BILL REQ. #:  S-4373.3 


State of Washington63rd Legislature2014 Regular Session

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

READ FIRST TIME 02/11/14.   

     AN ACT Relating to expanded learning opportunities; adding a new chapter to Title 28A RCW; and declaring an emergency.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   (1) The legislature finds that studies have documented that many students experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. The legislature further finds that research shows that summer learning loss contributes to the educational opportunity gaps between students in Washington's schools and that falling behind in academics can be a predictor of whether a student will drop out of school. The legislature recognizes that such academic regression has a disproportionate impact on low-income students. The legislature acknowledges that access to quality expanded learning opportunities during the school year and summer helps mitigate summer learning loss and improves academic performance, attendance, on-time grade advancement, and classroom behaviors.
     (2) The legislature intends to increase expanded learning opportunities by identifying ten schools to participate in a pilot program to combat summer learning loss and provide an opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of an extended school year to improve student achievement, close the educational opportunity gap, and provide successful models for other districts to follow. The pilot schools may participate with a community-based organization to provide the expanded learning opportunities. The legislature further intends to build capacity, identify best practices, leverage local resources, and promote a sustainable expanded learning opportunities system for students in early elementary through secondary schools by providing an ongoing work group and infrastructure that helps coordinate expanded learning opportunity efforts throughout the state.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   As used in this chapter, "expanded learning opportunities" means:
     (1) Culturally responsive enrichment and learning activities, which may focus on academic and nonacademic areas; arts; civic engagement; service-learning and science; technology, engineering, and mathematics; and competencies for college and career readiness;
     (2) School-based programs that provide extended learning and enriching experiences for students beyond the traditional school day, week, or calendar; and
     (3) Structured, intentional, and creative learning environments outside the traditional school day that build partnerships with schools, align in-school and out-of-school learning, and create enriching experiences for youth using activities that complement classroom-based instruction. The opportunities may be provided before or after school, during the summer, or as extended day, week, or year programs.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3   (1) The expanded learning opportunities council is established to advise the governor, state legislature, and the superintendent of public instruction regarding an expanded learning opportunities system with particular attention paid to solutions to summer learning loss.
     (2) The council shall also provide a vision, guidance, assistance, and advice related to potential improvement and expansion of summer learning opportunities, school-year calendar modifications that will help reduce summer learning loss, and support of an expanded learning opportunities system, as well as other current or proposed programs and initiatives across the spectrum of early elementary through secondary education so that the needs and demands for a statewide coordinated system of expanded learning opportunities are identified and an expanded learning opportunities system is developed.
     (3) The council shall identify fiscal, resource, and partnership opportunities, coordinate policy development, set quality standards, and develop a comprehensive expanded learning opportunities action plan designed to implement expanded learning opportunities, address summer learning loss, provide academic supports, build strong school-community-based organization partnerships, and track performance of expanded learning opportunities in closing the opportunity gap, so that students receive maximum and direct benefit.
     (4) When making recommendations regarding best practices, the council shall consider the best practices on the state menus developed in accordance with RCW 28A.165.035 and 28A.655.235.
     (5) The governor's office, in consultation with the superintendent of public instruction, shall convene the expanded learning opportunities council. The members of the council must have experience in expanded learning opportunities, and include groups and agencies representing diverse student interests and geographical locations across the state. Up to fifteen participants, agencies, organizations, or individuals may be invited to participate in the expanded learning opportunities council but the membership shall include the following:
     (a) Three representatives from nonprofit community-based organizations;
     (b) One representative from regional work force development councils;
     (c) One representative from each of the following organizations or agencies:
     (i) The Washington state school directors' association;
     (ii) The state-level association of school administrators;
     (iii) The state-level association of school principals;
     (iv) The state board of education;
     (v) The statewide association representing certificated classroom teachers and educational staff associates;
     (vi) The office of the superintendent of public instruction;
     (vii) The state-level parent–teacher association;
     (viii) Higher education; and
     (ix) A nonprofit organization with statewide experience in expanded learning opportunities frameworks.
     (6) Staff support for the expanded learning opportunity council shall be provided by the superintendent of public instruction and other state agencies as necessary. Appointees of the council shall be selected by May 30, 2014. The council shall hold its first meeting before August 1, 2014. At the first meeting, the council shall determine regularly scheduled meeting times and locations. The council shall provide a report to the governor and the legislature by December 1, 2014, and by December 1st annually thereafter.
     (7) The first report submitted by December 1, 2014, shall include recommendations for a framework and action plan for a pilot program, including identification of ten potential pilot schools, for the legislature to consider implementing in the 2015-2017 biennium. The pilot program shall provide state funding for three years for twenty additional student learning days for up to ten schools. 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. An eligible school is one that includes at least any two grade levels within kindergarten through grade five, and where seventy-five percent or more of the students qualify for the free and reduced-price lunch program. School districts must solicit input on the design of the plan from staff at the school, parents, and the community, including at an open meeting, and may subsequently adopt a plan for the additional twenty days at a public hearing. The pilot schools may participate with a community-based organization to provide the expanded learning opportunities. The pilot program must include an evaluation of the effectiveness of the program, an examination of student academic progress, and a recommendation of whether twenty days is the optimal number of days to be provided as additional support.
     (8) The council shall encourage any school district, including one identified in subsection (7) of this section, to implement a pilot program such as the one described in subsection (7) of this section on a faster timeline using local or grant funds.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4   Sections 1 through 3 of this act constitute a new chapter in Title 28A RCW.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5   This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately.

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