HB 1491

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As of March 23, 2011

Title: An act relating to the membership of the early learning advisory council.

Brief Description: Regarding membership of the early learning advisory council.

Sponsors: Representatives Goodman, Walsh, Roberts and Kagi; by request of Department of Early Learning.

Brief History: Passed House: 3/02/11, 90-7.

Committee Activity: Early Learning & K-12 Education: 3/23/11.


Staff: Kimberly Cushing (786-7421)

Background: In 2007 the Legislature established the Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC) to advise the Department of Early Learning (DEL) on statewide early learning needs and to develop a statewide early learning plan. Twenty-three members are specified in statute. Of the 23 members, the Governor must appoint seven leaders in early childhood education, with at least one representative with experience or expertise in the areas such as children with disabilities, the K-12 system, family day care providers, and child care centers.

Washington State has been awarded approximately $1.7 million over a three-year period under the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support its State Advisory Council. In Washington, the State Advisory Council is ELAC. The federal Head Start Act governs the requirements for federally funded State Advisory Councils, and specifies members that the State Advisory Council must include to the maximum extent possible.

Created in 1965, Head Start is a federal program that provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. The federal government administers the Head Start program, and directly contracts with providers. Since 1990 the Office of Head Start has funded Head Start-State Collaboration Office (HSSCO) grants to support the development of multi-agency and public/private partnerships at the state and local levels. The HSSCO is housed at DEL.

Part C of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) authorizes grants to states to assist them in planning, developing, and implementing statewide systems of early intervention services for infants and toddlers and their families.

Summary of Bill: Of the seven leaders in early childhood education whom the Governor must appoint, four of the seven appointees are as follows:

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: This bill provides broader representation on ELAC and allows the state to draw down 1.7 million in federal dollars to keep early learning going. ELAC is a very valuable body and provides essential guidance.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Representative Goodman, prime sponsor; Amy Blondin, DEL.