House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
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.
Brief Description: Teaching Washington's tribal history, culture, and government.
Sponsors: Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education (originally sponsored by Senators McCoy, Wellman, Kuderer, Hasegawa, Lovelett, Stanford, Wilson, C., Conway, Das, Nguyen, Van De Wege, Darneille and Hunt).
Hearing Date: 2/25/20
Staff: Ethan Moreno (786-7386).
Social Studies Curricula—Tribal History and Culture.
Legislation adopted in 2015 requires school districts to incorporate curricula about the history, culture, and government of the nearest federally recognized Indian tribe or tribes. The requirement is activated when a school district reviews or adopts social studies curricula. In meeting the requirement, school districts must use a specific curriculum developed by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) called Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State (informally known as the STI curriculum). Districts may modify the STI curriculum to incorporate elements that have a regionally specific focus. The STI curriculum has been endorsed for use by the 29 federally recognized tribes in Washington.
The 2015 legislation also directed school districts, as they conduct regularly scheduled reviews and revisions of their social studies and history curricula, to collaborate with any federally recognized Indian tribe within their district, and with neighboring Indian tribes, for the purpose of incorporating expanded and improved curricular materials about Indian tribes, and for creating programs of classroom and community cultural exchanges.
Additional directives in the 2015 legislation further required school districts to collaborate with the OSPI on curricular areas regarding tribal government and history that are statewide in nature, such as the concept of tribal sovereignty and the history of federal policy towards federally recognized Indian tribes.
Teacher Preparation Programs—Tribal History and Culture.
The curriculum for teacher preparation programs must include one quarter or semester course in either Washington state history and government, or Pacific Northwest history and government. Teacher preparation programs must meet this requirement by integrating the STI curriculum into programs or courses, and may modify that curriculum in order to incorporate elements that have a regionally specific-focus. Additionally, any course used to meet the history course requirement must include information on the culture, history, and government of the American Indian peoples who were the first human inhabitants of the state and the region.
Unless determined otherwise by the Professional Educator Standards Board, the agency charged with establishing policies and requirements for the preparation and certification of educators, graduating students from teacher preparation programs must complete the required history course.
Summary of Bill:
Beginning September 1, 2022, all school districts must incorporate curricula about the history, culture, and government of the nearest federally recognized Indian tribe or tribes into their social studies curricula. The requirement that school districts use the STI curriculum developed by the OSPI applies to this directive.
The OSPI is directed to develop and utilize a system to monitor and report on district implementation and compliance with requirements relating to incorporating curricula about the history, culture, and government of the nearest federally recognized Indian tribe or tribes into its social studies curricula and related collaboration requirements.
Preparation programs for school administrators must include information on the culture, history, and government of the American Indian peoples who were the first human inhabitants of the state and region. In meeting this requirement, the administrator preparation programs must integrate the STI curriculum into programs or courses, and may modify the STI curriculum in order to incorporate elements that have a regionally specific focus.
Fiscal Note: Preliminary fiscal note available.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.