain and maintain an operating license. Private vocational schools must demonstrate their financial viability and responsibility to the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (Workforce Board). If any of the requirements are not met, the Workforce Board may deny the private vocational school's license application.
            Before enrolling students for whom English is a second language, the schools must administer an English as a second language examination, unless the student graduated from a United States high school or passes a General Educational Development test or other approved assessment in English. The school must comply with the requirements related to the qualifications of administrators and instructors.
            If the Workforce Board determines that a private vocational school is at risk for closure or termination, the school may be required to take corrective action. In making the determination, the Workforce Board considers whether there is a pattern or history of substantiated student complaints or whether there is a present and historical pattern of failing to meet minimum requirements. If a school closes without providing adequate student notice, the Workforce Board provides transition assistance to the students including information regarding: transfer options, financial aid discharge procedures, labor market and job placement assistance, and other available support services.

SB 5613 – Entrepreneurial Training
Prime Sponsor:
Sen. Kilmer
Status: Chapter 149, Laws of 2007

            Summary of Bill: The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board is to develop policy objectives for the Workforce Investment Act in the state and ensure that entrepreneurial training opportunities are available through programs of each local work force investment board in the state. The Board is also to facilitate the development of programs for school-to-work transition that include entrepreneurial education and training.

E2SSB 5627 – Basic Education Funding Study
Prime Sponsor:
Sen. McAuliffe
Status: Chapter 399, Laws of 2007

            Summary Bill: A joint task force is created to review the current basic education definition and funding formulas and develop a new definition and funding structure that aligns with the final report of the Washington Learns steering committee and the basic education provisions in current law. The joint task force consists of 14 members: eight legislators, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, a representative of the Governor's Office or the Office of Financial Management, and four members appointed by the Governor (a chair with experience in finance and knowledge of the K-12 funding formulas, and three members with significant experience with K-12 finance issues). Each of the caucuses may submit names to the Governor for appointment consideration. The Washington Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) will provide research support and must consult with stakeholders and experts in the field. The WSIPP may request assistance from specified state agencies.
            WSIPP must provide an initial, second, and final report to the task force. The initial report must be provided by September 15, 2007, and must include a plan of action with timelines, reporting deadlines, and a timeline that does not exceed six years for implementation of a new funding system. The second report is due by December 1, 2007, and must provide at least two, but not more than four, options for allocating school employee compensation, with one option that is a redirection and prioritization within existing resources based on research proven education programs. Additionally, the second report must provide a finalized timeline and plan for addressing the remaining components of a new funding system. The final report is due by September 15, 2008, and must include recommendations for at least two, but not more than four, options for revising the rest of the K-12 funding structure, with one option that is a redirection and prioritization within existing resources based on research-proven education programs. The final report must include a timeline for phasing in the new funding structure and a projection of the expected effect of the investment made under the new funding structure.
            The alternative funding models must consider specified priorities, should reflect the most effective instructional strategies and service delivery models, and be research-based with demonstrated cost benefits. The task force must consider several specified issues. Additionally, the recommendations should provide maximum transparency of the funding system and the structure should be linked to accountability for student outcomes and performance.

2SSB 5652 - Microenterprise Development
Prime Sponsor:
Sen. Kauffman
Status: Chapter 322, Laws of 2007

            Summary of Bill: The Microenterprise Development Program is established in the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development. The department is to provide organizational support to a statewide microenterprise association and contract with it for the delivery of capacity building services to microenterprise development organizations as well as grants for technical assistance and training to microentrepreneurs. The department is also to identify other sources of funds for microenterprise development and develop criteria for the distribution of grants.
            The statewide microenterprise assistance association and microenterprise development organizations receiving funds must garner matching funds from foundations, financial institutions, or other sources. The statewide microenterprise assistance association may use no greater than 10 percent of state funds to cover administrative expenses and must provide the department with an annual accounting and report on outcomes. The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee is to use outcome data to evaluate the program's effectiveness by January 1, 2012.

