HB 1827

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 Reported by House Committee On:


Title: An act relating to expanding the current and future educator workforce supply through evidence-based strategies to improve and incentivize the recruitment and retention of highly effective educators, especially in high-need subject, grade-level, and geographic areas, and to establish a cohesive continuum of high quality professional learning from preparation programs to job embedded induction, mentoring, collaboration, and other professional development opportunities.

Brief Description: Relating to expanding the current and future educator workforce supply through evidence-based strategies to improve and incentivize the recruitment and retention of highly effective educators, especially in high-need subject, grade-level, and geographic areas, and to establish a cohesive continuum of high quality professional learning from preparation programs to job embedded induction, mentoring, collaboration, and other professional development opportunities.

Sponsors: Representatives Santos, Tarleton, Fey, Doglio, Pollet and Ortiz-Self.

Brief History:

Committee Activity:

Education: 6/19/17 [DP2S].

Brief Summary of Second Substitute Bill

  • Creates new educator recruitment and retention policies related to, for example:  regional educator recruitment; recruitment of military personnel; and a Professional Educator Collaborative.

  • Revises educator recruitment and retention policies related to, for example: the Recruiting Washington Teachers Program; student teacher field placement; financial incentives, assistance, and supports for people pursuing the teacher certificates, including grants, conditional scholarships, and loan repayment; the Beginning Educator Support Team Program; and certification and evaluation of classroom teachers and principals.


Majority Report: The second substitute bill be substituted therefor and the second substitute bill do pass. Signed by 15 members: Representatives Santos, Chair; Dolan, Vice Chair; Stonier, Vice Chair; Harris, Ranking Minority Member; Muri, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Bergquist, Caldier, Johnson, Kilduff, Lovick, Senn, Slatter, Steele, Valdez and Volz.

Staff: Megan Wargacki (786-7194).


Teacher Recruitment Activities. In 2016 the Legislature directed the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), in partnership with educational service districts (ESDs) and school districts, to develop and implement a comprehensive, statewide initiative to increase the number of qualified individuals who apply for teaching positions in Washington. Specifically, the OSPI was directed to implement a recruitment campaign and website, and to develop a web-based depository of teacher jobs and applications. As part of its initiative, the OSPI also provided funding to Central Washington ESDs to create and implement short- and long-term regional teacher recruitment initiatives.

Educator Preparation Programs. The Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) is a 12-member board that adopts rules and creates policies for the preparation and certification of educators. The PESB approves entities, including community colleges, universities, ESDs, and community-based organizations, to offer educator preparation programs. There are educator preparation programs for teachers, principals and other administrators, and educational staff associates.

Approved educator preparation programs may add an alternative route teacher certification program (Alternative Route Program), which is a nontraditional program that operates as a partnership between a teacher preparation program and one or more school districts.

Educator Shortage Areas. The PESB designates official shortage areas based on periodic analysis of educator supply and demand in Washington. An endorsement is the subject area in which a certificated educator is authorized to teach, along with designated grade levels for that area. Endorsement shortage areas include: special education, mathematics, and science. There are also subject area shortages specific to regions; these are identified as geographic shortage areas.

Recruiting Washington Teachers Program. The Recruiting Washington Teachers (RWT) Program was established by the Legislature in 2007 to recruit and provide training and support for high school students to enter the teaching profession, especially in shortage areas. The program, administered by the PESB, consists of specified components, for example: targeted recruitment of diverse high school students; a curriculum that provides classroom observations and preteaching internships; certain academic and community support services; and future teacher camps held on college campuses.

Subject to funding, the PESB must allocate grants to partnerships of high schools, teacher preparation programs, and community-based organizations for the design and delivery of RWT Programs.

Field Placement of Student Teachers. Biennially, beginning July 1, 2018, each institution of higher education with an Alternative Route Program must collaborate with local school districts to develop a plan describing how the institution will partner with the local districts regarding field placement of resident teachers.

In 2016 the Legislature authorized the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) to administer a Student Teaching Residency Grant Program to provide additional funds to low-income persons completing residencies at Title I public schools in Washington.

