SHB 1445

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Reported by Senate Committee On:

Early Learning & K-12 Education, March 21, 2017

Ways & Means, April 4, 2017

Title: An act relating to dual language in early learning and K-12 education.

Brief Description: Concerning dual language in early learning and K-12 education.

Sponsors: House Committee on Appropriations (originally sponsored by Representatives Ortiz-Self, Stambaugh, Santos, Orwall, Harris, Caldier, Springer, Appleton, Lytton, Condotta, Fey, Pollet, Goodman, Slatter, Bergquist, Macri, Doglio and Kagi).

Brief History: Passed House: 3/01/17, 64-34.

Committee Activity: Early Learning & K-12 Education: 3/16/17, 3/21/17 [DP-WM].

Ways & Means: 3/30/17, 4/04/17 [DPA, DNP, w/oRec].

Brief Summary of Amended Bill

  • Creates the Bilingual Educator Initiative to recruit, prepare, and mentor bilingual high school students to become future bilingual teachers and counselors.

  • Directs the Professional Educator Standards Board to implement initiative pilot projects in four different school districts across the state.

  • Makes the bill contingent on specific funding in the Operating Budget.


Majority Report: Do pass and be referred to Committee on Ways & Means.

Signed by Senators Zeiger, Chair; Fain, Vice Chair; Rolfes, Ranking Minority Member; Billig, Mullet and Warnick.

Staff: Alia Kennedy (786-7405) and Ailey Kato (786-7434)


Majority Report: Do pass as amended.

Signed by Senators Braun, Chair; Brown, Vice Chair; Rossi, Vice Chair; Ranker, Ranking Minority Member; Rolfes, Assistant Ranking Minority Member, Operating Budget; Frockt, Assistant Ranking Minority Member, Capital Budget; Bailey, Becker, Billig, Carlyle, Conway, Darneille, Fain, Hasegawa, Keiser, Miloscia, Pedersen, Rivers, Schoesler, Warnick and Zeiger.

Minority Report: Do not pass.

Signed by Senator Padden.

Minority Report: That it be referred without recommendation.

Signed by Senator Honeyford, Vice Chair, Capital Budget .

Staff: Jeffrey Mitchell (786-7438)

Background: Educator Conditional Scholarship and Grant Programs. A conditional scholarship is a loan that is forgiven in whole or in part in exchange for qualified service as a certificated teacher employed in a Washington K-12 public school. The conditional scholarship programs are designed to help school districts recruit teachers, particularly in subject matter and geographic shortage areas. Under most grant and scholarship programs, the state will forgive one year of loan obligation for every two years a loan recipient teaches in a designated shortage area in a Washington K-12 public school.

Educator Retooling Conditional Scholarship. The Educator Retooling Conditional Scholarship program is available to teachers currently working in a Washington K-12 public school. In order to receive a conditional scholarship, teachers and individuals certificated with an elementary education endorsement must pursue an endorsement in a subject or geographic endorsement shortage area, such as mathematics, science, special education, bilingual education, English language learner, computer science education, or environmental and sustainability education. The annual scholarship, which may not exceed $3,000 in value, is for the cost of tuition, test fees, and educational expenses, including books, supplies, and transportation for the endorsement pathway being pursued.

Future Teachers Conditional Scholarship. The Future Teachers Conditional Scholarship program is designed to encourage into the teaching profession individuals who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, leadership ability, willingness to commit to providing teaching service in shortage areas, and are likely to be good role models for students. Participants in the program incur an obligation to repay the conditional scholarship, with interest and an equalization fee, unless they teach for two years in an approved education program for each year of scholarship received. However, participants who teach in a designated teacher shortage area have one year of loan canceled for each year they teach in the shortage area. The program was last funded in fiscal year 2010 at $1 million annually.

Teacher Shortage Conditional Grant. In 2016, the Legislature created the Teacher Shortage Conditional Grant program within the Future Teachers Conditional Scholarship program. The purpose of the program is to encourage individuals to become teachers by providing financial aid to individuals enrolled in approved teacher preparation programs. The Washington Student Achievement Council was allocated $468,000 in 2016 for the purposes of administering the grant program and is scheduled to award its first grants in Spring 2017.

