2SSB 6163

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 Passed House - Amended:

March 6, 2014

Title: An act relating to expanded learning opportunities.

Brief Description: Concerning expanded learning opportunities.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Ways & Means (originally sponsored by Senators Billig, Litzow, Frockt, Dammeier, McAuliffe, Rolfes, King, Tom, Kohl-Welles and Keiser).

Brief History:

Committee Activity:

Education: 2/19/14, 2/26/14 [DPA];

Appropriations: 3/1/14 [DPA(ED)].

Floor Activity:

Passed House - Amended: 3/6/14, 87-9.

Brief Summary of Second Substitute Bill

(As Amended by House)

  • Defines Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELOs) to include school-based programs and programs offered by community-based organizations in partnership with schools that provide extended learning and enriching experiences beyond the traditional school day or calendar.

  • Establishes an ELO Council, to be convened by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, to provide vision, guidance, and assistance related to summer learning opportunities and other initiatives related to a statewide ELO system.

  • Creates a Summer Knowledge Improvement Program (SKIP) to provide state funding for 20 additional student learning days in up to 10 low-income elementary schools to combat summer learning loss and close educational opportunity gaps, if funds are appropriated for this purpose.

  • Provides that, if funds are appropriated for a SKIP or other initiative related to summer learning loss or the ELOs, the Council monitors progress, serves as a resource, and oversees an evaluation, and if funds are not appropriated, the Council's first report to the Legislature must include a framework and action plan for a program and other strategies to reduce summer learning loss.


Majority Report: Do pass as amended. Signed by 16 members: Representatives Santos, Chair; Stonier, Vice Chair; Dahlquist, Ranking Minority Member; Magendanz, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Bergquist, Fey, Haigh, Hawkins, Hayes, S. Hunt, Lytton, Muri, Orwall, Pollet, Seaquist and Warnick.

Minority Report: Do not pass. Signed by 3 members: Representatives Hargrove, Klippert and Parker.

Staff: Barbara McLain (786-7383).


Majority Report: Do pass as amended by Committee on Education. Signed by 29 members: Representatives Hunter, Chair; Ormsby, Vice Chair; Chandler, Ranking Minority Member; Ross, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Wilcox, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Buys, Carlyle, Christian, Cody, Dahlquist, Dunshee, Fagan, Green, Haigh, Harris, Hudgins, G. Hunt, S. Hunt, Jinkins, Kagi, Lytton, Morrell, Parker, Pettigrew, Schmick, Seaquist, Springer, Sullivan and Tharinger.

Minority Report: Do not pass. Signed by 2 members: Representatives Haler and Taylor.

Staff: Jessica Harrell (786-7349).


The term "Expanded Learning Opportunities" (ELOs) is used to describe afterschool and summer learning opportunities provided outside the regular school day or year and delivered through partnerships between schools and community-based organizations (CBOs). The ELOs typically supplement academic learning with enrichment and youth-development activities. There is a body of research literature from a federally funded initiative called 21st Century Community Learning Centers that suggests that the ELOs provided for low-income and other at-risk students can be an effective strategy for closing the educational opportunity gap and reducing summer learning loss.

Research indicates that most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement. According to a study by Johns Hopkins University, this learning gap widens over time, so that by grade 9, summer learning accounts for two-thirds of the gap in reading between low-income students and their middle-income peers. The same students most affected by summer learning loss were also more likely to drop out of high school and less likely to attend college.

The Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) is required to convene a panel of experts to develop state menus of best practices and strategies for assisting struggling students, particularly in elementary reading. The first such menu is due July 1, 2014.

Summary of Amended Bill:

The ELOs are defined as:

An ELO Council is established to advise the Governor, the Legislature, and the SPI regarding an ELO system, with particular attention to solutions to summer learning loss. The ELO Council must provide vision, guidance, and assistance related to summer learning opportunities, school-year calendar modifications to reduce summer learning loss, increasing partnerships between schools and the CBOs to deliver the ELOs, and other programs or initiatives that could contribute to a statewide ELO system.

