Advocacy Action Updates

WLMA Advocacy and Legislative action updates and news.  Members: comments and concerns are encouraged!          
<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   Next >  Last >> 
  • 15 Mar 2014 3:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The 2014 Legislature adjourned sine die last night -- on time.

    Interestingly, the major accomplishment of the on time adjournment was that they adjourned on time.  That seemed to be the commitment at the beginning of this session after 4 years of multiple special sessions going into June or November/December special sessions.  The budget that passed was truly just a supplemental budget with about $155 million in additional spending -- much of that in the K-12 arena.  This year, however, is simply the calm before the storm of next year's budget when the Legislature is forced to address the $5 billion funding requirement in K-12 education forced on them by the McCleary Supreme Court decision.

    Unfortunately we did lose our bill SB 6105.  Like many other bills this session, it just died due to lack of interest.  There was no opposition, we had addressed Rep. Hunter's concerns with some amendments.  Leadership in the House simply did not make it a priority for passing and they ran out of time.  Both sides seemed unwilling to work late nights or weekends this year (which they usually do) which left very little time to pass a lot of bills.  Only around 200 made it to the Governor's desk -- probably the smallest number in the 25 years I have been lobbying. 

    Attached are details of some education bills that passed.  Not many did.  The biggest bill, ESSB 6552, implements the 24 credit hour graduation (including increases in math and science credits) requirement beginning for students graduating in 2019 while providing districts more flexibility in the 1180 hours requirement.  The bill also eliminated the state's culminating project requirement and includes credit waivers in Sec 203 for students based on unusual circumstances.  In eliminating the culminating project, they had to include language from our school library statute  because the school library media program has reference to the culminating project.  I tried to get the rest of our bill amended onto this section but the controversy surrounding ESSSB 6552 was so great that no legislators were willing to make additional amendments.

    6552 also includes the CTE equivalency language from the Governor's office.  This section would have technical work groups develop curriculum frameworks for a selected list of career and technical courses that would have content that would also qualify the course for dual credit equivalency in math or science.  OSPI will develop the list and if it is approved, districts must grant the academic equivalency and allow students access and credit.  

    Another bill that passed, SSB 6163, establishes an "Expanded Learning Opportunities Council" which will advise policy makers regarding comprehensive expanded learning opportunities  focusing on how to reduce summer learning loss.  We will need to be very involved in this council's activities -- I would suggest that perhaps we ask OSPI to appoint someone from WLMA to discuss how school and public libraries can be involved.  I will get more information on this when it is available.

    The budget, as it passed, includes about $58 million more put into Materials, Supplies and Operating Costs for the student funding model.  The total allocation for "Library Materials and other Supplies"  will go from and average FTE amount in 2013/14 of $176.56 to an average FTE amount of $203.16 for the 2014/15 school year.  Increases in the technology funding allocation are occurring as well to help districts cover costs associated with Smarter Balance implementation from $77.46 per FTE this year to $89.13 per FTE in 2014/15.  Here is a link to the passed budget -- Education is in the 500 sections starting on p. 181 -- http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2013-14/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Passed%20Legislature/6002-S.PL.pdf.

    I would encourage WLMA members to go to the districts immediately with proposals to help bring resources to the school libraries but also to help use the extra money to reduce impact on libraries from the Smarter Balance testing.  Perhaps getting information to your district about how to use mobile devices for the tests so the libraries are not closed.

    The legislature did not pass any legislation to help the state maintain its federal ESA waiver because the WEA opposed having student growth data required to be part of teacher evaluations.  This means a loss of about $44 million in federal dollars for education.  In addition, no legislation passed enacting required teacher COLAs.

    Next year will be a big year for education because of the McCleary decision.  We will need to make sure we are actively involved in working with candidates and legislators over the interim to ensure they remain educated and supportive of school libraries and the need to:  a) change our statutory definition; b) increase the teacher-librarian prototype school allocation to 1.0 FTE for each level; c) separate the MSOC for "Library Materials" from the "other supplies."  The "Legislator in Your Library" program must be a priority if we want to get this done!

    Carolyn

  • 09 Mar 2014 1:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here is the news, and very frustrating, about what happened to "our bill" the final days of the session. Thanks to everyone for all your efforts to get it passed this year, whether with calls, e-mails or directly testifying. As Carolyn concludes, we will be back next year...