SSB 5653 - Self-Employment Assistance Programs
Prime Sponsor:
Sen. Kauffman
Status: Chapter 248, Laws of 2007

             Summary of Bill: Individuals enrolled in self-employment assistance programs approved by the Commissioner of Employment Security are eligible to continue receiving regular unemployment insurance benefits if they have been identified by the department as likely to exhaust their regular unemployment insurance benefits. Enrollment in a self-employment assistance program satisfies the weekly work search requirement that an individual must meet to be eligible to receive weekly benefits.
            Enrollment in a self-employment assistance program does not entitle the enrollee to any additional benefit payments. The Commissioner of the ESD must approve the self-employment assistance programs. The department is not obligated to expend any funds on providing the self-employment assistance programs. Persons completing a self-employment program may not directly compete with their former employer.
            By December 1, 2011, the Employment Security Department is to report on the performance of the self-employment assistance program.

SB 5731 – High Demand Education
Prime Sponsor:
Sen. Shin
Status: Chapter 397, Laws of 2007

            Summary of Bill: A committee on the education of students in high demand fields is established. The committee consists of: (1) two members of the House of Representatives; (2) two members of the Senate; (3) one person representing the Higher Education Coordinating Board; (4) one person representing the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges; (5) one person representing the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board; (6) one person representing the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction; and (7) one person representing each of the following: the labor council; the council of presidents; the prosperity partnership; the council of faculty representatives; an employer; and a graduate student member of the Washington student lobby.
            The committee: (1) develops a plan to increase the capacity of Washington institutions of higher education by 10,000 students per year by 2020 to produce degrees in high impact, high demand areas of study; (2) develops a marketing project to inform students, parents, and educators of opportunities in high demand fields; (3) investigates ways to motivate students to take more mathematics and science courses; and (4) identifies ways that the business community can enter into more partnerships with the state to ensure that Washington institutions of higher education produce graduates in high demand fields that are ready and able to find employment in Washington. The committee reports its findings and recommendations to the Legislature by December 1, 2007.

2SSB 5790 – Skills Centers
Prime Sponsor:
Sen. Hobbes
Status: Chapter 463, Laws of 2007

            Summary of Amended Bill: A new RCW chapter is created addressing skill centers. Beginning in the 2007-2008 school year, students attending skill centers will be funded for all classes at the skill center and the sending district up to 1.6 full time equivalent (FTE) students, or as determined in the omnibus appropriations act. The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) must develop procedures for determining how to report the FTEs between the resident high school and the skill center.
            OSPI must, in collaboration with the Workforce Board, review and revise the guidelines for skill centers and create rules to encourage expansion of skill center programs including revising the threshold enrollment so that a program need not have a minimum of 70 percent of the students enrolled on the core campus, thereby encouraging satellite or branch campuses. Satellite and branch campuses are encouraged to address high-demand fields. OSPI must develop a ten-year capital plan for legislative review and, subject to funding, conduct additional feasibility studies and develop a master plan to connect skill centers to the K-20 network. Subject to funding, skill centers will provide access to late afternoon and evening sessions, and summer school programs. When possible, these programs will target school dropouts and students at risk of dropping out of school. Skill centers that receive this funding must participate in an evaluation of the programs. OSPI must establish and support skill centers of excellence in key economic sectors of regional significance. Once established, OSPI must develop and seek funding for a grant program for Running Start for career and technical programs that is targeted to high-demand occupations. Grant recipients must assist in replicating the model career and technical education programs of study. OSPI must have at least one staff person to serve as the director of skill centers. OSPI must ensure the funds generated by skill center students under Initiative 728 are returned to the skill centers.

