SENATE BILL REPORT
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 Senate, February 14, 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).
Committee Activity: Early Learning & K-12 Education: 1/29/14, 2/06/14 [DPS-WM].
Ways & Means: 2/10/14, 2/11/14 [DP2S, DNP, w/oRec].
Passed Senate: 2/14/14, 47-2.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON EARLY LEARNING & K-12 EDUCATION
Majority Report: That Substitute Senate Bill No. 6163 be substituted therefor, and the substitute bill do pass and be referred to Committee on Ways & Means.
Signed by Senators Litzow, Chair; Dammeier, Vice Chair; McAuliffe, Ranking Member; Rolfes, Assistant Ranking Member; Billig, Brown, Cleveland, Fain, Hill, Mullet and Rivers.
Staff: Susan Mielke (786-7422)
SENATE COMMITTEE ON WAYS & MEANS
Majority Report: That Second Substitute Senate Bill No. 6163 be substituted therefor, and the second substitute bill do pass.
Signed by Senators Hill, Chair; Baumgartner, Vice Chair; Honeyford, Capital Budget Chair; Hargrove, Ranking Member; Keiser, Assistant Ranking Member on the Capital Budget; Ranker, Assistant Ranking Member on the Operating Budget; Bailey, Becker, Billig, Braun, Conway, Dammeier, Fraser, Frockt, Hasegawa, Hatfield, Kohl-Welles, Parlette, Rivers and Tom.
Minority Report: Do not pass.
Signed by Senator Padden.
Minority Report: That it be referred without recommendation.
Signed by Senator Schoesler.
Staff: Lorrell Noahr (786-7708)
Background: Research shows that many students, especially students from low-income families, experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Studies have also documented that summer learning loss is cumulative over time and widens the existing educational opportunity gap. Some studies recommend participation in expanded learning opportunities (ELOs) during the school year and summer to mitigate summer learning loss and improve student academic performance, attendance, on-time grade advancement, and classroom behaviors.
Summary of Second Substitute Bill: ELOs are defined as culturally responsive enrichment and learning activities; extended learning day school-based programs; and learning environments that build partnerships, align in-school and out-of-school learning, and create enriching experiences that complement classroom-based instruction.
The Council is created to advise the Governor, Legislature, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction on an ELO system; and provide vision, guidance assistance, and advice related to potential improvement and expansion of learning outside the traditional school day and calendar. Council members include representatives from nonprofit community-based organizations, regional workforce councils, school district professional organizations, parent-teacher associations, higher education, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), and the State Board of Education. Staff support for the Council is provided by OSPI.
Several specific tasks are given to the Council, including an annual report to the Governor and Legislature. The first report includes recommendations for an ELO framework and action plan for a pilot program that identifies ten potential pilot schools that will partner with community-based programs to address summer learning loss, for the Legislature to consider implementing in the 2015-17 biennium. The pilots are structured as follows:
The pilot program must provide state funding for three years for 20 additional student learning days for up to ten schools.
The schools may collaborate with a community-based organization to provide ELOs.
The intent of the pilot program is to combat summer learning loss; provide an opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of additional time outside the regular school calendar to improve student achievement and close educational opportunity gaps; and provide successful models for other districts to follow.
Eligible schools are those that include at least two of the grade levels kindergarten through five, and where 75 percent or more of the students qualify for the free and reduced-price lunch program.
School districts must solicit input on the design of a plan from staff at the school, parents, and the community, including at an open meeting, and may subsequently adopt a plan for the additional 20 days at a public hearing.
The pilot program must include an evaluation of the effectiveness of the program, an examination of student academic progress, and a recommendation of whether 20 days is the optimal number of days to be provided as additional support.
The Council must encourage school districts, including those identified to potentially implement the pilot program, to combat summer learning loss using a program as described above using local or grant funding.
Fiscal Note: Available. New fiscal note requested on February 11, 2014.
Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.
Effective Date: The bill contains an emergency clause and takes effect immediately.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony on Original Bill (Early Learning & K-12 Education): PRO: Summer learning loss is a critical problem that we must address. Almost every student experiences summer learning loss; some more than others. Studies show that two-thirds of most students' summer learning loss occur in elementary school and disproportionally impact students who already experience educational opportunity gaps. This is not summer school but school with all its structure for all students in the school so there is no stigma. Funding would not be required until next biennium. All students do not learn in the same way or in the same amount of time and that is why extended learning opportunities outside of the school day and the school calendar are so important. The additional 20 days aligns with research that shows that additional time spent on academics leads to greater student learning. These added days should be compulsory attendance days. The application to participate in the pilot should require a plan to collect data during the 2014 school year on student and teacher absences, student discipline, and student assessment scores to help with the evaluation of the pilot. The pilot should be open to school districts who want to have a balanced calendar not just add days at the beginning and end. If the pilot is scaled back due to the cost then make sure that enough of the program is kept to have a valid evaluation. School districts know that summer learning loss is a problem but are struggling to provide summer programs to address it. A major barrier to accessing programs outside the school is often transportation so we are glad to see that funds may be used for transportation. Funding for this program needs to be part of basic education. Grants go away and the funding needs to be continued to fully address the problem.
OTHER: I recommend including the 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. timeframe as part of the program and including evidence-based practices that are fun to address summer learning loss.
Persons Testifying (Early Learning & K-12 Education): PRO: Senator Billig, prime sponsor; Jan Link, Academic Link Outreach, Director; Karyssa Mathison, Larry Wewel, Academic Link Outreach; Phyllis Frank, former State Board of Education member, National Association for Year-Round Education; Frank Ordway, League of Education Voters; Marie Sullivan, WA State School Director's Assn.; Alex Hur, Equity in Education Coalition; Dave Larson, Tukwila School District; Julia Suliman, State Board of Education.
OTHER: Lynne Tucker, School's Out WA.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony on Recommended First Substitute (Ways & Means): PRO: This bill helps prevent summer learning loss. We are appreciative that this bill looks to change future policy by setting up a council to review best practices. Evidence of summer learning loss is profound. This bill starts the process of addressing summer learning opportunities in a systemic way. The role of the Council is critical to bring our community-based organizations and school districts together to address the challenges of our state's students.
Persons Testifying (Ways & Means): PRO: Alex Hur, Equity in Education Coalition; Frank Ordway, League of Education Voters.