BILL REQ. #:  S-4181.2 


State of Washington61st Legislature2010 Regular Session

By Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education (originally sponsored by Senators Kauffman, McAuliffe, Hargrove, Hobbs, Regala, Oemig, McDermott, and Shin; by request of Superintendent of Public Instruction)

READ FIRST TIME 01/26/10.   

     AN ACT Relating to accountability and support for vulnerable students and dropouts, including prevention, intervention, and reengagement; amending RCW 28A.175.075; adding a new section to chapter 28A.175 RCW; and creating new sections.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   (1) The legislature finds that by preventing one high school student from dropping out the annual savings is approximately ten thousand five hundred dollars, including lost state and local taxes and savings to the temporary assistance to needy families program, food stamps, housing assistance, the criminal justice system, and the health care system.
     (2) The legislature further finds that school districts need both accountability and technical assistance to improve high school graduation rates.
     (3) The legislature further finds that many vulnerable students fail to graduate from high school without adequate dropout prevention, intervention, and reengagement systems at the school district level.
     (4) The legislature further finds that school districts need the support of families, agencies, and organizations in the local community to prevent dropouts. In order to significantly improve statewide high school graduation rates, it is the intent of the legislature to facilitate the development of a collaborative infrastructure at the local, regional, and state level between systems that serve vulnerable youth.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   A new section is added to chapter 28A.175 RCW to read as follows:
     The definitions in this section apply throughout sections 3 and 4 of this act unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
     (1) "Critical community members" means representatives in the local community from among the following agencies and organizations:
Student/parent organizations, local government, law enforcement, juvenile corrections, any tribal organization in the local school district, the local health district, nonprofit and social service organizations serving youth, and faith organizations.
     (2) "Dropout early warning and intervention data system" means a student information system that provides the data needed to conduct a universal screening to identify students at risk of dropping out, catalog student interventions, and monitor student progress towards graduation.
     (3) "K-12 dropout prevention, intervention, and reengagement system" means a system that provides all of the following functions:
     (a) Engaging in school improvement planning specifically focused on improving high school graduation rates, including goal-setting and action planning, based on a comprehensive assessment of strengths and challenges;
     (b) Providing prevention activities including, but not limited to, emotionally and physically safe school environments, implementation of a comprehensive guidance and counseling model facilitated by certified school counselors, core academic instruction, and career and technical education exploratory and preparatory programs;
     (c) Identifying vulnerable students based on a dropout early warning and intervention data system;
     (d) Timely academic and nonacademic group and individual interventions for vulnerable students based on a response to intervention model, including planning and sharing of information at critical academic transitions;
     (e) Providing graduation coaches, mentors, certified school counselors, and/or case managers for vulnerable students identified as needing a more intensive one-on-one adult relationship;
     (f) Establishing and providing staff to coordinate a school/family/community partnership that assists in building a K-12 dropout prevention, intervention, and reengagement system;
     (g) Providing retrieval or reentry activities; and
     (h) Providing alternative educational programming including, but not limited to, credit retrieval and online learning opportunities.
     (4) "School/family/community partnership" means a partnership between a school or schools, families, and the community, that engages critical community members in a formal, structured partnership with local school districts in a coordinated effort to provide comprehensive support services and improve outcomes for vulnerable youth.
     (5) "Vulnerable students" means students who are in foster care, involved in the juvenile justice system, receiving special education services under chapter 28A.155 RCW, recent immigrants, homeless, emotionally traumatized, or are facing behavioral health issues, and students deemed at-risk of school failure as identified by a dropout early warning data system or other assessment.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3   By September 15, 2010, the office of the superintendent of public instruction, in collaboration with the work group established in RCW 28A.175.075, shall develop and report recommendations to the quality education council and the legislature for the development of a comprehensive, K-12 dropout reduction initiative designed to integrate multiple tiers of dropout prevention, intervention, and technical assistance provided through federal and state programs and to support a K-12 dropout prevention, intervention, and reengagement system as defined in section 2 of this act.

