SB 6209

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 of February 1, 2018

Title: An act relating to facilitating high school success.

Brief Description: Facilitating high school success.

Sponsors: Senators Mullet, Rivers, Palumbo, Fain and Hobbs.

Brief History:

Committee Activity: Early Learning & K-12 Education: 2/01/18.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Modifies and requires academic acceleration policies.

  • Opens dual credit courses and programs to all high school students and requires the cost of examination fees and the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) costs to be covered for students who are eligible for free and reduced priced meals.

  • Requires school districts to use a dropout early warning and intervention data system that includes certain data to support a dropout prevention, intervention, and re-engagement system.


Staff: Susan Mielke (786-7422), Benjamin Omdal (786-7442)

Background: Academic Acceleration Policies. School districts in Washington are encouraged to adopt an academic acceleration policy for high school students. School districts must notify students and parents of the academic policy and advance courses available to student. Students must be allowed to opt out of the academic acceleration policy. Under academic acceleration policies:

The subject matter of the advanced course depends on the subject in which the student attained the state standard. Students who meet the state standard on both end-of-course assessments in mathematics are considered to have met the state standard for high school mathematics. These end-of-course assessments will no longer be used for evaluating mathematics standards after the 2017-2018 school year. Students who meet state standards in both reading and writing are eligible for enrollment in advanced courses in English, social studies, humanities, and other related subjects.

Dual Credit Courses and Programs. Students may simultaneously earn high school and college-level credit by successfully completing a dual-credit course or passing certain standardized examinations. Examples of dual credit courses include Advance Placement (AP), Running Start, and College in the High School. To be eligible to participate in many of the dual credit courses students must be in grades 11 or 12, although College in the High School accepts students in grades 10, 11, and 12.

Dropout Early Warning and Intervention Data System (DEWIS). DEWIS is defined in law as a student information system that provides the data needed to conduct a universal screening to identify students at risk of dropping out, catalog student interventions, and monitor student progress towards graduation.

The Washington Integrated Student Supports Protocol (Protocol). The Protocol was developed by the Center for the Improvement of Student Learning within the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). The Protocol facilitates the ability of any academic or nonacademic provider to support the needs of at-risk students, including, but not limited to: out-of-school providers, social workers, mental health counselors, physicians, dentists, speech therapists, and audiologists.

Learning Assistance Program (LAP). LAP provides supplemental instruction and services to assist K-12 students who are not meeting academic standards and to reduce classroom disruptions. State allocations are based on the number of K-12 students in the school district eligible who are eligible for free and reduced price meals (FRPMs). However, students do not have to be eligible for free or reduced-price meals (FRPMs) to be served in the LAP.

Summary of Bill: Academic Acceleration Policies. School districts in Washington must adopt an academic acceleration policy for high school students. The eligibility criteria to participate under the academic acceleration policy is expanded to also include students who meet the grade level college and career readiness benchmarks on the reading, writing, and language sections or the mathematics sections on the PSAT. Students who achieve the required score on the PSAT are eligible to be enrolled in advanced courses in English, social studies, humanities, and other related subjects.

School districts may include additional eligibility criteria if it does not create inequities in the demographic enrollments of the course or program. School districts must notify students and parents of advance courses and programs available to students, including dual credit courses or programs.

Dual Credit Courses and Programs. Any high school student may enroll in a dual-credit course. The state must provide for the cost of examination fees for students who complete a dual credit course and are eligible for FRPMs. OSPI must reimburse school districts for the cost of offering the PSAT to students who are eligible for FRPMs.

DEWIS. Additional specifics are provided for the data that must be included in DEWIS and how the data will be used to support a dropout prevention, intervention, and re-engagement system. The uses of the data include identifying vulnerable students at risk of not graduating and determining which interventions are to be provided such students. The definition of vulnerable students is also expanded.

By the 2020-21 school year, each school district must use a DEWIS and must be using a K-12 dropout prevention, intervention, and re-engagement system. Beginning September 1, 2021, each school district must report every two years to OSPI on its system. OSPI should report this data on the school report card disaggregated and at the school level.

The Protocol. School districts are encouraged to use the Protocol to determine the needs of students and to plan supports for them.

LAP. During the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years only, school districts may expend a portion of the district's LAP allocation to develop a DEWIS. During the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years, the OSPI may retain up to one-half of 1 percent of the LAP allocation generated by middle school and high school students for the purpose of supporting districts in developing and implementing a DEWIS and a dropout prevention, intervention, and re-engagement system by providing professional development and technical assistance. The OSPI is encouraged to work with the educational service districts to provide these services.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on January 12, 2018.

Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: The bill represents statewide implementation of policies that have been successful at the district level.  Early warning dropout systems have helped students receive diagnoses on certain conditions.  Exposure to dual-credit courses can provide students with opportunities they would not otherwise have.  Giving equal access to academic acceleration will result in equal educational opportunities, and allow students the opportunity to show their talents.  The bill will help students reach their potential and reach college through advanced placement. 


OTHER: Including additional programs into state educational systems while levy systems are being reduced will result in the inability to address current issues.  Increased mandates may put financial strain on the state.  Requiring a district to adopt academic acceleration policies does not allow district customization for their own local needs, particularly with no grace period.  Ninth grade students might lack the academic preparedness to take advantage of dual-credit courses.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator Mark Mullet, Prime Sponsor; Tammy Mitchell, parent, Spokane Public Schools; Erica Hofer, parent, Spokane Public Schools; Isaiah Thompson, student, Rodgers High School; Dave Powell, Stand for Children; Dr. Will Jenkins, Sr., Tacoma NAACP Education Committee; Hiram Moran, educator; Gregory Christopher, Pastor; Brooke Brod, Stand for Children; Mykaila Young, student, University of Washington; Steve Smith, Black Education Strategy Roundtable; Dave Mastin, OSPI. OTHER: Lucinda Young, Washington Education Association; Joyce Hammer, SBCTC; Tim Stokes, South Puget Sound Community College; Roz Thompson, Association of Washington School Principals; Jessica Vavrus, Washington State School Directors' Association.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.