2SSB 5806 – Washington Learns: Higher Education
Prime Sponsor:
Sen. Schoessler
Status: Chapter 151, Laws of 2007

             Summary of Bill: Resident undergraduate tuition increases at each institution are limited to no more than 7 percent per year. It is the goal of the state to increase funding at state colleges and universities, using state funds plus tuition combined, to at least the 60th percentile of comparable institutions in the Global Challenge States within ten years. The Office of Financial Management (OFM) reports on the progress made toward the state goal. In defining the 60th percentile goal, OFM controls for differences among the comparison institutions in cost-of-living, program and enrollment mix, and reporting and accounting practices. Decreasing student enrollment below 2007 budgeted levels is not allowed as a method of increasing per-student funding.
            On billing statements to students, each institution must report the full cost of instruction, the amount collected from student tuition and fees, and the difference between the amounts for the full cost of instruction and student tuition and fees.
            OSPI will evaluate the program and report to the Legislature by November 1, 2008, and December 1, 2009.

E2SSB 5843 – Educational Data
Prime Sponsor:
Sen. Oemig
Status: Chapter 401, Laws of 2007

            Summary of Bill: The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is directed to conduct a feasibility study on establishing a longitudinal student-teacher data system. The stated intent of the data system is to establish better linking of data on students, teachers, and student achievement aimed at providing better information regarding effective programs and interventions. The feasibility study will involve a piloting component in two school districts to identify additional data elements under the statewide student data system. Among the data elements to be field tested will be course codes for a limited set of core high school mathematics courses, based on the classification of secondary school courses by the National Center for Education Statistics. In addition, the feasibility study must develop an implementation plan for coding secondary courses in addition to mathematics. The OSPI must consult a variety of research and education organizations in conducting the study. The OSPI must provide a final report to the Legislature by November 1, 2008.
            The OSPI is authorized to share data for educational purposes and studies under certain circumstances. The circumstances include: educational studies authorized or mandated by the Legislature; studies initiated by other state educational authorities and authorized by the OSPI; and studies initiated by private study groups authorized by the OSPI. The sharing must be consistent with the Federal Family Educational Rights Privacy Act and other relevant state laws.
            An Education Data Center (Center) is created within the Office of Financial Management (OFM) and requires OFM to work jointly with the Legislative Education and Accountability Program Committee (LEAP) in conducting collaborative analyses of early learning, K-12, and higher education programs and issues. The bill directs state education agencies, including the Workforce Board,  to work with the Center in developing data-sharing and research agreements, consistent with applicable security confidentiality requirements. The Center is also required to develop a reporting format for districts to submit data on student demographics disaggregated by distinct ethnic categories within racial subgroups.
            No later than the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year, school districts must submit specified data to OSPI. For each class offered in each school, school districts must submit the unique identifier associated with the teacher's certificate and the statewide student identifier of each student enrolled in or being provided services through the class.
            OSPI must develop technical standards for school data systems that focus on validation and verification and develop a reporting format for school districts. The OSPI may accept applications for educator certification that are submitted using an electronic signature from the applicant.

SSB 5920 – Vocational Rehabilitation Pilot
Prime Sponsor:
Sen. Kohl-Welles (By request of the Governor)
Status: Chapter 72, Laws of 2007