State Need Grant. The State Need Grant is the state's largest financial aid program. The grant program provides need-based financial aid to income-eligible students pursuing postsecondary education. To be eligible, students must have a household income that is less than 70 percent of the state's median family income.

Grant recipients can use the financial aid at eligible higher education institutions in Washington, including public two-year and four-year colleges and universities and some accredited private or independent colleges, universities, and career schools.

College Bound Scholarship. The College Board Scholarship was established in 2007 to provide guaranteed four-year tuition to students from low-income families. The first College Board Scholarship awards were granted to students from the graduating high school Class of 2012.

Eligibility for the scholarship is a two-part process that includes completion of an application by the end of their eighth grade year, a pledge to complete certain scholarship requirements, and a determination that the student meets the income-eligibility guidelines. College Board Scholarship recipients that attend public two-year or four-year higher education institutions receive an award to cover the cost of tuition and fees, minus any state-funded grant, scholarship, or waiver assistance, plus $500 for books and materials. The student must maintain satisfactory academic progress and may not receive the scholarship for more than four full-time years.

Summary of Amended Bill: Beginning in the 2017-2019 biennium, the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) must administer the Bilingual Educator Initiative, which is a long-term program to recruit, prepare, and mentor bilingual high school students to become future bilingual teachers and counselors.

Pilot projects must be implemented in two school districts east of the Cascade Mountains and two school districts west of the Cascade Mountains, where immigrant students are shown to be rapidly increasing. With oversight by PESB, selected districts must partner with at least one two-year and one four-year college in planning and implementing the program. Participating school districts must implement programs, including:

There must be a pipeline to college using two-year and four-year college faculty and consisting of continuation services for program participants, such as advising, tutoring, mentoring, financial assistance, and leadership. High school and college teachers and counselors must be recruited and compensated to serve as mentors and trainers for participating students.

After obtaining a high school diploma, students qualify to receive conditional loans to cover the full cost of college tuition, fees, and books. To qualify for funds, students must meet program requirements developed by their local implementation team, which consists of staff from their school district and the partnering two-year and four-year college faculty. In order to avoid loan repayment, students must:

Any student who does not meet these repayment terms may be required to repay all or part of the financial aid they received for college, unless the student is a recipient of funding provided through programs such as the State Need Grant program or the College Bound Scholarship Program.

Funds must be appropriated in 2017 for the purpose of this act.


Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony on Substitute House Bill (Early Learning & K-12 Education): PRO:  This bill comes from work completed by the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee, which found that ELL students need more support to help close the opportunity gap.  The best practice for ELL students are dual language programs, which can enhance existing native language skills and allow ELL students to learn English at the same time.  These programs also benefit native English-speaking students because they get to learn another language.  Full immersion programs, which are common, are not a best practice because students are not able to learn other content areas because they are learning English.  Dual language programs also encourage cross-cultural learning and cultural competency.  Families can be more involved with their child's education if teachers speak the language spoken at home.  In Washington, a small percentage of ELL students are in dual language programs, and there are many barriers to establishing these programs. The grant programs in this bill would help build and strengthen dual language programs.  This bill will help build more early learning programs, which greatly benefits younger children's brain development.  Dual language programs are a smart investment and a long-term workforce development strategy.  Businesses are recruiting bilingual employees, and dual language programs will help students be more competitive for these jobs in the future.

Persons Testifying (Early Learning & K-12 Education): PRO: Representative Lillian Ortiz-Self, Prime Sponsor; Sharon Cronin, citizen; Erik Mercado, student; Manuela Slye, parent; Bernard Koontz, Highline School District; Heather Byington, teacher; Emily Murphy, Children's Alliance and Early Learning Action Alliance; Mea Moore, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction; Dominique Vijarro, Goddard College; Rosa Alvarez, student.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Early Learning & K-12 Education): No one.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony (Ways & Means): No public hearing was held.

Persons Testifying (Ways & Means): N/A.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Ways & Means): N/A.