Teacher Endorsement and Certification Help Pilot Project. In 2016 the Legislature enacted the Teacher Endorsement and Certification Help (TEACH) Pilot Project to provide grants to low-income persons taking basic skills and content tests for teacher certification in shortage areas. Beginning September 1, 2016, the WSAC was directed to begin awarding grants, but no funding was provided. Authorization for the project expires June 30, 2021.

Conditional Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs for Educators. A conditional scholarship (CS) is a loan that is forgiven, in whole or in part, in exchange for qualified service. There are five statutory CS Programs for educators: Future Teachers CS, Alternative Route CS, Educator Retooling CS, Pipeline for Paraeducators CS, and Teacher Shortage Conditional Grant. There is also a Loan Repayment Program to repay, in whole or in part, the federal student loans of teachers who perform qualified service.

The PESB selects the participants for some programs, while the WSAC selects the participants for other programs. In general, for the CS Programs, one year of loan obligation is forgiven for every year a loan recipient teaches in a designated shortage area in a Washington public school.

Tuition Waivers. Tuition waivers provided by public institutions of higher education fall into one of three categories: state-supported, discretionary, and space available. When space is available in a course, public institutions may waive all or a portion of the tuition and services and activities fees for certain state and public school employees. To be eligible, teachers and other certificated instructional staff employed at public common and vocational schools must hold or seek a valid endorsement and assignment in a shortage area. Classified staff employed at public schools may only enroll in coursework relevant to their work assignment.

Beginning Educator Support Team Program. The Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST) Program provides professional development and mentor support for beginning teachers, candidates in the Alternative Route Program, and teachers on probation. The BEST Program must include specified components, for example: mentorship, professional development, and a program evaluation that measures increased knowledge, skills, and positive impact on student learning for program participants.

Grant funding for the BEST Program is administered by the OSPI. The grant funds are provided on a competitive basis to individual school districts or consortia of districts. In allocating funds, the OSPI must give priority to low-performing school districts and districts with a large influx of beginning classroom teachers.

Certification of Teachers and Principals. Washington has two levels of certification for classroom teachers and principals: residency and professional. Teachers have up to seven years to obtain the professional certificate. Principals are not required to obtain a professional certificate. There are a variety of options available for certificate renewal, depending on the type of certificate and when it was issued.

Evaluation of Teachers and Principals. Beginning in the 2015-16 school year, most classroom teachers and principals are evaluated using a "revised" four-level rating evaluation system with eight specified minimum criteria. The four-levels are unsatisfactory, basic, proficient, and distinguished. Teachers and principals receive a performance rating for each criteria and an overall rating for the entire evaluation, called the comprehensive summative evaluation performance rating.

All teachers and principals must be evaluated each year. Except in certain cases, every four years the evaluation must be comprehensive and use all eight criteria. In the intervening years, evaluations are focused, zeroing in on a specific evaluation criterion for professional development.

A steering committee composed of teachers, principals, administrators, school board members, and parents examined implementation issues and refined tools used for the evaluation system through the 2015-16 implementation phase.


Summary of Second Substitute Bill:

Part I – Recruitment.

Regional Recruiters and Pilot Program. An ESD may employ a regional recruiter to, for example: serve as a liaison between local school districts, educator preparation programs, and agencies that may be helpful in educator recruitment efforts; provide outreach and support to community members who may be interested in becoming educators; and provide resources and technical assistance to local districts on best hiring processes and practices.

The PESB must provide grants to ESDs whose school districts have the least access to Alternative Route Programs. Beginning September 1, 2017, these ESDs must employ a regional recruiter as described above. By December 1, 2020, the PESB, in collaboration with the Washington Association of Educational Service Districts, must report to the Legislature with a summary of the recruitment activities of the ESD grant recipients in comparison to other ESDs, including available outcomes data, and recommend whether the grant program should be expanded to all ESDs or discontinued.

