HOUSE 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 Reported by House Committee On:
Title: An act relating to the Washington history day program.
Brief Description: Concerning the Washington history day program.
Sponsors: Representatives Kagi, Harris, Dolan, Stonier, Goodman, Tarleton, Bergquist, Johnson, McBride, Fitzgibbon, Slatter, Vick, Lytton, Hargrove, Macri, Kloba, Appleton, Ortiz-Self, Ormsby, Lovick and McCaslin.
Education: 1/8/18, 1/18/18 [DPS].
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
Majority Report: The substitute bill be substituted therefor and the substitute bill do pass. Signed by 19 members: Representatives Santos, Chair; Dolan, Vice Chair; Stonier, Vice Chair; Harris, Ranking Minority Member; Muri, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Bergquist, Caldier, Hargrove, Johnson, Kilduff, Lovick, McCaslin, Ortiz-Self, Senn, Slatter, Steele, Stokesbary, Valdez and Volz.
Staff: Ethan Moreno (786-7386).
National History Day and Washington History Day.
The National History Day organization (NHD), a nonprofit organization established in 1974, offers year-long academic programs for middle and high school students in and outside of the United States. In addition to providing professional development opportunities and curriculum materials for teachers, the NHD operates the National History Day Contest, a contest that Washington participates in as an affiliate through the Washington History Day Program (Program). The Program is administered by the Washington State Historical Society (WSHS). According to the WSHS, more than 8,000 students participate in the Program each year.
The WSHS, a tax-exempt nonprofit organization, is designated by the Legislature as a trustee of the state's historical articles and properties. The WSHS's duties include collecting and preserving historical materials, operating state museums, conducting educational activities and historical celebrations, engaging in fund-raising, and exchanging historical property.
Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
In addition to its constitutional charge of supervising all matter pertaining to public schools, the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) and its office has numerous and broad responsibilities prescribed in statute, including:
making rules and regulations necessary for the administration of public education requirements;
preparing courses of study and other materials and books for the discharge of education duties;
fulfilling financial responsibilities, including distributing legislatively allocated funds to districts for the operation of the public school system, and awarding numerous state and federally funded grants;
maintaining and revising, in consultation with the State Board of Education, a statewide academic assessment system to measure student knowledge and skills on state learning standards and for purposes of state and federal accountability; and
satisfying numerous reporting and other duties assigned by the Legislature.
Summary of Substitute Bill:
Effective July 1, 2018, responsibility for administering the Program is transferred from the WSHS to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Subject to funds appropriated for this specific purpose, the OSPI is responsible for the administration and coordination of the Program, including providing necessary staff support.
Although the OSPI has administrative and coordination duties, the Program must be operated as a partnership between the OSPI, the WSHS, and private parties interested in providing funding and in-kind support. The WSHS, in coordination with the OSPI, is directed to promote the Program and provide access and support for students who are conducting primary and secondary research of historical Washington documents and commentary.
A nonappropriated Washington History Day Account (which can be populated with public or private moneys) is created in the custody of the Washington State Treasurer. Only the SPI or the SPI's designee may authorize expenditures from the account. Provisions creating the account specify that it will retain any interest earned on account balances.
Substitute Bill Compared to Original Bill:
The substitute removes provisions requiring the transfer of documents, records, and financial assets pertaining to the Program from the WSHS to the SPI.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date of Substitute Bill: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony:
(In support) A budget proposal to expand the Program was previously offered, but not accepted. As a result, the sponsor decided to instead propose legislation to strengthen the Program and place it in statute. The partnership created in the bill recognizes the role and resources of the WSHS in supporting the Program. The Governor has included $200,000 in his budget to support the partnership, but $50,000 is to be from private resources. The WSHS has concerns about transferring a Program endowment, but amendments may be supported.
The state must retain and expand programs that are outstanding, and the Program is one such program. Students in the program are performing excellent work. The program makes history come alive and is a powerful learning tool. The NHD program is a transformative, but underutilized program that provides a format for student research and presentations. Although 500,000 Washington students are eligible to participate in the Program, only 10,000 do so.
The intent of the bill, to expand participation in the Program, is a good one. The WSHS has supported the Program since 2005 when it was dropped by the previous administrator. The WSHS has entered into discussions with OSPI about the Program, and has spoken to the sponsor about technical amendments.
The NHD program operates in all 50 states and some territories. Stakeholders have actively supported Washington's program and will help to implement the public-private partnership in the bill.
As a curriculum, the Program belongs with the OSPI—it is what they do. The OSPI will be able to expand the Program throughout the state. It would be awesome if OSPI could work with teachers to help support history day in Washington.
The OSPI supports the legislation.
Persons Testifying: Representative Kagi, prime sponsor; Nicole Kesler; Margie Kates; Susan Lynam, Colonial Dames; Jennifer Kilmer, Washington State Historical Society; Carol Coe, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction; Shawn Lee; Randolph Schnabel, Washington History Day; and Matt Norling, Central Washington History Day.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.