HB 1115-S.E - DIGEST

Creates the paraeducator board and requires the board to: (1) Adopt minimum employment requirements for paraeducators and paraeducator standards of practice;

(2) Establish requirements and policies for general paraeducator certificates, subject matter certificates in English language learner and special education, and advanced educator certificates;

(3) Approve, and develop if necessary, courses required to meet certain provisions of this act, where the courses are offered in a variety of means that will limit cost and improve access;

(4) Make policy recommendations, as necessary, for a paraeducator career ladder that will increase opportunities for paraeducator advancement through advanced education, professional learning, and increased instructional responsibility;

(5) Collaborate with the office of the superintendent of public instruction to adapt the electronic educator certification process to include paraeducator certificates; and

(6) Distribute grants to a diverse set of school districts that volunteer to pilot the state paraeducator standards of practice, the paraeducator certificates, and certain courses.

Requires school districts to provide a four-day fundamental course of study on the state standards of practice to paraeducators who have not completed the course.

Requires the superintendent of public instruction, in consultation with the paraeducator board and the professional educator standards board, to design a training program for teachers and administrators as it relates to their role working with paraeducators.

Requires the professional educator standards board, in consultation with the paraeducator board and the office of the superintendent of public instruction, to incorporate the following into the content required to complete a professional educator standards board-approved teacher or administrator preparation program: (1) For teachers, information on how to direct a paraeducator working with students in the paraeducators' classroom; and

(2) For administrators, information on how to supervise and evaluate paraeducators.

Requires the state institute for public policy to conduct a study on the effectiveness of paraeducators in improving student outcomes.

Repeals the paraprofessional training program.


May 8, 2017

To the Honorable Speaker and Members,
The House of Representatives of the State of Washington

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am returning herewith, without my approval as to Section 18, Engrossed Substitute House Bill No. 1115 entitled:

"AN ACT Relating to paraeducators."

This measure is an outgrowth of nearly five years of discussion and consideration of the Paraeducator Work Group.

It is also one of the late Senator Andy Hill's many legacies.

The bill creates the nine-member Paraeducator Board to provide professional development for this group of education employees who assist teachers in the classroom. It requires paraeducators to meet certain minimum employment standards, among other things. This will provide an opportunity for the state's 36,000 paraeducators to develop in their profession and become a teacher through alternative routes, if they so choose.

However, I am vetoing Section 18, which modifies a section of statute that was repealed by another bill this session.

Thanks to the sponsor, Representative Bergquist, and the members of the work group whose great work led to this legislation.

For these reasons I have vetoed Section 18 of Engrossed Substitute House Bill No. 1115.

With the exception of Section 18, Engrossed Substitute House Bill No. 1115 is approved.

Respectfully submitted,
Jay Inslee