Passed by the Senate April 20, 2021
  Yeas 49  Nays 0

President of the Senate
Passed by the House April 16, 2021
  Yeas 96  Nays 1

Speaker of the House of Representatives
I, Brad Hendrickson, Secretary of the Senate of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is ENGROSSED SECOND SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 5128 as passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on the dates hereon set forth.

Secretary of State
State of Washington


Passed Legislature - 2021 Regular Session
State of Washington
67th Legislature
2021 Regular Session
BySenate Ways & Means (originally sponsored by Senators Wellman, Wilson, C., Conway, Dhingra, Hunt, Keiser, Lovelett, Nguyen, and Saldaña)
AN ACT Relating to student transportation funding during a local, state, or national emergency; amending RCW 28A.160.170; adding a new section to chapter 28A.160 RCW; adding a new section to chapter 28A.710 RCW; adding a new section to chapter 28A.715 RCW; creating a new section; and declaring an emergency.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1. The legislature recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the delivery of education across the state, as school districts transition to remote learning environments to protect the health of students and staff. The legislature also recognizes that the role of transportation services has evolved alongside remote learning programs to help students equitably access the instructional program of basic education. As permitted by emergency proclamation, many school districts have adapted to remote learning by transporting meals, learning materials, and technology supports directly to students' homes or neighborhoods. Other school districts have used transportation resources to bring students to learning centers or other agencies where support services are provided.
This flexibility has allowed school districts to creatively use the resources at their disposal to equitably address the needs of students during an ongoing emergency.
With this act, the legislature intends to preserve this principle of flexibility for qualifying transportation services during a future local, state, or national emergency.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 28A.160 RCW to read as follows:
(1) If a school or school district is providing full remote or partial remote instruction under the authority of RCW 28A.150.290 due to a local, state, or national emergency that causes a substantial disruption to full in-person instruction then, in addition to the transportation services allowed under this chapter, the district may use student transportation allocations to provide the following expanded services to students, regardless of whether those students would qualify as eligible students under RCW 28A.160.160:
(a) Delivery of educational services necessary to provide students with the opportunity to equitably access educational services during the period of remote instruction. Delivery of educational services include the transportation of materials, hardware, and other supports that assist students in accessing remote instruction, internet connectivity, or the curriculum;
(b) Delivery of meals to students; and
(c) Providing for the transportation of students to and from learning centers or other public or private agencies where educational and support services are being provided to students during the period of remote instruction. "Providing for" includes the provision of payments to allow students to use public transit to access the educational and support services.
(2) Nothing in this section is intended to limit a district's ability to use transportation allocations to pay for fixed transportation costs, such as school bus maintenance and basic administrative, regulatory, safety, or operational expenses.
(3) If a district provides expanded services under subsection (1) of this section, the district must track by a separate accounting code the expenditures incurred by the district in providing such services. This data must be included in the report required under RCW 28A.160.170(2).
Sec. 3. RCW 28A.160.170 and 2009 c 548 s 306 are each amended to read as follows:
Each district shall submit three times each year to the superintendent of public instruction during October, February, and May of each year a report containing the following:
(1)(a) The number of eligible students transported to and from school as provided for in RCW 28A.160.150, along with identification of stop locations and school locations, and (b) the number of miles driven for pupil transportation services as authorized in RCW 28A.160.150 the previous school year; and
(2) Other operational data and descriptions as required by the superintendent to determine allocation requirements for each district. The superintendent shall require that districts separate the costs of operating the program for the transportation of eligible students to and from school as defined by RCW 28A.160.160(3) ((from)), non-to-and-from-school pupil transportation costs, and costs to provide expanded services under section 2(1) of this act in the annual financial statement. The cost, quantity, and type of all fuel purchased by school districts for use in to-and-from-school transportation shall be included in the annual financial statement.
Each district shall submit the information required in this section on a timely basis as a condition of the continuing receipt of school transportation moneys.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4. A new section is added to chapter 28A.710 RCW to read as follows:
Section 2 of this act governs school operation and management under RCW 28A.710.040 and applies to charter schools established under this chapter.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5. A new section is added to chapter 28A.715 RCW to read as follows:
Section 2 of this act governs school operation and management under RCW 28A.715.020 and applies to state-tribal compact schools established under this chapter.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6. This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately.
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