State of Washington
67th Legislature
2021 Regular Session
BySenate Early Learning & K-12 Education (originally sponsored by Senators Hawkins, Wellman, Billig, Dhingra, Frockt, Hasegawa, Kuderer, Muzzall, Nobles, Rivers, Saldaña, and Wilson, C.)
AN ACT Relating to addressing learning loss by exploring alternative school calendars; adding a new section to chapter 28A.630 RCW; creating a new section; and providing an expiration date.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a unique set of challenges and circumstances that have tested the K-12 education system. Due to reduced instructional time, educational inequities, and the inability to access technology and educational services, many students have suffered learning loss and a disruption to their educational experience. As a result, the legislature finds that a school calendar other than that traditionally used by Washington schools may help students to obtain the knowledge and skills needed to prevent negative educational outcomes. By using an alternative calendar, selected school districts will be better able to address the negative outcomes of the pandemic in a flexible and locally responsive manner.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 28A.630 RCW to read as follows:
(1) The office of the superintendent of public instruction shall select a limited number of school districts for a program to implement a year-round school calendar. In doing so, the office of the superintendent of public instruction may select up to 30 school districts to provide a minimum of 180 school days throughout the entire school year.
(2) School districts selected under the program shall provide a year-round school year instructional schedule beginning in the 2022-23 school year and through the 2025-26 school year in all schools in their district.
(3)(a) Each school district participating in the alternative school year calendar program must have:
(i) Had enrollment of 50 percent or more students eligible for free or reduced-price meals in the 2019-20 school year or used the community eligibility provision under section 104(a) of the federal healthy, hunger-free kids act of 2010 (P.L. 111-296) to provide universal meals in all district schools during the 2019-20 school year; and
(ii) A minimum district-wide enrollment of at least 500 students and a maximum district-wide enrollment of 10,000 students in the 2019-20 school year.
(b) In selecting districts for participation in the program, the office of the superintendent of public instruction shall select districts on a first-come, first-served basis based on the application date of eligible districts. The office of the superintendent of public instruction may select up to 15 school districts located west of the crest of the Cascade mountains and up to 15 school districts located east of the crest of the Cascade mountains.
(4) In addition to other program requirements established by the office of the superintendent of public instruction, school districts participating in the program shall adopt a school calendar that provides instructional days in at least 11 months of the year and in which breaks in scheduled instructional days for students are limited to a maximum of four consecutive weeks throughout the school year.
(5) Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, the office of the superintendent of public instruction shall allocate funds to each participating school district in an amount equal to the school district's base allocation per full-time equivalent student, multiplied by the school's annual average full-time equivalent student enrollment, multiplied by 0.1.
(6) By December 31, 2026, the office of the superintendent of public instruction shall provide a report to the education committees of the legislature on the following:
(a) Participation in the program, including demographic information of the participating school districts;
(b) Outcomes of the program, including student growth and academic performance between districts; and
(c) Recommendations based on the experiences of the school district, including any relevant policy and fiscal recommendations for the statewide application of a year-round school year.
(7) The office of the superintendent of public instruction may adopt rules necessary for the implementation of this section.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3. This act expires July 31, 2027.
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