The ELO Council must identify resources and partnership opportunities, coordinate policy development, set quality standards, promote evidence-based strategies, develop a comprehensive action plan, and track performance of the ELOs in closing the opportunity gap. When making recommendations for evidence-based strategies, the ELO council must consider the state best practices menus developed by the SPI's expert panel.

The SPI must convene the ELO Council, all of whom must have experience with the ELOs and include representation of diverse student interests and geographical locations. Up to 15 individuals may be invited to participate, with representation from specified organizations and associations. Staff support is provided by the SPI. Appointees to the ELO Council must be selected by May 30, 2014, and the first meeting must be held before August 1, 2014. The first report from the Council is due December 1, 2014, and annually thereafter until 2018.

Subject to funds appropriated for this purpose, the Summer Knowledge Improvement Program (SKIP) is created. The purpose is to implement an extended school year to combat summer learning loss and provide an opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of an extended school year in improving student achievement and closing the educational opportunity gap. State funding for each school in the SKIP is equal to 20 days of instruction per student, including for pupil transportation, to be provided for three years. Eligible schools are those serving students in at least kindergarten through grade 5, where at least 75 percent of students are eligible for free and reduced price meals. Any school district with an eligible school may submit a plan to the SPI to participate in the SKIP. School districts must solicit input on the design of the plan from school staff, parents, and the community, including at an open meeting. Plan components are described. The SPI must review the plans and select up to 10 schools, or as many schools as can be supported with appropriated funds.

If funds are appropriated for the SKIP or other initiative to reduce summer learning loss or expand the ELOs, the Council must monitor progress, serve as a resource, and oversee an evaluation of effectiveness in improving student academic progress. If funds are not appropriated, the first report from the Council, and any subsequent reports as necessary, must include recommendations for an action plan for a program to reduce summer learning loss through additional student learning days in elementary schools with low-income students. The Council may also recommend additional strategies.

Both the Council and the SKIP expire August 31, 2019.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date of Amended Bill: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony (Education):

(In support) The work of many people and organizations to reduce summer learning loss is appreciated. It is hoped that this legislation will be enacted in time to have an impact this summer. The sponsor was first aware of this issue when a teacher told him that the learning goal for his daughter was lower for September than it had been in June. For low-income students, summer learning loss is dramatic and contributes significantly to the opportunity gap. The first study showing evidence of summer learning loss was in 1906. There have been numerous studies since that time. This bill is a compilation of two previous bills. There is hope that work can continue on melding the concepts an working on the details.

This bill takes a step toward supporting families and community engagement in schools and building partnerships that are sustainable. This bill is directed at disadvantaged students. Parents are already active partners in schools, and they look forward to sharing what they already know about successful collaboration.

(In support with concerns) There is a great deal of research on summer learning. The ELO Council would offer a vehicle to work on capacity building and standards for excellence in quality programs. The state does not currently do this work at all. Building capacity does not happen overnight. There are some concerns with the definition of an ELO. There is opportunity to strengthen and highlight the importance of community-based organizations.

(Opposed) None.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony (Appropriations):

(In support) A survey by the summer learning survey indicated that 60 percent of teachers spend three to four weeks reteaching curriculum and 25 percent of teachers spend five to six weeks reteaching the material from the prior year. Summer presents an untapped opportunity to provide programs that are different from the regular school year. Teachers have the flexibility to be creative in their assessments. Community-based organizations currently provide academic summer programs that have maintained or improved students' reading skills. These organizations are doing great work but are not coordinated and are not provided throughout the state. This legislation will complement the new resources provided to meet McCleary.

(Opposed) None.

Persons Testifying (Education): (In support) Senator Billig, prime sponsor; and Sherry Krainick, Washington State Parent-Teacher Association.

(In support with concerns) Lynn Tucker, School's Out Washington.

Persons Testifying (Appropriations): Alex Hur, Equity in Education Coalition.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Education): None.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Appropriations): None.