61st Legislature
2009 Regular Session

Passed by the House January 1, 0001
  Yeas 0   Nays 0

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Passed by the Senate January 1, 0001
  Yeas 0   Nays 0

President of the Senate

I, Barbara Baker, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1292 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.

Chief Clerk

Governor of the State of Washington

Secretary of State
State of Washington




Passed Legislature - 2009 Regular Session
State of Washington61st Legislature2009 Regular Session

By House Education (originally sponsored by Representatives Newhouse, Chandler, and Simpson)

READ FIRST TIME 02/20/09.   

     AN ACT Relating to waivers from the one hundred eighty-day school year; amending RCW 28A.655.180; adding a new section to chapter 28A.305 RCW; creating a new section; repealing RCW 28A.305.145; and providing an expiration date.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   The legislature continues to support school districts seeking innovations to further the educational experiences of students and staff while also realizing increased efficiencies in day-to-day operations. School districts have suggested that efficiencies in heating, lighting, or maintenance expenses could be possible if districts were given the ability to create a more flexible calendar. Furthermore, the legislature finds that a flexible calendar could be beneficial to student learning by allowing for the use of the unscheduled days for professional development activities, planning, tutoring, special programs, parent conferences, and athletic events. A flexible calendar also has the potential to ease the burden of long commutes on students in rural areas and to lower absenteeism.
     School districts in several western states have operated on a four-day school week and report increased efficiencies, family support, and reduced absenteeism, with no negative impact on student learning. Small rural school districts in particular could benefit due to their high per-pupil costs for transportation and utilities. Therefore, the legislature intends to provide increased flexibility to a limited number of school districts to explore the potential value of operating on a flexible calendar, so long as adequate safeguards are put in place to prevent any negative impact on student learning.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   A new section is added to chapter 28A.305 RCW to read as follows:
     (1) In addition to waivers authorized under RCW 28A.305.140 and 28A.655.180, the state board of education may grant waivers from the requirement for a one hundred eighty-day school year under RCW 28A.150.220 and 28A.150.250 to school districts that propose to operate one or more schools on a flexible calendar for purposes of economy and efficiency as provided in this section. The requirement under RCW 28A.150.220 that school districts offer an annual average instructional hour offering of at least one thousand hours shall not be waived.
     (2) A school district seeking a waiver under this section must submit an application that includes:
     (a) A proposed calendar for the school day and school year that demonstrates how the instructional hour requirement will be maintained;
     (b) An explanation and estimate of the economies and efficiencies to be gained from compressing the instructional hours into fewer than one hundred eighty days;
     (c) An explanation of how monetary savings from the proposal will be redirected to support student learning;
     (d) A summary of comments received at one or more public hearings on the proposal and how concerns will be addressed;
     (e) An explanation of the impact on students who rely upon free and reduced-price school child nutrition services and the impact on the ability of the child nutrition program to operate an economically independent program;
     (f) An explanation of the impact on the ability to recruit and retain employees in education support positions;
     (g) An explanation of the impact on students whose parents work during the missed school day; and
     (h) Other information that the state board of education may request to assure that the proposed flexible calendar will not adversely affect student learning.
     (3) The state board of education shall adopt criteria to evaluate waiver requests. No more than five districts may be granted waivers. Waivers may be granted for up to three years. After each school year, the state board of education shall analyze empirical evidence to determine whether the reduction is affecting student learning. If the state board of education determines that student learning is adversely affected, the school district shall discontinue the flexible calendar as soon as possible but not later than the beginning of the next school year after the determination has been made. All waivers expire August 31, 2014.
     (a) Two of the five waivers granted under this subsection shall be granted to school districts with student populations of less than one hundred fifty students.
     (b) Three of the five waivers granted under this subsection shall be granted to school districts with student populations of between one hundred fifty-one and five hundred students.
     (4) The state board of education shall examine the waivers granted under this section and make a recommendation to the education committees of the legislature by December 15, 2013, regarding whether the waiver program should be continued, modified, or allowed to terminate. This recommendation should focus on whether the program resulted in improved student learning as demonstrated by empirical evidence. Such evidence includes, but is not limited to: Improved scores on the Washington assessment of student learning, results of the dynamic indicators of basic early literacy skills, student grades, and attendance.
     (5) This section expires August 31, 2014.

Sec. 3   RCW 28A.655.180 and 1995 c 208 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
     (1) The state board of education, where appropriate, or the superintendent of public instruction, where appropriate, may grant waivers to districts from the provisions of statutes or rules relating to: The length of the school year; student-to-teacher ratios; and other administrative rules that in the opinion of the state board of education or the opinion of the superintendent of public instruction may need to be waived in order for a district to implement a plan for restructuring its educational program or the educational program of individual schools within the district.
     (2) School districts may use the application process in RCW 28A.305.140 ((or 28A.300.138)) to apply for the waivers under ((subsection (1) of)) this section.
     (((3) The joint select committee on education restructuring shall study which waivers of state laws or rules are necessary for school districts to implement education restructuring. The committee shall study whether the waivers are used to implement specific essential academic learning requirements and student learning goals. The committee shall study the availability of waivers under the schools for the twenty-first century program created by chapter 525, Laws of 1987, and the use of those waivers by schools participating in that program. The committee shall also study the use of waivers authorized under RCW 28A.305.140. The committee shall report its findings to the legislature by December 1, 1997.))

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4   RCW 28A.305.145 (Application process for waivers under RCW 28A.305.140) and 1993 c 336 s 302 are each repealed.

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