HOUSE BILL REPORT
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 Passed Legislature
Title: An act relating to allowing nonresident children from military families to enroll in Washington's public schools prior to arrival in the state.
Brief Description: Allowing nonresident children from military families to enroll in Washington's public schools prior to arrival in the state.
Sponsors: House Committee on Education (originally sponsored by Representatives Kilduff, Leavitt, Mosbrucker, Ryu, Barkis, Reeves, Klippert, Dolan, Jinkins, Orwall, Ortiz-Self, Caldier, Lovick, Santos, Tharinger and Riccelli).
Education: 2/14/19, 2/19/19 [DPS].
Passed House: 3/4/19, 97-0.
Passed Senate: 4/11/19, 46-0.
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
Majority Report: The substitute bill be substituted therefor and the substitute bill do pass. Signed by 19 members: Representatives Santos, Chair; Dolan, Vice Chair; Paul, Vice Chair; Steele, Ranking Minority Member; McCaslin, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Volz, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Bergquist, Caldier, Callan, Corry, Harris, Kilduff, Kraft, Ortiz-Self, Rude, Stonier, Thai, Valdez and Ybarra.
Staff: Megan Wargacki (786-7194).
Student Enrollment. A student's school and resident school district is based on where the student resides. School districts may require that families enroll their students in person and may require proof of residency within the district.
Military Compact. In 2009 Washington entered an interstate compact for the purpose of removing barriers to educational success imposed on children of military families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents. Two of the eight goals of the compact are to facilitate: (1) the timely enrollment of children of military families and ensuring that they are not placed at a disadvantage due to difficulty in the transfer of education records from the previous school districts or variations in entrance and age requirements; and (2) the student placement process through which children of military families are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content, or assessment.
The compact defines the following terms:
"Active duty" means full-time duty status in the active uniformed service of the United States, including members of the National Guard and reserve on active duty orders pursuant to certain federal laws.
"Children of military families" means school-aged children, enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12, in the household of an active duty member.
"Military installation" means a base, camp, post, station, yard, center, homeport facility for any ship, or other activity under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Defense, including any leased facility, which is located within any of the several states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Marianas Islands, and any other United States territory. Such term does not include any facility used primarily for civil works, rivers and harbors projects, or flood control projects.
Summary of Substitute Bill:
A child of a military family complies with the residency requirements for enrollment in a school district if a parent of the child is transferred to, or is pending transfer to, a military installation within the state while on active duty pursuant to official military orders. "Parent" means a parent, guardian, or other person or entity having legal custody of a child of a military family.
A parent of the child must provide to the school district proof of residence in the school district within 14 days of the arrival date provided on official military documentation. The parent may use the address of any of the following as proof of residence in the school district: (1) a temporary on-base billeting facility; (2) a purchased or leased residence, or a signed purchase and sale agreement or lease agreement for a residence; or (3) any federal government housing or off-base military housing, including off‑base military housing that may be provided through a public‑private venture.
For a child of a military family who meets the requirements described above, a school district must accept, on a conditional basis, the child's application for enrollment and course registration, including enrollment in a specific school or program within the school district, by electronic means. Upon receipt of proof of residency, the school district must finalize the child's enrollment.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony:
(In support) Active duty service members relocate frequently across the country. Washington has the seventh largest military population in the nation. There are about 136,000 military families in Washington; these children move six to eight times each, on average. The timing of these relocations often does not align to the school calendar. This may result in the students missing their planned courses of study, and may even force them to graduate later than their peers. This bill allows these students from military families to pre-enroll before they arrive in the state. It is important to alleviate the unique challenges faced by military students, as Arizona and California have done.
The intent is not to offer an advantage or priority over other students. No new online registration or enrollment systems are required; the process can be completed by a phone call or email to the school district. This bill will reduce the need for school districts to make projections regarding their student population.
Mobility impacts student achievement negatively. This bill minimizes learning disruptions and allows students to connect to their new school, their new peers, and their new community without delay. When military students know their class schedules in advance, this reduces stress in their transition between locations. This bill does not just help the parents, it helps the children. There are increased rates of depression, anxiety, suicidality, and drug use for military students due to their high mobility. Washington leads the nation in its support of military families.
Persons Testifying: Representative Kilduff, prime sponsor; and Tammie Perreault, Whitney Stafford, and Tanja Struyck-Fogleman, United States Department of Defense.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.