MARCH 17, 1997
Eight education bills clear House
by Northwest News staff
Stressing the "ADCs" of learning--academics, discipline, and community involvement--eight bills cleared the House last week, including reading levels, parental rights, and discipline, five of which were unanimously endorsed.
"Our goal is to make sure all high school graduates in this state can read their diplomas," said Rep. Dave Schmidt, R-Bothell. "I never want to hear another story about a student graduating from high school who cannot read. Everyone talks about returning to the basics of education, and these bills push us in that direction."
Rep. Bill Thompson, R-Everett, said children deserve the highest expectations, and that the position that self-esteem matters more than success is for the past. "We have been wrong about that, and our schools have suffered as a result," he said. "The fact is, nothing helps self-esteem like success in education. It is time for us to value academic achievement again, and be proud of the high academic standards we all support, for the sake of our children."
- HB 2042 would require school districts to choose a reading-skill evaluation test from a list from the state superintendent of public instruction and administrate it to all second-graders by the 1998-1999 school year. Students not at grade level would be given extra help. (Passed unanimously.)
- HB 1378 would allow schools to contract out for educational services needed by students with different learning needs, such as drop-outs and at-risk students. (Passed unanimously.)
- HB 1581 would give schools more options in dealing with disruptive students and offenders in schools. (Passed unanimously.)
- HB 1845 would strengthen parents' right to know what is being taught to their students and give them full-access to school information about their students and allow participation in major school policy changes. (Passed unanimously.)
- HB 1374 would allow schools to hire people with relevant subject knowledge and baccalaureate degrees to teach with an alternate certification. (Passed 75-21.)
- HB 1303 would allow school districts to waive some state laws and rules in order to improve student learning or the delivery of educational services. (Passed 63-33.)
- HB 1841 would strengthen schools' ability to deal with gang activities, intruders, drug and alcohol use, expulsions, dress codes, and other discipline issues. (Passed 91-5.)
- HB 1865 would authorize schools to contract out for educational services. (Passed unanimously.)