Recruiting Washington Teachers Program. The RWT Program is broadened to encourage students to explore "careers in education" rather than focusing on exploring teaching in specific subjects. In addition to current components, the program must include instruction and support services related to post high school success, for example: college success and workforce skills, financial education opportunities, and acclimating to a college campus. When determining grant recipients, the PESB must prioritize partnerships that have a Running Start Program. The PESB must conduct a periodic evaluation of the effectiveness of programs for recruiting teachers and use the findings to revise the RWT Program.

Subject Matter Experts in the Alternative Route Program. When establishing rules for Alternative Route Programs, the PESB must prioritize programs tailored to the needs of candidates with occupational industry experience relevant to the subject area they intend to teach. The PESB maintains authority to award competitive partnership grants, but use of these grants is limited to Alternative Route Program start-up costs.

Recruiting Military Personnel Work Group. By December 1, 2017, the PESB must report to the Legislature with recommendations from a work group convened to examine issues around recruitment of military personnel and their spouses into educator positions. The work group must include representatives from the OSPI, the state Department of Veterans Affairs and Military Department, educator preparation programs, and educator associations.

Part II – Financial Incentives, Assistance, and Supports.

Field Placement of Student Teachers. All teacher preparation programs, not just Alternative Route Programs, must develop field placement plans for student teachers. Certain goals related to targeting high-need subject and geographic areas and using highly effective mentors must be considered during plan development. The WSAC, in cooperation with stakeholders, must report to the Legislature with policy recommendations to encourage or require teacher preparation programs to develop relationships with, and provide supervisory support for field placements of student teachers in, nonlocal school districts.

The Student Teaching Residency Grant Program is narrowed to persons at Title I public common schools, rather than all Title I public schools. Beginning December 1, 2019, the WSAC must report biennially to the Legislature with the specified application and outcome data, and recommendations for modifying the grant program.

Teacher Endorsement and Certification Help Program. The TEACH Pilot Project is converted to a permanent program, with implementation and reporting dates extended by one year.

Educator Conditional Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs. The chapter of the Higher Education Code entitled Future Teachers CS and Loan Repayment Program is modified and restructured to apply to all educators, and renamed the Educators CS and Loan Repayment Programs.

Alternative Route CS, Pipeline for Paraeducators CS, and the Educator Retooling CS Programs. These programs are moved from the Alternative Routes chapter of the Education Code to this chapter. The Pipeline for Paraeducators CS Program is available to paraeducators without a college degree who have two, rather than three, years of successful student interaction and leadership. Rather than two years, paraeducators have up to four years, or the clock or credit hour equivalent, to complete two full-time years at a community and technical college. The Educator Retooling CS Program is available to persons who hold a regular Washington teacher certificate or an expired regular Washington teacher certificate issued after 2005, rather than persons with current teacher certificates in specific areas. Participants are eligible for the CS for up to one year, or the clock or credit hour equivalent.

Teacher Shortage Conditional Grant Program. This program is renamed the Teacher Shortage CS Program. To qualify for the program an applicant must be accepted into, and maintain enrollment in, a teacher preparation program leading to a residency teacher certificate and intend to pursue a residency teacher certificate with an endorsement in a shortage area. In this chapter, the term "shortage area" means an endorsement or geographic area as defined by the PESB, in consultation with the OSPI, with a shortage of certificated employees. Participants are eligible to receive a Teacher Shortage CS for up to four years, or the credit or clock hour equivalent. Statutory direction to the WSAC to consider specific elements when developing the framework for the program is removed.

Career and Technical Education CS Program. A program is created to encourage persons to become Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers by providing financial aid for obtaining the necessary certifications and endorsements. To qualify for the program, an applicant must be accepted into, and maintain enrollment in, a teacher preparation program and be pursuing the necessary certifications and endorsements to teach CTE courses. The WSAC must give priority to applicants who: (a) possess a professional license and occupational industry experience applicable to the CTE endorsement being pursued; (b) are accepted into an Alternative Route Program; or (c) intend to teach courses that expose students to high employer demand fields in Washington, where "high employer demand fields" are determined by the PESB in consultation with the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board. Participants are eligible to receive a CTE CS for up to two years, or the credit or clock hour equivalent.