    "Despite phone calls, good information, a willingness to work on amendments to address concerns and the votes to pass the bill... House leadership opted to let our bill -- SSB 6105, the school library information and technology bill -- die on the floor calendar and did not bring it up for a vote in the House of Representatives. They simply let the time run out.

    I will keep trying to see if there is some way to revive the bill during the next few days but it looks like we will be back next year to get this change in addition to working on getting the allocation for teacher librarians to 1.0 per prototype school per the McCleary decision.

    Thank you for all of your hard work.  We came so close this year -- next year will be ours!  (Particularly with the great study backing us up!) "

    Sara Glass, NBCT

  • 24 Feb 2014 5:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    WLMA’s legislation, SB 6105 – updating the criteria for school library programs to better align the need with the prototype school funding --  is out of the Senate, has been heard in the House Committee and now needs the votes to move to the floor, get the vote and go to the Governor. 

    NOW IS THE TIME TO CALL OR EMAIL YOUR TWO STATE REPRESENTATIVES and urge them to SUPPORT SB 6105 TO BRING SCHOOL LIBRARIES ACROSS THE STATE INTO THE 21ST CENTURY!

    You can call your State Representatives by calling the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or send emails by going to the following link:  http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

    Please include these talking points in your message: 

    • SB 6105 changes the name in the statute from "school library media program" to "School library information and technology program" to better encompass everything that a school library does and to reflect the WLMA-adopted LIT framework.
    • Better connects the school library information and technology program to the achievement of state standards and student learning goals through services, resources, and instruction.
    • Sets up more current criteria for the role of the teacher-librarian within the school to reflect peer coaching and educational technology components of the job.
    • More strongly emphasizes that the "teacher-librarian" is a certificated teacher within the school.  
    • The bill does not mandate that a school have a school library information and technology program but does more clearly reflect the prototype school funding allocations.
    • With this update to the definition of a School Library Information Technology program and to the job description of today’s teacher-librarians, we can more clearly communicate to schools and communities the central role that teacher-librarians play in the teaching and learning of 21st century skills.
  • 20 Feb 2014 10:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Update from Carolyn:

    WLMA’s legislation, SB 6105 – updating the criteria for school library programs to better align the need with the prototype school funding -- is out of the Senate Committee and on its way to the Senate Floor.

    NOW IS THE TIME TO CALL OR EMAIL YOUR STATE SENATOR and urge him/her to SUPPORT SB 6105 TO BRING SCHOOL LIBRARIES ACROSS THE STATE INTO THE 21ST CENTURY!

    You can call your State Senator by calling the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or send an email by going to the following link: http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

    Please include these talking points in your message:


    • SB 6105 changes the name in the statute from "school library media program" to "School library information and technology program" to better encompass everything that a school library does and to reflect the WLMA-adopted LIT framework.
    • Better connects the school library information and technology program to the achievement of state standards and student learning goals through services, resources, and instruction.
    • Sets up more current criteria for the role of the teacher-librarian within the school to reflect peer coaching and educational technology components of the job.
    • More strongly emphasizes that the "teacher-librarian" is a certificated teacher within the school.
    • The bill does not mandate that a school have a school library information and technology program but does more clearly reflect the prototype school funding allocations.
  • 18 Feb 2014 9:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here is a short update from Carolyn, summarized by me, mid- way through the session. As always, please write me directly at sara.glass@tumwater.k12.wa.us   if you would like me to send you the document listing all the bills she is tracking.

    The cut off for all bills to be out of their House of Origin is approaching. One of the remaining big general education bills to watch is SB 6552 which gives flexibility to the 1080 hour requirement and reemphasizes the 24 credits.  It also requires CTE courses be made available that have dual credit equivalencies in science and math.  She thinks this and 6163 will be the focus on policy for this year.  One other question that remains is how or if the legislature will deal with the federal requirement that student growth data MUST be part of teacher/principal evaluations.  Currently, our state law says MAY which is putting our state in jeopardy of losing federal ESA dollars (somewhere between $38 and 44 million).

    6163 - expanded learning opportunities. Carolyn thinks there may be some leverage for libraries in there, especially for summer or after- hours programs.

    NOTE:  Our bill -- SB 6105 -- has a hearing tomorrow, Feb 19th at 8 AM in the House Education Committee.  Carolyn will reiterate they already heard the essential testimony (from Mark Ray and Carrie Willenbring :)when they heard 2560 and also reiterate some of the great examples given by other WLMA members who testified earlier in the session.

