BILL REQ. #:  H-1503.1 


State of Washington61st Legislature2009 Regular Session

By House Education (originally sponsored by Representatives Dickerson, Quall, Sullivan, Haigh, Orwall, Liias, Takko, Kagi, Green, Simpson, Kenney, and Nelson)

READ FIRST TIME 02/13/09.   

     AN ACT Relating to social emotional learning in public schools; adding new sections to chapter 28A.300 RCW; and creating a new section.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   (1) The legislature finds that basic education instruction in public schools in Washington state should include not only instruction in core academic skills, but also core social emotional learning skills. Students with strong social emotional learning skills do better in school. They are able to manage their emotions and behavior, form and maintain healthy relationships, and make positive and ethical decisions. Healthy relationships are key to learning and essential for students' future success in the workplace and in the community. These students have significantly better attendance records, their classroom behavior is more constructive and less often disruptive, they like school more, and they have better grade point averages. They are also less likely to be suspended or disciplined. The overall result is a more effective and successful classroom experience for all students.
     (2) Therefore schools should be encouraged and supported wherever possible to incorporate social emotional learning skills into basic education instruction through appropriate learning standards, research-based curriculum and programs, classroom-based assessment, and professional development for educators.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   (1) To the extent funds are available in the account created under section 3 of this act, the office of the superintendent of public instruction shall promote and encourage incorporation of social emotional learning into basic education instruction in public schools. Activities may include:
     (a) Disseminating information about research-based curricula and model programs in social emotional learning;
     (b) Providing guidelines for how school districts can incorporate social emotional learning into basic education instruction at all grade levels;
     (c) Referring school districts to high quality professional development opportunities; and
     (d) Providing grants to school districts to implement research-based curricula, professional development, and instruction in social emotional learning.
     (2) For the purposes of this section, "social emotional learning" includes age-appropriate behavioral and emotional management, relationship skills, conflict resolution, interpersonal communication, cooperation, decision making, and planning.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3   The social emotional learning public-private partnership account is created in the custody of the state treasurer. The purpose of the account is to support the activities of the office of the superintendent of public instruction and school districts under section 2 of this act. Revenues to the account include any appropriations made by the legislature for the purposes of section 2 of this act, federal funds, gifts or grants from the private sector or foundations, and other sources. Only the superintendent of public instruction or the superintendent's designee may authorize expenditures from the account. The account is subject to allotment procedures under chapter 43.88 RCW, but an appropriation is not required for expenditures.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4   Sections 2 and 3 of this act are each added to chapter 28A.300 RCW.

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