Federal Student Loan Repayment. Modifications are made to the Loan Repayment Program allowing the WSAC to repay all or part of a federal student loan in exchange for teaching service. This program is limited to certificated teachers who: (1) hold an endorsement in the content area in which they are assigned; and (2) serve in a shortage area in a common school. In addition, it is specified that the WSAC may not reimburse participants for loan repayments made before the participant became part of the program.

Participant Selection. The WSAC is the administrator of these programs and is directed to develop an application process for each program, convene a selection team of stakeholders to review applications and select eligible participants who have a financial need and commit to serving as a certificated employee in a common school. The term "certificated employee" means a person who holds a certificate as authorized by the PESB, but does not include a paraeducator.

In selecting eligible participants, the WSAC must: (1) give priority to persons who are renewing their application in order to complete a certificated employee preparation program; and (2) consider prioritizing persons who meet shortage area needs, are first generation college students or graduates, have characteristics that are underrepresented among certificated employees, or have classroom-based experience.

Awards. The WSAC is required to maximize the CS and loan repayments awarded. The maximum award is $8,000 per calendar year for each program. When developing award terms and conditions, the WSAC must consider the purpose of each program and recognize the total cost of attendance for each educator preparation program. In addition, the award of a CS may not result in reduction of a participant's federal or other state financial aid.

A CS awarded under this chapter is forgiven when the participant fulfills the terms of his or her service obligation. The WSAC must develop the service obligation terms for each CS Program, including that participants must either serve as a certificated employee in a common school:

Repayment. Participants who do not fulfill their service obligation incur an obligation to repay the CS award, with interest and other fees. The WSAC must develop repayment terms for each CS Program, including interest rate, other fees, minimum payment, and maximum repayment period.

The WSAC must establish a process for forgiveness, deferment, or forbearance for participants who fail to complete their service obligation due to circumstances beyond the participants' control.

Report. Biennially, beginning November 1, 2018, the WSAC must submit a report to the Legislature recommending whether the Educator CS and Loan Repayment Programs should be continued, modified, or terminated. The report must include information about the number of applicants for, and participants in, each program, and should be disaggregated. The report must include information about participant deferments and repayment, and moneys received by and disbursed from the associated account.

Other. It is specified that nothing in these provisions modifies or otherwise affects related CS or loan repayment agreements in existence before the new provisions go into effect.

Technical changes are made, for example removing or repealing redundant provisions, and changing terms for consistency.

Space Available Tuition Waivers. The space available tuition waivers are made available to: (1) all teachers and other certificated instructional staff at public common and vocational schools, rather than only those holding or seeking a valid endorsement and assignment in a shortage area; and (2) classified staff employed at public common schools, rather than public schools, when used for coursework that is part of a teacher preparation program, in addition to coursework relevant to the work assignment.

Institutions of higher education must report to the WSAC each year with data on these waivers compared to other tuition and fee waivers awarded by the institutions.

Teacher Preparation Program Enrollment. Through the Omnibus Appropriations Act, the Legislature intends to prioritize the expansion of teacher preparation program enrollments in high-need subjects and high-need locations, taking into consideration the community and technical colleges' capacity to contribute to teacher preparation.

Part III – Retention Strategies.

Beginning Educator Support Team Program. The BEST Program is expanded to beginning principals. Changes are made to mentor eligibility requirements, assignment, and professional development.

In addition to the other categories of districts, the OSPI must prioritize grant funds to school districts that demonstrate an understanding of the research-based standards for beginning educator induction developed by the OSPI.

Additional components are added to the BEST Program, for example: an appropriate assignment, written feedback, and adherence to research-based standards. The required program evaluation must measure increased retention of program participants.

Certification of Teachers and Principals. Teachers and principals may renew their residency certificate in five-year intervals by completing 75-clock hours, rather than obtain a professional certificate. Technical changes are made including removing provisions related to expired reporting requirements.