             Summary of Bill: Labor and Industries (L&I) is required to create a vocational rehabilitation pilot program from January 1, 2008, until June 30, 2013. The elements of the pilot program apply to vocational plans approved between January 1, 2008, and June 20, 2013. L&I must establish a vocational initiative project that includes a partnership between L&I and WorkSource. L&I must place full-time vocational professionals at pilot WorkSource locations. L&I must refer some workers to the vocational professionals at pilot WorkSource locations. L&I must work with employers in pilot WorkSource areas to market the benefits of on-the-job training programs. L&I also must work with community colleges to reserve slots in high demand programs that may be considered by L&I and private sector vocational professionals for vocational plan development. L&I will also assist stakeholders in developing additional vocational training programs in various industries, including but not limited to agriculture and construction. These programs will expand the choices available to injured workers in developing their vocational training plans with the assistance of vocational professionals.
            L&I must create a vocational rehabilitation subcommittee. Members must be appointed by L&I for at least the duration of the pilot program. The subcommittee must report to L&I at least annually and recommend to L&I and the Legislature any additional statutory changes needed, including extension of the pilot program. The subcommittee must also provide recommendations for additional changes or incentives for injured workers to return to work with their employer of injury.
            When vocational rehabilitation is necessary and likely to enable the injured worker to become employable at gainful employment, the worker must be provided with services necessary to develop a vocational plan that, if completed, would render the worker employable. However, an injured worker may not participate in vocational rehabilitation if participation would result in payment of benefits by willful misrepresentation. Allowable costs for vocational rehabilitation plans are set at $12,000, but must be adjusted annually on July 1 of each year. Following vocational plan development, a worker has two options. Option one is to participate in the vocational plan implemented by L&I or self-insurer. Option two is to decline to participate in the vocational plan and receive other benefits. Generally, vocational costs are chargeable to the employer's cost experience or must be paid by a self-insured employer. However, state fund vocational costs, including time-loss, may be paid from the medical aid fund at the discretion of L&I. L&I must develop and maintain a register of workers who have been retrained or have chosen one of the vocational options during the pilot program. The register must be kept for at least the duration of the pilot program. An independent review and study of the effects of the pilot program must be conducted to determine whether the pilot program has achieved appropriate outcomes at reasonable cost to the system.  L&I must develop an annual report on the vocational rehabilitation system.

2SSB 5995 – Economic Development Commission
Prime Sponsor:
Sen. Kastama
Status: Chapter 232, Laws of 2007

            Summary of Bill: It is the intent of the Legislature to create an economic development commission to provide planning, coordination, evaluation, monitoring, and policy analysis and development for the state economic development system as a whole. The Washington State Economic Development Commission is to consist of 11 voting members and as ex officio non-voting members: the Director of the Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development; the Director of the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board; the Commissioner of the Department of Employment Security; and the chairs and ranking minority members of the House and Senate economic development committees. The Executive Director of the commission is to serve as chief executive officer and is to employ such personnel as are necessary and use staff of existing operating agencies.
            The commission is to develop and maintain a state comprehensive plan for economic development and review the state system for consistency with the plan; the plan is to be updated every two years. The commission is to establish and maintain an inventory of economic development programs, perform a biennial assessment of the economic development needs of the state, and assess whether the economic development system and programs are consistent, coordinated, and integrated. The commission is also to establish standards for data collection and program evaluation; administer scientifically-based outcome evaluations of the state economic development system; report to the Governor and the Legislature every two years on its progress; and make recommendations for statutory changes as needed.
            The commission may review policies, plans, budget requests, and legislative proposals for consistency with the state comprehensive plan for economic development; provide for coordination at the state and regional level; and advocate for the state economic development system. The commission is to review the appropriate state role in economic development and the appropriate administrative and regional structure for the provision of economic development services by September 1, 2008. The Economic Climate Council is to consult with the commission when selecting economic benchmarks and the commission is to involve the public in the selection of benchmarks.

ESSB 6023 - Math WASL
Prime Sponsor:
Sen. McAuliffe
Status: Chapter 354, Laws of 2007

