The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Institutional education facility" means residential habilitation and child study and treatment centers operated by the department of social and health services, state long-term juvenile institutions operated by the department of children, youth, and families, state-operated community facilities, county juvenile detention centers, and facilities of the department of corrections that incarcerate juveniles committed as adults.
(2) "Institutional education program" means the program of education that is provided to youth in institutional education facilities as a mandatory component of the program of basic education under RCW 28A.150.200
(3) "Institutional education provider" or "provider" means a school district, educational service district, or other entity providing education services to youth in an institutional education facility.
(4) "Postresident youth" means a person who is under the age of 21 and a former resident of an institutional education facility. A postresident youth may be a public school student or a person who is eligible to be a public school student but who is not enrolled in a school or otherwise receiving basic education services.
(5) "Residential school" means the following institutional education facilities: Green Hill school, Naselle Youth Camp, Echo Glen, Lakeland Village, Rainier school, Yakima Valley school, Fircrest school, the Child Study and Treatment Center and Secondary School of western state hospital, and other schools, camps, and centers established by the department of social and health services or the department of children, youth, and families for the diagnosis, confinement, and rehabilitation of juveniles committed by the courts or for the care and treatment of persons who are exceptional in their needs by reason of mental or physical deficiency. "Residential school" does not include the state schools for the blind, the Washington state center for childhood deafness and hearing loss, or adult correctional institutions.
(6) "School district" has the same meaning as in RCW 28A.315.025
and includes any educational service district that has entered into an agreement to provide a program of education for residents at an institutional education facility on behalf of the school district as a cooperative service program pursuant to RCW 28A.310.180
(7) "Youth" means a person who is under the age of 21 who is a resident of an institutional education facility. A youth may be a public school student or a person who is eligible to be a public school student but who is not enrolled in a school or otherwise receiving basic education services.
Findings—Intent—2021 c 164: "(1) The legislature finds that students in Washington's secure facilities have been unable to access the education and supports they need to make life-changing academic progress. As a result, these students have experienced dismal graduation and recidivism rates, and have lost invaluable opportunities for hope and transformation.
(2) In 2020, the legislature enacted chapter 226, Laws of 2020, and established the task force on improving institutional education programs and outcomes. The task force efforts resulted in a series of well-considered recommendations that inform this act and, perhaps more importantly, offer a new opportunity to make critical policy advances for students and dedicated staff that are too often overlooked.
(3) The legislature acknowledges that institutional education facilities are part of the public school system and that the students in secure facilities deserve full access to the state's basic education program and its promise of an opportunity to graduate with a meaningful diploma that prepares them for postsecondary education, gainful employment, and citizenship.
(4) The legislature finds that key reforms are needed to the institutional education system, including the development of an education program that is both student-centered and anchored in the principle that student improvement through education must be the system's primary objective. The legislature further finds that an effective institutional education system must have sufficient funding and proper administrative structures to assure effective functionality, oversight, and accountability.
(5) Although the task of making meaningful reforms to the institutional education system cannot be accomplished through a single legislative act, the legislature intends for this act to be a significant step of progress in better meeting the needs of students who are in or have been involved with the traditional components of the juvenile justice system, with subsequent legislative efforts to be focused on the education of students in other institutional settings, including those in long-term inpatient programs and those with exceptional mental or physical needs.
(6) The legislature, therefore, intends to establish new and modified requirements for the institutional education system that promote student success through improved agency and education provider practices, updated credit-awarding practices, new data collection and reporting requirements, and the development of expert recommendations that will create an implementable blueprint for successfully meeting complex student needs and improving education and postrelease outcomes." [ 2021 c 164 § 1