SB 5762
As of January 21, 2022
Title: An act relating to creating the purple star award.
Brief Description: Creating the purple star award.
Sponsors: Senators Wagoner, Lovick and Nobles.
Brief History:
Committee Activity: Early Learning & K-12 Education: 1/21/22.
Brief Summary of Bill
  • Creates the Purple Star Award to recognize military friendly schools. 
Staff: Ailey Kato (786-7434)

The Legislature enacted the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (compact) in 2009 to remove barriers to educational success imposed on children of military families due to frequent moves and deployment of their parents. 


Article VIII of the compact requires each member state to have a state council to coordinate compliance with the provisions of the compact.  The membership of the state council must, at a minimum include:

  • the state superintendent of public instruction;
  • a superintendent of a school district with a high concentration of military children;
  • a representative from a military installation;
  • one representative each from the legislative and executive branches of government;
  • the state's compact commissioner who serves on the interstate council as well;
  • the state military family education liaison; and
  • other offices and stakeholder groups the state council deems appropriate.


The state council appoints the military family education liaison to assist military families and the state in facilitating the implementation of the compact.

Summary of Bill:

The Purple Star Award is created to recognize military friendly schools that show a commitment to students and families connected to the nation's military.  This award shall be awarded every two years beginning in 2023.


To be considered for a Purple Star Award, a school or school district on behalf of a school, must submit an application to the state council.  The state council must consider a school for the award if it applies and completes all the required activities and at least one optional activity. 


The required activities are: 

  • have a staff point of contact for military students and families; and
  • maintain a dedicated page on its website featuring resources for military families.


The staff point of contact must work jointly with the state military family education liaison; serve as the primary liaison between military families and the school; complete professional development on special considerations for military students and families; and identify and inform teachers of military-connected students in their classrooms and the special considerations they should receive. 


The optional activities are:

  • provide professional development for additional staff on special considerations for military students and families; 
  • pass a resolution publicizing the school's support for military children and families; or
  • host a military recognition event that demonstrates a military friendly culture.


The state council must:

  • create a simple application for the award; 
  • establish a timeline for submitting the application and granting the award; 
  • create criteria to use when reviewing the applications; and
  • determine whether there is a limited or unlimited number of awards and whether a school can apply for multiple awards.
Appropriation: None.
Fiscal Note: Requested on January 11, 2022.
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:  One of the biggest stressors for military-connected families is not knowing what educational opportunities exist for their children after they move.  Many of these children have to attend multiple schools.  This award will recognize schools that are addressing these students' needs and well-being.  This award is already available at certain schools and throughout the country, but it should be available statewide in Washington.  The compact helps military-connected families, but it is not exhaustive.  The award provides a common framework and makes sure that these students get the extra social and emotional support they need.  It helps level the playing field for these students.  Recipients of the award would demonstrate a commitment to offering targeted professional development and creating a welcoming environment.
CON:  The bill requires the state council to grant the purple star award, which could create an inherent conflict because the state council coordinates compliance with the provisions of the compact.  The management of the award could be through an entity other than the state council.  

Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator Keith Wagoner, Prime Sponsor; Tammie Perreault, Department of Defense; Natalie Wimberley, Peninsula School District; Tim Ames, Medical Lake School District; Rey Ornelas, Medical Lake School District; Cassius Bently; Sean Wood, Steilacoom High School ; Jessica Potts, Steilacoom High School; Tim Farrell, MCEC - Military Child Education Coalition; Daniel Guzman.
CON: Greg Lynch, Superintendent Olympic Educational Service District 114 and WA MIC3 Compact Commissioner.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.