            Summary of Bill: The Certificate of Academic Achievement (CAA) is maintained for students who meet the state standards on the reading, writing, and mathematics on the WASL, or a legislatively approved alternative assessment beginning in 2008. Beginning no later than the graduating class of 2013, students will also have to meet the state standards on the science WASL to obtain the CAA. The State Board of Education (SBE) may adopt a rule requiring students to meet the state standards on the science WASL prior to the graduating class of 2013 to obtain the CAA. A conditional delay of the WASL as a graduation requirement in mathematics is created for the graduating classes of 2008 through 2012, to graduate without a CAA or CIA. Students who meet all the state and school district graduation requirements and do not meet the state standard on the mathematics WASL, or an approved alternative assessment, are required to earn one or two additional mathematics credits or career and technical course equivalents as specified for the graduating class. Additionally, the students must continue to take the appropriate mathematics assessment until graduation.
            An English language learner (ELL) who scores below level four on the state English proficiency test does not have to take the WASL, except for federal purposes and for graduation purposes.
            The Office of Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI) and the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board must convene an advisory committee, comprised of legislators and others, to identify career and technical education curricula that will assist in preparing students for the state assessment system and obtaining a CAA.
            The requirement to retake the WASL prior to taking an approved alternative assessment is removed. To access the GPA/WASL cohort alternative, a student must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 on a four-point grading scale. After August 31, 2008, the PSAT mathematics equivalent will no longer be an approved alternative to the mathematics WASL. Specified scores on specified SAT and ACT assessments are authorized as approved alternatives for the reading and writing WASL. Specified Advance Placement examinations are approved alternatives for the reading, writing, and mathematics WASL. OSPI is authorized to arrange for students to receive a testing fee waiver or make other arrangements for students to take the approved alternative assessments. The SBE must examine other possibilities for alternative assessments, including standardized norm-referenced assessments and portions of the ACT ASSET and ACT COMPASS assessments and make recommendations to the Legislature by January 10, 2008.
            It is clarified that the diagnostic assessments provided by OSPI must address reading, writing, mathematics, and science in elementary, middle, and high school grades. Subject to funding, OSPI must also provide funds for administration of the diagnostic assessments and training.
            The bill provides that the Legislature's intent is to make significant improvements in the high school WASL in mathematics and science, and a belief that end-of-course assessments would be a superior assessment system; that end-of-course assessments in mathematics should cover at least Algebra I and Geometry, and assessments in science should cover at least Biology, but also address other science content areas; that the recommended changes are able to be implemented no later than the 2010-11 school year in order to apply to the graduating class of 2013; and that replacing the current WASL represents a significant change that should be thoroughly evaluated. SBE must examine and recommend changes to the high school mathematics and science WASL. The primary change to be examined by SBE is replacing the high school WASL with end-of- course assessments in mathematics and science. Additional topics to be covered by the examination are specified. The SBE report is due by January 10, 2008.
            Before the 2007-2008 school year, each Educational Service District (ESD) must implement an appeals panel or panels comprised of teachers, principals, and members of the business community with relevant knowledge and expertise, to review and decide appeals from students within 60 days. The appeal is for students to demonstrate that the student has a level of understanding of a content area sufficient to meet the standard, but did not meet the standard on the WASL. Students who are eligible to appeal must be in the junior or senior year of high school; have retaken the WASL or an alternative; have participated in the remediation in the student learning plan; and have met one of four other specified criteria, including if the student has completed a career and technical education industry certification program, or is on track to enter an articulated postsecondary program in an accredited community or technical college that leads to industry certification.

SSJM 8011 – Petitioning Congress on NCLB
Prime Sponsor:
Sen. McAuliffe
Status: Senate Filed with Secretary of State

            Summary of Memorial:  The President, Congress, and the Governor of Washington State are asked to work together with state legislatures to raise the authorized funding levels of the NCLB and to make improvements to address the issues raised in the memorial.
            Among the issues raised: Limited English-proficient students should not be included in overall accountability for at least three years; The uniform bar of performance by all students should be replaced by realistic requirements for continuous improvement; Unless appropriate funding is provided for annual large-scale assessments, states should be allowed to assess in selected years rather than annually. Even if funding is available, states should be able to use a variety of ways of assessing progress; The AYP provisions are overly prescriptive and rigid; Career and technical education teachers who are certified by industry are not considered "highly-qualified" if they do not have a Bachelor's Degree; the NCLB imposes significant costs to the state, local school districts, teachers, and paraprofessionals.
            Congress is asked to raise authorized funding levels of the NCLB to cover the costs of carrying out the recommendations, to fully fund the law without reducing expenditures for other education programs, and to make improvements to address the issues raised.

SCR 8404 – HSHW Strategic Plan
Prime Sponsor:
Sen. Shin (By Request of the Workforce Board)
Status: Senate Filed with Secretary of State

            Summary of Resolution: The House of Representatives and the Senate approve the 2006 update to the state Comprehensive Plan, High Skills, High Wages, which is submitted by the Workforce Board.

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