Sec. 4   RCW 28A.175.075 and 2007 c 408 s 7 are each amended to read as follows:
     (1) The office of the superintendent of public instruction shall establish a state-level building bridges work group that includes K-12 and state agencies that work with youth who have dropped out or are at risk of dropping out of school. The following agencies shall appoint representatives to the work group: The office of the superintendent of public instruction, the workforce training and education coordinating board, the department of early learning, the employment security department, the state board for community and technical colleges, the department of health, the community mobilization office, and the following divisions and offices of the department of social and health services: Children's services, juvenile rehabilitation, behavioral health and recovery, and the office of juvenile justice. The ((state-level leadership)) work group ((shall)) should also consist of one representative from each of the following agencies and organizations: ((The workforce training and education coordinating board;)) A statewide organization representing career and technical education programs including skill centers; ((relevant divisions of the department of social and health services;)) the juvenile courts; the Washington association of prosecuting attorneys; the Washington state office of public defense; ((the employment security department;)) accredited institutions of higher education; the educational service districts; the area workforce development councils; parent and educator associations; ((the department of health;)) local school districts; agencies or organizations that provide services to special education students; community organizations serving youth; federally recognized tribes and urban tribal centers; each of the major political caucuses of the senate and house of representatives; and the minority commissions.
     (2) To assist and enhance the work of the building bridges programs established in RCW ((28A.175.055)) 28A.175.025, the state-level work group shall:
     (a) Identify and make recommendations to the legislature for the reduction of fiscal, legal, and regulatory barriers that prevent coordination of program resources across agencies at the state and local level;
     (b) Develop and track performance measures and benchmarks for each partner agency or organization across the state including performance measures and benchmarks based on student characteristics and outcomes specified in RCW 28A.175.035(1)(e); and
     (c) Identify research-based and emerging best practices regarding prevention, intervention, and retrieval programs.
     (3)(a) The work group shall report to the quality education council, appropriate committees of the legislature, and the governor on an annual basis beginning December 1, 2007, with proposed strategies for building K-12 dropout prevention, intervention, and reengagement systems in local communities throughout the state including, but not limited to, recommendations for implementing emerging best practices, needed additional resources, and eliminating barriers.
     (b) By September 15, 2010, the work group shall report on:
     (i) A recommended state goal and annual state targets for the percentage of students graduating from high school;
     (ii) A recommended state goal and annual state targets for the percentage of youth who have dropped out of school who should be reengaged in education and be college and work ready;
     (iii) Recommended funding formulas for supporting career guidance and the planning and implementation of K-12 dropout prevention and intervention systems in school districts and a plan for phasing the formulas into the program of basic education, beginning in the 2011-2013 biennium; and
     (iv) A plan for phasing in, beginning in the 2011-2013 biennium, the expansion of the current school improvement planning program to include state-funded, dropout-focused school improvement technical assistance for school districts in significant need of improvement regarding high school graduation rates.
     (4) State agencies in the building bridges work group shall work together on the following activities to support school/family/community partnerships engaged in building K-12 dropout prevention, intervention, and reengagement systems:
     (a) Providing opportunities for coordination and flexibility of program eligibility and funding criteria;
     (b) Providing joint funding, where feasible;
     (c) Developing protocols and templates for model agreements on sharing records and data;
     (d) Providing joint professional development opportunities that provide knowledge and training on:
     (i) Research-based and promising practices;
     (ii) The availability of programs and services for vulnerable youth; and
     (iii) Cultural competence.
     (5) The building bridges work group shall make recommendations to the governor and the legislature by December 1, 2010, on a state-level and regional infrastructure for coordinating services for vulnerable youth. Recommendations must address the following issues:
     (a) Whether to adopt an official conceptual approach or framework for all entities working with vulnerable youth that can support coordinated planning and evaluation;
     (b) The creation of a performance-based management system, including outcomes, indicators, and performance measures relating to vulnerable youth and programs serving them, including accountability for the dropout issue;
     (c) The development of regional and/or county-level multipartner youth consortia with a specific charge to assist school districts and local communities in building K-12 comprehensive dropout prevention, intervention, and reengagement systems;
     (d) The development of integrated or school-based one-stop shopping for services that would:
     (i) Provide individualized attention to the neediest youth and prioritized access to services for students identified by a dropout early warning and intervention data system;
     (ii) Establish protocols for coordinating data and services, including getting data release at time of intake and common assessment and referral processes; and
     (iii) Build a system of single case managers across agencies;
     (e) Launching a statewide media campaign on increasing the high school graduation rate; and
     (f) Developing a statewide database of available services for vulnerable youth.

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