SENATE 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 of February 4, 2020
Title: An act relating to the teaching of Washington's tribal history, culture, and government.
Brief Description: Teaching Washington's tribal history, culture, and government.
Sponsors: Senators McCoy, Wellman, Kuderer, Hasegawa, Lovelett, Stanford, Wilson, C., Conway, Das, Nguyen, Van De Wege, Darneille and Hunt.
Committee Activity: Early Learning & K-12 Education: 1/29/20.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON EARLY LEARNING & K-12 EDUCATION
Staff: Benjamin Omdal (786-7442)
Background: Native American Curriculum. In 2011, the Legislature directed OSPI to create the Office of Native Education (ONE). ONE is required to perform several functions, including providing assistance to school districts in meeting the educational needs of Native American students, and facilitating the development and implementation of curricula and instructional materials in native languages, culture and history, and the concept of tribal sovereignty.
The Native American curriculum, titled the Since Time Immemorial (STI) curriculum, was developed by ONE in partnership with public and private agencies and several of the 29 federally recognized Indian tribes whose reservations are located in Washington. The STI supports teaching tribal sovereignty, tribal history, and current tribal issues within existing history and other courses at the elementary, middle, and high-school levels. STI curriculum is available online free of charge from OSPI.
In 2015, legislation was enacted to require school districts to incorporate the STI curriculum when reviewing or adopting social studies curriculum. In addition, districts must collaborate with local tribes to incorporate curriculum materials and to create programs of classroom and community cultural exchanges.
Teacher and Administrator Preparation Programs. The Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) is tasked with creating certification requirements for K-12 teachers and school administrators. PESB is in charge of setting standard and program approval for teacher and administrator preparation programs in public and private higher education institutions. Generally, most routes to certification include education requirements as well as graduation from a PESB-approved certification program.
In 1993, the Legislature enacted legislation mandating that teacher preparation program courses in Washington State or Pacific Northwest history, required by statute, incorporate information on the culture, history, and government of the American Indian peoples who were the first human inhabitants of the state and the region.
In 2018, the Legislature required teacher preparation programs to integrate the STI curriculum into existing programs or courses and allowed programs to modify the curriculum in order to incorporate elements that have a more regionally specific focus.
Summary of Bill: By September 1, 2022, all school districts must incorporate curricula about the history, culture, and government of the nearest federally recognized tribe or tribes into social studies curricula. In addition, OSPI shall develop and utilize a system to monitor and report on district implementation and compliance with tribal curricula provisions.
In addition to teacher preparation programs, administrator preparation programs must also require a course in Washington or Pacific Northwest history and government that incorporates the STI curriculum developed by OSPI.
Fiscal Note: Available.
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: Integrating the curriculum into administrative programs is a continuation of work done over the last 15 years. There is a need to make sure that districts are aware of all relevant tribal histories, whether or not one tribe is taking the lead on consultation. There is a large diversity in tribes and tribal cultures in Washington that should be reflected in curriculum. The Since Time Immemorial curriculum is critical for education in our state; however it may not be needed as a separate course for administrator programs. The resources exist to have districts implement this curriculum and the bill provides a hard deadline to do just that.
Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator John McCoy, Prime Sponsor; Rodney Cawston, Chairman, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation; Lucinda Young, Washington Education Association; Laura Lynn, OSPI; Bill Kallappa, State Board of Education; Bob Cooper, Washington Association of Colleges for Teacher Eduction; Roz Thompson, Association of Washington School Principals.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.