Few education bills were left standing after the latest legislative cutoff in Olympia last week. Among them were efforts to curb physical restraint of special-needs students and an expansion of the state's early learning system.
Bills to expand the state’s early learning rating system and to limit how often students with disabilities are physically restrained were among the few education proposals still standing after a legislative deadline Wednesday.
Lawmakers agreed to push forward a bill from Rep. Gerry Pollet, D-Seattle, to prohibit physically restraining or secluding special-needs students except in cases of emergency. That bill, House Bill 1240, passed out of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee unanimously this week.
The House and Senate had until April 1 to vote on proposals from the opposite chamber. Unless they are budget-related, bills that didn’t make it out of committee by then are now dead.
Also alive after Wednesday’s cutoff was a bill to extend the state’s child care rating and improvement system, and to begin making the program, called Early Achievers, a requirement for preschools and day cares receiving state funding.
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Legislation to pave the way for a new Washington State University medical school also moved quickly in the past week. Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1559, which allows WSU to start a medical school, on Wednesday.
Among the school-related bills that did not make the cutoff are:
- House Bill 1737: expanding how many hours a retired teacher can substitute teach without losing a pension payment
- House Bill 1436: creating an office to coordinate homeless programs statewide
- House Bill 1031: expanding college-in-the-high-school programs to include 10th graders
- Senate Bill 5748: tying student scores on the state test to teacher evaluations
- Senate Bill 5954: reducing college tuition