Evaluation of Teachers and Principals. The comprehensive performance evaluation frequency for classroom teachers and principals who received a comprehensive performance rating of level 3 or above in their previous comprehensive performance evaluation is reduced from every four years to every six years. The steering committee's work is extended through July 1, 2022.

Nonsubstantive and technical changes are made, for example: the term "revised evaluation system" is replaced with the term "four-level rating evaluation system;" and language related to the "revised" evaluation implementation schedule, pilots, and related reports is removed.

Part IV – Strengthening and Supporting Professional Pathways for Educators.

The Professional Educator Collaborative. The Professional Educator Collaborative is established to make recommendations to improve and strengthen state policies, programs, and pathways that lead to highly effective educators at each level of the public school system.

The collaborative must examine issues related to educator recruitment, certification, retention, professional learning and development, leadership, and evaluation for effectiveness. The collaborative must also consider what incentives and supports could be provided at each stage of an educator's career to produce a more effective educational system.

The members of the collaborative must include representatives of the Legislature, education agencies, educator preparation programs, and educator associations. The PESB must provide staff support. The collaborative is required to contract with a nonprofit, nonpartisan institute that meets certain requirements.

By November 1, 2018, the collaborative must submit a preliminary report to the Legislature that makes recommendations on specific educator certificate types, tiers, and renewal issues. By November 1, 2019, the collaborative must submit a final report to the Legislature that makes recommendations on additional issues.

Second Substitute Bill Compared to Original Bill:

The language in the substitute bill is replaced with provisions related to the parts described in the summary of the second substitute bill.


Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on June 15, 2017.

Effective Date of Second Substitute Bill: The bill contains an emergency clause and takes effect immediately.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

(In support) Addressing the teacher shortage is a critical component of increasing educational attainment.  It is important to retain teachers in hard to staff areas.  The Alternative Route Programs are important to this goal.  There is a recognition of the need to increase enrollments and capacity at teacher preparation programs in high need areas. "Grow-Your-Own" models should be supported.  The proposed language is biased towards Alternative Route Programs, but traditional programs are also good.

The broad definition of "educator" recognizes Education Staff Associates (ESAs) as part of the equation.  There is an opportunity for this legislation to address ESAs by adding the policy in House Bill 1377, related to improving students' mental health by enhancing nonacademic professional services.

Removal of the "subject to appropriations" phrases indicates strong support for the policy.  It will be important to fund those sections, though.  Because shortage areas can be specific to geographic regions, it is good that the definition for "shortage area" is not specific.

It is good to have conditional scholarships available to all educators.  Any financial assistance for prospective educators is helpful.  The current funding for financial assistance programs does not meet demand. Paraeducators should receive scholarships to complete their Associate of Arts degrees. 

The BEST Program works and should be well supported and well-funded.  Mentoring is essential. The Washington Association of Colleges for Teacher Education should be one of the members of the Professional Educator Collaborative.

Teachers need immediate relief from the requirement for the ProTeach Portfolio.  It was better to have professional development as a third option for professional certification, but the residency certificate renewal option in this proposal works, too.  It is good that the proposed language provides relief from the professional certificate immediately, but it is the work of the Professional Educator Collaborative that will take the state into the next decade with regard to educator certification.

(Opposed) None.

(Other) The state funding for 5,000 athletic college scholarships should be diverted to 5,000 prospective teachers.  The higher education institutions could recruit top high school seniors to the teaching profession.  The United States is top in sports but not in education.

Persons Testifying: (In support) Representative Santos, prime sponsor; Bob Cooper, National Association of Social Workers and Washington Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; Lucinda Young, Washington Education Association; Jerry Bender, Association of Washington School Principals; Jessica Vavrus, Washington State School Directors Association; Alicia Kinne-Clawson, Eastern Washington University; Joe Timmons, Western Washington University; Steve DuPont, Central Washington University; and Madeleine Thompson, Washington Student Achievement Council.

(Other) Bruce Ericson, The Foundation for Teaching Scholarships.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.