BILL REQ. #:  S-2393.1 


State of Washington60th Legislature2007 Regular Session

By Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education (originally sponsored by Senators Kohl-Welles, McAuliffe, Keiser, Franklin, Murray, Rasmussen, Hobbs and Tom)

READ FIRST TIME 02/28/07.   

     AN ACT Relating to school health advisory councils; adding new sections to chapter 28A.210 RCW; and creating a new section.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   The legislature finds that the overall death rate for those with fewer than twelve years of education is more than twice that for people with more education. Students who drop out also experience higher rates of early pregnancy and substance abuse and they often require more social services of various types. Graduation rates in Washington vary significantly by racial and ethnic groups and by gender. These rates reflect the same type of disparity that is found on health indicators of teen pregnancy, chronic disease, and the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs. Academic and health outcomes are inexorably linked. It is the goal of this act to create a system for proactively coordinating approaches to improving child and adolescent health and education outcomes in Washington.
     Schools should do all they can to promote student health and well-being if Washington's ambitious academic achievement goals and the goals of the federal no child left behind act of 2001 are to be realistically attained. Schools cannot achieve their primary mission of education if students and staff are not physically, mentally, and socially healthy.
     Schools often have multiple advisory groups with health-related missions that overlap, which can result in competition for resources and influence. Consolidation of these groups into school health advisory councils with broad missions leads to efficiency, nonduplication of efforts, and a coordinated approach to student and school health. Leadership at the state level is also required. A purpose of this act is to create a state level school health advisory council to provide guidance on coordination of many efforts that start in state level agencies and organizations.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   A new section is added to chapter 28A.210 RCW to read as follows:
     (1) The Washington state school health advisory council is created consisting of twenty-one members.
     (2) Members of the council shall include one representative from each of the following organizations or agencies: The department of health; the Washington academy of pediatrics; the American cancer society; the University of Washington school of public health; the nursing commission; the Washington asthma institute; the family policy council; the health and recovery services administration; the children's alliance; the state board of health; the superintendent of public instruction or the superintendent's designee; the Washington State University cooperative extension; the Washington association for health, physical education, recreation, and dance; the Washington health foundation; the Washington school nutrition association; the school nurses of Washington; the Washington state parent and teacher association; the Washington education association; the Washington association of school administrators; the Washington state school directors' association; and the state board of education.
     (3)(a) Councilmembers shall serve for terms of three years except for the initial members, whose terms shall be staggered so that seven shall serve for one-year terms, seven shall serve for two-year terms, and seven shall serve for full three-year terms. Members may serve more than one term. If a vacancy occurs, the organization or agency that made the original designation shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the leaving member's term. Members of the council shall serve without pay but may receive reimbursement for travel expenses if funds are available.
     (b) The council shall select from its membership a chair and a vice-chair who shall each serve a one-year term. The chair and vice-chair may serve more than one term if selected to do so by the members.
     (c) The council shall meet at least quarterly.
     (d) The department of health and the office of the superintendent of public instruction's coordinated school health infrastructure initiative shall provide office space and staffing for the council.
     (4) Powers and duties of the council include but are not limited to: Modeling collaboration and coordination of all aspects of school health programs; identifying and recommending model policies and procedures that result in efficient uses of resources to improve student and school health; developing model program guidelines, sample policies, resource lists, and position papers to further the work of school district health advisory councils, including obesity prevention strategies; and promoting the coordinated school health approach.
     (5) The council shall submit an annual report to the legislature on the progress of the local school health advisory councils and of their own activities by December of each year.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3   A new section is added to chapter 28A.210 RCW to read as follows:
     Subject to available funds, the legislature intends to develop a grant program to enable school districts to establish and maintain their own school district health advisory council to implement a coordinated school health program. A school district may, in its discretion, use the grant program funds to establish councils and coordinated school health programs at each school within the district in order to assist in meeting the requirements established in this section. It is the intent of the legislature that the school district health advisory councils and programs:
     (1) Assist in the development of health policy at the district level;
     (2) Evaluate the status of school and student health, health and physical education, the school environment, and food service, counseling and support, and health services;
     (3) Recommend to the local school board policies and procedures relating to students with acute or chronic illnesses or conditions; health and safety; physical activity, obesity prevention, and nutrition; contaminants and toxins; delivery of health services; and/or other issues deemed appropriate based on the scope and membership of the school district health advisory council;
     (4) Coordinate the school district's health and other related student support services with other relevant services within the community;
     (5) Be composed of members who broadly represent the community and education stakeholders including, but not limited to, parents, students, teachers, health professionals, employee bargaining units, school facility staff, educators, district officials, and business leaders. The council membership should adequately represent school environmental health, health services, health and fitness education, nutrition services, guidance and psychosocial health, parent and community involvement, and staff wellness.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4   A new section is added to chapter 28A.210 RCW to read as follows:
     (1) The office of the superintendent of public instruction shall allocate grants from private donations or within amounts appropriated for these specific purposes: (a) To allow school districts to establish and maintain a school district health advisory council and (b) to fund specific improvements to the health-related policies and practices within a school recommended by a school district health advisory council and requested by a local school board. The grants shall be awarded on a competitive basis. Priority shall be given to districts that best meet the criteria established in section 3 of this act.
     (2) The school district health advisory council shall hold meetings at least twice a year and shall biennially report on the status and needs of student health and safety in the school district to the schools within the district, the school board, the department of health, and the office of the superintendent of public instruction.
     (3) The local school superintendent and the local health officer shall jointly be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of the school district health advisory council with assistance from the Washington state school health advisory council.

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