    Sara Glass, NBCT

  • 14 Feb 2014 11:32 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Just as "our" SB 6105 passed out of the Senate 49-0 :), testifying for TLs before the House for HB2560 early Thursday were Mark Ray, Vancouver and Carrie Willenbring (Bethel SD). WEA joined us both times, to also testify in favor of these bills' language updating and strengthening the language that describes our central role in our schools. More updates to follow!

  • 03 Feb 2014 1:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As the legislative session is really underway, now we receive frequent updates from Carolyn! And here is the latest, which includes a summary of those bills we might consider as having positive (or negative) impacts on TLs.

    First, for "our" current bill:

    "Our bill -- SB 6105 is still on the Senate floor calendar and hopefully we will get our vote next week.  It has until February 18 to be passed but the goal is to send it to the House as soon as possible."

    There are a number of other bills Carolyn is tracking, some relate to the State Supreme Court- mandated McCleary funding, which should also include increased MSOC funds, another is for two additional days provided for paid professional development, the COLA :) and summer reading programs.

  • 17 Jan 2014 1:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We have news to share from the Advocacy Team! First, a reminder that next Friday, the 24th is the annual WLA-WLMA Legislative Day in Olympia. There is still time to join us- please e-mail Sara directly if you would like more information:

       sara.glass@tumwater.k12.wa.us

         Craig is collaborating with WLA and Washington State Library for a festive, all-day signing of the Declaration in Support of Libraries on the third floor of the capitol from 9-4. You can also volunteer for a shift there.

      If you can't come to Olympia the 24th, you can still contact your legislators, and encourage their support of SB 2014, (updating the existing language of what a teacher-librarian does in the 21st century) with a first hearing January 22. Or arrange for them to visit your school when the session is over, so they can see for themselves how important you are!

       Hope to see you next Friday!

  • 24 Oct 2013 7:29 PM | Craig Seasholes (Administrator)
    As you learn about MSOC funding decisions, please use this WLMA Advocacy googleform to share your findings back with Carolyn logue, Sara Glass and the WLMA Advocacy crew.  It only takes a few minutes, and the shared information makes us all stronger in our efforts to deliver allocated resources to our students @library!
  • 03 Oct 2013 12:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Greetings! Carolyn has provided this very helpful summary you might want to keep on file for advocacy reference (see the paragraph I underlined). You can also use the data to compare to your own teaching situation based on your own school’s population.

    Sara Glass, NBCT

    sara.glass@tumwater.k12.wa.us


    When HB 2261 was passed in 2009, they developed the prototype school model which included teacher librarians staffing as part of what the state basic education allowance (per student basic funding) would be based on.  Nothing in the prototype school model  was considered a "mandate" but it showed the priorities that the state felt should be available for all students and what the state believed it's money would be going towards.  The intent is to make sure that the districts, should they not be providing teacher-librarians, have a good excuse as to why they are not providing any money towards that. HB 2261 indicated that the teacher-librararian funding should move towards 1.0 FTE per prototype school.

    The percentage occurred in 2010 as part of HB 2776 which took all existing state per student funding and divided it roughly based on what was happening currently in school districts.  There was no new money at that point just a "crosswalk" of existing dollars into the new system.

    As McCleary is funded the intent is to move to 1.0 FTE T-Ls per prototype school by 2017.  In the meantime, the percentage is meant to indicate the amount of state funding that is allocated for a teacher-librarian position -- certainly not a mandate that is the only amount available for teacher-librarians.   If the district provides no t-ls then they will be accountable to the state as to why not.

    Our advocacy efforts now need to be directed at moving towards the 1.0 FTE for T-Ls in prototype schools.  The MSCOC dollars were increased this year and the total BEA was increased as well (which would increase the dollar amount per student that the current t-l percentage is applied to).  

    This is why the library study is so important and needs to be completed ASAP.  We need this ammo to ensure an increase in the next bieennium to 1.0 FTEs per prototype school and also to show that school districts are hurting their students by eliminating teacher-librarians.

    Remember the prototype school levels are:

    • High school: 600 FTE students in grades 9 through 12;
    • Middle school: 432 FTE students in grades 7 and 8; and
    • Elementary school: 400 FTE students in grades kindergarten through 6.

    This means that if a high school has 1200 students, the state allocation for a teacher librarian would actually be 1.046.  An elementary school with 600 students would receive a staffing FTE allocation from the state of .9945 (almost 1).

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   Next >  Last >> 
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software