How they voted in Olympia 3/10

School grading system

Senate Bill 5328 creates the School Grading Pilot Program for the 2013-14 school year. The state superintendent of schools must conduct the pilot program in five geographically diverse school districts, including urban, rural, large, and small districts. The program requires the State Board of Education to use the accountability index to identify schools using the letter grades A through F, unless the school has less than ten students: A for schools making excellent progress; B for schools making above-average progress; C for schools making satisfactory progress; D for schools making less than satisfactory progress; and F for schools failing to make adequate progress. The measure passed the Senate on March 6 by a vote of 26-23.

Sen. Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond, voted for the bill. Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, voted against it.

Teacher assignments

Senate Bill 5242 requires school districts to adopt a new policy for the assignment of teachers (Certified Instructional Staff), which provides that teachers may only be assigned to a particular school upon mutual agreement between the teacher and the school principal. If an agreement is not reached, the teacher may be assigned to a temporary position, as a substitute, or as a support person in the district office. Lack of a permanent assignment after eight or more months becomes a probable cause for removal. The measure passed in the Senate on March 6 by a vote of 37-22.

Hatfield voted for the bill. Hargrove voted against it.

Student assessments

Senate Bill 5587 requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of education to implement the comprehensive English language arts and mathematics assessment developed by the multistate consortium by the 2014-15 school year. The consortium is using a federal grant to develop new language arts and mathematics assessments in grades three through eight and grade 11 that are aligned with the Common Core State Standards and test college and career readiness at the high school level. During the transition, the graduating classes of 2016-17 may meet the current state standards for reading or writing assessments and the mathematics End of Course assessments. The measure passed the Senate on March 6 by a vote of 29-20.

Hatfield and Hargrove voted for the bill

Early learning

House Bill 1723 creates a legislative task force and technical working group to study options for an accessible, integrated, high quality, and community-based early learning program for children and their families. It directs an expansion of the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program in fiscal year 2014. It also directs a 10 percent increase in Working Connections Child Care subsidies, effective Sept. 1, 2013, as well as a 5 percent increase for providers achieving level 2 of the Early Achievers program. The measure passed the House on March 6 by a vote of 59-38.

Reps. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, Dean Takko, D-Longview, Steve Tharinger, D-Sequim, and Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, all voted for the bill.

Student performance

Senate Bill 5237 provides that, beginning in the 2015-16 school year, if students score below basic on the third grade assessment in English language arts, the teachers, parent or guardian, and principal must meet to discuss appropriate placement and intervention. The options for placement include retaining the student in the third grade or promoting the student to fourth grade with an intensive summer program provided by the school district that meets the needs of the student in preparing for the fourth grade. If the student participates in a summer program, the student is retested and a second meeting is convened for the teacher, parents, and principal. The measure passed the Senate on March 6 by a vote of 35-13.

Hatfield and Hargrove voted for the bill.